Vladimir Kramnik had little difficulty equalizing with his solid bishop manoeuvre against the Catalan (bishop to b4 and then back to e7). White's space edge being rapidly neutralized with exchanges.
Ruslan Ponomariov handled the Sicilian in quite a cautious manner, but later made a radical decision to give up his dark-squared bishop for a knight, in order to annexe the d5-square. Le Quang Liem gave up a pawn to get his bishops going, which led to simplification and ultimately to a drawn opposite-bishop ending.
Hikaru Nakamura avoided theory by opting for an inverted Pirc Defence. He was able to install his knights in the centre which gave him enough leeway to create pressure on the queenside. He picked off a pawn on the queenside and then pushed his majority, which turned out to be an effective winning plan.
The ninth round summary:
|Anish Giri||2701||½-½||Vladimir Kramnik||2781||28||Catalan/Bogolyubov|
|Ruslan Ponomariov||2764||½-½||Le Quang Liem||2715||49||Sicilian Scheveningen|
|Hikaru Nakamura||2770||1-0||Georg Meier||2656||34||Pirc Reversed|
The standings after the ninth round:
|2||Le Quang Liem||VIE||2715||½||½||*||*||.||½||1||½||½||½||½||½||5||2781|
The final round tomorrow will be at 1pm local time i.e.
(1pm Paris & Madrid, 12 noon London, 7am New York):
The time limit is 100 minutes for 40 moves, then 50 in 20, and finally 15 minutes for the remainder of the game. The players also receive an increment of 30 seconds per move.
Official site: http://www.sparkassen-chess-meeting.de/2011
Live games: http://schachtage.dokomserver.de/toma/live.htm
The transmission is with a 30 minute delay in order to avoid any possibility of 'external influences affecting the players decisions'.