Chess24 Sopiko Scotch

20th Amber Tournament 2011 (7)

Aronian has half point Amber lead from Carlsen who whitewashes Kramnik

Levon Aronian still leads. Photo © Fred Lucas.

Levon Aronian still leads. Photo © Fred Lucas. | http://www.fredlucas.eu

Levon Aronian leads the Amber Chess Tournament by half a point after 7 rounds. That he has a lead at all came courtesy of a typical blindfold blunder by Boris Gelfand who forgot where his opponent's knight was. Magnus Carlsen beat Vladimir Kramnik 2-0 in their mini-match, Kramnik is completely out of form here and the games really weren't that good, Carlsen explains his blindfold win in a video. Vassily Ivanchuk seems to be playing the best chess now and won a fascinating tussle with Alexander Grischuk 1.5-0.5 and the best game prize again for his rapid win.

Magnus Carlsen 2-0 Vladimir Kramnik

Game Summaries

Vladimir Kramnik against Magnus Carlsen. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.

Blindfold Game. Magnus Carlsen in the video interview below was happy to win 2-0 against Vladimir Kramnik but as he pointed out "He didn't really play that well." The blindfold game was interesting if a bit flawed. Carlsen talks through it in detail, in the final position Kramnik ran out of time as he thought his rook was on the b-file instead of c-file and he tried R on 1xb7, 2xb7, 3xb7 until he ran out of time, but Carlsen was already winning.

Carlsen,Magnus (2815) - Kramnik,Vladimir (2785) [C42]
20th Amber Blindfold Monaco MNC (7), 19.03.2011

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6

Carlsen was slightly surprised, the Berlin has been Kramnik's recent preference.

3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Bd6

[6...Nc6 is the main line.]

7.0-0 0-0 8.c4 c6 9.Qc2 Na6 10.a3 Bg4 11.Ne5 Bf5

Carlsen thought for 10 minutes here, it had been a long time since he had looked at this position. He thinks his continuation was pretty harmless.

12.Nc3 Bxe5 13.dxe5 Nac5 14.cxd5 Nxd3 15.Qxd3 Nxc3 16.Qxf5 Nxd5 17.Bd2

"I was initially slightly worried I might be slightly worse here." Magnus Carlsen.

[17.b3 Qb6 18.Qg4 f5 19.exf6 Rxf6 20.Bb2 Rg6 21.Qc4 Rf8 22.Rae1 Kh8 23.Kh1 Qd8 24.f4 Rd6 25.h3 Rd7 26.Kh2 Rdf7 27.Be5 Qb6 28.Rf3 Qa5 29.b4 Qa4 30.Rg3 Kg8 31.Qd4 g6 32.Qe4 Ne7 33.Bb2 Nf5 34.Qe5 Ng7 35.f5 Qc2 36.fxg6 hxg6 37.Re2 Qb1 38.Rf3 Kh7 39.Ref2 Nf5 40.g4 Re7 41.Rxf5 1-0 Vuckovic,B (2623)-Jakovljevic,V (2383)/Cetinje MNE 2010/The Week in Chess 821]

17...Qb6 18.Qc2 Rae8 19.Rae1 Re6 20.Re4 f6?

[20...Rfe8 21.Rfe1 Qc7]

21.exf6 Rexf6 22.Bc1 h6 23.Qe2 Kh8

Kramnik offered a draw. At this point I was already playing for a win. Carlsen. Not much risk in playing on.

24.h3 Qb3 25.f3

Freeing the rook and allowing tripling of the major pieces. White doesn't have much here but he is better.

25...Rg6 26.Kh1 Rd6 27.Re1 Nf6 28.Re3 Qd5 29.Re5 Qd4 30.Re7 Rd7 31.Be3!

A nice move to be able to play.

31...Qa4

[31...Rxe7 32.Bxd4 Rxe2 33.Rxe2 Nd5 34.Re6! wins a pawn. (34.Bxa7 b6 35.Re6 Ra8 36.Bxb6 Nxb6 37.Rxc6 is level.) ]

32.Rxd7 Nxd7 33.Qd2?!

[33.Qd1 Qxd1 34.Rxd1 Nb6 35.Bxb6 axb6 36.Rd7 with a terrible ending.]

33...Nf6 34.Bc5

[34.Bxh6 gxh6 35.Qxh6+ Kg8 is only perpetual as 36.Re7 Qd1+ loses.]

