SIMPLECHESS

Topalov keeps it solid

With a lead of one-and-a-half points there was no need for anything dramatic today. Gashimov sacrificed a pawn for some pressure, but Topalov defended and steered the game towards an equal endgame.
The lead and his (provisional) World number one status are maintained!

Gashimov eventually won his pawn back and had the bishop pair, but was unable to demonstrate any advantage. Topalov for once not playing anything risky as 'not losing' seemed to be his main preoccupation.

The game Gelfand-Grischuk led to mass exchanges and a double-rook ending, but then it came alive with an aggressive king walk by the World Cup champion. With his king in the heart of Black's position he obtained dangerous threats despite the paucity of material. Grischuk defended well enough and the point was finally shared.

Vallejo Pons managed to seize the initiative with Black and then gave up two rooks for White's queen in an attempt to exploit White's various weaknesses. The Spaniard even obtained a couple of passed pawns but by then Aronian's rooks were organized and Vallejo accepted that he was not going to win.

Vugar GashimovAZE27590.5-0.5Veselin TopalovBUL2805Spanish Classical BerlinC65
Lev AronianARM27810.5-0.5Francisco Vallejo PonsESP2705Slav Defence 4 e3D12
Boris GelfandISR27610.5-0.5Alexander GrischukRUS2736English OpeningA29

The tournament is more or less decided unless Topalov really loses his way. Rating-wise I estimate that he is about 2814, so a clear point ahead of Carlsen, but this can change over the remaining three games.

World RankingNameCountryPresent RatingCareer highest ratingPre-Linares virtual ratingPointswins
2Veselin TopalovBUL28052813280553
7Vugar GashimovAZ E275927592740.23.51
15Alexander GrischukRUS2736274827563.51
5Levon AronianARM278127862782.33.50
6Boris GelfandISR276127612750.430
31Francisco Vallejo PonsESP270527112708.22.50

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