The peleton is not gaining on the leader, and with just three rounds to go Viswanathan Anand is looking pretty secure in his quest for a new match with Magnus Carlsen. Vladimir Kramnik had White against Anand today, but didn't achieve anything in a Catalan and the game was drawn after just 31 moves. (It could have been drawn even sooner - at move 23, easily - but from what I can tell based on the games there's a 30-move-rule in effect that can only be superseded by a repetition.)
There wasn't much danger for either player in the game between Peter Svidler and Levon Aronian either, and while Dmitry Andreikin had a little pull early on against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov it never amounted to anything too worrisome.
The game between Veselin Topalov and Sergey Karjakin was the only one with a bit of drama. Topalov enjoyed the more bishop-friendly structure, but rather than slowly milking it he went crazy before the first time control with a queenside breakthrough. Karjakin reacted extremely well, collecting the pawns and then sacrificing the exchange. After the time control it was Karjakin who had the winning chances, but it's not clear that the position was winning. That would depend on whether there was any kind of successful breakthrough operation with ...e4 followed by a king raid. In the game, Karjakin apparently didn't trust it, so Topalov held without any trouble.
Anand thus continues to lead the Candidates over Aronian by a point (with the better tiebreaks, so Aronian must outscore him by a point and a half to win - assuming no one else in the picture) and three players by a point and a half with three rounds to go. Here, with player scores in parentheses, are the pairings for tomorrow's round 12:
- Anand (7) - Andreikin (5)
- Mamedyarov (5.5) - Karjakin (5.5)
- Topalov (4.5) - Svidler (5.5)
- Aronian (6) - Kramnik (5)