20th Amber Tournament 2011 (5)
Aronian leads after whitewashing Gashimov as Carlsen blows up
Mark Crowther - Thursday 17th March 2011
Levon Aronian has opened a point and a half lead after 5 rounds. | http://www.amberchess20.com
Levon Aronian took advantage of a couple of big mistakes by Vugar Gashimov to win 2-0 in his mini-match. With this win he took an overall lead in both sections of the competition and a point and a half lead over Viswanthan Anand who drew both his games against Sergey Karjakin. Magnus Carlsen who had been sharing the lead prior to the round played two awful openings and was punished with two losses by his opponent Vassily Ivanchuk who explains his rapid win in the official video. There were a couple of wild struggles between Veselin Topalov and Alexander Grischuk (who dropped a rook in the blindfold at the end). Anish Giri scored his first win of the competition beating Hikaru Nakamura in the blindfold (some comments by him in the article) who is having a nightmare in this section in spite of having obvious talent for it. It is a shame this is his first invitation to the event as practice definitely helps.
Magnus Carlsen against Vassily Ivanchuk
Magnus Carlsen. Photo © Fred Lucas. http://www.fredlucas.eu.
Blindfold Game. Vassily Ivanchuk won as white against Magnus Carlsen. Carlsen allowed a very well known tactical idea after playing the very careless 13.Nc6. Carlsen chose to give up his queen rather than allow the straight piece to go but Ivanchuk drove home his advantage reasonably comfortably.
14. Ndb5! axb5 15. Nxb5 Bxh2 16. Nxc7 Bxc7 17. c5 bxc5 18. Rxc5 d5 19. Rxc6 Bxc6 20. Qc1 Be5 21. f4 Bxb2 22. Qxb2 Nxe4 23. Rc1 Rab8 24. Qe5 Be8 25. Bd3 Rb3 26. Bd4 f6 27. Qxe6+ Bf7 28. Qa6 h5 29. Rc7 1-0
Vassily Ivanchuk beat Magnus Carlsen 2-0 in round 5. Photo © Fred Lucas. http://www.fredlucas.eu.
Rapid Game. If anything things were worse for Magnus Carlsen in the rapid game. He played an unsual variation of the Winawer French Defence but was surprised by Ivanchuk's 7...Qa5, by the time he played the bad 12.c3 he was already in serious trouble and then he used almost all his time at the end and fell to a snap mate, probably felt he shouldn't have got out of bed.
12. c3? dxc3 13. Nxc3 d4 14. Nb5 Bxd2+ 15. Nxd2 Nf5 16. Rc1 Kb8 17. b4 Qa6 18. Qh3 Nxe5 19. Nxd4 Qd6 20. N4b3 Bc6 21. Rg1 Bd5 22. Qc3 Bxb3 23. Nxb3 Nh4 24. Be2 Nxg2+ 25. Kf1 Nf4 26. Qe3 Rxg1+ 27. Kxg1 Qd5 28. Bg4 Qg2# 0-1
Vassily Ivanchuk explains his rapid win against Magnus Carlsen. Produced for the Association Max Euwe by Macauley Peterson.
Hikaru Nakamura against Anish Giri
Anish Giri. Photo © Fred Lucas. http://www.fredlucas.eu.
Blindfold Game. Anish Giri won his first game by beating Hikaru Nakamura. Giri thought his e5 in response to Qa5 was a clever idea in advance but when the move appeared on the board it was more that he was forced into it. Nakamura then built up an advantage before going astray with Kf6-e5 when he was lost. Anish Giri talked over the game on ICC and I give some of the comments he made.
"Yet another great blindfold game thrown down the toilet. Why can't I just play a horrible game and get crushed instead?"
Nakamura venting on his Twitter Account GMHikaru directly after the game.
Giri,Anish - Nakamura,Hikaru [C96]
20th Amber Blindfold Monaco MNC (5), 17.03.2011
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.h3 d6 9.c3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 Nd7 12.Nbd2 exd4 13.cxd4 Nc6 14.Nf1
d5 is probably normal but Giri decides to play something else.
[15.e5 dxe5 16.Be4 Bb7 17.dxe5 Ndxe5 18.Nxe5 Qxd1 19.Rxd1 Bxe5 20.Rd7 Rab8 21.Rxb7 Rxb7 22.Bxc6]
Giri wasn't sure about this after the game.
