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Aronian and Gelfand win Alekhine Memorial 2013

5/1/2013 – Top seed Levon Aronian outplayed French GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and scored a vital point in the final round, catching tournament leader Boris Gelfand at 5.5/9 points and winning the event on tiebreak. The Israeli drew his game against World Champion Vishy Anand, who finished with 5.0/9 and third. We bring you GM analysis of a key game and pictures from the closing ceremony.
 

The Alekhine Memorial is taking place from April 20th to May 1st 2013. The first part of the event takes place in Paris, France, (April 21-26, rounds one to five), the second in Saint Petersburg, Russia, (April, 26-May 1, rounds six to nine). The super tournament is dedicated to a great Russian chess player Alexander Alexandrovich Alekhine, a citizen of Russia and France, and is held at the initiative and with the support of Russian businessmen Gennady Timchenko and Andrey Filatov. Ten grandmasters from seven countries are playing in the Memorial starts with with five rounds in the Louvre Museum in Paris and ends with four rounds in Saint Michael’s Castle in Saint-Petersburg.

Round nine report

Round 09 – May 01 2013, 14:00h
Peter Svidler 2747
½-½
Laurent Fressinet 2706
Boris Gelfand 2739
½-½
Viswanathan Anand 2783
Michael Adams 2727
0-1
Vladimir Kramnik 2801
Nikita Vitiugov 2712
½-½
Ding Liren 2707
Levon Aronian 2809
1-0
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2722

The games of the last round of the Alekhine Memorial were played on May 1st in St. Petersburg. Boris Gelfand had white against Vishy Anand. Last year these players competed for the chess crown in a World Chess Championship match. Their today's game was quiet and ended in a draw on the 40th move.

Levon Aronian played a very aggressive opening against the recent leader Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. The French grandmaster ended up in a severe time trouble and soon committed the decisive error. Thanks to this victory, Levon Aronian, who considers Alexander Alekhine his favorite player, won the Alekhine Memorial.

The longest game of the round was Adams-Kramnik. The Russian grandmaster managed to score his second victory, and finished at 50%.

You can watch a video stream of the final round in the above player.

The main prizes and special prizes were awarded during the closing ceremony.

Levon Aronian receiving his trophy from Ilya Levitov, Executive Director of the Russian Chess Federation

Equal first, second on tiebreak: Israeli GM Boris Gelfand

The prize for a game in Alekhine's style was given to Laurent Fressinet
(by the legendary Mark Taimanov above), for defeating Vladimir Kramnik in Paris.

The best combination prize went to Ding Liren for his victory against the future tournament winner. Boris Gelfand received the best technique prize, and Nikita Vitiugov got the last special prize for the best play during the St. Petersburg half of the tournament.

At the closing ceremony Aronian thanked the sponsors of the event, its organizers and spectators, who showed genuine interest to the tournament and inspired its participants to demonstrate their creative talent.

All the players lined up for a final photo: Maxime, Laurent, Liren, Levon,
Peter, Boris, Vladimir, Nikita, Vishy, Michael – to use first names only

Note: Kamal Suruguchi writes us: "'Anand' is the first name of world champion Viswanathan Anand, not 'Vishy'. Viswanathan is the name of Anand's father. It's customary in Tamil Nadu (from where Anand comes) and some other places in India to write father's name first and then the given name." True, as we ourselves explained back in 2004. In the (Western) chess world, however, friends now tend to universally call him him 'Vishy', and formally 'Mr. Anand'.

Information, photos and videos provided by Mark Gluhovsky, press attaché of the Alekhine Memorial

Final standings

Levon Aronian and Boris Gelfand shared the first place with 5.5 points out of 9. The Armenian grandmaster had a better tie-break score and was awarded the first prize. The Israeli grandmaster took the second place. The reigning World Champion Vishy Anand finished third with 5 points.

In case of equal scores the tournament rules specified the following tiebreal criteria:

  • Maximum number of games played with black pieces
  • Maximum number of wins
  • Direct encounter result
  • Koja coefficient
  • Sonneborn-Berger score

This put Aronian on top. Both he and Gelfand had five blacks, but Aronian has three wins to Gelfand's two. The prize for a game in Alekhine's style was given to Laurent Fressinet, who defeated Vladimir Kramnik in Paris. The best combination prize went to Ding Liren for his victory against the ultimate tournament winner. Boris Gelfand received the best technique prize, and Nikita Vitiugov got the last special prize for the best play during the St. Petersburg half of the tournament.