34...Rf7 35.Qd3 b6 36.Be7 Ng8 37.Bb4 c5 38.Bc3 Qc6 39.Qc4 Qd7 40.Re6 b5 41.Qg4 Re7 42.Rg6 Qxg4

Vladimir Kramnik

______nk
p___r_p_
______Rp
_pp_____
______q_
P_B__P_P
_P____P_
_______K

Magnus Carlsen

Position after 42...Qxg4

43.Rxg4

[43.hxg4 Carlsen thought the rook was on f7 for the next few moves which explains some errors.]

43...Kh7 44.Re4 Rb7

[44...Rxe4 is better but both players had the same illusion that the rook is on f7.]

45.Re5 b4 46.axb4 cxb4 47.Bd4 Ne7 48.Re6 a5 49.Ra6 Rd7 50.Bc5 Ng6 51.Rxa5 Rd1+ 52.Kh2 Rd2 53.Ra7 Nh4 54.Kg3 Nf5+ 55.Kf4 Rxg2

Here Carlsen thought he was winning but he missed Rg5 picks up the bishop on c5 if he takes the knight.

56.Rb7 Nh4 57.Bd4 Ng6+ 58.Ke3 Nh4 59.Ke4 Re2+ 60.Kd3 Rg2 61.Ke4 Re2+

[61...Kg8 62.Rxb4 g5 is better.]

62.Kd5 Nf5 63.Be5 Kg6 64.f4 Rd2+?

[64...Rh2]

65.Ke6 Rd8 66.Rxb4 Re8+ 67.Kd7 Re7+ 68.Kc6 Kh5 69.Rb7 Re8 70.b4 g5 71.Rf7 Ne3 72.b5 Nc4 73.Bc7 Kg6 74.Rd7 Re3 75.Kc5 Rc3 76.Kb4 Rc1 77.fxg5 hxg5 78.Rd4 Ne3 79.Rd6+ Kf5 80.b6 Rb1+ 81.Kc5 g4 82.hxg4+ Nxg4 83.Rd5+ Ke6 84.Rd6+ Kf5 85.Rd4 Nf6 86.Kc6 Rc1+ 87.Kb7 Ke6 88.Rd6+ Ke7 89.Kc8 Ne8 90.Rd7+ Ke6 91.b7 1-0

Magnus Carlsen explains his blindfold win against Vladimir Kramnik in a 15 minute video. Produced for the Association Max Euwe by Macauley Peterson.

Rapid Game. Kramnik has been unrecognisable in this event. Here he might event be better before dropping his entire kingside.

Magnus Carlsen

_____rk_
___nq__p
Qp_p____
__pPrpp_
P_____P_
_P__P__P
_____PB_
__R_RK__

Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 26...f5. Here Kg1 is best but Kramnik goes badly astray.

27. Qb7? fxg4 28. hxg4 Rxe3 29. Qa6 Qf6 30. Re2 Ne5 31. Rce1 0-1

Levon Aronian 1.5-0.5 Boris Gelfand

Levon Aronian against Boris Gelfand. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.

Game Summaries

Blindfold Game. Boris Gelfand did better than equalise on the black side of an English Four Knights Defence against Levon Aronian but lost track of the position and lost by playing 28.Qc3 capturing a knight that wasn't there instead of Qxe2 where it actually was.

Boris Gelfand

_n___rk_
_Q___bpp
__p_____
_P__pp__
________
___P__P_
___qNPBP
_R____K_

Levon Aronian

Position after 28.b5

28...Qc3 29.Nxc3 1-0

Rapid Game. Gelfand got nothing on the white side of a Rubinstein Nimzo Indian and a draw was agreed after 22 moves.

Vassily Ivanchuk 1.5-0.5 Alexander Grischuk

Game Summaries

Vassily Ivanchuk against Alexander Grischuk. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.

Blindfold Game. The blindfold game between Vassily Ivanchuk was a lively King's Indian Saemisch that followed some well known ideas and finished in a draw by repetition. Nice game.

Alexander Grischuk against Vassily Ivanchuk. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.

Rapid Game. Vassily Ivanchuk won the game of the day for the third time in a row when he played another beautiful game as black against Alexander Grischuk. Ivanchuk played on both sides of the board and when his 37...c4 there was little Grischuk could do to save the game.

