20th Amber Tournament 2011 (6)
Aronian leads Amber after 6 even after loss
Mark Crowther - Friday 18th March 2011
Vassily Ivanchuk was brilliant against Anand on his 42nd birthday. | http://www.fredlucas.eu
Levon Aronian still leads the Amber blindfold and rapid chess tournament combined standings with 8.5/12 a point clear of Magnus Carlsen but he did lose his first game when defeated by Alexander Grischuk in the rapid. Vassily Ivanchuk celebrated his 42nd birthday by beating World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand in the rapid game (rightly winning game of the day) and drew a really great blindfold game too in the match of the day. The blindfold section saw all games drawn and the highest standard of chess so far in this form of the game. Magnus Carlsen beat Sergey Karjakin 1.5-0.5 but it could easily have been the other way round. Boris Gelfand defeated Hikaru Nakamura 1.5-0.5 beating him in a nice rapid game (which he explains in the offical video along with the draw in the blindfold which he considered much more interesting).
Viswanathan Anand against Vassily Ivanchuk
Vassily Ivanchuk on his birthday. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.
Blindfold Game. Anand and Ivanchuk played a Ruy Lopez Chigorin Defence of astonishingly high quality for a blindfold game. With pieces and threats all over the place it was hard enough to even understand with sight of the board. Computers suggest 29.Qd3, 32.Bc3, 37.Rxb5 and 39.h4 may have been better chances for white but the threats Anand did create were tough enough and how Ivanchuk kept going and even got a slight advantage towards the end was astonishing, it looks like he is well and truly back to his best for this tournament now after a dodgy start. This thrilling game rightly finished in a draw with perpetual check.
Just one position out of the game. The quiet Bc2 threatens the noisy Ra1. 28...Be7 leads to complications so it is understandable Ivanchuk played Qa8.
28...Qa8 29. Bd4 Rbe6 30. Rg5 g6 31. Nc5 Rd6 32. Nxd7 Nxd7 33. Bb3 Bf6 34. Bxf6 Nxf6 35. Qf4 Qa5 36. Re3 Qd2 37. e5 Nd5 38. Qf3 Rdd8 39. Rg4 Re7 40. Rd3 Qe1+ 41. Kh2 Qxe5+ 42. g3 Red7 43. Rgd4 Qf6 44. Qe2 Nc3 45. Rxd7 Rxd7 46. Qe8+ Kg7 47. Rxd7 Qxf2+ 48. Kh1 Qf1+ 49. Kh2 Qf2+ 1/2-1/2
Vassily Ivanchuk against Viswanathan Anand. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.
Rapid Game. Vassily Ivanchuk turned 42 today and he produced a great rapid game against Viswanathan Anand. Ivanchuk got a small amount of pressure but its clear that Anand's 24...e5 has a certain amount of logic. However it may be that it turns out to be bad.
24...Rd5 or 24...a6 seem better in retrospect but the way that Ivanchuk plays it is hard to see at first. However quickly Anand came to appreciate the problems and use a lot of time.
25. a6! b5 26. Rb4! exd4 27. Rxb5 dxe3 28. Rb7 Rxb7 29. axb7 Rb8 30. Rxc6 Rxb7 31. Na5 Rd7 32. fxe3 Rd1+ 33. Ke2 Rh1 34. Nc4 Rxh2+ 35. Kf1 h5 36. Ra6 Rc2 37. Rxa7+ Kg8 38. Rc7 Bf6 39. Rc6 Kg7 40. Ne5 Rd2 41. Bf8+ 1-0
Alexander Grischuk against Levon Aronian
Levon Aronian against Alexander Grischuk. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.
Blindfold Game. Grischuk-Aronian was a complicated and interesting Slav that eventually saw pieces traded down to a draw.
21. Rad1 Nxe3 22. Qxe6 fxe6 23. fxe3 Rxd1 24. Rxd1 Bxg2 25. Kxg2 Be7 26. g5 Ra7 27. Kf3 Rb7 28. b3 Kf8 29. g6 hxg6 30. Nxg6+ Ke8 31. Nxe7 1/2-1/2
Rapid Game. Alexander Grischuk got good counterplay on the black side of a Benoni style position against Levon Aronian which he had played as white before. In the position below it is definitely black who has all the play but probably white shouldn't lose straight away. Instead Aronian's position goes under quite fast.
It looks like white can keep things balanced with 27. Ra1 Nxg4 28. hxg4 Bxc3 29. Nc4 Rxa1 30. Rxa1 Be5 which sure looks scarey to allow.
