Carlsen played very quickly in the early phase as his prepared Breyer System seemed to go well.
The game blew open with Shirov giving up two pieces for a rook, but had positional compensation in the form of a pair of passed central pawns. Carlsen rode the storm, eliminated the centre and it was he who tried to win the unusual endgame of three minor pieces plus three pawns against queen and three pawns. He managed to manoeuvre whilst keeping his forces mutually protecting themselves and gradually made progress, but not enough to make the difference.
Anand's Catalan led to an early exchange of queens and after a flourish of pawn chopping the players then simplified further to an equal bishop endgame. Kramnik never seemed to be in any danger and so, with this draw, keeps ahead of the field.
Third round results:
|Alexei Shirov||2749||ESP||0.5-0.5||Magnus Carlsen||2826||NOR||Spanish Breyer||174|
|Viswanathan Anand||2800||IND||0.5-0.5||Vladimir Kramnik||2780||RUS||Catalan opening||34|
So the standings haven't really changed very much after two drawn games today.
|Standing||Player (World ranking)||Rating||Age||Country||1W||1B||2W||2B||3W||3B||4W||4B||Score (Bilbao)||Score (Standard)|
|1||Vladimir Kramnik (5)||2780||35||RUS||X||X||-||=||1||-||1||-||7||2.5|
|2||Viswanathan Anand (3)||2800||40||IND||=||-||X||X||-||=||-||1||5||2|
|3||Alexei Shirov (12)||2749||38||ESP||-||0||=||-||X||X||=||-||2||1|
|4||Magnus Carlsen (1)||2826||19||NOR||-||0||0||-||-||=||X||X||1||0.5|
After the rest day which Carlsen and Shirov will no doubt appreciate after one of the longest games of their respective careers, they'll be determined to get up the tournament table. Carlsen has White against Kramnik and I expect him to go all out for victory.
Fourth round pairings for Wednesday:
|Magnus Carlsen||2826||NOR||Vladimir Kramnik||2780||RUS|
|Viswanathan Anand||2800||IND||Alexei Shirov||2749||ESP|
Anand has another White and needs to win to hope to catch Kramnik, whereas if Shirov wins he will be on a par with the Indian.
Just to remind you, here is a summary of the first two rounds:
|Alexei Shirov||2749||ESP||0.5-0.5||Viswanathan Anand||2800||IND||Spanish Berlin||41|
|Vladimir Kramnik||2780||RUS||1-0||Magnus Carlsen||2826||NOR||Queen's Indian Defence||45|
|Magnus Carlsen||2826||NOR||0-1||Viswanathan Anand||2800||IND||Spanish Berlin||45|
|Vladimir Kramnik||2780||RUS||1-0||Alexei Shirov||2749||ESP||Slav Defence||41|
For more information go to the Official site
There will be a rest day tomorrow (on Tuesday the 12th), but on Wednesday (13th) to Friday (15th) you will be able to watch the games live at the following times:
4.30 pm (Bilbao, Paris)
3.30 pm (London)
6.30 pm (Moscow)
11.30 am (New York)
8.30 am (Los Angeles)