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Alekhine Memorial 2013 (2)

Adams leads Alekhine Memorial Round 2 after powerful win vs Svidler

Peter Svidler was defeated by Michael Adams in Round 2. Photo ©

Peter Svidler was defeated by Michael Adams in Round 2. Photo © |

Michael Adams leads the Alekhine Memorial alone on 2/2 after defeating Peter Svidler in the second round with a very strong display on the white side of a Ruy Lopez.

Adams played a line of the Closed Ruy Lopez Anand had played against him in Baden-Baden "I was already impressed" said Adams so he adopted it himself. 13.a4 seemed to be strong which put Svidler on the back foot. Svidler's 13...d5 was almost certainly "not his original intention" and things were getting awkward after 16...Re6 and 21.Ra1 seemed to be terribly strong as Svidler felt he had to walk into a pin. Adams wasn't sure what Svidler was going to do after 22.Ng4 and soon won a pawn for almost no compensation and wrapped tnings up efficiently. A very powerful display from Adams.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave obtained a nightmare bind against Ding Liren which meant the Chinese player was effectively a Rook and Bishop down. Ding played a risky new Caro-Kann variation with a new move 7...Nf6 but it was Vachier who had it all worked out with deep preparation. Ding had to find some way to avoid what happened to him in the next few moves because he was totally lost by move 18. Vachier made sure of the win after that.

Levon Aronian recovered from his surprise loss in Round 1 by defeating Vladimir Kramnik in a continuation of their Semi-Tarrasch debate from the London Candidates. This time the opening wasn't a surprise and Aronian played a main line, 15...Bxf3 was new but it didn't seem as well worked out as some of Kramnik's opening schemes. 20...exf5 seems to be a big mistake according to both players. 25...Qxa2 was Kramnik's last chance as after that the win was a matter of technique and according to Aronian not even inaccuracies could ruin his position.

Nikitia Vitiugov missed some chances to make Viswanathan Anand suffer after the Indian World Champion played rather oddly. 21...Nxa3 seemed quite a poor idea and 27.e4 was the last chance to exploit this, instead Vitiugov took off queens and a draw followed.

Laurent Fressinet made absolutely no progress against Boris Gelfand and the game was agreed drawn in 26 moves.

Round 2 Standings: Adams 2pts, Vachier-Lagrave 1.5pts, Fressinet, Ding, Aronian, Gelfand, Kramnik 1pt, Svidler, Anand, Vitiugov 0.5pts.

Round 3 Tues 23rd Apr 1pm BST: Ding-Fressinet, Kramnik-Vachier, Anand-Aronian, Svidler-Vitiugov, Gelfand-Adams.

Adams,Michael - Svidler,Peter [C84]
Alekhine Mem Paris/St Petersburg FRA/RUS (2), 22.04.2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5

"Peter is normally playing Sicilian with me." - Adams.

3...a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.d3 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.a3 0-0 9.Nc3

"First big game was when Vishy played this against me in Baden. I was already very impressed." - Adams.

9...Bb7 10.Re1

[10.Bd2 Qd7 11.a4 Nd8 12.axb5 axb5 13.Rxa8 Bxa8 14.Ne2 Ne6 15.Ng3 c5 16.Nf5 Bd8 17.c4 bxc4 18.Bxc4 Bc7 19.Re1 Re8 20.Qc1 Nh5 21.g3 g6 22.Nh6+ Kg7 23.Ng5 Nxg5 24.Bxg5 d5 25.exd5 Bxd5 26.Ng4 Bf3 27.Bf6+ Kg8 28.Nh6+ Kf8 29.Qe3 Bb7 30.Bh4 Qh3 31.f3 Nf4 32.gxf4 Qxh4 33.Nxf7 Bxf3 34.Qf2 Qg4+ 35.Qg3 exf4 36.Rxe8+ Kxe8 37.Qxg4 Bxg4 38.Ng5 h6 39.Nf7 h5 40.Nh6 Bd1 41.Kf2 f3 42.h3 Bf4 43.Nf7 g5 44.Ke1 g4 45.hxg4 hxg4 46.Kxd1 g3 47.Ke1 g2 48.Kf2 Bh2 0-1 Carlsen,M (2872)-Svidler,P (2747)/London ENG 2013/The Week in Chess 960]

