Both victories in round five can be blamed on time trouble problems for the vanquished.
Grischuk had a decent, if not better position from a complicated, and fashionable, line of the Najdorf, before getting confused in a rapidly changing position. The opening involved some 'cat-and-mouse' play: White played 6.Be3 (intending an English Attack with f3, Qd2 etc) and Black avoided this possibility with 6...Ng4. After the jockeying in the opening the Russian went on to obtain a fine position despite White's thematic piece sacrifice. Topalov's win shouldn't however be simply put down to his opponent's misfortune, the Bulgarian demonstrated exemplary technique to finish the job.
Another early B-f4 against the Modern Benoni, but fearing preparation Gashimov immediately deviated (as early as move seven) from his game against Gelfand. A complicated position was rather spoiled by Vallejo's time trouble, but Gashimov has again demonstrated that his tricky opening can generate difficult practical problems for White, even at the 2700-level.
In Aronian-Gelfand White's answer to the Semi-Slav took the opening away from well-trodden paths. Later Gelfand was somewhat outplayed and had to bail out in a Queen-and-opposite-bishop 'pseudo-ending' which however he was able to hold.
|Francisco Vallejo Pons||ESP||2705||0-1||Vugar Gashimov||AZE||2759||Modern Benoni||A61|
|Lev Aronian||ARM||2781||0.5-0.5||Boris Gelfand||ISR||2761||Semi-Slav Meran||D48|
|Veselin Topalov||BUL||2805||1-0||Alexander Grischuk||RUS||2736||Sicilian Najdorf||B90|
Topalov now has good chances to win this tournament, and now if he manages another 3.5/5 he will overtake Carlsen in the world rankings!
|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|
The other five players are all within half-a-point of each other.
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