Chess24 Jan Gustafsson on Alpha Zero

20th Amber Tournament 2011 (4)

Carlsen and Aronian continue to lead after four rounds of Amber Chess

Carlsen and Giri chat. Photo © Association Max Euwe.

Carlsen and Giri chat. Photo © Association Max Euwe. | http://www.amberchess20.com

Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian both won their mini-matches 1.5-0.5 to retain the joint lead in the overall standings going into the first rest day. Carlsen defeated Anish Giri with black in their rapid game and drew tamely with white. Aronian had a slightly harder time of it against the out of form Vassily Ivanchuk with a lost position in the blindfold game but he came good in the rapid. World Champion Viswanathan Anand moved into contention with a 1.5-0.5 win against Alexander Grischuk. Hikaru Nakamura did well to beat Vugar Gashimov. The game of the day was probably Sergey Karjakin's defeat of Vladimir Kramnik in the blindfold. He also was three pawns down in the rapid yet somehow managed to draw in a very disappointing day for Kramnik. The first rest day is on Wednesday.

Sergey Karjakin played the game of the day. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.

Sergey Karjakin was impressive in defeating Vladimir Kramnik on the white side of a Berlin Defence. Kramnik's played an unusual 11...c5 and Karjakin found the new 12.Nd5 and the fine zwischenzug 14.Bb2. He gradually improved his position to score a fine blindfold win.

Sergey Karjakin explains his blindfold win. Produced for the Association Max Euwe by Macauley Peterson.

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. Nc3 Bd7 10. h3 h6 11. b3 c5 12. Nd5 c6 13. Nf4 g5 14. Bb2

Vladimir Kramnik

r__k_b_r
pp_b_p__
__p____p
__p_Pnp_
_____N__
_P___N_P
PBP__PP_
R____RK_

Sergey Karjakin

Position after 14.Bb2

The best reply is 14...gxf4 according to Karjakin.

14... Rg8 15. e6 Bxe6 16. Rad1+ Kc7 17. Nxe6+ fxe6 18. g4 Bg7 19. Bxg7 Nxg7 20. Ne5 Rad8 21. Rxd8 Rxd8 22. f4 gxf4 23. Rxf4 Rd1+ 24. Kg2 Ne8 25. Rf7+ Kb6 26. Re7 Nf6 27. Rxe6 Nd5 28. Rxh6 Ne3+ 29. Kg3 Nxc2 30. h4 Nd4 31. h5

Vladimir Kramnik

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pp______
_kp____R
__p_N__P
___n__P_
_P____K_
P_______
___r____

Sergey Karjakin

Position after 31.h5

31...Ka5 32. Rh7 b5 33. h6 Rh1 34. Kg2 Rh4 35. Kg3 Rh1 36. g5 Kb4 37. Nd3+ Kc3 38. Nxc5 a5 39. Rf7 Kb4 40. Nd3+ Kc3 41. Nf2 Rh5 42. Nh3 Ne6 43. Rf3+ Kb2 44. Kg4 1-0

Sergey Karjakin

________
______kp
________
_r___P__
RbN_____
p__P__PK
____P__P
________

Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 47...Rb5

Kramnik should have levelled things with a win in the rapid but he almost got down to the 10 seconds per move increment and he just couldn't find the clear win he wanted and eventually lost all his advantage. Here 48. Nxa3 was the simple win he was looking for. 48.e4 obviously doesn't spoil anything.

48. e4 Bf8 49. e5 Rd5 50. Ra7+ Kh6 51. f6 Kg6 52. Ra8 Bb4 53. Rg8+ Kf7 54. Rg7+ Ke6 55. Ra7 Rxd3 56. Ra6+ Kf7 57. Ra4 Bc5 58. Kg4 Kg6 59. Nxa3 1/2-1/2

An astonishing escape.

Vassily Ivanchuk against Levon Aronian. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.

Levon Aronian felt he was better out of the opening against Vassily Ivanchuk in the rapid game. Later he made a very dangerous looking Queen sacrifice in Ivanchuk's time trouble but it was diffused and eventually Ivanchuk had Queen vs Rook and pawn a tricky ending which he didn't manage to win. The second game Aronian played reasonably well to defeat an out of sorts Ivanchuk in 51 moves.

Boris Gelfand. Photo © Fred Lucas. http://www.fredlucas.eu.

Veselin Topalov played very riskily as black and in this position after 27.Rc7 followed by taking queen's off he was probably in trouble. Instead Boris Gelfand took them off straight away and the game finished in a draw.

