Ciudad de Linares 2010 – all round one games drawn

2/13/2010 – The traditional Linares tournament has started today in Andalucia, Spain. It has been shrunk down to six players – in 2009 there were eight, and in previous years there have been up to 14. The category this time is 21, with an average Elo of 2757 (and no player below 2700). In round one all three games were drawn, but one was very interesting. Illustrated report with commentary by GM Anish Giri.

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...

February 2010
M T W T F S S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Ciudad de Linares 2010

The traditional Linares tournament is taking place in Andalucia, Spain, from February 13 to 24, 2010. It has been shrunk down to six players – in 2009 there were eight, and in previous years there have been up to 14 players. The category this time is 21, with an average Elo of 2757 (and no player below 2700). Time controls as two hours for 40 moves, then one hour for 20, then 20 minutes for the rest of the game, with a 30 second increment (starting from move 61).

Round one report

By GM Anish Giri

Round 1: Saturday, 13 February 2010

Francisco Vallejo 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Alexander Grischuk
Boris Gelfand 
½-½
 Vugar Gashimov
Games - Report

In the first round of Linares, one of the strongest tournaments in the world, all the games were drawn. Sounds like a boring round you say? Not entirely! Well, two games were rather uneventful draws.

Aronian-Grischuk: Grischuk easily managed to neutralize "white" Aronian, in Nimzo-Indian Defence with 4.f3. The players reached one of the critical positions, after 7...Nxd5

where the normal continuation would be dxc5, which was by the way played by Vishy Anand himself against Kramnik in their World Championship match. Aronian tried Qd2!?, but after the logical Qa5 Grischuk easily and quickly reached equality. [Click to replay]

Vallejo-Topalov: Topalov, who was playing black today, also held Vallejo easily, although considering their ratings, one may think that it was Vallejo who held Topalov. The Bulgarian played the solid Breyer system in the Ruy Lopez, and Vallejo choose the slow and positional 14.Bd3 system. Until the 18th move they both improved their positions: White played b3 Bb2 Qc2 Bf1, Black g6 Nh5 Qb6.

Then Topalov decided not to hesitate any more and took exd4 cxd4, followed by d5! In fact it has been already played couple times once even by Spasky! Vallejo decided not to risk anything, and after exd cxd they managed to exchange all the pieces and a draw was agreed. Maybe instead of exd5, keeping tention would be an idea, or e5, but after e5, I am afraid black will have more than enough play with c5 ideas. [Click to replay]

The third game was much more exciting.

Gelfand,B (2761) - Gashimov,V (2759) [A61]
XXVII SuperGM Linares/Spain (1), 13.02.2010 [Giri,Anish]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5. Gashimov is almost the only top player who plays Benoni on the regular basis. I think his strong point is simply playing chess – the opening often doesn't really affect the result of his games (check this one!). So Benoni is a logical choice. 4.d5 d6 5.Nc3 exd5 6.cxd5 g6 7.Bf4








A tricky line by Gelfand. Now a6 would prevent Qa4 check, but it would lose time and for example e4 would deserve attention. 7...Bg7 8.Qa4+ Bd7 9.Qb3. Now both pawns are attacked, and the only way to defend is Qc7. But then all the black pieces are weird, so 9...b5!? 10.Bxd6 Qb6 11.Be5 0-0 12.e3








12...b4!? 12...c4 has been the main choice of people who played this positon before Gashimov. 13.Nb1. No, it is not that Gelfand is scared! He just transfers his knight to c4 via d2. 13...a5. Black is a pawn behind, so he has to do something. 14.a4! White is a pawn up, so he has to just stop what Black is doing! 14...Bg4 15.Nbd2 Nbd7. Black is ahead of development, but I am not sure it is enough for the pawn and for all the weak white squares. 16.Bb5!








White's pieces are placed very harmoniously. Looking at White's last move I start to think that maybe Black should have played Bg4 and Nbd7 instantly, without including a5 a4. 16...Rfd8 17.Bg3 Bxf3. Gashimov has probably realised that something has gone wrong, so he tries to complicate matters. 18.gxf3! After Nxf3 Black gets some activity by Ne4 or c4. 18...Qa7








Freeing the b6 square for the knight. But to be honest: when I look at the position I think that Black is hopeless. I really thought that it would be an easy victory for Gelfand. White has everything he wants: pawn, bishop pair, centre, even a safe king! 19.0-0. Probably an oversight. 19.e4 was the move that I thought would be the easiest for White. He just goes 0-0 and Nc4, Rad1 and push, while Black is hopeless. But now, looking it a bit with the computer, I realize that it would not be so easy, since Black gets some counterplay on the black squares. But still White is of course muuuch better.; 19.d6 is the computer's solution. I think it is tricky, but who cares about my thoughts, since I still have a few hundred points less than my Rybka. 19...Nxd5! Now Black gets the important pawn! 20.Bc6 c4!








