Chess24 Sopiko Scotch

20th Amber Tournament 2011 (3)

Carlsen and Aronian share the lead after 3 rounds of Amber Chess

Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian drew both their games. Photo ©

Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian drew both their games. Photo © | http://www.amberchess20.com/

Leaders Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian drew both games of their match, the rapid game was the more interesting although both players were dissatisfied, they also continue to share the overall lead on 4.5/6. Vugar Gashimov's attractive blindfold win against Anish Giri was probably the game of the day. Alexander Grischuk seemed to let Sergey Karjakin off the hook in the blindfold game and lost a share of the lead when he was beaten on the black side of a sharp Sicilian. Grudge match of the day between Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov saw Kramnik win the blindfold game on time and Topalov win the return rapid game.

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

Levon Aronian achieved very little against Magnus Carlsen's Queen's Indian in their blindfold game and they repeated moves to draw in 37 moves.

Levon Aronian

r__q_rk_
_p_nppbp
p___b_p_
___pN___
___P_B__
_Q____P_
PP__PPBP
R__R__K_

Magnus Carlsen

After 15.Qb3 both Carlsen and Aronian seemed to agree white was winning.

Their rapid game was much more complicated. After 15 moves Aronian thought he was lost and that with his "15…a5 the usual swindling started". Carlsen could have followed up with 18.Qc6 Bxd5 19.Qxd5 with a big stable advantage. Carlsen is quoted as saying "Which idiot spurns the possibility to get a position with a healthy extra pawn?" Then they reached the position below. In particular the manoever Nd7-f6-e8-d6-c4 in the next 9 moves creates a strong impression. Eventually Aronian got to a winning position but then went astray and allowed a drawn rook and pawn ending.

15. Qb3 a5 16. Bxd5 a4 17. Qxb7 Rb8 18. Nxf7 Rxb7 19. Nxd8 Bxd5 20. Nxb7 Bxb7

Levon Aronian

_____rk_
_b_np_bp
______p_
________
p__P_B__
______P_
PP__PP_P
__RR__K_

Magnus Carlsen

Position after 21.Rac1

21. Rac1 Bd5 22. Rc7 Rd8 23. a3 Kf7 24. Rd2 Nf6 25. f3 Bb3 26. Be5 Ne8 27. Rc5 Bxe5 28. Rxe5 Nd6 29. Rc5 Nc4 30. Rd3 Nxb2 31. Re3 Rxd4 32. Rc7 Be6 33. Ra7 g5 34. Rc3 Rc4 35. Re3 Rc2 36. Re4 Rc3 37. h4 h6 38. hxg5 hxg5 39. Ra6 Ba2 40. Ra7 Be6 41. Ra6 Bc4 42. Rc6 Rxa3 43. Rcxc4 Nxc4 44. Rxc4 1/2-1/2

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

Vassily Ivanchuk got himself in a real tangle through planless looking play in his blindfold game against Hikaru Nakamura.

Hikaru Nakamura

r_____k_
_p_rnp__
__p_bq__
Pp__p_p_
_P__P___
__PBBPPp
__QNR_nP
_____RK_

Vassily Ivanchuk

Position 25...Rd7

Here to continue Ivanchuk must sacrifice the exchange and take on g2. Instead there followed:

26. Bb6? Nc8 27. Bc5 Qd8 0-1

and a piece goes west.

Nakamura played the dubious looking move 6.Bd3 in the opening of his rapid games against Ivanchuk giving the initiative to the Ukrainian but Nakamura defended accurately.

Vassily Ivanchuk

______k_
____npp_
___bn___
___p___p
__pP_P__
_qP_N_P_
r_N_R__P
_QB__K__

Hikaru Nakamura

Position after 38...Qb3

Now Nakamura exchange queens and showed that the b-pawn wasn't that powerful.

