Chess24 Sopiko Scotch

Alekhine Memorial 2013 (7)

Gelfand joins Vachier-Lagrave in Alekhine Memorial lead after 7 rounds

Liren Ding working hard against Boris Gelfand. Photo ©

Liren Ding working hard against Boris Gelfand. Photo © |

The Alekhine Memorial 7th round in St Petersburg didn't bring us any closer to knowing the winner of the event as half the field is with half a point of the lead.

Boris Gelfand was made to work extremely hard by Liren Ding for his win in a King's Indian. Whilst Gelfand was better throughout he was presented with new problems every few moves by the Chinese tactician. Gelfand eventually converted his advantage in this the last game to finish and joined Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the lead.

Leader Vachier-Lagrave was outplayed in a Sicilian Scheveningen by Michael Adams but he would have had to take a lot of risks to try for a winning advantage and the game ended in a draw.

Viswanathan Anand seemed a reluctant demonstrator of his game mostly because he thought "it was very interesting but marred by a lot of mistakes." Indeed Anand seemed under pressure at first as Fressinet came out with the rare 8...d5. Anand eventually got an advantage but only after 17.c3 when both looked at 17...Nxa2! but didn't see 18.Kxa2 d3!! Anand then lost all of his advantage with 25.Bxd5? rather than 25.exd5! The players entered a tricky Queen and Rook ending where Fressinet should have concentrated on gaining perpetual check rather than stopping white's pawns and should have secured the draw in a number of ways before going on to lose.

Peter Svidler played the Saemisch Nimzo-Indian against Vladimir Kramnik but ended up with the worse position. Kramnik had a more difficult task getting winning opportunities and Svidler managed to do a bit better than equalise on the way to a draw when Kramnik grabbed a hot pawn.

Levon Aronian played extremely sharply Nikita Vitiugov in an exchange Slav and again nearly got into trouble but in the end he got sufficient activity for a draw.

Round 7 Standings: Gelfand, Vachier 4.5pts, Adams, Anand, Aronian 4pts, Fressinet 3.5pts, Vitiugov, Kramnik 3pts, Liren Ding 2.5pts, Svidler 2pts.

Round 8 Pairings: Fressinet-Aronian, Vachier-Lagrave-Vitougov, Ding Liren-Adams, Kramnik-Gelfand, Anand-Svidler.

Anand,Viswanathan - Fressinet,Laurent [C45]
Alekhine Mem Paris/St Petersburg FRA/RUS (7), 29.04.2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Bc5 5.Nb3 Bb6 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.Qe2 0-0 8.Be3 d5

Laurent Fressinet


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 8...d5

An unusual idea if not new. "I think it was very interesting but marred by a lot of mistakes." - Anand.

[8...Re8 9.f3 d6 10.0-0-0 Be6 11.Kb1 Nd7 12.Qd2 Bxe3 13.Qxe3 a6 14.Nd4 Nxd4 15.Qxd4 Qf6 16.Be2 b5 17.Rhe1 Qh6 18.g3 Nb6 19.f4 Rad8 20.e5 c5 21.Qf2 dxe5 22.fxe5 Rxd1+ 23.Rxd1 Nd7 24.h4 Qg6 25.Qf4 f6 26.exf6 Nxf6 27.Bd3 Qf7 28.a3 Bg4 29.Rf1 Bh3 30.Rd1 Bg4 31.Rf1 Bh3 32.Rd1 Bg4 1/2-1/2 Hansen,S (2577)-Georgiev,V (2566)/Istanbul TUR 2012/The Week in Chess 931]

9.0-0-0 d4 10.Bg5 h6 11.Bh4 Re8 12.f3 Be6 13.Kb1 Qe7 14.Na4 Nb4 15.Qe1

Laurent Fressinet


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 15.Qe1

"I thought Qe1 was exact" - Anand.

15...g5 16.Bf2

I couldn't tell if I wanted it [the bishop] on f2 or g3.

16...c5 17.c3 dxc3

[17...Nxa2! 18.Kxa2 d3! (18...Qd7? 19.Ka3; 18...Ba5? and honestly I don't know what's going on. - Anand. In fact this move does work for black. 19.h4!) 19.Bxd3 c4 20.Nbc5 cxd3+ 21.Kb1 Rec8 which is unclear.]