27... Rxc3 28. bxc3 Rxa3 29. Rdc1 Ra2 30. Kg2 Ng6 31. Bc4 Ra7 32. Bf1 Be5 33. Ra1 Rxa1 34. Rxa1 Bxc3 35. Ra6 Be5 36. Kf3 Kg7 37. Ke2 c4 38. f3 Nc5 39. Ra7 c3 40. Kd1 Nh4 41. Bb5 Nxf3 42. Be8 Nd4 43. Rxf7+ Kg8 0-1
Sergey Karjakin against Magnus Carlsen
Magnus Carlsen against Sergey Karjakin. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.
Blindfold Game. Sergey Karjakin came close to defeating Magnus Carlsen as he got into another mess right out of the opening. This time there were resources as Carlsen sacrificed a pawn to trap white's knight but he was still on the worse side of things. Karjakin played the very practical sacrifice of a knight for two further pawns which led to a fiendishly difficult ending. Karjakin did miss a nice tactical shot but can hardly be blamed for that in rapid blindfold and the game ended in repetition.
29. Nxd5+ exd5 30. Kxd5 Nc5?!
30... Nb6+ seems to be the way to hold for Carlsen.
31. f5 Kb5 32. e6
It is somewhat unreasonable to ask Karjakin to find this but I think he missed a win with: 32. Nf7 (the main point being that 32...Nxf7 33.e6 wins the piece back with an overwhelming position) Nc6 33. Nd6+ Kb6 34. Nc8+ Kb5 and Carlsen will be pushed to hold on.
32... Nc6 33. g4 Kb6 34. Nf7 Ne7+ 35. Kd6 Nc8+ 36. Kd5 Ne7+ 37. Kd6 Nc8+ 38. Ke5 Ne7 39. g5
39. Nd6 was the only way to continue.
39... Nc6+ 40. Kd6 Nd4 41. Ke5 Nc6+ 42. Kd6 Nd4 43. Ke5 Nc6+ 1/2-1/2
Rapid Game. Magnus Carlsen won the rapid game after Sergey Karjakin made a strange decision to trade into an ending. He must have seen ghosts with Rxe5 that don't appear to have been there. Carlsen had to be careful not to fall into the tactic 31...h5 32. gxh5 Rxa6! 33.Rxa6 Nc5 but he had seen the idea a couple of moves before where he found to his relief it didn't work and so was aware of it later.
It isn't really clear what Karjakin feared here. His brave Nh5 seemed entire justified. Now he converts to an ending which is miserable at best and Carlsen makes no mistake.
1) 23. Qxe5 Qxe5 24. Rxe5 Nf4 with no problems for black
2) 23. Rxe5 Qf6 24. Rc4 g6 25. Rd5 Qxf3 26. Bd1 Qf6 27. Bxh5 Qxd4 28. Rcxd4 gxh5 looks OK for black.
23. Qg4 Qxg4+ 24. fxg4 Nf4 25. Rc6 dxe5 26. Rxa6 Nd3 27. Re3 Nxb2 28. a5 e4 29. Rxe4 Nd3 30. Rc6 Ra8 31. a6 h5 32. g5 Rfc8 33. Rxc8+ Rxc8 34. g6 1-0
Boris Gelfand against Hikaru Nakamura
Hikaru Nakamura against Boris Gelfand. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.
Blindfold Game. Gelfand-Nakamura was a complicated King's Indian Fianchetto where Nakamura put Gelfand under pressure with the accurate 13...Qa6. Gelfand thought for a while and found a way of at least holding the balance. Nakamura sacrificed his queen for Rook, Knight and Pawn which was dynamic equality and the game finished in a draw.
14. Bf4 Qxc4 15. Rc2 Nfxe4 16. Nxe4 Qxd4 17. Nxd6 Rd8 18. Rd2 Qb4 19. Rc1 Ne6 20. Be3 Qa5 21. Qb3 Qxd2 22. Bxd2 Rxd6 23. Be3 Nd4 24. Qb4 Rd8 25. Kh2 a5 26. Qe7 Bd7 27. Bxd4 Bxd4 28. Rd1 Be6 29. Qxb7 Rab8 30. Qc7 Rdc8 31. Qxc8+ Rxc8 32. Rxd4 Bxa2 33. Ra4 1/2-1/2
Rapid Game. Hikaru Nakamura's unusual treatment of the Nimzo-Indian didn't leave a very good impression and he was already in trouble in the position below and lost in 35 moves. He explains it better in a video.
