SIMPLECHESS

Topalov bounces back!

Co-leader Grischuk could only draw whereas Topalov managed to overcome Gelfand's pet Petroff's Defence in a long endgame and thus re-took the lead when it mattered, at the very end.

Neither leader seemed in the mood for a quiet draw. Topalov placed his pieces aggressively with the intention of attacking on the kingside whereas Grischuk employed the notoriously sharp Najdorf.

After the smoke has cleared, the final round results were as follows:

Veselin TopalovBUL28051-0Boris GelfandISR2761Petroff's DefenceC42
Lev AronianARM27811-0Vugar GashimovAZE2759Modern BenoniA61
Francisco Vallejo PonsESP27050.5-0.5Alexander GrischukRUS2736Sicilian NajdorfB90

Topalov's kingside threats induced Gelfand to exchange the queens even if it cost him the exchange. Black's solidity seemed to offer him good drawing chances but Topalov gave back the exchange for a favourable rook ending. All the pawns were on the same wing, but Gelfand's king was cut-off and Topalov was able to make progress and then finish off with a neat combination.

Grischuk's Najdorf led to opposite-flank castling, but the play was all in the centre. If anything, White had the better options, but Vallejo couldn't make much of them and simplification led to a repetition, but if the Spaniard had avoided it then play would have been equal anyway.

Aronian is the latest player to place his bishop on f4 against Gashimov's Modern Benoni.

He was probably asking himself if he could finally break his series of draws with a win!

A complex middlegame with opposite-bishops looke favourable for White due to his more compact structure.

Eventually Aronian infiltrated and Gashimov lost his kingside and the game.

So Aronian finally won a game!

World RankingNameCountryOfficial RatingPre-Linares Virtual ratingPost-Linares virtual ratingExpected scorePointsWins
2Veselin TopalovBUL2805280528135.76.54
15Alexander GrischukRUS2736274827614.763
5Levon AronianARM27812782.32784.35.35.51
7Vugar GashimovAZE27592740.22730.2541
6Boris GelfandISR27612750.42740.4540
31Francisco Vallejo PonsESP27052708.22705.24.340

Veselin Topalov has won enough rating points to just about catch Magnus Carlsen in the world rankings. Now it will be necessary to work out the decimals to see who really is the World number one!

For more information:

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