18.Qxc3 c4 19.Nbc5 Nfd5 20.Qa3!

Laurent Fressinet


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 20.Qa3

[20.Qxc4 is only equal. 20...Ne3 21.Qxb4 Nxd1 and I didn't see a defence to Be2 but I don't know but when I saw Qa3 I didn't think I needed to bother. Anand.; 20.Qe1 is also OK.]

20...Rac8 21.Bxc4


21...Bxc5 22.Nxc5 Rxc5 23.Bxc5 Qxc5 24.Rc1

Laurent Fressinet


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 24.Rc1

and I thought resigns then he went Qb6 and I realised I had blundered. Anand.

24...Qb6 25.Bxd5?!

The real mistake.

[25.exd5! and white has an advantage.]

25...Bxd5 26.exd5 Qg6+ 27.Ka1 Nc2+ 28.Rxc2 Qxc2 29.Qxa7 Qxg2 30.Rb1 Qxh2

[30...Qxf3 I thought Qxf3 would probably hold. 31.Qxb7 Kg7 32.Qb5 Rd8 33.a4 Rxd5]

31.Qxb7 Rb8 32.Qc6 Qe5 33.a4

Laurent Fressinet


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 33.a4

I had to play the more risky move. - Anand.


[33...Rb4 I actually thought he should go Ra4. 34.Qc8+ Kg7 35.Qc2]

34.Ka2 Rxf3 35.Rd1 Rf2

[35...Rf4 36.Qb5 Qd6 37.a5 g4 38.a6 Rf6 39.Kb3 Qxa6 40.Qxa6 Rxa6]

36.Qb5 Qd6 37.a5 Rc2

Laurent Fressinet


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 37...Rc2

The basic problem is the d5 pawn prevents checks.

[37...Rf4 38.Rd3 Rb4 39.Qe8+ Kg7 40.Qc6 Qe5 41.Rb3 Rd4 42.a6 Rxd5 43.Qc3 h5 44.Qxe5+ Rxe5 45.a7 Ra5+ 46.Ra3 Rxa7 47.Rxa7 g4 48.Ra5 Kg6 49.Ra6+ f6 50.Kb3 g3 51.Ra8 Kg7 52.Ra7+ Kg6 53.Ra8]

38.Qb6 Qd7 39.Rd4 Kg7 40.a6 Rc7 41.b3 h5 42.d6 Rc6 43.Qb7 Qe8 44.Ka3 Rc1 45.Qd5 f6 46.Re4 Qd8 47.Re7+ Kh6 48.Kb2 Qc8 49.Qd3 1-0

Svidler,Peter - Kramnik,Vladimir [E29]
Alekhine Mem Paris/St Petersburg FRA/RUS (7), 29.04.2013

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.a3 Bxc3+ 5.bxc3 c5 6.e3 0-0 7.Bd3 Nc6 8.Ne2 b6 9.e4 Ne8 10.Be3 Ba6 11.Ng3 Na5 12.Qe2 Rc8 13.d5 f5!

Vladimir Kramnik


Peter Svidler

Position after 13...f5!

Played after a long think.

[13...Qh4 14.f4 Nd6 15.0-0 f5 16.Rf3 Bxc4 17.dxe6 dxe6 18.Bf2 Qh6 19.Bxc4 Ndxc4 20.Rd1 fxe4 21.Qxe4 Rcd8 22.Rfd3 Rxd3 23.Rxd3 Qg6 24.Qe2 Qe8 25.Nh5 g6 26.Bh4 gxh5 27.Rg3+ Kh8 28.f5 Rxf5 29.Qd3 Qf8 30.h3 Ne5 0-1 Alm,H (2293)-Lundin,A (2238)/Sweden SWE 2005/The Week in Chess 554]

14.exf5 exd5 15.cxd5 Bxd3 16.Qxd3 Qh4

Vladimir Kramnik


Peter Svidler

Position after 16...Qh4

And black's pieces make a much better impression than black's.