16...g6 17.Rc1 Rc8 18.Bb1 Re8 19.Qd2
Giri thinks that black has fully equalised. He doesn't like the positioning of either his knight or bishop.
Giri was hoping for this move but now his planned e5 is a necessity rather than something he would like to play.
[19...cxd4 20.Nxd4 Nxd4 21.Bxd4 Rxc1 22.Rxc1 d5 23.exd5 Bxd5]
[20.Rcd1 Qxd2 21.Rxd2 and black is fine.]
21...Qxd2 22.Bxd2 Bxc6 23.exf6 Bxf3 24.Rxe8+ Rxe8 25.gxf3 d5
[25...Ne5 was the move Giri feared.]
[27.Kg2 Nc4 28.bxc4 (28.Bb4 a5 29.Bc5 (29.Be7 Nb2) 29...Re1 30.Bd3) 28...bxc4 A "tinky winky" variation according to Giri, I had the feeling there was betting going on in the VIP room as to the most ridiculous phrase they could used on ICC. (28...dxc4 29.Be4) 29.Bc2 Rb8 wins one pawn by force and a second probably falls also.]
27...Nxf3 28.Bb4 Re6 29.Ne2 Rxf6 30.Kg2 Kg7
[30...h5 31.Kg3 h4+ 32.Kg2]
Giri thought he was worse but couldn't really see a plan for Nakamura.
[31...Ng5 32.Nxd4 Ne4+ 33.Bxe4 dxe4]
32...Nh4+ 33.Kf1 Rc6 34.Ba3 Nf3
Giri lost track and tried to play Ke2 here and then Nf5+ to make sure the knight wasn't on g3 and that he had some other problem. The irony is that it almost immediately encouraged Nakamura to go wrong. Apparently it isn't touch and move in blindfold chess which is interesting.
This was where Nakamura started to go wrong.
36.Kg2 Nh4+ 37.Kg3 Ke5?
38.Bd2 Rf6 39.f4+ gxf4+ 40.Bxf4+ Rxf4 41.Nxf4 Ng6 42.Nxg6+ fxg6 43.Bd3 b4 44.Kg4
Its important to keep the win clean.
44...a5 45.h4 Kf6 46.Kf4 h6 47.Kg4 Kf7 48.Kf3 Kg7 49.Kg3 Kf7 50.Kg4 Kg7 51.h5
After getting the position he wants he plays the winning move.
51...g5 52.Kf5 Kf7 53.Be2 Ke7 54.Ke5 1-0
Hikaru Nakamura. Photo © Fred Lucas. http://www.fredlucas.eu.
Rapid Game. Nakamura came out aggressively against Giri's Gruenfeld but it definitely looked like he was in danger of going too far. In the end the queen ending with both king's exposed was always going to end in a draw.
Levon Aronian against Vugar Gashimov
Vugar Gashimov. Photo © Fred Lucas. http://www.fredlucas.eu.
Blindfold Game. Levon Aronian won a complex Berlin Defence as black after what looks like an error in remembering where the pieces were from Vugar Gashimov. In the position below it is probable that Gashimov thought his knight was on g3. Aronian eventually took this advantage into to a winning rook and pawn ending.
Rapid Game. Vugar Gashimov blundered early against Levon Aronian and the rest was a massacre.
Black has just played the losing 14...g5. He is already worse (8...Bc8 was not good according to Aronian) but instead he can play things like Qd7. Whatever he does he can't play this g5 as after 15.Bd6 Qd8 in the game he can't play 16. hxg5 hxg5 because of captures on h8 and then d8. He is now completely lost.
15. Bd6 Qd8 16. hxg5 Ng8 17. g6 fxg6 18. Bd3 Nge7 19. Nge2 Kf7 20. Bc7 Qd7 21. Bb6 e5 22. Bc5 Re8 23. Bxe7 Qxe7 24. Nxd5 Qd8 25. g5 Rh8 26. Bxg6+ Kf8 27. Nf6 Ke7 28. Rxc6 bxc6 29. Qxe5+ Kf8 30. Qf4 Ke7 31. Nh7 Rxh7 32. Qf7+ Kd6 33. Bxh7 Qxg5 34. Rg1 Be6 35. Rxg5 1-0
Sergey Karjakin and Viswanathan Anand. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.
