Chess24 Sopiko Scotch

20th Amber Tournament 2011 (10)

Aronian wins Blindfold and Carlsen the Rapid at Amber

Aronian was pretty lucky to beat Topalov. Photo ©

Aronian was pretty lucky to beat Topalov. Photo © | http://www.amberchess20.com

Levon Aronian retains his full point lead going into the final round after a somewhat fortunate blindfold win against Veselin Topalov. With that he also won the blindfold section leading with 8/10. Magnus Carlsen won game of the day and the rapid section by beating Alexander Grischuk in a Najdorf. Vladimir Kramnik commentated on his draw against Vassily Ivanchuk from their lively match. Viswanathan Anand is in 3rd place overall after beating Vugar Gashimov in the rapid.

Levon Aronian - Veselin Topalov

Game Summaries

Levon Aronian against Veselin Topalov. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.

Blindfold Game. Levon Aronian yet again won a blindfold game from a lost or nearly lost position. Topalov played 22.f4 instead of the move 22.Bf5 which Aronian feared. That said Aronian had to find some very good moves to stay in the game but the game gradually equalised out. The final phase as they say on the website it isn't even clear that either player had a full grasp of where all the pieces were and Topalov eventually lost going to an amazing 8/10 and a guarantee of first place in the blindfold section.

20th Amber Blindfold Monaco MNC (10)

White: Topalov, Veselin

Black: Aronian, Levon

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bg5 h6 7. Bh4 c5 8. e3 g5 9. Bg3 c4 10. Be2 Ne4 11. Rc1 Qa5 12. Ne5

New but both players had looked at this before the game. 12. O-O {1-0 Moiseenko,A (2581)-Aleksandrov,A (2646) Kramatorsk UKR 2001

12... Nc6 13. O-O Bxc3 14. bxc3 Nxc3?

According to Topalov's preparation this should be losing.

15. Rxc3 Qxc3 16. Bh5 O-O 17. Qf3 Nd8 18. Qf6 Qc2 19. Ng4 Bxg4 20. Be5 Qh7 21. Bxg4 Ne6

This position is ghastly for black. Here Aronian feared Bf5:

22. f4

This looks very strong but Aronian finds a number of amazing resources. 22. Bf5 with the sample line: Qg7 23. Qe7 Rfe8 24. Qxb7 Qf8 25. Qxd5

22... Qg7 23. Qe7 Rae8 24. Qd7 Qh7 25. fxg5 f5 26. Qxh7+ Kxh7 27. Bxf5+ Rxf5 28. Rxf5 c3 29. gxh6 b5 30. Bd6 a5 31. Ba3 b4 32. Bc1 a4 33. Rf7+ Kxh6 34. Rb7 Nf4 35. exf4 Re1+ 36. Kf2 Rxc1 37. Rxb4 Ra1 38. Rb6+ Kg7 39. Rc6 Rxa2+ 40. Ke3 Rxg2 41. Rxc3 Rxh2 42. Rc6 a3 43. f5 Rh6 44. Rc1

Now Topalov is even losing. 44. Rc7+ Kf6 45. Rc5 Rh3+ 46. Kf4 Rh4+

44... Ra6 45. Kd3 a2 46. Ra1 Kf6 47. Kc3 Kxf5 48. Kb2 Ke4 49. Re1+ Kxd4 50. Ka1 Kc3 51. Rc1+ Kd2 52. Rc2+ Kd3 53. Rc3+ Ke4 54. Rh3 d4 55. Rh4+ Kd3 56. Rh3+ Kc4 57. Rc3+ Kd5 58. Rh3 Rb6 59. Kxa2 Kc4 60. Rh1 Kc3 0-1

Levon Aronian

r____rk_
pp___p_q
____nQ_p
___pB_p_
__pP__B_
____P___
P____PPP
_____RK_

Veselin Topalov

Position after 21...Ne6

Rapid Game. The rapid game was a wildly fluctuating struggle with Aronian having a big advantage out of the opening but then various inaccuracies passed the advantage back and forth before the players headed to a drawn ending.

20th Amber Rapid Monaco MNC (10)

White: Aronian, Levon

Black: Topalov, Veselin

1. c4 e5 2. g3 Nc6 3. Bg2 g6 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. Rb1 a5 6. a3 f5 7. b4 axb4 8. axb4 e4

This move just cannot be good according to Aronian.