39. Qxb3 cxb3 40. Ne1 Nc7 41. Bb2 Nb5 42. Nd3 Ba3 43. Nd1 Nc6 44. Nc1 Bxb2 45. Nxb3 g6 46. Rc2 Kg7 47. Rxb2 Rxb2 48. Nxb2 Nxc3 49. Kf2 Kf6 50. Nd3 Kf5 51. Kf3 Nb5 52. Ke3 Nd6 53. h3 f6 54. Kf3 Nb5 55. g4+ hxg4+ 56. hxg4+ Ke6 57. Ke3 Nd6 58. Ndc5+ Ke7 59. Na4 Ne4 60. Nac5 Nd6 61. Na4 Ne4 62. Nac5 Nd6 1/2-1/2

Anish Giri against Vugar Gashimov. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.

Vugar Gashimov played a fine game in refuting Anish Giri's over-agressive play in the blindfold game. Their return rapid game was drawn after a few interesting adventures.

20th Amber Blindfold (3)

White: Gashimov, Vugar

Black: Giri, Anish

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 e6 3. Nf3 d6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nf6 6. g4 h6 7. h4 Nc6 8. Rg1 d5 9. exd5 Nxd5 10. Nxd5 Qxd5 11. Bg2 Qe5+ 12. Be3 Qh2

A very risky variation but one that Giri must have prepared.

13. f4 Nxd4 14. Qxd4 Qxh4+ 15. Bf2 Qd8 16. Qxd8+

16. O-O-O {1-0 Kireev,S (2281)-Pascual Perez,N (2204)/LSS email 2009/Corr 2011 (46)

16... Kxd8 17. O-O-O+ Kc7 18. Rd3

The first new move, the game had been seen in correspondence before. 18. Rd4 Be7 19. Rc4+ Kb8 20. Rd1 Re8 21. Bf3 Bd8 22. Bd4 f6 23. g5 hxg5 24. fxg5 e5 25. Bc5 Bc7 26. gxf6 gxf6 27. Rh4 a5 28. Be2 f5 29. Bb5 Rg8 30. Rg1 Rxg1+ 31. Bxg1 e4 32. a4 b6 33. Be3 Ra7 34. Rh8 Be5 35. Re8 Bd6 36. Rd8 Be5 37. Re8 Bd6 {1/2-1/2 Cohen,D (2122) -Verde,P (2193)/ICCF email 2008/Corr 2011

18... Bd6 19. Bg3 Rd8 20. Rgd1

Anish Giri

r_br____
ppk__pp_
___bp__p
________
_____PP_
___R__B_
PPP___B_
__KR____

Vugar Gashimov

Position after 20.Rdg1

20... f6?!

Black needs to meet the threatened exchange sacrifice somehow but this may be the 3rd best option.

20... f5

20... a5 21. f5 Ra6 22. Rc3+ Kb8 23. Rcd3

21. f5 e5 22. Be1 a5 23. Rd5

Now black's position goes down hill fast. It is hard to come up with a good defence.

23...e4

Losing but white proves this most elegantly.

23... h5 24. gxh5 Bxf5 25. Bxa5+ Rxa5 26. Rxa5

24. Kb1 e3 25. Bf1 Re8

25... b5 26. Be2 Bb7 27. Rxb5 would at least continue the game, now black loses by force.

26. Rxd6 e2 27. Bxe2 Rxe2 28. Bg3 Rg2 29. Bf4 Rxg4

Anish Giri

r_b_____
_pk___p_
___R_p_p
p____P__
_____Br_
________
PPP_____
_K_R____

Vugar Gashimov

Position 29...Rxg4

30.Rd7+

Now black's king is chased down.

30...Kc6

30... Kb6 31. Be3+

31. R1d6+ Kb5 32. a4+ Kxa4 33. Rb6 Rxf4 34. Ka2 1-0

and b3 mate is unstoppable.

Vugar Gashimov explains his blindfold win. Produced for the Association Max Euwe by Macauley Peterson.

Sergey Karjakin against Alexander Grischuk. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.

Sergey Karjakin looked in terrible trouble as black against Alexander Grischuk in their blindfold game but he is very resiliant and he did very well to find his way to the draw.

In the return game Grischuk lashed out with f5 when he felt his postion wasn't that good. Things went down very fast from this position.

