Kramnik (again!) and Anand win in Bilbao

Anand and Kramnik played more cautiously than their opponents and both cashed in when faced with some risky tactics.
Carlsen loses his fifth game in a month. When was the last time that happened?!

In the opening Carlsen chose to play 5.d3, leading to a closed manoeuvring game, rather than test Anand in the main lines of the solid Berlin Defence. After the opening of the centre Anand's pieces seemed slightly more active, but nothing dramatic until Carlsen made a speculative piece sacrifice. Anand then found a series of neat defensive ideas that didn't allow the Norwegian to get his material back.

In a Slav, Shirov opted to steer the game into a position that was more reminiscent of the Queen's Gambit Accepted where White had an isolated queen's pawn and Black a blockade on d5. A tactical sequence, initiated by Shirov who made an attempted 'freeing pawn sacrifice', led to him shedding the exchange after which, for Kramnik of all people, it was a 'question of technique'.

Here is a summary of the second round:

Magnus Carlsen2826NOR0-1Viswanathan Anand2800INDSpanish Berlin45
Vladimir Kramnik2780RUS1-0Alexei Shirov2749ESPSlav Defence41

In tomorrow's third round (on Monday the 11th) the pairings will be as follows:

Alexei Shirov2749ESP-Magnus Carlsen2826NOR
Viswanathan Anand2800IND-Vladimir Kramnik2780RUS

Two wins with White puts Kramnik in the lead, but he will have to play with four Blacks in the remaining six rounds.

StandingPlayer (World ranking)RatingAgeCountry1W1B2W2B3W3B4W4BScore (Bilbao)Score (Standard)
1Vladimir Kramnik (5)278035RUSXX--1-1-62
2Viswanathan Anand (3)280040IND--XX-=-141.5
3Alexei Shirov (12)274938ESP-0=-XX--10.5
4Magnus Carlsen (1)282619NOR-00---XX00

The way things are going, there is every prospect of a remarkable change at the top of the world rankings when the new ratings come out on the 1st of November.

For more information go to the Official site

There will be a rest day on Tuesday the 12th, but otherwise you will be able to watch the games live each day from the following times:

4.30 pm (Bilbao, Paris)

3.30 pm (London)

6.30 pm (Moscow)

11.30 am (New York)

8.30 am (Los Angeles)

Official site live games

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