20th Amber Tournament 2011 (11)
Aronian wins final Amber Tournament
Mark Crowther - Thursday 24th March 2011
The winner Levon Aronian dominated the Blindfold Event. Photo © | http://www.amberchess20.com
Levon Aronian took clear first in the final Amber tournament with 15.5/22 a point clear of Magnus Carlsen. A major part of his win was an undefeated 8.5/11 in the blindfold section. A major advance on the 5 points he scored last year. Magnus Carlsen scored 5/11 in the blindfold but absolutely dominated the rapid with 9.5/11 (a record score). World Champion Viswanathan Anand finished in third on 13 points, Grischuk and Ivanchuk tied for 4th.
Levon Aronian against Sergey Karjakin
Levon Aronian against Sergey Karjakin. Photo © Janis Nisii. http://www.theweekinchess.com/.
Blindfold Game. Levon Aronian finished on 8.5/11 a point and a half clear of Viswanthan Anand after a final round draw with Sergey Karjakin. Last year Aronian only made 5/11 blindfold so this is a big margin of improvement, although he wasn't in the form in general he has generated over the last 12 months. After the defeat of Magnus Carlsen it also meant that Aronian won the Amber Combined standings (9th last time). In this final game Aronian got a tiny edge against Sergey Karjakin but this never looked likely to be converted to a win.
Sergey Karjakin against Levon Aronian. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.
Rapid Game. Karjakin against Aronian was a lively Ruy Lopez which finished in repetition after 31 moves.
Magnus Carlsen against Boris Gelfand
Magnus Carlsen against Boris Gelfand. Photo © Janis Nisii. http://www.theweekinchess.com/.
Blindfold Game. It isn't often that an opening choice turns out to be as bang on as Boris Gelfand managed as black against Magnus Carlsen. In a Catalan Gelfand played the dymanic and provocative 7...Qc7 and Carlsen didn't seem to know what to do. His 8.Ncb5 has only been seen once and play quickly went in Gelfand's favour as his pieces were far better co-ordinated than Carlsen's. Eventually the pressure of having the harder moves to find told and after going wrong in this position Gelfand was very sure in exploiting his advantage.
Carlsen had done very well to thread his way through to this position but now needed to find Rxc6 to hold.
Finally Carlsen goes very wrong. He needs to find a move that allows him to play Qc5 swapping off the Queen and this isn't it.
23. Rxc6! This and only this works. Nd5 24. Qc5 Qxc5 25. Rxc5 Rf8 (25... Bd4 26. Rc8+ which is a key difference to the game.
23. f3? Nd5 24. Qc5 (24. Qe4 Qd6) 24... Rxf3+ 25. exf3 Qxf3+)
23. Qc5 Qxc5 24. Rxc5 Ne4 25. Rxc6 Nxf2
23... Nd5 24. Qc5 Qxc5 25. Rxc5 Bd4 26. Rxc6 Rxf2+ 27. Kh3 Rxe2 28. Rf1 h5 29. Rfc1 Kg7 30. R1c2 Rxc2 31. Rxc2 e5 32. Rc6 Nb4 33. Rc7+ Kf6 34. a3 Nd5 35. Rc6+ Kf5 36. Kg2 e4 37. Kf1 e3 38. Ke1 Ke4 39. Rd6 g5 40. b4 Nc3 41. Rg6 g4 42. Rh6 Kd3 43. Rxh5 Ne4 44. Rd5 Nd2 0-1
Rapid Game. Magnus Carlsen finished on 9.5/11 losing just one (to Ivanchuk) and drawing one (to Aronian), he outplayed Boris Gelfand on the black side of a Benko Gambit.
23.... Kf7 24. Rd1 Ke7 25. b4 Rxa4 26. bxc5 dxc5 27. Be5 Nb5 28. Rb1 Rb4 29. Ra1 c4 30. Ra6 Rc8 31. Rb6 c3 32. Rb7+ Ke6 33. Bxc3 Rxc3 34. Rxb5 Rxb5 35. Nd4+ Kd5 36. Nxb5 Rc5 37. Na3 Ra5 38. Nb1 Ra2+ 39. Kh3 Kd4 40. Kh4 Rxh2+ 41. Kg5 Rb2 42. Na3 Rb3 43. Nc2+ Ke4 44. Kh4 h6 45. Kh3 Rb2 46. Ne1 Rb1 47. Nc2 Kd3 0-1
Viswanathan Anand against Anish Giri
Viswanathan Anand against Anish Giri. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.
Blindfold Game. Giri has found this event very, very tough, which of course it is. Two games a day at relentless pace and one of them played blindfold which isn't done in any other event and being by far and away the lowest rated player. In the end Giri finished bottom but he didn't perform so very much below his rating. In the last few days Giri lost quite a few bad games and this was another, once Anand innovated Giri didn't find a proper plan and was beaten in only 27 moves. This win took Anand to clear third in the over all standing.
