Three amazing draws in Linares

Topalov and Grischuk are still ahead as three really complicated games all led to draws. Veselin Topalov came up with some fireworks to save a dubious-looking position and Vallejo Pons lost his queen but kept fighting and saved the game!

Of the three games a gritty Poisoned Pawn between Gashimov and Grischuk was the most predictable. White sacrificed the b-pawn and obtained a useful initiative.

The position opened up and Gashimov won back the material, but Grischuk managed to exchange off the attacking pieces and held the endgame.

In a Modern Benoni Topalov first sacrificed a pawn but this didn't look quite sufficient and Aronian seemed to have a grip on events. However the Bulgarian found some amazing moves that even involved giving a piece for a dangerous passed pawn. In practise this proved to be enough, (just!) for Topalov to save a half-point.

Gelfand trapped Vallejo Pons's queen, but instead of resigning the Spaniard obtained a rook and two pawns and the complications continued. Evidently a computer would like White but at-the-board Gelfand became sufficiently disorientated to let slip half the spoils.

Vugar GashimovAZE27590.5-0.5Alexander GrischukRUS2736Sicilian NajdorfB97
Boris GelfandISR27610.5-0.5Francisco Vallejo PonsESP2705Slav DefenceD10
Lev AronianARM27810.5-0.5Veselin TopalovBUL2805Modern BenoniA64

With all the games being drawn the rankings haven't changed since yesterday with Topalov and Grischuk sharing the lead.

So after three rounds:

World RankingNameCountryRatingPrevious participationsPoints
2Veselin TopalovBUL280592
15Alexander GrischukRUS273622
5Levon AronianARM278141.5
31Francisco Vallejo PonsESP270551.5
6Boris GelfandISR276161
7Vugar GashimovAZE275901

The official site will give additional information:

Linares official site

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