10...Qd7 11.Ne2


[11.h3 Transposes to another anti-Marshall line. ]


[11...Nd8 12.Ng3 Ne6 13.c3 c5 14.d4 exd4 15.cxd4 c4 16.Bc2 d5 17.e5 Ne4 18.Nxe4 dxe4 19.Bxe4 Bxe4 20.Rxe4 Qd5 21.Qc2 Rfd8 22.h4 f5 23.exf6 Bxf6 24.Be3 Qf5 25.Re1 Rf8 26.Re2 Rad8 27.Ne5 Bxe5 28.Rxe5 Qxc2 29.Rxc2 Nxd4 30.Rd2 Nc6 31.Rc5 Rxd2 32.Bxd2 Nd4 33.Be3 Nf5 34.a4 1/2-1/2 Shirov,A (2740)-Tomashevsky,E (2658)/Dagomys 2008/CBM 124; 11...Nd8 was what Adams expected, it might be a better way to play. 12.Ng3 Ne6]

12.Ng3 Bd8 13.a4!

Peter Svidler


Michael Adams

Position after 13.a4!

The queenside looks a bit vulnerable.


I'm sure d5 was not his original intention.

[13...Ne7 14.axb5 axb5 15.Bg5 Ng6 16.Ra7 Already it's a bit problematical for black. 16...Qc8 17.Qd2 c5 (17...h6 18.Bxh6 gxh6 19.Qxh6 might be possible.) 18.Nf5]

14.axb5 axb5 15.c3

Covering the d4 square. It's not so clear what black does here.

[15.exd5 Nxd5 (15...Nd4 was possible.) 16.Ne4]


[15...dxe4 16.Nxe4 Be7 17.Bg5 accepting black is worse and black is going to end up in some kind of unpleasant ending.]

16.Be3 Re6

Peter Svidler


Michael Adams

Position after 16....Re6

Looks logical but the pin on the d-pawn is very unpleasant.

[16...Be7 17.Qc1 It's not so easy to meet with Nf5 and Bxh6 might be a very strong threat.]

17.h3 Be7

The rook on e6 is very awkward.

[17...Rfe8 18.Nh2 Ne7 19.Ra7 c6 20.Ng4 certainly white is better it looks very unpleasant for black.]

18.Nh2 Ra8

Tactical sequence. We both thought it was good for white after the game.

19.Rxa8+ Bxa8 20.Qf3 Na5 21.Ra1! Ra6 22.Ng4

Peter Svidler


Michael Adams

Position after 22.Ng4

It's very hard to see a move for him now.


[22...Nxg4 23.hxg4 is probably just good. 23...Rf6]

23.Bxd5 Nxd5 24.exd5 Bxd5 25.Nxe5

Black is giving up a pawn but still this pin down the a-line is very annoying.

25...Qe6 26.Qf5 Bd6 27.Qxe6 fxe6

[27...Bxe6 maybe a better try but black's position is very bad.]

28.Nf3 b4

[28...Bxf3 29.gxf3]


Peter Svidler


Michael Adams

Position after 29.Ne4

Probably I wrapped up pretty well.

29...bxc3 30.bxc3 Bb7 31.Nd4 Bf8 32.c4 c5 33.Nb5 Nb3 34.Rxa6 Bxa6

It's hard to see any technical difficulties.

35.Nbd6 Bxd6 36.Nxd6 Kf8 37.f3 1-0

Aronian,Levon - Kramnik,Vladimir [D41]
Alekhine Mem Paris/St Petersburg FRA/RUS (2), 22.04.2013

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 0-0 11.Rc1 b6 12.Bd3 Bb7 13.0-0 Nd7 14.Qe3

There are many ways for black to play.