Live chess ratings (inofficial) from 02 May 2013, 01:29 GMT

# Name Rating
+/-
Games
Age
1 Carlsen 2868.0
0.0
0
22 (30.11.1990)
2 Aronian 2814.2
+1.2
9
30 (06.10.1982)
3 Kramnik 2803.2
-7.8
9
37 (25.06.1975)
4 Topalov 2793.0
0.0
0
38 (15.03.1975)
5 Anand 2782.9
-0.1
9
43 (11.12.1969)
6 Grischuk 2779.0
0.0
0
29 (31.10.1983)
7 Nakamura 2775.0
0.0
0
25 (09.12.1987)
8 Caruana 2774.0
0.0
0
20 (30.07.1992)
9 Karjakin 2767.0
0.0
0
23 (12.01.1990)
10 Morozevich 2760.0
0.0
0
35 (18.07.1977)

The following analysis of a round nine game that became the key to Aronian's victory was provided by Chess Today, the first Internet-based daily Chess newspaper.

[Event "Alekhine Mem"] [Site "Paris/St Petersburg FRA/RUS"] [Date "2013.05.01"] [Round "9"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Vachier Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D85"] [WhiteElo "2809"] [BlackElo "2722"] [Annotator "Mikhail Golubev (www.chesstoday.net)"] [PlyCount "84"] [EventDate "2013.04.21"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [Source "Chess Today"] [SourceDate "2013.05.01"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. Nc3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. e4 Nxc3 7. bxc3 c5 8. Rb1 O-O 9. Be2 {One of the most massively researched systems in the "Gruenfeld".} Nc6 ({Other important directions are} 9... cxd4 10. cxd4 Qa5+ { (tested three times at the Zug FIDE GP tournament)}) ({and} 9... b6 { (Aronian-Svidler, Round 4).}) 10. d5 Ne5 ({The alternative is the more risky} 10... Bxc3+ 11. Bd2 Bxd2+ 12. Qxd2 $44) 11. Nxe5 Bxe5 12. Qd2 e6 13. f4 Bc7 ( 13... Bg7 {has not been used by the top players for a long time.}) 14. O-O exd5 15. exd5 {This position occurred first in the Alexandria-Chiburdanidze 1981 Women's Wch match. Since then, hundreds of games had been played} Ba5 {The established main line.} 16. f5 ({The most popular direction had been} 16. d6 Rb8 {, but the move chosen by Aronian is also well-known.}) 16... Bxf5 17. Rxb7 Qf6 $6 ({GM Sutovsky had used} 17... Qd6 {a number of times. White's options then include, in particular,} 18. Bc4 {and the untried 18.g4.}) 18. Rf3 $1 Qe5 ({The problem with} 18... Qd6 $6 {is} 19. Qh6 $3 {and if} Qxd5 20. Re7 Bg4 ({or } 20... Bd8 21. g4 $3 $18) 21. Bg5 Bxc3 $8 22. Rxc3 Qd4+ ({more stubborn is} 22... Bxe2 23. Rxe2 Qd1+ 24. Kf2 Qd4+ $16) 23. Rce3 Bxe2 24. h3 $1 $18 {(now White has too many threats: R7e5, R7e4, Bf4)} Bh5 25. R7e5 {1-0 Oikamo-Ji. Houska, ICCF email 2011.}) 19. Bc4 $1 {Black has some problems here.} Bc8 ({ After} 19... Rfb8 {White plays} 20. Rxb8+ Rxb8 21. d6 $36 {(this position has been seen in practice) and if} Rd8 22. Re3 $1 Qf6 23. Re7 {- GM Dreev, chess-news.ru}) ({One more option is} 19... Qe4 20. Qf4 $5 (20. Rf4 Qe5)) 20. Rb3 Bc7 ({An alternative was} 20... Bf5) 21. Qh6 $146 ({After} 21. Qf4 { (Flumbort-Amrein, Harkany 2000)} Qe7 22. Qh6 Qe1+ {transposes to the game, but Black also has other options.}) 21... Qe1+ 22. Rf1 Qe4 23. Bg5 $1 Be5 24. Qh4 $1 Qxh4 ({Or} 24... Bg4 25. Re1 Qxc4 26. Rxe5 {and} f6 $2 27. Rb7 Qf1+ 28. Kxf1 fxg5+ {does not work because of} 29. Qf2 {- Aronian.}) 25. Bxh4 $36 Bd6 $8 { White's initiative in the endgame is strong. Now he has a choice between many options.} 26. Rf6 ({Krasenkow suggested} 26. Kf2 {preparing Bg3.}) 26... Be5 { In Aronian's opinion White's position should be technically winning around here.} ({If} 26... Be7 $6 27. Rxg6+ $1 $16 {followed by Bxe7.}) 27. Rc6 Bd7 28. Ra6 Rfb8 $6 ({Objectively, a better try was} 28... Rfe8) 29. Rxb8+ $2 ({ Missing a strong opportunity:} 29. d6 $1 $16 {with a huge advantage.}) 29... Rxb8 30. Rxa7 Bxc3 $1 {After this trick Black obtained very realistic chances to save the game.} 31. Rxd7 Rb4 32. d6 ({What Aronian had missed/ underestimated in his preliminary calculations is that after the planned} 32. Bg5 Rxc4 33. Bh6 {Black plays} f5 $1) 32... Rxc4 33. Be7 $5 Kg7 ({The most precise was} 33... f6 $1 $11 {(Aronian) with the idea of ...Kf7}) 34. Ra7 $5 Rd4 $2 {In time trouble Black makes the crucial mistake.} ({Vachier-Lagrave should have played} 34... Re4 $1 {with the idea of} 35. d7 ({Aronian's suggestion} 35. Ra8 {is answered by} Rd4 $1 $11) 35... Rxe7 36. d8=Q Rxa7) ({ Aronian thought that the main line is} 34... Bd4+ {(?)} 35. Kf1 Bf6 {where White is likely winning after} 36. a4 $1 $16 ({Aronian also pointed out the trap} 36. Ra8 $2 Rf4+)) 35. d7 Rd1+ 36. Kf2 c4 37. g3 $1 $18 {An important move. White prepares Kg2 and wins.} ({Indeed, it was too early to play} 37. d8=Q $4 {because of} Rxd8 38. Bxd8 Bd4+ {and ...Bxa7.}) 37... Rd2+ ({Or} 37... Bd4+ 38. Ke2 $18) 38. Kf3 Rd3+ 39. Kg2 Rd2+ 40. Kh3 Bf6 41. d8=Q Rxd8 42. Bxd8 Bxd8 {Black is lost; the white a-pawn will decide the game.} 1-0