Veselin Topalov

____r_k_
_p__ppb_
_n_p__qp
___P____
_r___B__
_P_Q_BP_
_____P_P
__RR__K_

Boris Gelfand

Position after 26...cxd6

27. Qxg6 fxg6 28. Bg4 g5 29. Be6+ Kf8 30. Be3 Rxb3 31. h4 Bf6 32. hxg5 hxg5 33. Kg2 Rb4 34. Rh1 Kg7 35. Rh5 Rh8 36. Rxh8 Kxh8 37. Rh1+ Kg7 38. Rh5 Nc4 39. Bxg5 Kg6 40. f4 Kxh5 41. Bf7+ Kg4 42. Be6+ Kh5 1/2-1/2

Topalov won the rapid game against Gelfand. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.

Topalov celebrated his 36th birthday with a win straight out of the opening with the novelty 15.Nb1 which proved far too difficult to work out for Gelfand over the board.

Boris Gelfand

r__qk__r
_b_n_pb_
p_pBp__p
______p_
PppPP___
________
_P__BPPP
RN_Q_RK_

Veselin Topalov

Position after 15.Nb1

15. Nb1

Topalov's improvement on Anand's game against Gelfand, it sets too many problems for Gelfand to work out at this time control.

15. Bxb4 Qb6 16. Ba3 Qxd4 17. Qc2 c5 18. Rad1 Qe5 19. Bxc4 Qc7 20. Nb1 O-O 21. Nd2 Ne5 22. Be2 Rfc8 23. Kh1 c4 24. Rc1 Qc6 25. f3 Nd3 26. Rb1 Nxb2 27. Bxb2 c3 28. Bxc3 Qxc3 29. Qxc3 Bxc3 30. Nc4 Rc7 31. Rfc1 Bd4 32. Na5 Rxc1+ 33. Rxc1 Ra7 34. Rc7 Ba8 35. Rxa7 Bxa7 36. Bxa6 f5 37. exf5 exf5 38. Bb7 Bb6 39. Nc4 Bxb7 40. Nxb6 Kf7 41. Kg1 Ke6 42. Kf2 f4 43. Nc4 Kd5 44. Nd2 Kc5 45. Ne4+ Kb4 46. Nd6 Bd5 47. Nf5 Kxa4 48. Nxh6 Kb4 49. Ng4 Be6 50. Nf6 Kc4 51. h3 Kd4 52. Nh7 Ke5 53. Nxg5 Bc4 54. h4 Kf5 55. Nh3 Bf7 56. Ke2 Bc4+ 57. Kd2 Bf1 58. h5 Bxg2 { 1/2-1/2 Anand,V (2817)-Gelfand,B (2733)/Monaco MNC 2011/The Week in Chess 853})

15... Nf6 16. e5 Ne4 17. Bxb4 c5 18. Ba3 cxd4 19. Bf3 Bf8 20. Re1 Bxa3 21. Nxa3 Nc5 22. Nxc4 O-O 23. b4 Bxf3 24. Qxf3 Nd7 25. h4 Rc8 26. Qd3 Qc7 27. Rac1 Nb6 28. Nd6 Qxc1 29. Rxc1 Rxc1+ 30. Kh2 Rc3 31. Qxd4 Nd5 32. hxg5 hxg5 33. Qg4 1-0

Viswanathan Anand. Photo © Fred Lucas. http://www.fredlucas.eu.

Anand drew on the black side of a Berlin against Grischuk in only 20 moves in the blindfold. The rapid game saw the World Champion win after a fluctuating struggle.

Alexander Grischuk

r__r_bk_
_____p_p
q___bnp_
____RN__
___BP_P_
Pp___N_P
_P_Q____
_KR_____

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 33.h3

Here Grischuk has established an advantage with black and he should play 33...Nd7 or 33...Rac8 instead he goes wrong and Anand wins quickly.

33... Bc4 34. Ne7+ Bxe7 35. Rxe7 Bd3+ 36. Ka1 Bc2 37. Qf4 Rdc8 38. Rc7 Rxc7 39. Qxc7 Nxe4 40. Re1 Re8 41. Ng5 Rf8 42. Nxe4 1-0

Magnus Carlsen talks to Anish Giri. Photo © Association Max Euwe. http://www.amberchess20.com.

Magnus Carlsen played for a small positional edge against Anish Giri and even though Giri said he felt a little bit worse he didn't appear to have too many problems holding the game. Carlsen was 7 minutes down on the clock for the first game as he forgot the correct start time which might explain things. He won the rapid game when Giri blundered a pawn for no compensation, there were some saving chances but they didn't materialise.

