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Botvinnik Memorial Rapid in Moscow 2011 (Day 1)

Viswanathan Anand leads after the first day of the Botvinnik Memorial

Anand beat Aronian in the only decisive game of the day. Photo ©

Anand beat Aronian in the only decisive game of the day. Photo © | http://video.russiachess.org/

World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand leads the Botvinnik Memorial in Moscow after he beat Levon Aronian in round two for the only decisive game of the day. Aronian had blundered with 15.Be1 but it still took a great effort to win the game. The event is unique in that play is stopped a short while in and the players asked their assessment of the position whilst the other player has their ears blocked with music (although Carslen wanted the music louder). Another three round take place from 12pm UK time. Video in Russian, but with some players speaking in English available. Time control 25 mins + 10 seconds per move.

Round 1

All players in Round 1

All players in Round 1 Photo © Russian Chess Federation Video Website

Magnus Carlsen was definitely winning as black against Levon Aronian at one stage before eventually allowing perpetual check.

Vladimir Kramnik equalised in an unusual Berlin Defence against Viswanthan Anand. A drawn ending was reached in 34 moves.

Round 2

Viswanathan Anand against Levon Aronian

Viswanathan Anand against Levon Aronian Photo © Russian Chess Federation Video Website

Anand beat Aronian in a fine game which he commented on afterwards.

Aronian,Levon (2807) - Anand,Viswanathan (2817) [D94]
Botvinnik Memorial Moscow RUS (2), 02.09.2011
[Based on comments by Anand]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 g6 5.Nf3 Bg7

For a change Anand plays the Schlechter Variation and Aronian plays what he has tried before. Recently this has become quite fashionable, although mostly against Be2.

6.h3 0-0 7.Bd3 a6

I think the point is that if he plays it [a4] on this move I can still play a5 and bring the knight to b4.

8.0-0 Nbd7 9.a4

[9.b3 b5 10.a4 b4 11.Ne2 a5 12.Bb2 Bb7 13.Rc1 c5 14.cxd5 Nxd5 15.e4 N5b6 16.Qd2 cxd4 17.Bxd4 e5 18.Be3 Nf6 19.Ng3 Rc8 20.Bb5 Na8 21.Rxc8 Qxc8 22.Rc1 Qb8 23.Bc6 Rd8 24.Qxd8+ Qxd8 25.Bxb7 Nb6 26.Nxe5 Nfd7 27.Nc6 Qf6 28.e5 Qe6 29.Nxa5 Nxe5 30.Nc6 Nd3 31.Rb1 Nd5 32.a5 Nxe3 33.a6 Nd5 34.Rd1 Nc7 35.a7 Qxb3 36.Rd2 Qc4 37.Kh2 Qb5 38.a8Q+ Nxa8 39.Bxa8 b3 40.Ne7+ Kf8 0-1 Hoi,C (2425)-Tisdall, J (2490)/Torshavn FAI 1997]

9...Re8

Black is going to try for e5.

[9...a5 is playable here.]

10.cxd5 cxd5

[10...Nxd5 with completely different play is also possible.]

11.Bd2 b6 12.Qe2

After this move white can't play Ne2 so black can start to think about playing e5.

12...Bb7 13.Rfd1 e5 14.dxe5 Nxe5 15.Be1?

Viswanathan Anand

r__qr_k_
_b___pbp
pp___np_
___pn___
P_______
__NBPN_P
_P__QPP_
R__RB_K_

Levon Aronian

Position after 15.Be1?

Aronian must have missed something as this is a mistake.

[15.Nd4 was a possibility according to Anand.; 15.Nxe5 Rxe5 and black is OK. 16.Qf1 was Aronian's idea.]

15...Nxf3+ 16.Qxf3 Qb8

[16...Qc7 is perfectly playable too.]

17.Qf4

The point is the queen can't go to any of the dark squares, or at least if it does black will swap.

[17.Qe2 d4]]

17...Qxf4 18.exf4 Nd7

I think it is very important I start with Nd7 - Anand.

19.a5

[19.b4 Rxe1+ wins]

19...Nc5 20.Bf1

[20.axb6 Rxe1+ 21.Rxe1 Nxd3 22.Re7 Rb8 23.Rxb7 Rxb7 24.Nxd5 and it is hard to believe white is going to escape.]

20...b5 21.f3 Nb3 22.Rab1 Nxa5 23.Bf2 Nc4 24.Bd4 Ne3

"I don't know if this is necessarily the best move but I figured I could always go back a move later." - Anand.

25.Rd3 Bxd4 26.Rxd4

Aronian shows how resourceful he is in positions like this. He found a way to keep going. By swapping the bishops he takes a lot of pressure off his position.

26...Rac8 27.Bd3 Kg7 28.Kf2 Nc4

Threatening Nxb2.

