In an unusual variation of the Sicilian Navara found 22…g5, an interesting way to create counter-play. The resulting rook endgame was slightly better for black, but never offered any realistic winning chances.
The game began as the Panov variation of the Caro-Kann, but after a while the Tarrasch variation of the QGD with colours reversed appeared. Grandelius held a slight advantage due to more active piece play and black’s c6-weakness. Salem chose the wrong square for his rook, and placing it on c7 allowed white to play Ba5 – winning a piece and the game.
Niemann’s opening as white in the Slav was below par and black managed to mount some serious pressure early on. Shirov used a lot of time to try and find a decisive blow, which led to time trouble and subsequently ending up in a lost endgame. Two light pieces versus black’s rook was won confidently by Niemann.
Erigiasi’s sharp 4…d5 led to a very interesting position where Van Foreest had sacrificed a pawn for a powerful initiative. Black defended well and it seemed wise for Van Foreest to enter a draw by repetition with 31.Be6+, as the endgame was a bit dangerous for white. The chance came for black in the 47th move, but Erigiasi missed the opportunity to play Kc7 and the game ended in a draw.