Here's a recap of the round 3 action:
First, Magnus Carlsen continued his recent ownership over Hikaru Nakamura, defeating him for the sixth time in the last year (five times in classical events). Carlsen built up a kingside attack in a Ruy-style Italian Game, with the obvious blow 31.Rxf6 followed by the subtle 33.Bh5! Qg7 34.Bf3 apparently deciding the issue.
Levon Aronian won pretty easily against Nigel Short, whose 11...Nc6 gave his opponent the chance to create permanent pressure along the c-file. Black never escaped the enemy grip, and after 60 moves of suffering allowed Aronian to deliver mate.
Viswanathan Anand had White against the ostensible tournament rabbit, David Howell, but he was extremely fortunate not to lose. Howell's 22...h5! pretty much put an end to Anand's attacking ambitions, and after that Anand had to suffer a lot. 32...Rb2 would have kept a large advantage for Howell. A move later Vladimir Kramnik, the day's guest commentator, asserted that Howell missed a win with 33...Rxd4 34.Rxd4 Qe6! 35.Rd1 d4 with the idea of ...d3, ...d2 and Re1. His assessment is right, but White has a simple but crucial improvement: 34.Qxe2. Black is still better there, but White isn't yet at death's door. Howell was in serious time trouble by this point, and by the time he reached the control after move 40, the position was drawn. Howell tried through move 65, and then reconciled himself to the result.
Finally, Luke McShane defeated Michael Adams with Black in a long game. The key moment came on move 19, after McShane's 18...Bxh3!? Kramnik noted that he had found a good rejoinder "half an hour ago": 19.gxh3 Qxh3 20.Qe2 Ng4 21.Qf1! with the point that 21...Qxf3 22.Bd1 gets the queens off and regains the extra piece. After 22...Qxf2+ 23.Qxf2 Nxf2 24.Kxf2 cxd4 25.cxd4 exd4 Black has reasonable drawing chances, but White is better (Kramnik, and the computer agrees). Black has some alternatives along the way, but White is always fine. After only two minutes, however, Adams - with plenty of time left on his clock - let McShane get away with the free pawn, and eventually it was just a matter of technique.
After three rounds, the standings look like this (bear in mind that Short, Anand and Kramnik have only played two games):
1. Carlsen 7
2. McShane 5
3-5. Kramnik, Nakamura, Aronian 4
6-8. Anand, Adams, Howell 2
9. Short 0
Round 4 Pairings:
- Carlsen - Kramnik
- Adams - Short
- Anand - Nakamura
- Howell - McShane
- Aronian - bye