Magnus Carlsen

r____rk_
p_____pp
_p______
__n_ppN_
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___qP_P_
P__Q_PKP
R_R_____

Anish Giri

Position after 22...Qd3

23. Qxd3 Nxd3 24. Rc7 h6 25. Nf3 Rf7 26. Rc3 Rd7 27. a4 Rad8 28. Rb1 Rd5 29. Rc7 R8d7 30. Rxd7 Rxd7 31. Rb5 Rd6 32. a5 e4 33. Nd4 g6 34. Rb1 Kf7 35. h3 Ke7 36. Nb5 Rd5 37. axb6 axb6 38. Nd4 Rd6 39. Nb5 Rf6 40. f3 exf3+ 41. Kxf3 Ne5+ 42. Ke2 Nd7 43. Nd4 Rd6 44. g4 fxg4 45. hxg4 Ne5 46. Nb5 Rf6 47. Rb4 Rf2+ 48. Kxf2 Nd3+ 49. Kf3 Nxb4 50. Kf4 Kf6 51. Nc3 Nd3+ 52. Ke4 Nc5+ 53. Kf4 g5+ 54. Kf3 Ke5 55. Nb5 Ne4 56. Na7 Nd2+ 57. Ke2 Nc4 58. Nc6+ Ke4 59. Ne7 Nxe3 60. Nc8 Nxg4 61. Nxb6 Ne5 62. Kf2 h5 63. Kg3 h4+ 64. Kh3 Kf3 65. Nc8 Nd3 66. Nd6 Nf4+ 67. Kh2 g4 68. Nf5 g3+ 69. Kh1 g2+ 70. Kh2 Kf2 0-1

Hikaru Nakamura. Photo © Fred Lucas. http://www.fredlucas.eu.

The blindfold game between Hikaru Nakamura against Vugar Gashimov was drawn after some very interesting play. The second game was an extremely sharp McCutcheon French Defence where Nakamura seemed to confuse his opponent and brought home the full point.

Gashimov briefly talked about the blindfold game on ICC.

Nakamura - Gashimov Blindfold Rd4

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 dxc4 5. a4 e6 6. e3 c5 7. Bxc4 cxd4 8. exd4 Nc6 9. O-O Be7 10. Qe2 O-O 11. Rd1 Nb4 12. Ne5 Bd7 13. Be3

This move isn't supposed to be all that threatening but it does present new problems for black.

13... Bc6 14. a5 a6 15. Nxc6 bxc6 16. Rdc1 Qc7

16... Nfd5 would have been Gashimov's choice after the game, he now has to be careful not to allow the d5 break in some lines.

17. Na4 Nfd5 18. Bd2 Rfb8 19. Nc5 Bxc5 20. dxc5 Nf4 21. Qe4 Nbd5 22. b3 Ng6 23. Qe2 Qb7 24. Ra4

Gashimov said that he didn't think this was a good move from Nakamura. A plan of g3 and h4 was more like it.

24...Rd8 25. g3 Nge7 26. Rb1 Nf5 27. Bd3 Qd7 28. Bc2 Nc7 29. Rd1 Nb5 30. Qe4 h5

In retrospect Gashimov said he would rather have not made this weakness.

31. Bg5 Qxd1+

Gashimov said that he thought he was better after this queen sacrifice, certainly with no risks of losing.

Vugar Gashimov

r__r__k_
_____pp_
p_p_p___
PnP__nBp
R___Q___
_P____P_
__B__P_P
___q__K_

Hikaru Nakamura

Position after 31...Qxd1+

32. Bxd1 Rxd1+ 33. Kg2 Rd5 34. Rc4 Ra7 35. Qf3 f6 36. Be3 Rad7 37. Re4 Re7 38. Bf4 Nfd4 39. Qd3 Nf5 40. Qf3 Nfd4 41. Qd3 Nf5 42. Qc2

Gashimov thought Nakamura should not be avoiding the repetition here.

42...e5 43. Be3 Red7 44. Qe2 g6 45. Qc4 Kg7 46. f4 Nxe3+ 47. Rxe3 Rd2+ 48. Re2 e4 49. Kf2 f5 50. Rxd2 Rxd2+ 51. Ke1 Rd5 52. h3

This plan is necessary.

52...Kf6 53. g4 h4 54. b4 Rd8 55. gxf5 gxf5 56. Qe2 Nc3 57. Qh5 Rd1+ 58. Kf2 Rd2+ 59. Ke1 Rd1+ 60. Kf2 Rd2+ 61. Ke1 Rd1+ 1/2-1/2

Neither side can make progress.