[14...Nf6 15.Ne5 it's not much for white. It's not easy to win such position but white is the one who is pressing.]

15.e5 Bxf3N

Vladimir Kramnik


Levon Aronian

Position after 15...Bxf3

This was an opening Kramnik used in the Candidates against Aronian but today things went very wrong for him. Interesting idea trying to win a tempo for Nf8.

[15...h6 16.Nd2 Bd5 17.Ne4 Bxa2 18.Ra1 Bc4 19.Bxc4 Rxc4 20.Rxa7 Rc7 21.Ra3 f5 22.exf6 1/2-1/2 Collas,S (2287)-Cosma,E (2335)/Porto Carras GRE 2011/The Week in Chess 887]

16.Qxf3 Qh4 17.Qe3 Rfd8 18.f4 Nf8

[18...Rxc1 Kramnik. 19.Rxc1 Nf8]

19.Rxc8 Rxc8 20.f5 exf5?

Vladimir Kramnik


Levon Aronian

Position after 20...exf5

A mistake our mutual conclusion. Aronian.

[20...Rd8 21.Rf4 Qe7 22.g4 Rc8]


Black's prospects are very grim because I'm just pushing my pawn.

21...Rd8 22.Rd1 Ng6 23.Bxg6 hxg6 24.d5 Qc4 25.d6 Qe6

[25...Qxa2 was the move Aronian expected. 26.Qg5 f6 27.exf6 which was a position Aronian expected to win but thought there might be some complications. 27...Qf7 Houdini 28.fxg7 Rd7]


Vladimir Kramnik


Levon Aronian

Position after 26.Qg3

The black position should be lost here. I'll slowly bring my queen to d5. Maybe there were some inaccuracies but the position is too winning for me to spoil it. - Aronian.

26...b5 27.h3 a6 28.Qe3 Rd7 29.Qc5 Kh7 30.Qd5 Qe8 31.Rc1 Qd8 32.Rc6 Qg5 33.Qd4 Rd8 34.Rc5 Qg3 35.Qf2 Qxf2+ 36.Kxf2 f6 37.Rc6 fxe5 38.Ke3 Kg8 39.Ke4 Kf7 40.Kd5 a5 41.Rc5 b4 42.Rxa5 Kf6 43.Ra7 Rb8 44.Kc6 b3 45.axb3 Rxb3 46.Ra8 Rc3+ 47.Kd7 e4 48.Rf8+ Kg5 49.Ke7 e3 50.d7 e2 51.d8Q e1Q+ 52.Kd6+ Qe7+ 1-0

Vachier-Lagrave,Maxime - Ding Liren [B12]
Alekhine Mem Paris/St Petersburg FRA/RUS (2), 22.04.2013

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.h4 h6 5.g4 Be4 6.f3 Bh7 7.e6 Nf6N

[7...Qd6 8.exf7+ Kxf7 9.Bd3 e5 10.Bxh7 Rxh7 11.dxe5 Qxe5+ 12.Ne2 Nd7 13.Bf4 Qxb2 14.Nbc3 Bb4 15.Rb1 Bxc3+ 16.Kf1 Qxa2 17.Rxb7 Ngf6 18.Qd3 d4 19.Rxd7+ Nxd7 20.Qxh7 Qd5 21.Kf2 Nf6 22.Qd3 Nxg4+ 23.fxg4 Qxh1 24.Qf5+ Kg8 25.Nxc3 dxc3 26.Qe6+ Kh8 27.Qe7 Qd1 28.g5 Qxc2+ 29.Kg3 hxg5 30.hxg5 Qg6 0-1 Lutz,C-Brunner,L/Nurenberg GER 1994]


Ding Liren


Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

Position after 8.Bf4

Computer preparation from Vachier even though this position is new.



