20th Amber Tournament 2011 (9)
Aronian extends Amber Chess lead after Carlsen and Anand draw 1-1
Mark Crowther - Tuesday 22nd March 2011
Levon Aronian continues to lead after 9 rounds. | http://www.amberchess20.com
Round 9 of the Amber Chess tournament saw Levon Aronian extend his lead in the overall standings to a point after winning yet another blindfold game, this time against Vladimir Kramnik who would surely have made more against Aronian's risky opening if he had been in better form. Magnus Carlsen and World Champion Viswanthan Anand shared wins with Carlsen nearly escaping in the blindfold but then winning the rapid. Veselin Topalov played an interesting sacrifice against Hikaru Nakamura which won him the game of the day.
Viswanathan Anand 1-1 Magnus Carlsen
Viswanathan Anand against Magnus Carlsen. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.
Blindfold Game. Magnus Carlsen repeated his Grand Prix Attack against the Sicilian that proved so successful against Veselin Topalov. Viswanathan Anand played far more sensibly than Topalov and a really very unusual position arose where Carlsen had tripled pawns. It looked like Anand should win and indeed he did but only after losing most of his advantage with 25....Qe7 (26...Bxc4 can be answered by 27.Bxf6) and later 36...e3+ or even 36...Rc1 (according to the official report). Now Carlsen should play a very beautiful drawing idea in the position, but Carlsen instead tried to get clever and played 43.Rf6 first to try and improve the idea but instead it lost straight away.
Here Carlsen couldn't find his way through the complications. In fact he should start shoving all his passed pawns! I think the draw would have been a really quite aesthetic finish.
43. Ra6! a3 44. c5 Ra1+ 45. Kf2 a2 46. Ra7+ Kd8 47. c6 Rh1 48. c7+ Kc8 49. e6 Rh2+ 50. Kg3 f2 51. e7 f1=N+ 52. Kg4 Re2 53. Kxg5 Rxe7 54. Rxa2 Rxc7 55. h4 Ng3 with a draw.
OR 43. Ra6! a3 44. c5 Ra1+ 45. Kf2 a2 46. Ra7+ Ke6 47. c6 Kxe5 48. c7 Rc1 49. Rxa2 Rxc7 =
43... Ra1+ 44. Kf2 a3 45. Ra6 a2 0-1
Rapid Game. Rarely can Viswanathan Anand have had a position which is so miserable with white with level pieces as he did against Magnus Carlsen. Anand played quickly and somehow lost his sense of danger, then suddenly they arrived at this position which is actually resignable right now.
33. a5 Nxc4 34. Bc1 b5 35. axb6 Nxb6 36. Nf1 Nh7 37. h4 Nf8 38. Bd2 Ng6 39. Be1 Na4 40. Rg1 Rxg1 41. Nxg1 Bxh4 42. Bd2 Ke7 43. Nh3 Kd7 0-1
Levon Aronian - Vladimir Kramnik
Kramnik and Aronian analyse. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.
Blindfold Game. Levon Aronian played extremely provocatively with white and after 11.e4 the position begged for a piece sacrifice which Vladimir Kramnik duly obliged with. However Kramnik is playing horribly at this event and he quickly butchered black's chances and after the retreat 15...Nf6 he was lost.
(14... h5 15. Bxg4 Qxf4 16. Bd1 Nxd4)
15. Kf1 Nf6
This really can't be right. 15... Qxf4 16. Qxg4 Qd2 17. Rb1 Bxc3 18. bxc3 Qxc3 is really far more like it.
16. Bh6! g6 17. Qg5 Nxd4 18. Rd1 Bxc3 19. bxc3 Ne4 20. Qxf5 Nxf5 21. Bd2 Rad8 22. Be1 Rxd1 23. Bxd1 Re5 24. Nf3 Rc5 25. Bb3 Nxc3 26. Ne5 Ne4 27. Nxf7 Kg7 28. f3 Nf6 29. Bf2 Rc3 30. Ng5 Nh5 31. Ke2 Nf4+ 32. Kd2 Rd3+ 33. Kc2 Kh6 34. Nf7+ Kh5 35. Rg1 h6 36. Ne5 Ne3+ 37. Kb1 Rc3 38. Nxg6 Nh3 39. Nf4+ 1-0
Rapid Game. Levon Aronian hardly ever plays the Gruenfeld as black but he tried it against Kramnik. Kramnik was a pawn up but at least as the game went Aronian looked comfortable.
Vugar Gashimov 1-1 Boris Gelfand
Boris Gelfand against Vugar Gashimov. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.
Blindfold Game. In a level position out of the variation of the Four Knights English Opening that has proved very popular in this tournament Boris Gelfand blundered in a way that cost him a piece and the game against Vugar Gashimov.