17.0-0 Qc4 18.Rad1

[18.Qc2!? Qxd5 (18...Nf6 19.d6 Nd5) 19.Rad1; 18.Qxc4 Nxc4 19.Bg5 was surprisingly better than the game continuation.]

18...Qxd3 19.Rxd3 Nd6 20.Bf4

[20.Bc1 Nxf5 21.Nxf5 Rxf5 22.Re1 Rcf8 23.f3 Nb3 24.c4 is probably equal.]

20...Nxf5 21.Ne4

Vladimir Kramnik


Peter Svidler

Position after 21.Ne4

Clearly the best move.


[21...Rce8 22.f3 is white's idea.]

22.f3 Nb2 23.Rd2 Nc4 24.Rd3 Rce8 25.a4 h6 26.h3

Vladimir Kramnik


Peter Svidler

Position after 26.h3

It's not easy to see a winning plan for black who is better here but he ends up being in danger of being worse by grabbing the a-pawn.


[26...g5 is possible or g6.]

27.Rd2 Nxa4 28.c4 a6 29.Rb1 Kh7 30.Ra2

Vladimir Kramnik


Peter Svidler

Position after 30.Ra2

Most probably Kramnik miscalculated the coming complications when he grabbed the a-pawn.

30...Rxe4 31.fxe4 Nc3 32.Rxb6 Nxa2 33.exf5 Rxf5 34.Bd2

Now the black knight is in some trouble which white can seek to exploit.

34...Rf6 35.Rb7 d6 36.Ra7 Nb4 37.Bc3!

Vladimir Kramnik


Peter Svidler

Position after 37.Bc3

Wins a pawn but it's not enough to win the game.

37...Rg6 38.Bxb4 cxb4 39.Rxa6 Rf6 40.Rb6 Rf4 41.Rxb4 Kg6 42.Rb6 Rxc4 43.Rxd6+ Kf5 44.Rd7 g5 45.Rh7

Svidler doesn't test Kramnik's theoretical knowledge in this dead drawn position for players of this class.


Gelfand,Boris - Ding Liren [E74]
Alekhine Mem Paris/St Petersburg FRA/RUS (7), 29.04.2013

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Bg5 c5 7.d5 h6 8.Be3 e6 9.dxe6 Bxe6 10.Qd2 Kh7 11.h3

[11.0-0-0 1/2-1/2 Rajkovic,L (2148)-Ilic,Z (2293)/Pozarevac SRB 2013/The Week in Chess 955 (39)]

11...Qa5 12.Nf3 Qb4N

[12...Nc6 1-0 Robeson,C-Sebagh,W/France 1982/Corr Nr. 1 (56)]

13.a3 Qb3 14.Qc1 Nc6 15.0-0 Nd7 16.Rd1 Nde5 17.Nd2

Ding Liren


Boris Gelfand

Position after 17.Nd2

[17.Nxe5 Nxe5 18.Rxd6 Bxc4 (18...Nxc4 19.Bxc4 Qxc4 20.Qd2) 19.Bd1]

17...Qb6 18.f4 Nd7 19.Bd3 Nd4 20.Kh2

[20.f5?! Ne5 21.Qb1 (21.Bb1 Bxc4 (21...Nxc4!?) ) 21...Nxd3 22.Qxd3 gxf5 23.Bxd4 Bxd4+ 24.Kh1 fxe4 25.Qxe4+ Kg8]

20...Rae8 21.Qb1 Qd8 22.Ne2 Nxe2

Ding Liren


Boris Gelfand

Position after 22...Nxe2

White is glad to be rid of this knight according to Polgar but black still makes use of the weak d4 square.

23.Bxe2 b5!? 24.cxb5 d5 25.Qc2 Qb8

Looks good but maybe not the best.


26.g3 c4?!

Ding Liren


Boris Gelfand

Position after 26...c4?!

This looks dubious but this is a very difficult position to play for both sides.

