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Alekhine Memorial 2013 (5)

Vachier takes sole lead Fressinet demolishes Kramnik in Alekhine Memorial Round 5

Fressinet demonstrates his win against Kramnik. Photo ©

Fressinet demonstrates his win against Kramnik. Photo © |

Maxime Vachier Lagrave took a clear lead with 3.5/5 in the Alekhine Memorial after defeating Peter Svidler in the final round before the move to St Petersburg. Svidler looked to have a huge position but Vachier-Lagrave defended well. 21.Qf4 Ka8 22.dxc5 Rhg8 23.g3 with a small advantage for Svidler was probably his best, 22.Qe5+ (22.Qc2=) already left Svidler struggling and he his position went downhill fast after that.

Laurent Fressinet absolutely demolished Vladimir Kramnik in a rather strange d-pawn opening. His rather frenetic comments are in the annotated game below. Sadly the whole coverage collapsed and they lost Vachier-Lagrave and Aronian press conferences, at least at the moment of writing. Both Frenchmen were black and both openings didn't quite go the way they wanted but it's often the way that the way to win is to risk losing.

Viswanathan Anand didn't even consider his win worth a press conference (where he would no doubt have been questioned about Chennai as a venue for the World Championship) as Liren Ding had a complete disaster in a Caro-Kann and was blown away. Boris Gelfand would probably have been very confident in beating most people in the position he got in a Chebanenko Slav however Levon Aronian managed to breath some life into his pieces before it was too late then held reasonably comfortably. Michael Adams was slightly better against Nikita Vitiugov but a draw seemed a fair result.

Round 5 Standings: Vachier 3.5, Fressinet, Gelfand, Adams, Aronian 3pts, Anand 2.5pts, Ding, Kramnik, Vitiugov 2pts Svidler 1pt

Event moves from Paris to St Petersburg and resumes on Sunday.

Round 6 Pairings Sun 28th Apr 2013: Fressinet-Vitiugov, Aronian-Adams, Vashier-Gelfand, Ding-Svidler, Kramnik-Anand.

Kramnik,Vladimir - Fressinet,Laurent [A07]
Alekhine Mem Paris/St Petersburg FRA/RUS (5), 25.04.2013

1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Nc6 3.d4 Bg4 4.Nbd2

Nbd2 is a very tricky move. I like the way Vladimir played. - comments in the text mostly Fressinet afterwards.

4...Qd7 5.h3

Laurent Fressinet


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 5.h3

Very logical. Vladimir basically refuted the setup for black.

5...Bf5 6.c3 e5

I didn't really like e5 but I didn't see anything else.

[6...Nf6 1/2-1/ 2 Fyllingen,R (2378)-Valaker,O (2144)/Bergen NOR 2002/The Week in Chess 404 (105)]

7.dxe5 0-0-0

[7...f6!? Timman. 8.Nd4]


Very quickly.

[8.Nb3 I didn't really understand why he didn't play Nb3. It's just better for white. 8...f6]


Now it's not so easy.


Laurent Fressinet


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 9.g4?

Fressinet was a bit surprised.



Played very quickly, there is no real option.

10.b4 h5 11.b5

Very good for black now.

[11.Rg1 hxg4 12.hxg4 f6 13.exf6 gxf6 with very good compensation.]

11...hxg4 12.bxc6 Nxc6 13.e6

Only move.

[13.Nd4 Nxe5 I don't see a move here [for Kramnik]]


[13...fxe6? 14.Rg1]

14.Nd4 Nxd4 15.cxd4

Laurent Fressinet


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 15.cxd4


Here black has a big choice of moves.

[15...Bb4 16.Qb3 Bxd2+ 17.Bxd2 Be4 18.Rh2 Qd6 19.f4 gxf3 20.Rf2 Qg3 and Fressinet was not completely sure.]


I was not expecting Bg2. It's a very difficult position for him to play.

16...gxh3 17.Bf3 Bf5

With the idea of g5-g4

[17...Bd3 18.Nf1]

18.Qa4 Kb8 19.Ba3

Laurent Fressinet


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 19.Ba3

Here I'm very close to winning.

19...Bh4 20.Nf1 g5 21.Rh2 g4 22.Be2 Be4 23.Rc1 Bg2 24.Qa5 Rc8

[24...b6 25.Qc3 with more counterplay than white deserves.]

25.Rc3 Bxf2+!

Laurent Fressinet


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 25.Bxf2

Took me some time to calculate but I think it's winning by force.

26.Kxf2 Bxf1 27.Kxf1 g3 28.Bf3 gxh2 29.Ke2 Rhg8 30.Bc5 a6 31.Bh1 Rg2+ 32.Bxg2 0-1

Laurent Fressinet


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 32.Bxg2 Resigns

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. Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime g FRA 2722 * ½ . . . ½ 1 ½ . 1 2897
2. Fressinet, Laurent g FRA 2706 ½ * ½ ½ . . ½ 1 . . 3 2811
3. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2739 . ½ * 1 ½ . . . ½ ½ 3 2812
4. Adams, Michael g ENG 2727 . ½ 0 * . 1 . . ½ 1 3 2809
5. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2809 . . ½ . * ½ 0 1 . 1 3 2827
6. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2783 ½ . . 0 ½ * 1 . ½ . 2735
7. Ding, Liren g CHN 2707 0 ½ . . 1 0 * ½ . . 2 2692
8. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2801 ½ 0 . . 0 . ½ * 1 . 2 2659
9. Vitiugov, Nikita g RUS 2712 . . ½ ½ . ½ . 0 * ½ 2 2687
10. Svidler, Peter g RUS 2747 0 . ½ 0 0 . . . ½ * 1 2501
Round 5 (April 25, 2013)
Gelfand, Boris - Aronian, Levon ½-½ 41 D45 Anti-Meran Variations
Adams, Michael - Vitiugov, Nikita ½-½ 41 B40 Sicilian Classical
Anand, Viswanathan - Ding, Liren 1-0 32 B18 Caro Kann
Kramnik, Vladimir - Fressinet, Laurent 0-1 32 A07 Barcza System
Svidler, Peter - Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 0-1 41 E60 King's Indian without Nc3

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