Rapid Game. Gashimov played what I believe is called the Snake 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e6 4. Nc3 exd5 5. cxd5 Bd6 which is perhaps OK for this event and he was more or less equal out of the opening but went a piece down in a very complicated position.
A hugely complicated position with plenty of choices for both sides.
40. d6 Rxb3 41. Re7 Bc4 42. d7 Rxh3?
Here 42...Bc7 is compulsary and should hold the balance. The rest of the game is exploitation of the extra rook by Gelfand.
43. gxh3 Qg5+ 44. Kh1 Qf5 45. Re3 Bxe3 46. Qxe3 Bd5+ 47. Kh2 Qxd7 48. Qxc5 Qf5 49. Rxd5 Qf4+ 50. Kg1 a4 51. Qd4 Qc1+ 52. Qd1 Qc3 53. Rd3 Qb4 54. Qa1 Qf4 55. Ra3 Qg5+ 56. Rg3 Qf4 57. Rg4 Qf3 58. Rg3 Qf4 59. Qa3 h5 60. Rf3 Qc4 61. Qe3 Kg8 62. Qe8+ Kg7 63. Qe5+ Kg8 64. Rc3 Qa6 65. Qe8+ Kg7 66. Rc8 1-0
Hikaru Nakamura 1-1 Veselin Topalov
Veselin Topalov got the game of the day prize for his rapid win against Hikaru Nakamura. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.
Blindfold Game. Veselin Topalov had much the better of the Fianchetto Gruenfeld as black against Hikaru Nakamura and if he had played 21...Bxh6 would almost certainly have won. Instead balanced play followed where suddenly white's queenside pawn push surprised Topalov who reacted incorrectly and lost almost immediately.
Rapid Game. Topalov played a powerful piece sacrifice in the French Classical System that left Nakamura with almost no development. It was some kind of miracle that Nakamura kept going so long and in spite of missing several wins Topalov never lost his advantage and he brought home the full point. He explains all in the official video.
Veselin Topalov explains his rapid win against Hikarua Nakamura in a 9 minute video. Produced for the Association Max Euwe by Macauley Peterson.
On the rest day there was a video interview with guest of honour Korchnoi. Produced for the Association Max Euwe by Macauley Peterson.
Alexander Grischuk 1.5-0.5 Anish Giri
Alexander Grischuk against Anish Giri. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.
Blindfold Game. In a fairly typical King's Indian Grischuk as black forced perpetual check against Anish Giri.
Rapid Game. This is a long and tiring event for anyone and Giri is probably starting to suffer now as bottom seed. His Gruenfeld got hacked up in just 26 moves by Grischuk without much coming back from him.
Vassily Ivanchuk - Sergey Karjakin
Ivanchuk wasn't quite so interesting today than he has been in the last rounds in his match against Sergey Karjakin. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.
Blindfold Game. Vassily Ivanchuk got less than nothing against Sergey Karjakin's Nimzo-Indian and pieces were traded off for a draw in 33 moves.
Rapid Game. Sergey Karjakin was surely much better at one stage against Vassily Ivanchuk's French Defence but he went astray and Ivanchuk tried to win Rook and two against Bishop and three pawns for a long time before giving up in 117 moves with a draw.
|20th Amber Blindfold Monaco (MNC), 12-24 iii 2011||cat. XXI (2770)|
|Round 9 (March 22, 2011)|
|Aronian, Levon||- Kramnik, Vladimir||1-0||39||D31||Semi-Slav Defence|
|Gashimov, Vugar||- Gelfand, Boris||1-0||37||A22||English Opening|
|Nakamura, Hikaru||- Topalov, Veselin||1-0||42||D72||Gruenfeld 3.g3|
|Carlsen, Magnus||- Anand, Viswanathan||0-1||45||B23||Sicilian Closed|
|Ivanchuk, Vassily||- Karjakin, Sergey||½-½||33||E32||Nimzo Indian 4.Qc2|
|Giri, Anish||- Grischuk, Alexander||½-½||34||E98||King's Indian Classical|
|20th Amber Rapid Monaco (MNC), 12-24 iii 2011||cat. XXI (2770)|
|Round 9 (March 22, 2011)|
|Grischuk, Alexander||- Giri, Anish||1-0||26||D90||Gruenfeld Flohr|
|Topalov, Veselin||- Nakamura, Hikaru||1-0||42||C11||French Defence|
|Gelfand, Boris||- Gashimov, Vugar||1-0||66||A60||Modern Benoni|
|Anand, Viswanathan||- Carlsen, Magnus||0-1||43||C77||Ruy Lopez Anderssen|
|Karjakin, Sergey||- Ivanchuk, Vassily||½-½||117||C18||French Winawer|
|Kramnik, Vladimir||- Aronian, Levon||½-½||42||D85||Gruenfeld Defence|
|20th Amber Combined Monaco (MNC), 12-24 iii 2011||cat. XXI (2770)|
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