Three of the four games were drawn today. Topalov tried hard and even sac a pawn. At the end, Leko defended well (with the White pieces) to maintain his lead.

Vallejo and Ivanchuk had an uneventful draw. I would probably try a little harder if I was Vallejo. He would have had no risk playing on for the win.

Svidler had a good game against Radjabov for while. But the young lad defended very well and held on for a draw.

Aronian played another beautiful and very complicated endgame today (with the Black pieces) to beat Bacrot. He has shown that he is the real deal with his 2750+ rating. I am very impressed.

GM Leko – GM Topalov 1/2
GM Vallejo – GM Ivanchuk 1/2
GM Svidler – GM Radjabov 1/2
GM Bacrot – GM Aronian 0-1

At the end of the first half of the event, the standings are:

1. 5.0 GM Peter Leko (Hungary 2740) +3
2. 4.5 GM Levon Aronian (Armenia 2752) +2
3. 4.0 GM Peter Svidler (Russia 2765) +1

4-5. 3.5 GM Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine 2729), GM Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan 2700) =0

6. 3.0 GM Francisco Vallejo Pons (Spain 2650) -1
7. 2.5 GM Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria 2801) -2
8. 2.0 GM Etienne Bacrot (France 2717) -3
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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar