Revenge is sweet

After losing to Carlsen in London the ex-World Champion got his own back today. Indeed Vladimir Kramnik won with Black, giving him 4.5/5 in the last five rounds.
This enables Kramnik to catch Shirov, who drew, and now everything is up for grabs!

Ivanchuk tested Shirov in a sharp line of the Modern Archangel, which was already seen in the earlier game Leko-Caruana from a few days ago. A forcing sequence led to an early perpetual check.

Carlsen employed the Catalan against his more experienced opponent. A surprising choice perhaps, as Kramnik has often played like this himself, however he was intending to 'improve' on the game Gelfand-Kramnik from the Tal memorial in Moscow.

Kramnik reacted very actively and was quite happy to battle it out in a double-edged middlegame. Black's kingside was exposed but in return he had a big pawn centre.

Kramnik gave a pawn and then the exchange in order to maintain a central grip and clearly had excellent compensation with two powerful bishops and White suffering from a sidelined knight which eventually dropped off.

In a recent interview Kramnik mentioned his new 'active-positive' style with Black which has already netted him two wins here.

Nakamura had more space and pressed, but Karjakin stayed solid. The game gradually turned as line opening led to Black's bishop pair giving him the better of things, despite sheding a pawn.

Short tends to chop and change, but generally avoids the main lines. The problem with this approach against well-prepared players is that you often get nothing from the opening. This was the case today with a rather uninspiring closed Sicilian.

The Dutch players all had long games and quite a good day.

Anand had no problems with Black against Tiviakov, as his development was more harmonious. He gradually improved his advantage as White had a poor pawn structure. Later however White's bishop pair gave Tivikov the opportunity to resist and he was able to draw despite the loss of the exchange.

When was the last time that Anand drew nine in a row?

Van Wely won for the first time since the opening game against Short. He managed to keep some pressure against Leko's Hedgehog and kept the initiative in an opposite-bishop middlegame. He converted the endgame after Leko presented him with a series of technical problems.

Smeets obtained his first win, but at one point was a pawn down with the worse position. His early pressure was nullified by Caruana's careful defence, but once he obtained the advantage the Italian became carried away with youthful enthusiasm and unwisely allowed complications where he went astray.

Sergey TiviakovNED26620.5-0.5Viswanathan AnandIND2790E04Catalan Opening
Jan SmeetsNED26571-0Fabiano CaruanaITA2675C78Spanish Modern Archangel
Loek van WelyNED26411-0Peter LekoHUN2739A30English Opening
Nigel ShortENG26960.5-0.5Leinier DominguezCUB2712B25Sicilian Closed
Hikaru NakamuraUSA27080-1Sergey KarjakinRUS2720E20Nimzoindian Defence
Magnus CarlsenNOR28100-1Vladimir KramnikRUS2788B22Sicilian Alapin
Vassily IvanchukUKR27490.5-0.5Alexei ShirovESP2723B41Sicilian Kan

Two wins in a row has led to Karjakin overtaking Nakamura. He is now only one point behind the lead with the leading three still to play. If he keeps winning then his destiny will be in his own hands!

1=Vladimir KramnikRUS27886.5
1=Alexei ShirovESP27236.5
3=Magnus CarlsenNOR28105.5
3=Sergey KarjakinRUS27205.5
5=Vassily IvanchukUKR27495
5=Leinier DominguezCUB27125
5=Hikaru NakamuraUSA27085
8=Viswanathan AnandIND27904.5
8=Peter LekoHUN27394.5
10Fabiano CaruanaITA26753.5
11=Nigel ShortENG26963
11=Sergey TiviakovNED26623
11=Loek van WelyNED26413
14Jan SmeetsNED26572.5


Anish Giri slips up and gives the chasing pack hope!

Five decisive games shows the fighting spirit in the Group.

David HowellENG26060-1Erwin l'AmiNED2615C05French Defence
Anna MuzychukSLO25231-0Anish GiriNED2588B51Sicilian Moscow Variation
Arkadij NaiditschGER26871-0Tomi NybackFIN2643C63Spanish Schliemann
Wesley SoPHI26560.5-0.5Emil SutovskyISR2666D83Gruenfeld Defence 4 Bf4
Varuzhan AkobianUSA26280-1Ni HuaCHN2657D85Gruenfeld Exchange
Parimarjan NegiIND26211-0Dimitri ReindermanNED2573B78Sicilian Dragon
Penteala HarikrishnaIND26720.5-0.5Liviu-Dieter NisipeanuROM2681E61King's Indian/Benoni

Wins by Ni Hua and Erwin L'Ami helped them close the gap at the top to half-a-point as the leader loses to Anna Muzychuk.

1GMAnish GiriNED25886.5
2=GMNi HuaCHN26576
2=GMErwin l'AmiNED26156
4=GMArkadij NaiditschGER26875.5
4=GMWesley SoPHI26565.5
6=GMPenteala HarikrishnaIND26725
6=GMParimarjan NegiIND26215
8GMDavid HowellENG26064.5
9=GMEmil SutovskyISR26574
9=IMAnna MuzychukSLO25234
11GMLiviu-Dieter NisipeanuROM26813.5
12GMTomi NybackFIN26433
13GMDimitri ReindermanNED25732.5
14GMVaruzhan AkobianUSA26282

Group C

Li Chao-b wins and snatches the lead from Ray Robson who has rather lost his way.

Robson drops to equal second along with Vocaturo, who continues his 100% record with White, and Swinkels, the highest placed non-GM.

Zhaoqin PengNED24020.5-0.5Soumya SwaminathanIND2323D12Slav Defence 4 e3
Benjamin BokNED23221-0Stefan KuipersNED2340B30Sicilian Defence
Daniele VocaturoITA24951-0Marya MuzychukUKR2447B33Sicilian Sveshnikov
Sjoerd PlukkelNED22790-1Robin SwinkelsNED2495B50Sicilian Defence
Li Chao-bCHN26041-0Ray RobsonUSA2570B77Sicilian Dragon
Robin van KampenNED24561-0Abhijeet GuptaIND2577C78Spanish Modern Archangel
Kjetil LieNOR25470-1Nils GrandeliusSWE2515A02Bird's Opening

The favourite finally makes his way to the top of the pile.

1GMLi Chao-bCHN26046.5
2=GMRay RobsonUSA25706
2=GMDaniele VocaturoITA24956
2=IMRobin SwinkelsNED24956
5=GMAbhijeet GuptaIND25775.5
5=IMNils GrandeliusSWE25155.5
7=IMRobin van KempenNED24565
7=GMZhaoqin PengNED24025
9GMKjetil LieNOR25474
10=FMStefan KuipersNED23403.5
10=FMBenjamin BokNED23223.5
12WGMMarya MuzychukUKR24473
13WGMSoumya SwaminathanIND23232
14-Sjoerd PlukkelNED22791.5

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