The point – maybe it was missed by Gelfand?! 21.Nxc4 Nc5 22.Qc2 Rac8. Everything is protected just in time! 23.Bxd5 Rxd5 24.Nd6 Rc6 25.Rad1 Rxd1 26.Rxd1 Qa6. White is still better, since he is still a pawn up. But those f2, f3 pawnies are not like that big pawn on d5! 27.Nb5 Ne6 28.Qb3 h5








29.h4. It seems a bit weird to me to place the pawn here, so that it will be weak forever. But Gelfand knows better. One thing that I don't understand is that computer agrees with Gelfand... Well, I still have to learn a lot about the game! 29.Kg2 Bf6 30.h3 is something I would prefer. 29...Bf6 30.Rd6. I think White should have waited a bit with this. Let's say Kg2. The black pieces, especialy the rook and queen, look a bit awkward there on the sixth rank. 30...Rxd6 31.Nxd6 Qc6








32.Qc4. Why this? White offers two pawns, but it seems that neither is poisoned! 32.Kg2 was better, maybe Gelfant was afraid of 32...Bxh4 but then white also has got a blow 33.Nxf7! So after Kg2 white would still have advantage from now on it is gone..forever! 32...Qxf3 33.Qc8+ Nf8 34.Qc2 Be7 35.Nc4 Qd5 36.b3 Ne6 37.Qd2 Qxd2 38.Nxd2 Nc5 39.Kf1 Bd8 40.Ke2 f5 41.Bd6 Nb7 42.Bg3 Kf7 43.e4 fxe4 44.Nxe4 Ke6 45.Kd3 Kd5 46.f3 Be7 47.Bf2 Nd8 48.Bb6 Nc6 49.Bf2








In this endgame Black is a bit better due to the h4 pawn (remmember what I said on the 29th move?). But just the h4 pawn is not enough for Black to win. 49...Ne5+ 50.Ke2 Bd8 51.Nd2 Nc6 52.Kd3 Ne5+ 53.Ke2 Nc6 54.Kd3








Black could have maybe tried g5 or some knight transfer to f5, but he decided to call it a day. Well, it is a pity for Gelfand, since he had a very good position and if I am not mistaken also plenty of time. But as I said, Gashimov often gets away after a bad opening, and this time it wasn't an exception! 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


Impressions from Linares

By Paco Albalate


Andalusian music and dance at the opening ceremony


The officials and arbiters prepare for the drawing of colours


The players line up in front of the tournament pairings (Topalov, Vallejo, Grischuk,
Aronian, the Mayor of Linares, Gashimov and Gelfand)


Dignitaries, players and arbiters on the stage


The setup before the start of the first round


Vugar Gashimov (right) arrives at the theatre with his second


Veselin Topalov with Russian sports journalist Juri Vasiliev


Topalov waits for the round to begin


The start of the most interesting game of the day

Schedule and results

Round 1: Saturday, 13 February 2010

Francisco Vallejo 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Alexander Grischuk
Boris Gelfand 
½-½
 Vugar Gashimov
Games - Report

Round 2: Sunday, 14 February 2010

Veselin Topalov 
   Vugar Gashimov
Alexander Grischuk 
   Boris Gelfand
Francisco Vallejo 
   Levon Aronian
Games - Report

Round 3: Monday, 15 February 2010

Levon Aronian 
   Veselin Topalov
Boris Gelfand 
   Francisco Vallejo
Vugar Gashimov 
  Alexander Grischuk
Games - Report

Round 4: Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Veselin Topalov 
   Alexander Grischuk
Francisco Vallejo 
   Vugar Gashimov
Levon Aronian 
   Boris Gelfand
Games - Report

Round 5: Thursday, 18 February 2010

Boris Gelfand 
   Veselin Topalov
Vugar Gashimov 
   Levon Aronian
Alexander Grischuk 
   Francisco Vallejo
Games - Report

Round 6: Friday, 19 February 2010

Veselin Topalov 
   Francisco Vallejo
Alexander Grischuk 
   Levon Aronian
Vugar Gashimov 
   Boris Gelfand
Games - Report

Round 7: Saturday , 20 February 2010

Vugar Gashimov 
   Veselin Topalov
Boris Gelfand 
   Alexander Grischuk
Levon Aronian 
   Francisco Vallejo
Games - Report

Round 8: Sunday, 21 February 2010

Veselin Topalov 
   Levon Aronian
Francisco Vallejo 
   Boris Gelfand
Alexander Grischuk 
   Vugar Gashimov
Games - Report

Round 9: Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Alexander Grischuk 
   Veselin Topalov
Vugar Gashimov 
   Francisco Vallejo
Boris Gelfand 
   Levon Aronian
Games - Report

Round 10: Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Veselin Topalov 
   Boris Gelfand
Levon Aronian 
   Vugar Gashimov
Francisco Vallejo 
   Alexander Grischuk
Games - Report

Live commentary on Playchess

Naturally the games of the Linares tournament are being broadcast live on Playchess. In addition to the moves (and live chat with thousands of other visitors) we also have special audio commentary by two well-known grandmasters:


Playchess (and ChessBase Magazine) commentator GM Daniel King
who is famous for his Power Play DVDs


Yasser Seirawan, who has an interesting Best Games DVD

Schedule of commentators

13th Feb  

GM Daniel King

6:00 p.m.

14th Feb

GM Daniel King

6:00 p.m.

15th Feb

GM Yasser Seirawan  

5:00 p.m.

16th Feb

GM Yasser Seirawan

5:00 p.m.

17th Feb Free day  

18th Feb

GM Daniel King

6:00 p.m.

19th Feb  

GM Daniel King

6:00 p.m.

20th Feb

GM Yasser Seirawan

5:00 p.m.

21st Feb

GM Yasser Seirawan

5:00 p.m.

22nd Feb Free day  

23rd Feb

GM Yasser Seirawan  

5:00 p.m.

24th Feb

GM Daniel King

6:00 p.m.

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 Linares 2010
Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register