29.Ne2

[29.Nxd5 Nd2 30.Rd1 Nb3 and I win.]

29...Nd2 30.Rd1 Nb3 31.Rb4 Nc5 32.Rd4

Brilliant, he just goes back - Anand.

[32.Nd4 a5 33.Rxb5 Nxd3+ 34.Rxd3 Ba6]

32...Bc6 33.f5 a5

Viswanathan Anand

__r_r___
_____pkp
__b___p_
ppnp_P__
___R____
___B_P_P
_P__NKP_
___R____

Levon Aronian

Position after 33...a5

34.Bb1

[34.b4 his best chance according to Anand. 34...axb4 (34...Nb3 35.Rf4 Of course I'm better but somehow I'm not finishing - Anand.) 35.Rxb4 and it is much more difficult to these pawns when they are weak like this. Of course I'm better but it isn't finishing.]

34...b4

White still has counter-play.

35.h4

"White is going to start to push on the kingside and I thought things might be quite close." - Anand. Who said that neither player was entirely sure of the correct assessment.

35...Ba4 36.Rh1 Bb3

Finally the light squared bishop is going to get to c4.

37.fxg6

Resourceful.

37...hxg6 38.h5 Ne6 39.hxg6 fxg6 40.Rd2

[40.Rg4 Bc2]]

40...Bc4 41.Rh4

Round about here white can probably play better.

41...Kf6 42.Rh6 Rg8 43.Nd4 Nxd4 44.Rxd4 a4

Running short of time and with a lot of tension, this is the key moment, a4 and I simply take my a-pawn through. - Anand. Aronian was down to about 30 seconds. All Anand had to calculate was that after Ke5-d6 his king was safe from mating attacks.

45.Rh7 a3 46.bxa3 bxa3 47.Rf4+ Ke5 48.g3 Rb8

a2 also wins but this is much more accurate.

0-1

Vladimir Kramnik against Magnus Carlsen

Vladimir Kramnik against Magnus Carlsen. Photo © Russian Chess Federation Video Website

Vladimir Kramnik sacrificed a piece against Magnus Carlsen. The sacrifice was the best move in the position and gave him a tiny advantage but no more. They reached a drawn ending eventually.

Carlsen,Magnus (2823) - Kramnik,Vladimir (2791) [E32]
Botvinnik Memorial Moscow RUS (2), 02.09.2011

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 0-0 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 d5 7.e3 b6 8.cxd5 Nxd5

[8...Qxd5 1/2-1/2 Narciso Dublan,M (2532)-Fedorchuk,S (2654)/Salou ESP 2011/The Week in Chess 863 (36)]

9.Qc2 Ba6 10.Bxa6 Nxa6 11.e4 Ne7 12.Bg5 h6 13.Bxe7 Qxe7 14.Qc6 e5 15.Qb5 exd4!?

an interesting piece sacrifice which is probably the best idea in the position for black anyway.

16.Qxa6 Qxe4+ 17.Kf1 Rfe8

Vladimir Kramnik

r___r_k_
p_p__pp_
Qp_____p
________
___pq___
P_______
_P___PPP
R____KNR

Magnus Carlsen

Position after 17...Rfe8

I genuinely have no idea what is going on, I'm a piece up but he has two pawns and my pieces are not developed. Nevertheless I think my chances are not bad but please do not hold me to this opinion later. - Carlsen.

[17...d3 18.Rd1 Rfd8 19.Qb5 Rd6]

18.Rd1 b5 19.Qxb5 Rab8 20.Qd3 Rxb2 21.Qxe4 Rxe4 22.g3 c5 23.Kg2 c4 24.Nf3 d3 25.Rd2 Rb3 26.a4 g5 27.Rc1 a5 28.Rdd1 Rb2 29.Rd2 Rxd2 30.Nxd2 Re2 31.Nb1 Rc2 32.Rd1 c3 33.Kf3 d2 34.Ke4 Rc1 35.Nxc3

The position is equal.

[35.Nxc3 Rxc3 36.Rxd2 Ra3 (36...Kg7) 37.Rd4]

1/2-1/2

Round 3

Magnus Carlsen against Viswanathan Anand

Magnus Carlsen against Viswanathan Anand. Photo © Russian Chess Federation Video Website

Viswanathan Anand was in trouble against Magnus Carlsen but once Carlsen delayed capturing the b-pawn the game was level again and finished in a draw.