9. Nh3 Nge7 10. O-O O-O 11. Nd5 d6 12. d3 exd3 13. exd3 Nxd5 14. Bxd5+ Kh8 15. Ng5 Qf6

Veselin Topalov

r_b__r_k
_pp___bp
__np_qp_
___B_pN_
_PP_____
___P__P_
_____P_P
_RBQ_RK_

Levon Aronian

Position after 15...Qf6

White has a big position and has a few options such as 16.Re1 and 16.b5, but not 16.h4 which Aronian described as terrible after the game.

16. h4 h6 17. Re1 Nd4 18. Be3 c6 19. Nf3 cxd5?

19... Nxf3+ is correct.

20. Bxd4 Qf7 21. Ra1 Rxa1 22. Qxa1 dxc4 23. dxc4 Kg8 24. Bxg7 Qxg7 25. Qd1 Qf6 26. Qd5+ Kh8 27. Rd1

27. Qd4 is the correct move. Aronian called Rd1 ridiculous.

27... f4 28. Qxd6 Qxd6 29. Rxd6

Now the players head to a draw.

fxg3 30. fxg3 Rxf3 31. Rd8+ Kg7 32. Rxc8 Rxg3+ 33. Kf2 Rg4 34. b5 b6 35. Rc7+ Kf6 36. Rc6+ Ke5 37. Rxb6 1/2-1/2

Magnus Carlsen - Alexander Grischuk

Magnus Carlsen against Alexander Grischuk. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.

Game Summaries

Blindfold Game. Magnus Carlsen got the kind of dynamic position he needed as black against Alexander Grischuk. It may be the 16...Nc5 was better than his Nde5 but he was never in serious trouble and Grischuk short of time agreed a draw on move 33.

Rapid Game. Alexander Grischuk is one of the main experts on the black side of the Najdorf Sicilian particularly the line played today which was favoured by Kasparov. Carlsen maintained control of the position and when he was ready ripped apart all the pawn cover in front of Grischuk's king. With this he took clear first place in the rapid competition with a round to go. He is a point behind Aronian in the overall standings which is a big margin and had reasons to regret that Topalov managed to lose the blindfold game against Aronian.

Alexander Grischuk

__r_k__r
___npp__
pp______
___Pp__p
__q_____
_N___PP_
PPPQ____
_K__R__R

Magnus Carlsen

Position after 30...b6

31. Rh4 Qc7 32. f4 f6 33. g4 a5 34. Rxh5 Rg8 35. g5 a4 36. Nc1 a3 37. gxf6 exf6 38. fxe5 fxe5 39. Nd3 axb2 40. Nxe5 Nxe5 41. d6 Qd7 42. Qd5 Kf8 43. Qxe5 Rc5 44. Rf1+ 1-0

Viswanathan Anand - Vugar Gashimov

Vugar Gashimov in play against Viswanathan Anand. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.

Game Summaries

Blindfold Game. Vugar Gashimov played a variation of the Petroff Viswanathan Anand hadn't prepared and he quickly agreed to a draw.

Rapid Game. Viswanathan Anand played an enterprising variation of the French and got a nice position with the two bishops. Then Gashimov went seriously wrong.

Viswanathan Anand

__b___r_
____k__p
pr_bp___
_pp__p_N
________
___R____
PPP_BPPP
_K_R____

Vugar Gashimov

Position after 27...Ke7

28.Rh3?

28.g3 and Bf1 are both better, now Anand wins a lot of pawns

28...Rxg2 29. Ng3 Bxg3 30. Rxh7+ Kf6 31. hxg3 Rxf2 32. Bh5 Bb7 33. Re1 Be4 34. Rf7+ Kg5 35. Bd1 Rd6 36. Kc1 Rdd2 37. g4 Bxc2 38. gxf5 Bxf5 39. Rf1 Rxb2 40. Rxf2 Rxf2 0-1

Hikaru Nakamura - Sergey Karjakin

Hikaru Nakamura against Sergey Karjakin. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.

Game Summaries

Blindfold Game. Hikaru Nakamura drew a lengthy French Defence as black against Sergey Karjakin in a fluctuating struggle where both sides had the advantage at various points but where Nakamura eventually held the Rook vs Rook and Bishop ending.

Rapid Game. The rapid game was another fluctuating struggle where Nakamura was at first better then in quite serious trouble but in the end the game finished in a draw.