Rapid Game. Viswanathan Anand took apart Anish Giri's Petroff Defence. Anand won a pawn and although Giri had drawing chances he didn't find any of them and was totally lost on move 24. Useful experience for Giri but this was clearly a tough event for him especially towards the end as he finished last in both sections.
Hikaru Nakamura against Vladimir Kramnik
Hikaru Nakamura was defeated by Vladimir Kramnik in the blindfold. Photo © Janis Nisii. http://www.theweekinchess.com/.
Blindfold Game. Nakamura played the Veresov opening against Kramnik which is a rare visitor at this level, although the blindfold is the place to try the unusual. Kramnik quickly got a good edge with naturual play and finished things off with a nice if fairly straightforward sacrifice.
Black is doing very well here and white's next is a losing blunder.
26. Ne3? Nxe3 27. Rxe3 Bxf4! 28. Rxf4 Rxc2+ 29. Kd1 Rc1+ 30. Kd2 R8c2+ 31. Kd3 Rxb2 32. Re2 Rc3# 0-1
Hikaru Nakamura will be disappointed with his result, he really needed and should have been invited before as experience helps. He at least finished with a bang against Vladimir Kramnik in the rapid. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.
Rapid Game. Hikaru Nakamura finished on a high when he broke through on the kingside against Vladimir Kramnik's King's Indian.
Alexander Grischuk against Vugar Gashimov
Blindfold Game. This was a horribly complicated struggle where both sides had decisive advantages at various point. There were plenty of blunders and wonder moves. Just one example.
Gashimov just played 47.Rge3 when 47.Rf3 wins I can imagine that Grischuk's next came as a shock, it at least equalises for black and he ended up pressing.
Later Gashimov was on the defensive but both players missed that black just made a mistake.
Here 82.Rfxf4 wins! exploiting the pin. 82.Rxe5 was played and Gashimov held the Rook and Knight vs Rook ending in 140 moves.
Vugar Gashimov and Alexander Grischuk moved from the main hall so the final session could start. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.
Rapid Game. There was another marathon game between Grischuk and Gashimov where Grischuk tried to convert Rook, Bishop and two pawns against Queen, this went on so long they actually moved from the playing room so the final session could take place. The game was eventually drawn.
Veselin Topalov against Vassily Ivanchuk
Veselin Topalov on his way to a win against Vassily Ivanchuk. Anand and Giri in the background. Photo © Janis Nisii. http://www.theweekinchess.com/.
Blindfold Game. Veselin Topalov defended an absolutely miserable position against Vassily Ivachuk for a very long time and a frustrated Ivanchuk couldn't find a way through and might have even lost at one point. The draw (in 97 moves) was probably the fair result. A very difficult game to play blindfold.
Rapid Game. Veselin Topalov finished with a win that allowed him to catch Ivanchuk on 50% in the overall standings. Topalov was a little better in a Ruy Lopez Chigorin in an unusual position and then suddenly Ivanchuk's position imploded on the king's side.
|20th Amber Blindfold Monaco (MNC), 12-24 iii 2011||cat. XXI (2770)|
|Round 11 (March 24, 2011)|
|Aronian, Levon||- Karjakin, Sergey||½-½||71||E06||Catalan|
|Gashimov, Vugar||- Grischuk, Alexander||½-½||140||A36||English Botvinnik|
|Ivanchuk, Vassily||- Topalov, Veselin||½-½||97||E61||King's Indian Defence|
|Nakamura, Hikaru||- Kramnik, Vladimir||0-1||32||D01||Queen's Pawn Richter/Veresov|
|Carlsen, Magnus||- Gelfand, Boris||0-1||44||E60||King's Indian without Nc3|
|Giri, Anish||- Anand, Viswanathan||0-1||27||A35||English Symmetrical|
|20th Amber Rapid Monaco (MNC), 12-24 iii 2011||cat. XXI (2770)|
|Round 11 (March 24, 2011)|
|Topalov, Veselin||- Ivanchuk, Vassily||1-0||42||C99||Ruy Lopez Chigorin|
|Anand, Viswanathan||- Giri, Anish||1-0||38||C42||Petroff's Defence|
|Grischuk, Alexander||- Gashimov, Vugar||½-½||139||A31||English Symmetrical|
|Karjakin, Sergey||- Aronian, Levon||½-½||31||C70||Ruy Lopez|
|Gelfand, Boris||- Carlsen, Magnus||0-1||47||A59||Volga Gambit|
|Kramnik, Vladimir||- Nakamura, Hikaru||0-1||45||E97||King's Indian Classical|
|20th Amber Combined Monaco (MNC), 12-24 iii 2011||cat. XXI (2770)|
View the games on this Page