Amber 2011: Aronian and Carlsen well ahead of the pack

3/20/2011 – After eight rounds Levon Aronian, who today defeated World Champion Vishy Anand 1½-½, remains in the lead. With three rounds to go Magnus Carlsen, who defeated Veselin Topalov by the same score, follows at half a point’s distance. In third place, Vishy Anand and Vasily Ivanchuk, are three points behind. Anish Giri won a nice game against Sergey Karjakin. Round eight report.

ChessBase 14 Download ChessBase 14 Download

Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. Start your personal success story with ChessBase 14 and enjoy your chess even more!


Along with the ChessBase 14 program you can access the Live Database of 8 million games, and receive three months of free ChesssBase Account Premium membership and all of our online apps! Have a look today!

More...

The 20th Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament is taking place at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort in Monaco, from March 11 to 24, 2011. Every day four sessions are played, two blindfold and two rapid. The first session starts at 14.30h, the fourth session finishes around 20.00h. The rate of play is 25 minutes per game per player. With every move made in the blindfold games 20 seconds is added to the clock, with every move made in the rapid games 10 seconds is added.

Report after round eight

Blindfold Chess   Rapid Chess
Grischuk-Nakamura
½-½
  Nakamura-Grischuk
1-0
Anand-Aronian
½-½
  Aronian-Anand
1-0
Gelfand-Ivanchuk
½-½
  Ivanchuk-Gelfand
1-0
Kramnik-Gashimov
½-½
  Gashimov-Kramnik
1-0
Karjakin-Giri
½-½
  Giri-Karjakin
1-0
Topalov-Carlsen
½-½
  Carlsen-Topalov
1-0

Unusual: all blindfold games in round eight were drawn, all rapid games won by White. The blindfold game between Alexander Grischuk and Hikaru Nakamura was a protracted fight with chances for both sides. It ended after 67 moves when a threefold repetition forced the draw. The rapid game, a clash between two King’s Indian titans, was normal until Nakamura started moving around his king’s knight, which might have been clever in a blindfold game, but didn’t bring him much with both players having sight of the board. Black got the upper hand, but as has been their habit in most of their encounters they both got in terrible time-trouble. This time Nakamura was on the right side. Grischuk made the last mistake when on the 51st move he didn’t take on a7. Ten moves on he could resign.

The blindfold game between Vishy Anand and Levon Aronian was a rather short affair. After Anand had missed this chance on move twelve the white initiative quickly fizzled out and led to a draw in 17 moves. In the rapid game Aronian defeated Anand in impressive manner. The Armenian grandmaster said that the QGD Variation starting with 7.dxc5 was very special to him as he used it in a crucial last-round game at the World Juniors in 2001 against Yakovenko. He vaguely remembered that a strong player had also used it and Anand kindly informed him that this had be him against Polugaevsky at the first Amber tournament in Roquebrune in 1992!

Aronian,Levon (2808) - Anand,Viswanathan (2817) [A35]
20th Amber Rapid Monaco MNC (8), 20.03.2011
1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.e3 e6 5.d4 d5 6.a3 a6 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.b4 Ba7 9.Bb2 0-0 10.Qc2 Qe7 11.Rd1 Rd8 12.Be2 d4 13.exd4 Nxd4 14.Nxd4 Bxd4 15.0-0 e5 16.Na4 Be6 17.c5 Qc7 18.Nb6 Rab8 19.Bxd4 Rxd4 20.Rxd4 exd4 21.Rd1 Rd8 22.h3 g6 23.Qb2 Qf4 24.Bf3 d3 25.Qd2 Qd4 26.Bxb7 a5 27.Bf3 axb4 28.Qxb4 d2 29.c6

29...Qe5? It was perhaps unwise of Anand not to exchange queens – anyway, things went bad for him after this. 30.Nd7 Nxd7 31.Qxd2 Qc7 32.Qd4 Rc8 33.cxd7 Rd8 34.Qb2 Rxd7 35.Rxd7 Qxd7 36.Qb8+ Kg7 37.Qb4 Qd3 38.a4 Bxh3 39.Qb2+ Kg8 40.Be2 Qe4 41.gxh3 Qxa4 42.Qb8+ Kg7 43.Qe5+ Kg8 44.Bf3 Qd7 45.Bd5 Qxh3 46.Qe8+ Kg7 47.Qxf7+ Kh6 48.Qf4+ Kg7 49.Qe5+ Kh6 50.Qe3+ Qxe3 51.fxe3 Kg5 52.Kg2 Kf5 53.Kf3 Ke5 54.Bg8 h6 55.Bf7 Kf5 56.Be8 h5 57.e4+ Kf6 58.Ke3 h4 59.Bd7 1-0