Anand,Viswanathan (2817) - Carlsen,Magnus (2823) [C65]
Botvinnik Memorial Moscow RUS (3), 02.09.2011

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.c3 0-0 6.0-0 d6 7.Nbd2 Bb6 8.Nc4 Ne7 9.Nxb6 axb6 10.Ba4 Ng6 11.h3

[11.Bc2 h6 12.h3 Re8 13.Re1 Be6 14.a3 d5 15.d4 dxe4 16.Nxe5 Nxe5 17.dxe5 Qxd1 18.Rxd1 Nd7 19.Bxe4 Nc5 20.Re1 Nxe4 21.Rxe4 Bf5 22.Re2 Red8 23.Be3 Rd5 24.g4 Be6 25.f4 Rd3 26.Kf2 Rad8 27.Ree1 Bb3 28.a4 Ra8 29.Ra3 Bd1 30.f5 h5 31.Ra1 Rad8 32.gxh5 Bxh5 33.a5 bxa5 34.Rxa5 R3d5 35.Rxd5 Rxd5 36.Bf4 f6 37.Re4 fxe5 38.Bxe5 c6 39.Kg3 Kf7 40.Kh4 Bd1 41.Re1 Bc2 42.Kg5 Rd1 43.Re3 Rf1 44.Bf4 Rg1+ 45.Rg3 Rxg3+ 46.Bxg3 b5 47.Kf4 g6 1/2-1/2 Kosteniuk,A (2497)-Ruan Lufei (2479)/ Rostov-on-Don RUS 2011/The Week in Chess 875]

11...Nh5 12.Bg5 f6 13.Be3 Nhf4 14.Bb3+ Kh8 15.Bxf4?! Nxf4

Magnus Carlsen

r_bq_r_k
_pp___pp
_p_p_p__
____p___
____Pn__
_BPP_N_P
PP___PP_
R__Q_RK_

Viswanathan Anand

Position after 15...Nxf4

Anand - Of course I'm a little bit worried already. I somehow underestimated his plan. I have to defend for a while. Carlsen - I like my position very much. I do not understand why he took on f4 because I don't think this idea with Nh5 is very strong. So now I'm very curious as to why my assessment is wrong. The music should be a little bit louder but if I had concentrated I might have!

16.Nh4 f5 17.Nxf5 Qg5 18.Qg4 Qf6 19.Qh4 Qxh4 20.Nxh4 Nxd3 21.Nf3 Rf6

[21...Nxb2 straight away seems stronger.]

22.Rad1 Nxb2 23.Rd2 Na4 24.Nxe5! Be6 25.Ng4 Bxg4 26.hxg4 Nxc3 27.Re1 h6 1/2-1/2

Kramnik and Aronian drew a Reti that transposed to a Dragon Sicilian in 51 moves where no-one seemed to get much of an advantage.

Botvinnik Memorial Moscow (RUS), 2-3 ix 2011 cat. XXIII (2810)
1 2 3 4
1. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2817 * * ½ . ½ . 1 . 2 2932
2. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2823 ½ . * * ½ . ½ . 2805
3. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2791 ½ . ½ . * * ½ . 2815
4. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2807 0 . ½ . ½ . * * 1 2685
Round 1 (September 2, 2011)
Anand, Viswanathan - Kramnik, Vladimir ½-½ 34 C65 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Aronian, Levon - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 43 E15 Queens Indian
Round 2 (September 2, 2011)
Carlsen, Magnus - Kramnik, Vladimir ½-½ 35 E32 Nimzo Indian 4.Qc2
Aronian, Levon - Anand, Viswanathan 0-1 48 D10 Slav Defence
Round 3 (September 2, 2011)
Anand, Viswanathan - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 27 C65 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Kramnik, Vladimir - Aronian, Levon ½-½ 51 B70 Sicilian Dragon

Women's event

Viktorija Cmilyte

Viktorija Cmilyte Photo © Russian Chess Federation Video Website

Viktorija Cmilyte leads with 2/3 after two wins and a loss. All the players have won at least one game and lost at least one.

Botvinnik Memorial w Moscow (RUS), 2-3 ix 2011 cat. XII (2545)
1 2 3 4
1. Cmilyte, Viktorija g LTU 2525 * * 0 . 1 . 1 . 2 2676
2. Danielian, Elina g ARM 2517 1 . * * ½ . 0 . 2553
3. Koneru, Humpy g IND 2600 0 . ½ . * * 1 . 2526
4. Kosintseva, Tatiana g RUS 2536 0 . 1 . 0 . * * 1 2422
Round 1 (September 2, 2011)
Danielian, Elina - Cmilyte, Viktorija 1-0 53 E60 King's Indian without Nc3
Kosintseva, Tatiana - Koneru, Humpy 0-1 46 C84 Ruy Lopez Centre Attack
Round 2 (September 2, 2011)
Koneru, Humpy - Cmilyte, Viktorija 0-1 45 A61 Benoni
Kosintseva, Tatiana - Danielian, Elina 1-0 41 B12 Caro Kann Advanced
Round 3 (September 2, 2011)
Cmilyte, Viktorija - Kosintseva, Tatiana 1-0 33 D38 QGD Ragozin
Danielian, Elina - Koneru, Humpy ½-½ 66 D02 Queen's Pawn Game

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