Grischuk,Alexander (2747) - Ivanchuk,Vassily (2779) [E11]
20th Amber Rapid Monaco MNC (7), 19.03.2011

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 Qe7 5.g3 Nc6 6.Nc3 Bxc3 7.Bxc3 Ne4 8.Rc1 0-0 9.Bg2 d6 10.d5 Nd8 11.Nd2 Nxc3 12.Rxc3 e5 13.c5 dxc5 14.Qc2 c6 15.Rxc5 Bf5

[15...Bd7 16.0-0 cxd5 17.Bxd5 Ne6 1/2-1/2 Beliavsky,A (2654) -Macieja,B (2536)/New Delhi IND 2000]

16.e4 Bg6 17.Qc3 b6 18.Rc4 c5 19.b4 a5! 20.b5!

[20.bxc5 b5 21.c6 bxc4 22.Nxc4 Nxc6 23.dxc6 Qc5]

20...Nb7 21.0-0 Nd6 22.a4 Rae8 23.Qb3 f5 24.Rc3

Black was totally unconcerned with ever taking the exchange.

24...f4 25.Nc4 Nxc4 26.Qxc4 Qd7 27.Qe2 Rf6 28.g4 Bf7 29.f3 g5 30.h4

This doesn't turn out so well.

30...gxh4 31.Bh3 Rg6 32.Kf2 h5 33.Rh1 Qe7 34.Rcc1 Kh7 35.Rcg1 Reg8 36.Kf1 Kh6 37.Rg2 c4

Vassily Ivanchuk

______r_
____qb__
_p____rk
pP_Pp__p
P_p_PpPp
_____P_B
____Q_R_
_____K_R

Alexander Grischuk

Position after 37...c4

After this breakthrough black is winning.

38.Qxc4 Qa3 39.Rf2 hxg4 40.Bxg4 Rxg4 41.fxg4 Rxg4 42.Qe2 Bh5 43.Rf3 Qc1+ 44.Qe1 Qc4+ 45.Kf2 Qc2+ 0-1

Hikaru Nakamura 1-1 Viswanthan Anand

Viwanathan Anand against Hikaru Nakamura. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.

Game Summaries

Blindfold Game. Hikaru Nakamura played the Trompowsky Attack and lively play followed that didn't depart very far from equality.

Rapid Game. Hikaru Nakamura again ventured the McCutcheon French and at a couple of stages Viswanathan Anand seemed to be doing very well (maybe 27.h4 and 50.Rf6+ were better chances) but the game eventually finished in a draw.

Veselin Topalov 1.5-0.5 Anish Giri

Veselin Topalov against Anish Giri. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.

Game Summaries

Blindfold Game. Anish Giri was outplayed by Veselin Topalov who chose the King's Indian Defence. Topalov took an early initiative after Giri gave up the centre with 13.dxc6 and things were fairly smooth for him after that.

Rapid Game. Giri did better out of the opening in the rapid game on the black side of a Nimzo Indian and eventually the players traded to a draw.

Vugar Gashimov 1-1 Sergey Karjakin

Sergey Karjakin against Vugar Gashimov. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.

Game Summaries

Blindfold Game. Vugar Gashimov mixed up his move order in the opening allowing immediate equalisation and agreed a draw after 17 moves with Sergey Karjakin.

Rapid Game. Karjakin played the bishop opening and looked in a bit of trouble against Gashimov but eventually sacrificed for a perpetual check.