9.Nc3 Qxb2 10.Kd2 Qb6

[10...Qa3 11.Qb1 b6 12.Qb3 Qxb3 13.axb3 fxe6 14.Bxb8 Rxb8 15.Rxa7 probably winning for white. Vachier remembered this variation from his computer preparation.]

11.Nge2 a6 12.Rb1 Qa7 13.Na4 b5

Ding Liren


Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

Position after 13...b5

"I was very surprised." - Vachier.

[13...Nbd7 14.exd7+ Nxd7 giving up a piece was "the best practical chance" but "probably white is still better". - Vachier.]

14.Nc5 Bg8

"Best practical chance" - Vachier.


[15.Bh3 g5]

15...fxe6 16.Nf4 Nbd7 17.Nxd7 Nxd7 18.Ng6

"This is the worst nightmare you can have." - Timman.

18...Nxe5 19.dxe5 Rh7

[19...Bh7 20.Nxh8 Qd4+ 21.Bd3 Qf4+ 22.Ke2 Qxe5+ is not good enough.]


Ding Liren


Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

Position after 20.h5

"Effectively black is a rook and a bishop down. It's a matter of technique. All I have to do is manage a way to penetrate on the queenside." - Vachier.

20...c5 21.f4 Bf7 22.Qf3 0-0-0 23.Be2!

Very clean.

[23.Bxb5 axb5 24.Rxb5 may well be winning but it's completely unnecessary.]

23...c4 24.a4

"It's basically over. I will find my way one way or another. Too many potential weaknesses." - Vachier.

24...Kc7 25.axb5 axb5 26.Rxb5 Qd4+ 27.Ke1

"Best practical chance. I just thought I cannot let this win slip." - Vachier.

27...Ra8 28.Rb1 Ra2 29.c3 Qd2+ 30.Kf2 Rc2 31.Qe3 Qxe3+ 32.Kxe3

Ding Liren


Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

Position after 32.Kxe3

"End of counter-play." Vachier.

32...Rxc3+ 33.Kd4 Rc2 34.Rhe1 Kc6 35.Rb8 Bxg6 36.hxg6 Rh8 37.Reb1 Rd2+ 38.Ke3 Ra2 39.R8b6+ 1-0

Vitiugov,Nikita - Anand,Viswanathan [E21]
Alekhine Mem Paris/St Petersburg FRA/RUS (2), 22.04.2013

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3 b6 5.e3 Ne4 6.Qc2 Bb7 7.Bd3 f5 8.0-0 Bxc3 9.bxc3 0-0 10.c5 bxc5 11.Rb1 Qc8 12.Ba3 Re8

[12...d6 13.Rfc1 Nd7 14.Qb3 Nb6 15.dxc5 dxc5 16.Rb2 Bc6 17.Re2 Rb8 18.Bxe4 fxe4 19.Ng5 Bd5 20.Qd1 Rf5 21.h4 h6 22.Nh3 Bc4 23.Rd2 Qa6 24.g4 Rd5 25.Rxd5 exd5 26.Bxc5 Nd7 27.Qd4 Qe6 28.Kh2 Ne5 29.Ng1 Rb2 0-1 Dinev,D (2279)-Nestorovic,D (2399)/Bar SCG 2006/The Week in Chess 594]

13.dxc5 Na6 14.Bxa6 Bxa6 15.Rfd1 Bb7 16.Ne5 d6 17.Nd3 Ba6

Looks a bit strange.

[17...Bc6 looks like the right square.]

18.c4 e5 19.cxd6 Nxd6

[19...cxd6 20.f3 Nf6 21.Bxd6 Qxc4 22.Qxc4+ Bxc4 23.Nxe5 Bxa2 and black should hold according to Timman.]

20.c5 Nc4 21.Qa4 Nxa3?!

Viswanathan Anand


Nikita Vitiugov

Position after 21...Nxa3

This really should get Anand into trouble.


