Topalov managed to win a simplified game with queen, rook and four pawns each on the same side. This may seem drawish, but Black's king was slightly exposed and Gashimov was unable to hold his kingside together.
As a rule of thumb, when the only pieces on the board are 'queen and rook' each, the player with the most vulnerable king is generally in danger.
Grischuk won as White in an 'Isolated Queen's Pawn' middlegame. Gelfand had dark-squared weaknesses on the kingside and he was unable to parry the pressure.
Vallejo Pons against Aronian was one of those Berlin Defence queenless middlegames that are tough to judge. The Spaniard managed to find a sequence that won a pawn, but only at the cost of allowing opposite bishops. Aronian held the endgame without too much fuss.
|Alexander Grischuk||RUS||2736||1-0||Boris Gelfand||ISR||2761||Nimzoindian Defence||E55|
|Veselin Topalov||BUL||2805||1-0||Vugar Gashimov||AZE||2759||Slav Defence||D12|
|Francisco Vallejo Pons||ESP||2705||0.5-0.5||Lev Aronian||ARM||2781||Spanish Berlin||C67|
After round two the standings are as follows:
I estimate that Topalov requires 5.8 points out of 10 to maintain his rating. If he scores 7/10 then he would gain sufficient points to become world number one.
It's perhaps rather early to make such calculations but he has started well enough!
|World Ranking||Name||Country||Rating||Expected Score||Points|
|31||Francisco Vallejo Pons||ESP||2705||4.1||1|
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