Alexander Grischuk

_r__k__r
___bn___
p__Rp__p
_p_____P
______P_
____bN__
PPP_N___
_K___B_R

Sergey Karjakin

Position after 29.Rxd6

29. Rxd6 Bc6 30. Bg2 Rf8 31. Nh4 Bxg2 32. Nxg2 Bg5 33. Nd4 Rf2 34. Ne1 e5 35. Nd3 Rf6 36. Ne6 e4 37. Ndc5 e3 38. Ne4 Rf3 39. N6xg5 hxg5 40. Nxg5 Rf4 41. Re6 Rxg4 42. Nf3 Rg3 43. Rxe3 Kf8 44. Rf1 Nf5 45. Re5 Nd6 46. Re6 Nc4 47. Ne5+ Kg7 48. Nxc4 bxc4 49. Rxa6 c3 50. b3 Rf8 51. Rc1 Kh7 52. a4 Rf5 53. h6 Rgf3 54. Rc6 1-0

Boris Gelfand against Viswanathan Anand. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.

Boris Gelfand played a very risky tactic as black against Viswanthan Anand in their blindfold game. After complications Anand emerged two pawns and was surely winning up but then something very strange happened at the end of the game and Anand just lost these extra pawns. (He thought 59.h6 was winning which it wasn't by which time it was all too late)

Anand did gain some compensation for the lost half point by winning this position in the rapid which at first sight doesn't seem that dangerous for white. In fact had he not messed up the previous game he may have agreed a draw.

Viswanathan Anand

________
p____pk_
___p_q__
__pP_b__
____BP__
P_P_Q___
________
______K_

Boris Gelfand

Position after 43.Bf5

44. Bg2 c4 45. Kf2 Bd3 46. Qg3+ Kf8 47. Qg5 Qxc3 48. Qd8+ Kg7 49. Qxd6 Qd4+ 50. Kg3 c3 51. Qe7 c2 52. Qg5+ Bg6 53. f5 Qc3+ 0-1

Veselin Topalov against Vladimir Kramnik. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.

Vladimir Kramnik won on time in an extremely complicated position against Veselin Topalov in their blindfold game. It is well known that the two generally avoid the same events and aren't on speaking terms after their 2006 match and they certainly both seemed motivated to win. The players did not shake hands before the games according to the official site. Topalov sacrificed the exchange at one point but the final position still had a lot of play in it when Topalov's flag fell, maybe he lost track of the position and tried to play an illegal move.

Veselin Topalov

___r_bk_
__R____p
________
_p____p_
__bBn_P_
P____N__
__R____P
______K_

Vladimir Kramnik

Final position after 40.g4

Topalov did strike back in another very difficult struggle in the rapid. Topalov played the very rare 8.g3 in the Queen's Gambit and this set Kramnik some early problems. On move 34 Kramnik played d3 giving up a pawn, this was a very tricky but in the end it probably wasn't good. Topalov gradually co-ordinated his pieces and once he did he made the win look quite easy.

Vladimir Kramnik

____q_k_
pB___p__
_b_r_n_p
______p_
________
P__p__PP
_P_R_P__
__NQ__K_

Veselin Topalov

Position after 34...d3

35. Nxd3 Kg7 36. Bg2 Ne4 37. Bxe4 Qxe4 38. Ne1 Qf5 39. Qf3 Rf6 40. Qxf5 Rxf5 41. Kg2 h5 42. Nf3 Kg6 43. b4 Rb5 44. Rd6+ Kg7 45. Nd4 Re5 46. a4 Re4 47. Nf5+ Kh7 48. a5 Bc7 49. Rd7 Be5 50. b5 Rb4 51. Rb7 Rb2 52. a6 g4 53. hxg4 hxg4 54. Rxa7 Rxb5 55. Rb7 Ra5 56. a7 Ra2 57. Rd7 Bf6 58. Ne3 Kg6 59. Nd5 Bd4 60. Nf4+ 1-0