20th Amber Blindfold Monaco (MNC), 12-24 iii 2011 cat. XXI (2770)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2
1. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2808 * ½ . ½ . . 1 1 ½ 1 1 . 2984
2. Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2747 ½ * ½ . 0 ½ 1 . ½ . . 1 4 2831
3. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2817 . ½ * . 1 ½ ½ . ½ ½ . ½ 4 2817
4. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2815 ½ . . * . ½ . 1 0 ½ ½ 1 4 2815
5. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2775 . 1 0 . * ½ ½ ½ . . 1 0 2756
6. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2776 . ½ ½ ½ ½ * 0 ½ . . . 1 2774
7. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2733 0 0 ½ . ½ 1 * . . ½ . 1 2783
8. Gashimov, Vugar g AZE 2746 0 . . 0 ½ ½ . * 1 ½ 1 . 2773
9. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2779 ½ ½ ½ 1 . . . 0 * 0 ½ . 3 2721
10. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2774 0 . ½ ½ . . ½ ½ 1 * 0 . 3 2719
11. Giri, Anish g NED 2690 0 . . ½ 0 . . 0 ½ 1 * ½ 2681
12. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2785 . 0 ½ 0 1 0 0 . . . ½ * 2 2606
Round 7 (March 19, 2011)
Aronian, Levon - Gelfand, Boris 1-0 29 A29 English Four Knights
Carlsen, Magnus - Kramnik, Vladimir 1-0 91 C42 Petroff's Defence
Gashimov, Vugar - Karjakin, Sergey ½-½ 17 C88 Ruy Lopez Closed
Ivanchuk, Vassily - Grischuk, Alexander ½-½ 42 E81 King's Indian Saemisch
Nakamura, Hikaru - Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ 52 A45 Trompowsky
Giri, Anish - Topalov, Veselin 0-1 44 E99 King's Indian Classical
20th Amber Rapid Monaco (MNC), 12-24 iii 2011 cat. XXI (2770)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2
1. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2815 * ½ 0 . . . 1 1 . 1 1 1 2995
2. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2808 ½ * 1 . 0 . . ½ ½ 1 . 1 2856
3. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2779 1 0 * 1 1 . . ½ . 0 . ½ 4 2821
4. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2817 . . 0 * 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 . ½ . 4 2817
5. Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2747 . 1 0 0 * 1 0 . ½ . 1 . 2781
6. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2775 . . . ½ 0 * ½ . 1 0 1 ½ 2756
7. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2776 0 . . ½ 1 ½ * . 0 ½ ½ . 3 2724
8. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2774 0 ½ ½ ½ . . . * 0 1 . ½ 3 2719
9. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2733 . ½ . 0 ½ 0 1 1 * . 0 . 3 2733
10. Gashimov, Vugar g AZE 2746 0 0 1 . . 1 ½ 0 . * . ½ 3 2723
11. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2785 0 . . ½ 0 0 ½ . 1 . * 1 3 2714
12. Giri, Anish g NED 2690 0 0 ½ . . ½ . ½ . ½ 0 * 2 2625
Round 7 (March 19, 2011)
Anand, Viswanathan - Nakamura, Hikaru ½-½ 65 C12 French MacCutcheon
Grischuk, Alexander - Ivanchuk, Vassily 0-1 45 E11 Bogo Indian Defence
Topalov, Veselin - Giri, Anish ½-½ 48 E52 Nimzo Indian
Karjakin, Sergey - Gashimov, Vugar ½-½ 26 C24 Bishop's Opening
Gelfand, Boris - Aronian, Levon ½-½ 22 E46 Nimzo Indian Rubinstein
Kramnik, Vladimir - Carlsen, Magnus 0-1 31 A15 English counter King's Fianchetto
20th Amber Combined Monaco (MNC), 12-24 iii 2011 cat. XXI (2770)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
1. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2808 * * ½ ½ . . ½ 0 ½ 1 . . . . 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ . . 1 1 10.0 2912
2. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2815 ½ ½ * * . . . . 0 0 . . ½ 1 . . 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 9.5 2898
3. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2817 . . . . * * ½ 1 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 . . ½ ½ ½ ½ . . 8.0 2817
4. Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2747 ½ 1 . . ½ 0 * * ½ 0 0 1 ½ 0 1 ½ . . . . 1 1 . . 7.5 2810
5. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2779 ½ 0 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 * * . . . . . . 0 0 0 ½ . . ½ ½ 7.0 2771
6. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2775 . . . . 0 ½ 1 0 . . * * ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 . . 0 1 1 ½ 7.0 2756
7. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2776 . . ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 . . ½ ½ * * 0 0 ½ ½ . . 1 ½ . . 6.5 2745
8. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2733 0 ½ . . ½ 0 0 ½ . . ½ 0 1 1 * * . . ½ 1 1 0 . . 6.5 2754
9. Gashimov, Vugar g AZE 2746 0 0 0 0 . . . . 1 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ . . * * ½ 0 . . 1 ½ 6.5 2744
10. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2774 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ . . 1 ½ . . . . ½ 0 ½ 1 * * . . 0 ½ 6.0 2719
11. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2785 . . 0 0 ½ ½ 0 0 . . 1 0 0 ½ 0 1 . . . . * * ½ 1 5.0 2662
12. Giri, Anish g NED 2690 0 0 ½ 0 . . . . ½ ½ 0 ½ . . . . 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 * * 4.5 2650

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