Viswanthan Anand against Sergey Karjakin
Blindfold Game. Sergey Karjakin comfortably drew on the black side of a Nimzo-Indian against World Champion Viswanathan Anand in 23 moves.
Rapid Game. Viswanathan Anand looked to stand very well against Sergey Karjakin at one stage but Karjakin defended wonderfully well and even half turned it around to be a pawn up before the game was eventually drawn. Perhaps it wasn't quite as good as it looked optically in the position below. Probably Anand shouldn't have exchanged queens when he did.
31. Rd2 Nfd5 32. Qxe7 Nxe7 33. Ne4 N7d5 34. h4 Nc3 35. Nxc3 Rxc3 36. a4 b4 37. a5 Kf7 38. f4 exf4 39. Rxd4 Nxc2 40. Rxf4+ Kg7 41. Nxc2 Rxc2 42. Rd1 Rc7 43. Rd6 Ra7 44. Rb6 Rxb6 45. axb6 Rb7 46. Rxb4 Kf6 47. Kf2 Ke5 48. Ke3 Kd5 49. Kf4 h6 50. g4 Kc5 51. Rc4+ Kd5 52. Rb4 1/2-1/2
Vladimir Kramnik against Boris Gelfand
Vladimir Kramnik. Photo © Fred Lucas. http://www.fredlucas.eu.
Blindfold Game. Vladimir Kramnik is rightly known as a great blindfold player but at this last Amber tournament he just doesn't seem at the races. He sacrificed a Queen for Rook, Knight and Pawn on move 11 in a known opening idea but then never got close to justifying it and was totally lost by move 26.
Rapid Game. Kramnik got his revenge with a nice win with black against Boris Gelfand.
35. Nd2 f5 36. Nb3 Qh4+ 37. Kg1 fxg4 38. fxg4 Qh3 39. Qd2 Nh4 40. Bd1 Nf3+ 41. Bxf3 Qxf3 42. Be5 Ng5 43. h4 Nh3+ 44. Kh2 Nf2 0-1
Veselin Topalov against Alexander Grischuk
Veselin Topalov. Photo © Fred Lucas. http://www.fredlucas.eu.
Blindfold Game. Veselin Topalov switched to 1.e4 probably to specifically have a go at the Najdorf Sicilian that Alexander Grischuk has stubbornly continued to play. They reached the position below where Grischuk started complications but quickly Topalov outplayed him and reached a winning position just a few moves later. The position was still horribly complicated and Topalov didn't finish him off and then the position reached a complete mess where it was hard to know what was going on, then they had the ending Rook and two pawns vs bishop and three which went on for a long time until Grischuk forgot the position of the white king and blundered his rook.
Grabbing the pawn is bad for white 21. exd5 Nxd5 22. Rxd5 Bxd5 23. Qxd5 Rd6 24. Qe4 Rd1+ 25. Bc1 Qc5 26. Rh1
26. Rg5 Rxf1
26... Rxf1 27. Rxe5 Qf8
26... Re1 27. Qd3 e4 28. fxe4 Qg5
21... d4 22. f4 h6?
22... exf4 23. Bd3 and trying to win a piece works out badly for white 23. e5 Rxc2 24. exf6 Qb7 25. Qa3 R8c3
23. Bxh6 Ng4 24. Bxg7
and Topalov should winning but the position remains sharp, especially in blindfold chess, having said that Topalov had found his way through the position beautifully so far.
Missing the crushing 25. Bxe5 when 25...Qb7 26. b3 Bxb3 27. Rxg4+ Kf8 28. Qa3+ R2c5 29. axb3 and things were up in the air again. Grischuk then obtained a position where he was pressing for a win below.
Clearly thinking the king was on b3 Grischuk drops his rook.
Actually things are still not that simple for a Grischuk win as far as I can see, as sample line 69... Kxe4 70. Kc3 Kd5 71. Kb4 Ra1 72. Bg2+ Kd6 73. Kb5 Kc7 74. Kc4 Kd7 75. Kb5 Kd6 76. Bf3 Ra2 77. Bh1 Kc7 78. Kc4 Kd7 79. Kb5 Kd6 80. Be4 Ra3 81. Bb7 Kc7 82. Be4 Ra1 83. Kc4 Ra5 84. a7 Rxa7 85. Kd5 Ra5+ 86. Ke6 Kb6 87. Bd5 e4 88. Bxe4 Kc5 draws. Certainly there would have been a long way further to go.