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 * . . ½ . 1 ½ . 1 . . . 3 2970
2. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2808 . * ½ . . . . 1 . . ½ 1 3 2957
3. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2815 . ½ * . 1 . . ½ . . . ½ 2849
4. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2817 ½ . . * . ½ . . ½ 1 . . 2855
5. Gashimov, Vugar g AZE 2746 . . 0 . * . . ½ . . 1 1 2859
6. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2733 0 . . ½ . * 1 . . ½ . . 2 2778
7. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2776 ½ . . . . 0 * . 1 ½ . . 2 2760
8. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2774 . 0 ½ . ½ . . * . . 1 . 2 2787
9. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2785 0 . . ½ . . 0 . * 1 . . 2691
10. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2775 . . . 0 . ½ ½ . 0 * . . 1 2584
11. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2779 . ½ . . 0 . . 0 . . * ½ 1 2561
12. Giri, Anish g NED 2690 . 0 ½ . 0 . . . . . ½ * 1 2594
Round 4 (March 15, 2011)
Grischuk, Alexander - Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ 20 C67 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Aronian, Levon - Ivanchuk, Vassily ½-½ 101 E00 Catalan
Carlsen, Magnus - Giri, Anish ½-½ 41 E60 King's Indian without Nc3
Gelfand, Boris - Topalov, Veselin ½-½ 42 E60 King's Indian without Nc3
Karjakin, Sergey - Kramnik, Vladimir 1-0 44 C67 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Nakamura, Hikaru - Gashimov, Vugar ½-½ 61 D16 Slav Lasker/Smyslov
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 . . 1 3090
2. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2817 . * ½ . . . 1 1 . ½ . . 3 2953
3. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2775 . ½ * . ½ . 1 . . 1 . . 3 2970
4. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2808 ½ . . * . ½ . . . . 1 1 3 2957
5. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2776 . . ½ . * . 0 1 . ½ . . 2 2760
6. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2774 0 . . ½ . * . . 1 . ½ . 2 2787
7. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2733 . 0 0 . 1 . * ½ . . . . 2691
8. Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2747 . 0 . . 0 . ½ * . 1 . . 2690
9. Gashimov, Vugar g AZE 2746 0 . . . . 0 . . * . 1 ½ 2677
10. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2785 . ½ 0 . ½ . . 0 . * . . 1 2585
11. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2779 . . . 0 . ½ . . 0 . * ½ 1 2561
12. Giri, Anish g NED 2690 0 . . 0 . . . . ½ . ½ * 1 2594
Round 4 (March 15, 2011)
Anand, Viswanathan - Grischuk, Alexander 1-0 42 B90 Sicilian Najdorf Variation
Topalov, Veselin - Gelfand, Boris 1-0 33 D43 Anti-Meran Gambit
Gashimov, Vugar - Nakamura, Hikaru 0-1 76 C12 French MacCutcheon
Kramnik, Vladimir - Karjakin, Sergey ½-½ 59 A29 English Four Knights
Ivanchuk, Vassily - Aronian, Levon 0-1 51 A36 English Botvinnik
Giri, Anish - Carlsen, Magnus 0-1 70 A40 Unusual Replies to 1.d4
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 . . . . ½ 1 . . . . 1 1 . . . . . . ½ 1 6 2947
2. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2808 ½ ½ * * . . . . 1 ½ . . . . . . . . . . ½ 1 1 1 6 2957
3. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2817 . . . . * * ½ 1 . . 1 ½ . . . . ½ 1 ½ ½ . . . . 2901
4. Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2747 . . . . ½ 0 * * . . . . ½ 0 . . 1 ½ 1 1 . . . . 2820
5. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2774 ½ 0 0 ½ . . . . * * . . . . ½ 1 . . . . 1 ½ . . 4 2787
6. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2775 . . . . 0 ½ . . . . * * ½ ½ . . ½ 1 0 1 . . . . 4 2777
7. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2776 . . . . . . ½ 1 . . ½ ½ * * . . 0 0 1 ½ . . . . 4 2760
8. Gashimov, Vugar g AZE 2746 0 0 . . . . . . ½ 0 . . . . * * . . . . 1 1 1 ½ 4 2764
9. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2733 . . . . ½ 0 0 ½ . . ½ 0 1 1 . . * * . . . . . . 2735
10. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2785 . . . . ½ ½ 0 0 . . 1 0 0 ½ . . . . * * . . . . 2637
11. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2779 . . ½ 0 . . . . 0 ½ . . . . 0 0 . . . . * * ½ ½ 2 2561
12. Giri, Anish g NED 2690 ½ 0 0 0 . . . . . . . . . . 0 ½ . . . . ½ ½ * * 2 2594

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