[26...dxe4 27.Nc4 Gelfand. 27...Qxb5]

27.Nf3 Qxb5

[27...dxe4 28.Nd4 Bxd4 29.Rxd4 Qxb5 30.Bxc4 Rc8 31.b3 Nb6 32.Rxe4 Bxc4 33.bxc4 Nxc4 34.Qg2 Rfd8]

28.e5 Bf5

[28...Nc5 29.Nd4]

29.Qd2 Be4 30.b4!

Ding Liren


Boris Gelfand

Position after 30.b4

Taking away the c5 square.

30...Qb8 31.Nd4 f6

[31...g5!?; 31...Nb6 is a very reasonable continuation.]

32.e6 Nb6 33.f5 Bxf5 34.Nxf5 gxf5 35.Qc2

[35.Bxb6 Qxb6 36.Qxd5 Qxe6 37.Qxe6 Rxe6 38.Bxc4]

35...Kh8 36.Bc5

[36.Qxf5 Qe5 37.Qxe5 fxe5 38.Bc5 Rxe6 39.Bxf8 Bxf8 40.a4 Leads to very interesting play. 40...Rf6 41.a5 Rf2+ (41...Na4 42.Bxc4 Nc3 43.Rd3 Bxb4 44.Bxd5 e4 45.Rd4) 42.Kg1 Rxe2 43.axb6 axb6 44.Rxd5 Bxb4 45.Ra7 Bc5+ 46.Kf1 Rf2+ 47.Ke1 Rf8 48.Rdd7]

36...Rxe6 37.Bxf8 Bxf8 38.Bf3 Re3


39.Qxf5 c3 40.Rd3 Rxd3 41.Qxd3 Qe5 42.Ra2 Bd6

Ding Liren


Boris Gelfand

Position after 42.Ra2


[43.Bd1 Polgar's suggestion followed by Re2 and Bc2 seems very hard to meet.]

43...d4 44.Re2 Qg5 45.Qxd4!

If white wants to play for a win he needs to do this.

45...Qxg3+ 46.Kg1 Be5 47.Qg4 Qxg4

[47...Qd3 48.Be4 Qd1+ 49.Kf2 Bd4+ 50.Kg3 Be5+ and white escapes.]

48.hxg4 Nc4 49.a4

Ding Liren


Boris Gelfand

Position after 49.a4


[49...Ne3!? Looks interesting and wins a pawn but the knight ends up rather out of play. 50.Be4 Nxg4 and the white queenside pawns advance.]

50.Kh2 Be5+ 51.Kh3 Kg7

[51...Nb2 52.Be4 Nxa4 53.Ra2 Nb6 54.Rxa7 is a big advantage for white.]

52.Be4 Kf8 53.Kg2 Ke7 54.Kf3 Kd6 55.Ra2 Kc7 56.Ke2 Kb6 57.Bd3 Nd6

Ding Liren


Boris Gelfand

Position after 57...Nd6

White has made progress and although the game remains difficult he should now be winning.


58.a5+ Kc6 59.a6 Nb5 60.Ra5 Nc7 61.Kd1 Kd6 62.Bc4 Kc6 63.Kc2 Kb6 64.Kb3 Kc6 65.Rc5+ Kb6 66.Bd3 Bd4 67.Rh5 Be3 68.Kxc3 Bg5 69.Rh1 Nxa6 70.Bxa6 Kxa6 71.Kc4 Kb6 72.Re1 Bh4 73.Re6+ Kc7 74.Kb5 Kd7 75.Ra6 Ke7 76.Rxa7+ Ke6 77.Kc4 1-0

Adams,Michael - Vachier-Lagrave,Maxime [B90]
Alekhine Mem Paris/St Petersburg FRA/RUS (7), 29.04.2013

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.h3 e6 7.g4 d5 8.exd5 Nxd5 9.Nde2 Bb4 10.Bg2 0-0 11.0-0 Bxc3 12.Nxc3 Nxc3 13.bxc3 Qc7 14.Rb1