70. Kxa1 1-0
Alexander Grischuk. Photo © Fred Lucas. http://www.fredlucas.eu.
Rapid Game. Grischuk played an unusual variation against Veselin Topalov's Dutch Defence. The key position is below. Topalov's d5 was just bad, Grischuk didn't follow up the best but Topalov 25...Bxe4? allowed a bind that Grischuk forced home for a win.
Grischuk,A (2747) - Topalov,V (2775) [A80]
20th Amber Rapid Monaco MNC (5), 17.03.2011
1.d4 f5 2.Bg5 g6 3.e3 Bg7 4.Nf3 d6 5.c4 h6 6.Bf4 Nd7 7.Nc3 e5 8.Bg3 g5 9.h3 Ne7 10.Be2 0-0 11.0-0 f4 12.Bh2 exd4 13.Nxd4 Ne5 14.exf4 gxf4 15.Kh1 N7g6 16.Qd2 c6 17.Rad1 Qh4 18.f3 Bd7 19.Rfe1 Rad8 20.Bf1 a6 21.Re4 Kh8 22.b3 Qf6 23.Nde2
[23...Bxh3 24.gxh3 Nxf3 25.Qc2 Qf5 would surely have been played by Topalov had be seen it.]
24.cxd5 Bf5 25.Nxf4
[25.Rd4 c5 26.Ne4 Qb6 27.Ra4 was better.]
[25...Nxf3 26.gxf3 Qxc3 27.Qxc3 Bxc3 28.Nxg6+ Bxg6 29.Re6 Bf7 30.Re3 Bf6 31.d6 Bd5]
26.Nxe4 Qf7 27.Nxg6+ Qxg6 28.d6 Rf7 29.Re1 Rfd7 30.Bd3 Nxd3 31.Qxd3 Qf5 32.Rd1 Re8 33.b4 a5 34.a3 axb4 35.axb4 Rdd8 36.Bg3 Be5 37.Qe3 Qg6 38.Bxe5+ Rxe5 39.Qb6 Rd7 40.Qd4 Rg7 41.Qb2 Rd5 42.Rxd5 cxd5 43.d7 Qb6 44.Qf6 1-0
|20th Amber Blindfold Monaco (MNC), 12-24 iii 2011||cat. XXI (2770)|
|Round 5 (March 17, 2011)|
|Anand, Viswanathan||- Karjakin, Sergey||½-½||23||E21||Nimzo Indian 4.Nf3|
|Gashimov, Vugar||- Aronian, Levon||0-1||74||C67||Ruy Lopez Berlin|
|Topalov, Veselin||- Grischuk, Alexander||1-0||70||B90||Sicilian Najdorf Variation|
|Ivanchuk, Vassily||- Carlsen, Magnus||1-0||29||A15||English counter King's Fianchetto|
|Giri, Anish||- Nakamura, Hikaru||1-0||54||C96||Ruy Lopez|
|Kramnik, Vladimir||- Gelfand, Boris||0-1||37||D10||Slav Defence|
|20th Amber Rapid Monaco (MNC), 12-24 iii 2011||cat. XXI (2770)|
|Round 5 (March 17, 2011)|
|Aronian, Levon||- Gashimov, Vugar||1-0||35||D10||Slav Defence|
|Carlsen, Magnus||- Ivanchuk, Vassily||0-1||28||C17||French Winawer|
|Karjakin, Sergey||- Anand, Viswanathan||½-½||52||B90||Sicilian Najdorf Variation|
|Grischuk, Alexander||- Topalov, Veselin||1-0||44||A80||Dutch|
|Nakamura, Hikaru||- Giri, Anish||½-½||50||D91||Gruenfeld 5.Bg5|
|Gelfand, Boris||- Kramnik, Vladimir||0-1||44||E46||Nimzo Indian Rubinstein|
|20th Amber Combined Monaco (MNC), 12-24 iii 2011||cat. XXI (2770)|
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