Grischuk tried the fianchetto variation against Gashimov's pet opening system. The position seemed to be normal enough until Grischuk surprisingly captured on d6, with the point that his e-pawn is ready to advance and ensnare Gashimov's light-squared bishop. In the ensuing play White's central pawn couplet played a big part in yielding victory for the Russian.
Topalov kept some pressure in the Moscow variation, but Aronian managed to get some counterplay by advancing his central pawns. Topalov won a pawn but the rook ending was drawn.
Vallejo Pons tried a sideline against the Petroff but Gelfand was never really troubled. When Black equalizes easily (as here) the Petroff can be rather dull.
|Veselin Topalov||BUL||2805||0.5-0.5||Lev Aronian||ARM||2781||Semi-Slav Moscow||D43|
|Francisco Vallejo Pons||ESP||2705||0.5-0.5||Boris Gelfand||ISR||2761||Petroff's Defence||C42|
|Alexander Grischuk||RUS||2736||1-0||Vugar Gashimov||AZE||2759||Modern Benoni||A62|
Grischuk's second win takes him up to lone second place, but still a clear point behind Topalov.
However tomorrow he has the White pieces against the Bulgarian and could catch him, if all goes well...
|World Ranking||Name||Country||Present Rating||Career highest rating||Pre-Linares virtual rating||Points||wins|
|7||Vugar Gashimov||AZ E||2759||2759||2740.2||3.5||1|
|31||Francisco Vallejo Pons||ESP||2705||2711||2708.2||3||0|
Aronian has managed to draw all eight games!
In terms of rating, Topalov doesn't lose very much by drawing with Aronian so he is still about one rating point ahead of Carlsen (in the world rankings), but will need more than one point from the last two games to be certain to become World number one officially.
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