I was white against Bologan today. He surprised me a bit once again going for the Benko (or Volga) Gambit. Black sacrifices a pawn for initiative in the a- and b-files and a strong bishop in the g7-h1 diagonal.
I chose the somewhat unusual Qe2 variation to counter the typical Nf6-g4-e5 plan. His f7-f6-f5 plan provided some activity for black but it also weakened his kingside, and as long as my knight was on b5 he did not have much compensation for the pawn. I tried to be patient and calculated the critical lines quite thoroughly. After a few more inaccuracies white was just winning due to the dangerous b-pawn and extra material. 1-0!
Wang Hao won a very interesting and unbalanced fight as black against Nakamura. Great play by Wang although Nakamura seemed to collapse close to the time control. Bacrot . Giri was also a tense struggle. Bacrot was probably better when he made at least one serious mistake. Good game by Giri who stays in contention for 1st just one point behind Wang Hao and me with two rounds to go.
The organizer must be thrilled with the amazing two thirds decided games thus far, although the magnificent firework celebration above Bielersee this evening was maybe a bit over the top..
I.m black against Giri in round 9 on the Swiss National day August 1st.

Magnus Carlsen, Biel, July 31th, 2012