The blindfold game between Boris Gelfand and Vasily Ivanchuk lasted almost two hours and ended after 89 moves in a rook vs bishop draw. In the rapid game Ivanchuk introduced a novelty (17.Rc1) and obtained a position containing various tactical threats that was dangerous for Black.

Ivanchuk,Vassily (2779) - Gelfand,Boris (2733) [C42]
20th Amber Rapid Monaco MNC (8), 20.03.2011
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Be7 7.0-0 Nc6 8.c4 Nb4 9.Be2 0-0 10.Nc3 Bf5 11.a3 Nxc3 12.bxc3 Nc6 13.Re1 Re8 14.cxd5 Qxd5 15.Bf4 Rac8 16.g3 Bf6 17.Rc1 h6 18.c4 Qa5 19.d5 Ne5 20.Bxe5 Bxe5 21.Bd3 Bg4 22.Re4 Bxf3 23.Qxf3 Bb2 24.Rb1 Qxa3 25.c5 Kf8 26.d6 cxd6 27.cxd6 Rxe4 28.Qxe4 Bf6

Now 29.Qd5 or 29.Qxb7 were compelling, but with 29.Qh7 Ivanchuk let Gelfand back into the game. 29...g6 30.Bxg6 fxg6 31.Rxb7. Now 31…Qc1+ 32.Kg2 Qc6+ 33.Kh3 Qe8 would have forced a draw, but Gelfand erred: 31...Qa1+?? 32.Kg2 Bg7 33.Qxg6 Qf6 34.Rxg7 1-0.

The blindfold game between Vladimir Kramnik and Vugar Gashimov was a further sign that the Russian grandmaster is struggling with his form. He was surprised by Gashimov’s 14…a5 and his 22nd move was a clear mistake. However, Gashimov also had his weak moment and in the end White was able to save the draw. In the rapid game Gashimov followed a plan, involving Nd2, h3 and g4, that has been played several times by Azerbaijani grandmaster Rauf Mamedov. After 19 moves Black was ‘just losing’ and in Gashimov’s words ‘the rest was easy’.

Anish Giri was slightly disappointed that his blindfold game against Sergey Karjakin ended in a draw. He had hoped for more, although he was the first to stress that there were not too many objective reasons for his expectations. Karjakin sacrificed a pawn, a risky decision, but he kept good drawing chances and secured the draw without too much effort. In the rapid game the players repeated the game Kramnik-Karjakin from this tournament. On move 15 Karjakin improved with 15…c5. The position that arose led to heated discussions after the game when Giri’s optimism about his chances was heavily undermined by an enthusiastic group of some of the world’s leading grandmasters. Having listened to their opinions he concluded that in fact White has nothing at all and that Black’s perspectives are better. However, all this didn’t bring Karjakin anything when he went seriously wrong...

Giri,Anish (2690) - Karjakin,Sergey (2776) [A29]
20th Amber Rapid Monaco MNC (8), 20.03.2011
1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Bg2 Nb6 7.0-0 Be7 8.a3 0-0 9.b4 Be6 10.d3 a5 11.b5 Nd4 12.Bb2 f6 13.Nxd4 exd4 14.Nb1 Bd5 15.Nd2 c5 16.bxc6 Bxg2 17.Kxg2 bxc6 18.Qb3+ Kh8 19.Rab1 Re8 20.Rfc1 a4 21.Qa2 c5 22.Ba1 Bf8 23.Nf3 Nd5 24.Rb7 Qd6 25.Rc2

25...g5? 26.e4 dxe3 27.Nxg5 Kg8 28.Ne4 Qe6 29.Rd7 Rad8 30.Rxd5 Qxd5 31.Qxd5+ Rxd5 32.Nxf6+ Kf7 33.Nxd5 e2 34.Bc3 e1Q 35.Bxe1 Rxe1 36.Nc3 1-0. Nicely executed by Anish.