Sergey Karjakin

______k_
________
________
___r__NR
_p____P_
p_______
PbK____P
________

Hikaru Nakamura

Position after 44.g4

This position certainly looks dangerous for black and here Karjakin found the clever 44...Rd2 after which the game finished the draw. In fact the even cleverer 44...Rd3 would almost certainly have won for him.

44... Rd2+ 45. Kb3 Bc3 46. Ne4 Rb2+ 47. Kc4 Rxa2 48. Nxc3 bxc3 49. Kxc3 Rg2 50. Ra5 Rxg4 51. Rxa3 Rh4 52. Rb3 Rh3+ 53. Kb4 Rxb3+ 54. Kxb3 Kg7 55. h4 Kg6 56. h5+ Kxh5 1/2-1/2

Vladimir Kramnik - Vassily Ivanchuk

Vladimir Kramnik against Vassily Ivanchuk. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.

Game Summaries

Blindfold Game. Vladimir Kramnik is obviously have a terrible tournament. In interview after playing today he said at least he wanted to try and play some entertaining chess in the final rounds and this he managed in both games against Vassily Ivanchuk. The blindfold game saw Kramnik as white play a closed Catalan and lively play occur on both sides before Ivanchuk gave perpetual check. The game contains several quite amazing moves.

Vassily Ivanchuk

__r__rk_
Qbq___pp
_p__p___
__bpP__n
_____pP_
__N__B__
PP__PP_P
R_BR__K_

Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 19.g4

Here Ivanchuk uncorked an amazing move, but one that actually happens to be the best too. And remember this was blindfold.

19... Ng3!! 20. b4 Ra8 21. Nxd5 Nxe2+ 22. Kf1 Rxa7 23. Nxc7 Bxf3 24. Nxe6 Nc3

24... Bxb4 and Ivanchuk is winning.

25. bxc5 Nxd1 26. cxb6 Ra4 27. Nxf8 Kxf8 28. Rb1 Rxa2 29. b7 Rxf2+ 30. Ke1 Re2+ 31. Kf1 Rf2+ 32. Ke1 1/2-1/2

Rapid Game. Fortunately the rapid game can be explained by Vladimir Kramnik in the video below. He was obviously disappointed with his result but he didn't think that it would impact on his performance in the Candidates in May. He said that although his result was very bad and that in the past he had won this, one of his very favourite events, six times, he thought this form of chess was for the young, he said that event Anand who was an amazing rapid player hadn't quite looked as good as in the past. In this game he speculatively sacrificed a piece against Ivanchuk and certainly he looked to have enough compensation. He praised his opponents amazing resourcefulness and gave his opinion on the game without checking with computers. As it turns out the game seemed to remain more or less balanced throughout, quite a performance from the pair.

Vladimir Kramnik

___r__k_
p_______
_p__pr__
___q____
___Nnp_P
P_____p_
_P__Q_P_
___RB_KR

Vassily Ivanchuk

Position after 29.Kg1

In spite of black's threatening looking position it seems that he cannot now escape perpetual check.

29... e5 30. Qg4+ Kf7 31. Qh5+ Kg8 32. Qg4+ Kf7 33. Qh5+ Kg8 34. Qg4+ 1/2-1/2

Vladimir Kramnik explains his rapid draw against Vassily Ivanchuk in a 20 minute video. Produced for the Association Max Euwe by Macauley Peterson.

Boris Gelfand - Anish Giri

Anish Giri and Boris Gelfand analyse with Loek van Wely. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.

Game Summaries

Blindfold Game. Anish Giri went very wrong just out of theory and was crushed by Boris Gelfand.

Anish Giri

__rr__k_
pp_b_pqp
____p_n_
____N___
_____P__
__PBQ___
P_____PP
R____RK_

Boris Gelfand

Position after 19.Bd3

19. Bd3

New 19. Bb3 {1-0 Iturrizaga,E (2538)-Palac,M (2583)

19... Rxc3

Better is 19... Nxe5 20. fxe5 Bc6

20. Qd4 Nh4?

Giri pointed to this as the losing error. 20... Nxe5 21. Qxc3 Bc6 and he can still continue.

21. Be4 Rc7 22. Qd6 Rc2 23. Qe7 Rxg2+ 24. Kh1 1-0

Rapid Game. The rapid game was a lengthy affair. Gelfand got almost full value for a pawn sacrifice in the Sicilian but eventually took this advantage into the ending but it didn't prove enough to win although had he found 53.Nxb5 he probably would have emerged victorious.