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Alekhine Memorial 2013 – Schedule, pairings and results

Round 01 – April 21 2013, 14:00h
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2706
½-½
Laurent Fressinet 2709
Ding Liren 2707
1-0
Levon Aronian 2809
Vladimir Kramnik 2801
1-0
Nikita Vitiugov 2712
Viswanathan Anand 2783
0-1
Michael Adams 2727
Peter Svidler 2747
½-½
Boris Gelfand 2739
Round 02 – April 22 2013, 14:00h
Laurent Fressinet 2706
½-½
Boris Gelfand 2739
Michael Adams 2727
1-0
Peter Svidler 2747
Nikita Vitiugov 2712
½-½
Viswanathan Anand 2783
Levon Aronian 2809
1-0
Vladimir Kramnik 2801
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2722
1-0
Ding Liren 2707
Round 03 – April 23 2013, 14:00h
Ding Liren 2707
½-½
Laurent Fressinet 2706
Vladimir Kramnik 2801
½-½
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2722
Viswanathan Anand 2783
½-½
Levon Aronian 2809
Peter Svidler 2747
½-½
Nikita Vitiugov 2712
Boris Gelfand 2739
1-0
Michael Adams 2727
Round 04 – April 24 2013, 14:00h
Laurent Fressinet 2706
½-½
Michael Adams 2727
Nikita Vitiugov 2712
½-½
Boris Gelfand 2739
Levon Aronian 2809
1-0
Peter Svidler 2747
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2722
½-½
Viswanathan Anand 2783
Ding Liren 2707
½-½
Vladimir Kramnik 2801
Round 05 – April 25 2013, 14:00h
Vladimir Kramnik 2801
0-1
Laurent Fressinet 2706
Viswanathan Anand 2783
1-0
Ding Liren 2707
Peter Svidler 2747
0-1
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2722
Boris Gelfand 2739
½-½
Levon Aronian 2809
Michael Adams 2727
½-½
Nikita Vitiugov 2712
Round 06 – April 28 2013, 14:00h
Laurent Fressinet 2706
½-½
Nikita Vitiugov 2712
Levon Aronian 2809
½-½
Michael Adams 2727
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2722
½-½
Boris Gelfand 2739
Ding Liren 2707
½-½
Peter Svidler 2747
Vladimir Kramnik 2801
½-½
Viswanathan Anand 2783
Round 07 – April 29 2013, 14:00h
Viswanathan Anand 2783
1-0
Laurent Fressinet 2706
Peter Svidler 2747
½-½
Vladimir Kramnik 2801
Boris Gelfand 2739
1-0
Ding Liren 2707
Michael Adams 2727
½-½
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2722
Nikita Vitiugov 2712
½-½
Levon Aronian 2809
Round 08 – April 30 2013, 14:00h
Laurent Fressinet 2706
½-½
Levon Aronian 2809
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2722
0-1
Nikita Vitiugov 2712
Ding Liren 2707
½-½
Michael Adams 2727
Vladimir Kramnik 2801
½-½
Boris Gelfand 2739
Viswanathan Anand 2783
½-½
Peter Svidler 2747
Round 09 – May 01 2013, 14:00h
Peter Svidler 2747
½-½
Laurent Fressinet 2706
Boris Gelfand 2739
½-½
Viswanathan Anand 2783
Michael Adams 2727
0-1
Vladimir Kramnik 2801
Nikita Vitiugov 2712
½-½
Ding Liren 2707
Levon Aronian 2809
1-0
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2722

Links

All games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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