The blindfold game between Veselin Topalov and Magnus Carlsen, a Ruy Lopez, sped to a draw when the Bulgarian grandmaster missed Black’s 19…Bxe4. In the rapid game Carlsen opted to counter Topalov’s Sicilian with the Grand Prix Attack.

Carlsen,Magnus (2815) - Topalov,Veselin (2775) [B23]
20th Amber Rapid Monaco MNC (8), 20.03.2011
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 Nc6 4.Nf3 g6 5.Bb5 Bd7 6.0-0 a6 7.Bxc6 Bxc6 8.d3 Bg7 9.Qe1 Qd7 10.a4 f5. This allowed ‘the old trick Nd5’ which gave White very good play. 11.Nd5 fxe4 12.dxe4 Rb8 13.Ng5 Bxd5 14.exd5 Qf5 15.Ne6 Bf6 16.Qe2 h5 17.Ra3 Nh6

Black's position is ‘really horrible' and Carlsen can play for the gallery. 18.Rg3 Kd7 19.Rg5 Bxg5 20.fxg5 Qxd5 21.Nf4 Qd4+ 22.Be3 Qe4 23.gxh6 Rxh6 24.Nd5 Rhh8 25.Qd2 Rhf8 26.Re1 Rf5 27.Nb6+ Kc6 28.Bxc5 Rbf8 29.Bd4 1-0.

Standings after the eighth round

Blindfold
 
Rapid
 
Combined
1. Aronian
6
2. Anand
  Carlsen
  Grischuk
3. Gashimov
4
  Gelfand
4
  Karjakin
4
4. Topalov
4
  Ivanchuk
  Nakamura
  Giri
3
5. Kramnik
 
1. Carlsen
2. Aronian
3. Ivanchuk
5
4. Anand
4
  Gashimov
4
  Nakamura
4
5. Grischuk
  Topalov
6. Gelfand
3
  Giri
3
  Karjakin
3
  Kramnik
3
 
1. Aronian
11½
2. Carlsen
11
3. Anand
  Ivanchuk
4. Gashimov
8
  Grischuk
8
5. Nakamura
  Topalov
6. Gelfand
7
  Karjakin
7
7. Giri
6
8. Kramnik

Cross table of both sections

Click to enlarge


Player portraits: Anish Giri


Photo by John Nunn in Monaco

Anish Giri – The Netherlands. Elo rating: 2690, World ranking: 43, Date of birth: June 28, 1994. Amber highlights: This is his Amber debut.

Anish Giri makes his Amber debut at the age of 16 years, 8 months and some days, which is only five months short of the record of the youngest debutant in Amber history, Magnus Carlsen. The young Dutchman's progress has been explosive of late and it is hard to predict how high he can reach. In hindsight everything is easy to explain, but who had expected him to perform so impressively in the top group of the Tata Steel tournament last January? Optimists believed that he might do well, but had they also foreseen that Giri would beat Carlsen, get World Champion Anand on the ropes and play all his games with ambition and self-confidence?

When three years ago, Anish Giri, together with his Russian mother, Nepalese father and two sisters, settled in the Netherlands, it was clear that Dutch chess life had been enriched by a remarkable talent. After all Giri had already won the Russian U-12 Junior Championship. Still, no one could have expected at the time how remarkable his talent really was and that he would storm the world rankings with giant leaps of more than 100 points a year.

In 2009 Giri became Dutch champion (true, many favourites were absent) and one month later he held his own (and remained unbeaten) in the double round-robin in Hoogeveen against Ivanchuk, Judit Polgar and Tiviakov. The year 2010 started with a bang when in Wijk aan Zee he won the strong B-Group and qualified for this year's top group in the process. A further highlight was his tour de force in the Sigeman Tournament in Malmö, Sweden, where he only dropped half a point and reached a Performance Rating of 2920.

The first set-back he experienced at the NH Tournament in Amsterdam. Giri had a brilliant start but a shaky finish and a loss in the blitz-play-off against Nakamura cost him the coveted ticket to the Amber tournament. Or so it seemed. At the Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk he remained unbeaten, won the bronze medal on Board 4 (TPR 2730) and was invited after all.

Source: Amber 2011 web site

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!


Topics Amber 2011
Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register