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 ½ 1 1 1 8 3006
2. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2817 ½ * ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 . ½ 6 2845
3. Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2747 ½ ½ * . ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 1 2811
4. Gashimov, Vugar g AZE 2746 0 ½ . * ½ 0 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 2811
5. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2774 0 ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ 1 1 0 . 5 2768
6. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2815 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ * ½ . 0 ½ ½ 1 5 2769
7. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2776 . ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 5 2766
8. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2733 0 ½ 0 0 ½ . 1 * ½ ½ 1 1 5 2769
9. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2779 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 1 ½ ½ * . ½ ½ 2733
10. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2775 0 0 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ . * 1 0 4 2697
11. Giri, Anish g NED 2690 0 . ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 * ½ 2663
12. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2785 0 ½ 0 ½ . 0 0 0 ½ 1 ½ * 3 2619
Round 10 (March 23, 2011)
Anand, Viswanathan - Gashimov, Vugar ½-½ 17 C42 Petroff's Defence
Grischuk, Alexander - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 33 E15 Queens Indian
Karjakin, Sergey - Nakamura, Hikaru ½-½ 124 C11 French Defence
Gelfand, Boris - Giri, Anish 1-0 24 D37 QGD 5.Bf4
Topalov, Veselin - Aronian, Levon 0-1 60 D38 QGD Ragozin
Kramnik, Vladimir - Ivanchuk, Vassily ½-½ 32 A13 Reti Opening
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 1 1 1 3065
2. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2808 ½ * 1 ½ 1 0 ½ ½ ½ . 1 1 2876
3. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2779 1 0 * . 1 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ 6 2841
4. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2775 0 ½ . * ½ 0 1 1 1 ½ 0 ½ 5 2769
5. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2817 0 0 0 ½ * 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 . 5 2773
6. Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2747 0 1 0 1 0 * 0 ½ 1 0 . 1 2739
7. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2774 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 * 0 . ½ 1 ½ 2732
8. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2733 . ½ 0 0 0 ½ 1 * 0 1 1 ½ 2733
9. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2785 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 . 1 * ½ 0 1 4 2696
10. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2776 0 . ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ * ½ 0 4 2694
11. Gashimov, Vugar g AZE 2746 0 0 1 1 0 . 0 0 1 ½ * ½ 4 2703
12. Giri, Anish g NED 2690 0 0 ½ ½ . 0 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ * 2663
Round 10 (March 23, 2011)
Carlsen, Magnus - Grischuk, Alexander 1-0 44 B90 Sicilian Najdorf Variation
Aronian, Levon - Topalov, Veselin ½-½ 37 A25 English Sicilian Attack
Ivanchuk, Vassily - Kramnik, Vladimir ½-½ 34 E32 Nimzo Indian 4.Qc2
Nakamura, Hikaru - Karjakin, Sergey ½-½ 56 E21 Nimzo Indian 4.Nf3
Gashimov, Vugar - Anand, Viswanathan 0-1 40 C11 French Defence
Giri, Anish - Gelfand, Boris ½-½ 93 B32 Sicilian Labourdonnais
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 1 ½ 1 ½ 0 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 . . 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 14.5 2941
2. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2815 ½ ½ * * 0 1 0 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 . . 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 13.5 2902
3. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2817 ½ 0 1 0 * * ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ . . ½ ½ 11.0 2809
4. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2779 ½ 0 1 1 ½ 1 * * ½ 1 0 ½ ½ 1 0 0 ½ ½ . . ½ ½ ½ ½ 10.5 2790
5. Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2747 ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 * * ½ 0 1 ½ . . ½ 0 0 1 ½ 1 1 1 10.0 2775
6. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2774 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 * * ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 0 0 ½ . . 9.5 2754
7. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2733 0 ½ . . ½ 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 1 * * 0 1 1 1 ½ 0 1 ½ 1 0 9.5 2755
8. Gashimov, Vugar g AZE 2746 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 1 1 . . ½ 0 1 0 * * ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1 9.5 2761
9. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2776 . . ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ * * ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 9.0 2730
10. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2775 0 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ . . 1 0 0 1 ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ * * 1 ½ 0 1 9.0 2733
11. Giri, Anish g NED 2690 0 0 ½ 0 . . ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ * * ½ 0 7.0 2663
12. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2785 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 . . 0 1 ½ 0 0 ½ 1 0 ½ 1 * * 7.0 2658

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