22.Qxa3 Bxd3 23.Qxd3 Qe6 24.Rb7


24...Re7 25.a4 a6 26.h3



Viswanathan Anand


Nikita Vitiugov

Position after 26...h6


[27.e4 This move has been available for some time and now white threatens to get quite a big advantage.]

27...Qxd5 28.Rxd5

White's advantage has all but disappeared.

28...Kf7! 29.f4 exf4 30.exf4 Kf6 31.c6 Rc8 32.Rd7 Re4 33.Rbxc7 Rxc7 34.Rxc7 Rxa4 35.Ra7 Rxf4 36.Rxa6 Rc4 37.c7+ Kg5 38.Ra7 Rc2 39.c8Q Rxc8 40.Rxg7+ Kf6

The endgame is totally drawn.


Fressinet,Laurent - Gelfand,Boris [D78]
Alekhine Mem Paris/St Petersburg FRA/RUS (2), 22.04.2013

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.0-0 0-0 6.c4 c6 7.Qa4 Nfd7 8.Qc2 dxc4

[8...Nb6 9.c5 N6d7 10.Bf4 Re8 11.Nbd2 e5 12.dxe5 Nxe5 13.Nxe5 Bxe5 14.Bxe5 Rxe5 15.e4 dxe4 16.Qc3 Qe7 17.Nxe4 Bh3 18.Nf6+ Qxf6 19.Bxh3 Kg7 20.Rfd1 Re8 21.Qxf6+ Kxf6 22.Rd6+ Kg7 23.Bf1 a5 24.Rad1 a4 25.R1d4 Ra5 26.Rb4 Re7 27.Rd8 Na6 1/2-1/2 Sargissian,G (2676)-Volokitin,A (2674)/Zehlendorf GER 2008/The Week in Chess 692]

9.Qxc4 Nb6 10.Qc2 Na6 11.Nc3 Bg4 12.Rd1 Nb4 13.Qb1 Qc8 14.Bg5 N4d5 15.Qc1 Re8 16.Bh6 Nxc3 17.bxc3 Bxh6 18.Qxh6 Bxf3 19.Bxf3 e5 20.dxe5 Rxe5 21.Rd4 Qf8 22.Qf4 Rae8 23.Rad1 Qa3 24.Qh6 Qf8 25.Qf4 Qa3 26.Qh6 Qf8

Boris Gelfand


Laurent Fressinet

Position after 26...Qf8

Draw by repetition. Gelfand equalised very precisely.


Alekhine Memorial Paris/St Petersburg FRA/RUS (FRA/RUS), 21 iv-1 v 2013 cat. XX (2745)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
1. Adams, Michael g ENG 2727 * . . . . . . 1 1 . 2
2. Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime g FRA 2722 . * ½ 1 . . . . . . 2899
3. Fressinet, Laurent g FRA 2706 . ½ * . . ½ . . . . 1 2730
4. Ding, Liren g CHN 2707 . 0 . * 1 . . . . . 1 2765
5. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2809 . . . 0 * . 1 . . . 1 2754
6. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2739 . . ½ . . * . ½ . . 1 2726
7. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2801 . . . . 0 . * . . 1 1 2760
8. Svidler, Peter g RUS 2747 0 . . . . ½ . * . . ½ 2540
9. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2783 0 . . . . . . . * ½ ½ 2526
10. Vitiugov, Nikita g RUS 2712 . . . . . . 0 . ½ * ½ 2599
Round 2 (April 22, 2013)
Adams, Michael - Svidler, Peter 1-0 37 C84 Ruy Lopez Centre Attack
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime - Ding, Liren 1-0 39 B12 Caro Kann Advanced
Fressinet, Laurent - Gelfand, Boris ½-½ 26 D78 Gruenfeld 3.g3
Aronian, Levon - Kramnik, Vladimir 1-0 52 D41 Semi-Tarrasch Defence
Vitiugov, Nikita - Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ 40 E21 Nimzo Indian 4.Nf3

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