The Spaniard's approach against the leader was like waving a red flag at a bull and Topalov reacted by aggressively aiming to eliminate Black's kingside. This he achieved, but only at the cost of ditching the other wing, and meantime Vallejo walked his king out of the danger zone. I have a feeling that Black was doing quite well, but as if history was repeating itself, Vallejo got too short of time just as Topalov yet again cashed on his opponent's disorientation.
Gashimov was willing to go down a long theoretical line of the Petroff which Gelfand has faced before. The consensus view before this game is that White has a nominal advantage but it's nothing against a watchful defence. As one could have predicted Gelfand was able to nullify any White initiative and steer the game into a drawn endgame.
The Vienna System is one of livelier lines of the Queen's Gambit and one that features regularly in Aronian's games with both colours. After being slightly worse Aronian willingly sacrificed the exchange to obtain a fortress on the kingside with every chance of drawing. Grischuk tried of course but Aronian's judgement was vindicated.
|Veselin Topalov||BUL||2805||1-0||Francisco Vallejo Pons||ESP||2705||English Opening||A29|
|Vugar Gashimov||AZE||2759||0.5-0.5||Boris Gelfand||ISR||2761||Petroff's Defence||C42|
|Alexander Grischuk||RUS||2736||0.5-0.5||Lev Aronian||ARM||2781||Queen's Gambit Vienna||D39|
In the first series of games, these three encounters were drawn, this time we had one decisive result. Topalov has won three of the five decisive games so far in the event.
Topalov's impressive start means that he has won about 9.6 Elo points that takes him to approximately 2814.6 compared to Carlsen's 2812.9. The Bulgarian needs 2.5 out of the remaining four games to ensure that he maintains this lead.
|World Ranking||Name||Country||Present Rating||Career highest rating||Pre-Linares virtual rating||Points||wins|
|31||Francisco Vallejo Pons||ESP||2705||2711||2708.2||2||0|
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