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. Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2747 * . . . . 1 1 . ½ . . . 3037
2. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2808 . * ½ . . . . 1 . . . 1 3032
3. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2815 . ½ * . 1 . . ½ . . . . 2 2901
4. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2817 . . . * . ½ ½ . . 1 . . 2 2889
5. Gashimov, Vugar g AZE 2746 . . 0 . * . . . . . 1 1 2 2886
6. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2733 0 . . ½ . * . . 1 . . . 2780
7. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2785 0 . . ½ . . * . . 1 . . 2779
8. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2774 . 0 ½ . . . . * . . 1 . 2800
9. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2776 ½ . . . . 0 . . * ½ . . 1 2626
10. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2775 . . . 0 . . 0 . ½ * . . ½ 2519
11. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2779 . . . . 0 . . 0 . . * ½ ½ 2463
12. Giri, Anish g NED 2690 . 0 . . 0 . . . . . ½ * ½ 2504
Round 3 (March 14, 2011)
Grischuk, Alexander - Karjakin, Sergey ½-½ 43 E21 Nimzo Indian 4.Nf3
Aronian, Levon - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 37 E15 Queens Indian
Anand, Viswanathan - Gelfand, Boris ½-½ 58 D43 Anti-Meran Gambit
Gashimov, Vugar - Giri, Anish 1-0 34 B81 Sicilian Keres Attack
Kramnik, Vladimir - Topalov, Veselin 1-0 40 A09 Reti Opening
Ivanchuk, Vassily - Nakamura, Hikaru 0-1 27 C65 Ruy Lopez Berlin
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 . . . 1 . 1 . . . 3049
2. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2817 . * . ½ . 1 . . . . . ½ 2 2889
3. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2808 ½ . * . . . . . ½ 1 . . 2 2884
4. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2775 . ½ . * ½ . . . . . . 1 2 2917
5. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2776 . . . ½ * 0 . 1 . . . . 2751
6. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2733 . 0 . . 1 * . ½ . . . . 2780
7. Gashimov, Vugar g AZE 2746 0 . . . . . * . . ½ 1 . 2761
8. Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2747 . . . . 0 ½ . * . . . 1 2764
9. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2774 0 . ½ . . . . . * . ½ . 1 2675
10. Giri, Anish g NED 2690 . . 0 . . . ½ . . * ½ . 1 2652
11. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2779 . . . . . . 0 . ½ ½ * . 1 2611
12. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2785 . ½ . 0 . . . 0 . . . * ½ 2506
Round 3 (March 14, 2011)
Carlsen, Magnus - Aronian, Levon ½-½ 44 D78 Gruenfeld 3.g3
Topalov, Veselin - Kramnik, Vladimir 1-0 60 D38 QGD Ragozin
Karjakin, Sergey - Grischuk, Alexander 1-0 54 B90 Sicilian Najdorf Variation
Gelfand, Boris - Anand, Viswanathan 0-1 53 E42 Nimzo Indian Rubinstein
Nakamura, Hikaru - Ivanchuk, Vassily ½-½ 62 C08 French Tarrasch
Giri, Anish - Gashimov, Vugar ½-½ 53 A04 Dutch System
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. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2815 * * ½ ½ . . . . 1 1 . . . . ½ 1 . . . . . . . . 2969
2. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2808 ½ ½ * * . . . . . . . . . . 1 ½ . . . . 1 1 . . 2952
3. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2817 . . . . * * . . . . ½ 1 . . . . 1 ½ ½ ½ . . . . 4 2889
4. Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2747 . . . . . . * * . . 1 ½ ½ 0 . . . . 1 1 . . . . 4 2889
5. Gashimov, Vugar g AZE 2746 0 0 . . . . . . * * . . . . . . . . . . 1 ½ 1 1 2818
6. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2733 . . . . ½ 0 0 ½ . . * * 1 1 . . . . . . . . . . 3 2780
7. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2776 . . . . . . ½ 1 . . 0 0 * * . . ½ ½ . . . . . . 2694
8. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2774 ½ 0 0 ½ . . . . . . . . . . * * . . . . . . 1 ½ 2743
9. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2775 . . . . 0 ½ . . . . . . ½ ½ . . * * 0 1 . . . . 2735
10. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2785 . . . . ½ ½ 0 0 . . . . . . . . 1 0 * * . . . . 2 2654
11. Giri, Anish g NED 2690 . . 0 0 . . . . 0 ½ . . . . . . . . . . * * ½ ½ 2584
12. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2779 . . . . . . . . 0 0 . . . . 0 ½ . . . . ½ ½ * * 2543

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