Grischuk gets his revenge!

Grischuk threw away the whole point in their first encounter but this time kept control until the end. This win enables him to catch Topalov going into the last round.

Alexander GrischukRUS27361-0Veselin TopalovBUL2805Queen's Indian DefenceE15
Vugar GashimovAZE27590.5-0.5Francisco Vallejo PonsESP2705Caro-Kann AdvanceB12
Boris GelfandISR27610.5-0.5Lev AronianARM2781Chebanenko SlavD15

Grischuk employed an unusual rook manoeuvre early on to take play out of the books. Then in the early middlegame the fight for the initiative led to Topalov giving up two minor pieces for rook and a couple of pawns. The pawns soon fell but he placed both rooks on the seventh and aimed to maintain pressure despite his material deficit. Grischuk however found a way to entangle the rooks which led to him obtaining the favourable material balance of rook, bishop and knight for the queen with play only on one wing. Too much for a lone queen to handle so Topalov threw in the towel.

The Advance Variation of the Caro-Kann can be handled in a number of styles by White. Gashimov chose a line involving quick piece development and then varied by moving his light-squared bishop a second time, which somehow contradicts this approach. His ensuing combination, involving a temporary piece sacrifice, just led to mass simplification and a dead drawn ending.

Gelfand-Aronian in many respects involved play akin to a Queen's Gambit Declined. This so-called 'Carlsbad' pawn structure involves heavy manoeuvring, which indeed occurred but neither side was able to generate any winning chances.

World RankingNameCountryPresent RatingExpected scorePointswins
2Veselin TopalovBUL28055.75.53
15Alexander GrischukRUS27364.75.53
5Levon AronianARM27815.34.50
7Vugar GashimovAZ E2759541
6Boris GelfandISR2761540
31Francisco Vallejo PonsESP27054.33.50

In order to gain rating points a player needs to make more points than his 'expected score'. So for example Grischuk will gain rating points from this tournament, even if he loses his last round. The four players at the bottom of the tournament each need to win if they are to avoid losing any rating points.

Topalov will now not be World number one after this event, but a draw tomorrow will still lead to him gaining rating points.

For more information:

Linares official site

Veselin Topalov: World number two.

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