Boris Gelfand explains his rapid win and his blindfold draw against Hikaru Nakamura. Produced for the Association Max Euwe by Macauley Peterson.
18... Nd3 19. Qf3 d4 20. exd4 Rxb2 21. Rxb2 Nxb2 22. Rc1 Qxd4 23. Be3 Qe5 24. g3 Nd3 25. Nxd3 cxd3 26. Bd2 Qd4 27. Rb1 Qc4 28. Rb3 Bb4 29. Kg2 a5 30. Nb1 Rd8 31. Bxb4 axb4 32. Nd2 Qc2 33. Qf4 Nd5 34. Qh4 f6 35. Qc4 Qxd2 0-1
Veselin Topalov against Vugar Gashimov
Vugar Gashimov against Veselin Topalov. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.
Blindfold Game. Topalov-Gashimov was a lively struggle in a an unusual King's Indian type game where white threatened to get something but in the end they traded to a completely drawn bishops of opposite colours ending.
Rapid Game. Vugar Gashimov beat Veselin Topalov in a strange game. Topalov blundered a pawn to a simple tactic right out of the opening but he did get some counterplay eventually. However later on he lost in a King and Pawn ending.
9.Nxd5 Nxd5 10.cxd5 Bxd2 11.Nxd2 cxd5 12.Qb3 Be6 13.Qxb7 Nd7 14.Qa6 Nc5 15.Qa3 Qb6 16.Rfc1 Rac8 17.Rc3 d4 18.Rc2 Na6 19.Rac1 Rxc2 20.Rxc2 Nb4 21.Rc1 Nxa2 22.Nc4 Nxc1 23.Nxb6 axb6 24.Qa4 Rd8 25.Bf3 Bh3 26.Bg2 Nxe2+ 27.Kf1 Bxg2+ 28.Kxg2 e4 29.Qd1 exd3 30.Kf1 g5 31.Ke1 Nc3 32.Qxd3 Re8+ 33.Kf1 Ne2 34.Qxe2 Rxe2 35.Kxe2 Kf8 36.Kd3 Ke7 37.Kxd4 Kd6 38.g4 f6 39.Kc4 Kc6 40.b3 b5+ 41.Kb4 Kb6 42.h3 Kc6 43.Ka5 Kc5 44.b4+ Kc4 45.f3 1-0
Vladimir Kramnik against Anish Giri
Vladimir Kramnik. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.
Blindfold Game. Vladimir Kramnik was on the slight worse side of a draw against Anish Giri where the Dutchman had two minor pieces for a rook but all the pawns were on one side and Kramnik didn't have any real dramas in holding it.
Rapid Game. Vladimir Kramnik won a long Ragozin Defence where his opponent Anish Giri gave up a pawn to keep his two bishops. Kramnik ground Giri down after achieving just the kind of position he enjoys.
|20th Amber Blindfold Monaco (MNC), 12-24 iii 2011||cat. XXI (2770)|
|Round 6 (March 18, 2011)|
|Grischuk, Alexander||- Aronian, Levon||½-½||31||D15||Slav Defence|
|Anand, Viswanathan||- Ivanchuk, Vassily||½-½||49||C99||Ruy Lopez Chigorin|
|Gelfand, Boris||- Nakamura, Hikaru||½-½||33||E69||King's Indian Fianchetto|
|Karjakin, Sergey||- Carlsen, Magnus||½-½||43||C11||French Defence|
|Topalov, Veselin||- Gashimov, Vugar||½-½||39||A40||Unusual Replies to 1.d4|
|Kramnik, Vladimir||- Giri, Anish||½-½||59||A13||Reti Opening|
|20th Amber Rapid Monaco (MNC), 12-24 iii 2011||cat. XXI (2770)|
|Round 6 (March 18, 2011)|
|Carlsen, Magnus||- Karjakin, Sergey||1-0||34||C84||Ruy Lopez Centre Attack|
|Aronian, Levon||- Grischuk, Alexander||0-1||43||E61||King's Indian Defence|
|Ivanchuk, Vassily||- Anand, Viswanathan||1-0||41||A04||Dutch System|
|Nakamura, Hikaru||- Gelfand, Boris||0-1||35||E48||Nimzo Indian|
|Gashimov, Vugar||- Topalov, Veselin||1-0||45||A22||English Opening|
|Giri, Anish||- Kramnik, Vladimir||0-1||67||D38||QGD Ragozin|
|20th Amber Combined Monaco (MNC), 12-24 iii 2011||cat. XXI (2770)|
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