[14.Qd4 e5 15.Qe3 Be6 16.Rb1 Nc6 17.Qb6 Qxb6 18.Rxb6 Na5 19.Ba3 Rfd8 20.Bb4 Nc6 21.Rxb7 Nxb4 22.cxb4 Rac8 23.a4 Rxc2 24.Ra1 g6 25.a5 Bc4 26.Rc7 Bd3 27.Rxc2 Bxc2 28.Bc6 Bd3 29.Rd1 Rc8 30.Rxd3 Rxc6 31.Rd5 e4 32.Rd4 Rc1+ 33.Kg2 Re1 34.g5 e3 35.fxe3 Rxe3 36.Rd6 Re4 37.Rb6 Kg7 38.Kf3 Rh4 39.Ke2 h6 40.gxh6+ Kxh6 41.Kd3 Kg7 42.Kc3 Rxh3+ 43.Kc4 Rh4+ 44.Kb3 Rh3+ 45.Ka4 Rh1 46.Rxa6 Ra1+ 47.Kb3 g5 48.Kb2 Ra4 49.Kb3 Ra1 50.Kb2 1/2-1/2 Vachier Lagrave,M (2711)-Negi,P (2638)/Leon ESP 2012/The Week in Chess 940]

14...Nc6 15.Be3 b5 16.c4 Rd8 17.Qe2 b4 18.c3 a5 19.a3 Bb7 20.Bc5

Black has very serious problems now.

20...Rd7 21.cxb4 axb4 22.axb4 Nd4 23.Bxd4

[23.Qe3 Polgar]


Maxime Vachier-Lagrave


Michael Adams

Position after 23...Bxg2


[24.Rfd1! Houdini but no way would Adams ever play like this, not perhaps any human. 24...Bxh3 25.Be5 Qb7 26.f3 h5 27.Rxd7 Qxd7 28.Kh2 hxg4 29.fxg4 Ra3 30.Rd1 Qa7 31.Rd8+ Kh7 32.Rd3]

24...Rxd4 25.b5

[25.c5 Rb8 26.Rfc1 Rdxb4 27.Rxb4 Rxb4 28.c6]

25...Rxc4 26.b6 Qb7+ 27.Qf3 Rb8 28.Rfd1 Qxf3+!

Only works because the king is on this square.

29.Kxf3 Kf8 30.Rd7 Rc6 31.Ra1 Rcxb6 32.Raa7 Kg8 33.Rxf7 Rf8

If black didn't have this he would be losing.

34.Rxf8+ Kxf8 35.h4 h6 36.h5 Rb3+ 37.Kf4 Rb4+ 38.Kg3 Rb3+ 39.f3 Rb4 40.Kf2 Rb3 41.Kg3 Rb4 42.Kf2 Rb3 43.Kg3 1/2-1/2

Alekhine Memorial Paris/St Petersburg (FRA/RUS), 21 iv-1 v 2013 cat. XX (2745)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
1. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2739 * ½ 1 . ½ ½ ½ . 1 ½ 2834
2. Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime g FRA 2722 ½ * ½ ½ . ½ . ½ 1 1 2846
3. Adams, Michael g ENG 2727 0 ½ * 1 ½ ½ ½ . . 1 4 2795
4. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2783 . ½ 0 * ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 . 4 2790
5. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2809 ½ . ½ ½ * . ½ 1 0 1 4 2795
6. Fressinet, Laurent g FRA 2706 ½ ½ ½ 0 . * ½ 1 ½ . 2741
7. Vitiugov, Nikita g RUS 2712 ½ . ½ ½ ½ ½ * 0 . ½ 3 2708
8. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2801 . ½ . ½ 0 0 1 * ½ ½ 3 2690
9. Ding, Liren g CHN 2707 0 0 . 0 1 ½ . ½ * ½ 2656
10. Svidler, Peter g RUS 2747 ½ 0 0 . 0 . ½ ½ ½ * 2 2587
Round 7 (April 29, 2013)
Gelfand, Boris - Ding, Liren 1-0 77 E74 King's Indian Averbakh
Adams, Michael - Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime ½-½ 43 B90 Sicilian Najdorf Variation
Anand, Viswanathan - Fressinet, Laurent 1-0 49 C45 Scotch Game
Vitiugov, Nikita - Aronian, Levon ½-½ 41 D10 Slav Defence
Svidler, Peter - Kramnik, Vladimir ½-½ 45 E29 Nimzo Indian Saemisch

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