Elista R01: Aronian, Grischuk draw first blood

5/27/2007 – A great start for Armenian star and top seed Levon Aronian, who was able to take a full point from Norway's Magnus Carlsen with the black pieces. Alexander Grischuk won the other decided game, against compatriot Vladimir Malakhov. Judit Polgar was close to a traumatic first-round loss with white against Evgeny Bareev, but managed to save the day. Illustrated 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 Candidates Matches for the 2007 World Chess Championship Tournament will be held in Elista, Russia, from May 26 to June 14, 2007. A total of 16 candidates play two rounds of six-game matches to fill four places in the 2007 World Championship in Mexico City. The prize fund is US $40,000 per match, most of the money ($320,000) coming from a personal fund of FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, FIDE ($160,000) and the general sponsor, Rosenergomash.

Round one report

Results

Round 1: Sunday, May 27th 2007

Magnus Carlsen 
0-1
 Levon Aronian
Peter Leko 
½-½
 Mikhail Gurevich
Boris Gelfand 
½-½
 Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Ruslan Ponomariov 
½-½
 Sergei Rublevsky
Gata Kamsky 
½-½
 Etienne Bacrot
Alexander Grischuk 
1-0
 Vladimir Malakhov
Judith Polgar 
½-½
 Evgeny Bareev
Michael Adams 
½-½
 Alexei Shirov

Aronian beats Carlsen with Black, and Grischuk beats Malakhov in the day’s other decisive game, whilst the other six games are drawn after hard battles. Playchess was there to broadcast the action, on what Nigel Short might be tempted to describe as a day of peripatetic potentates.


Players on the stage preparing to start round one

Carlsen-Aronian was a great start for the Black player. Aronian equalized comfortably from the opening, and soon had some initiative, with his pressure down the f-file.


President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov makes the first move of this game

Carlsen,M (2693) - Aronian,L (2759) [C84]
WCh Candidates s/f Elista RUS (1), 27.05.2007
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.d3 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.a4 Rb8 9.axb5 axb5 10.Nc3 0-0 11.h3 Nb4 12.Ne2 c5 13.Ng3 Be6 14.Bxe6 fxe6 15.c3 Nc6 16.Re1 Qd7 17.d4 exd4 18.cxd4 c4 19.Bg5 h6 20.d5 exd5 21.Bxf6 Bxf6 22.Qxd5+ Rf7 23.Qd2 Ne5 24.Nxe5 Bxe5 25.Ne2 Rbf8 26.Rf1

26...Rf3! This spectacular move proved to be winning. Mateusz Bartel, commenting in Playchess.com, suggested that the move was more pretty than strong, but, be that as it may, it elicited the weak reply from Carlsen, after which Black was soon winning: 27.Ra3 (27.Qd5+ Kh8 28.Rad1 was Fritz’s preference) 27...Rxa3 28.bxa3 Qc6 29.Nd4 Bxd4 30.Qxd4 Ra8 31.Ra1 c3 32.Qb4 Qc5 33.Qb3+ Kh8 34.Ra2 Ra4 35.Re2 Rxa3 36.Qd1 Ra8 0-1.

Polgar-Bareev was a near disaster for the First Lady. She provoked an exchange sacrifice, which yielded Black two pawns, and a rock-solid position. A third pawn dropped off soon after, and by move 30, Black was also no less than an hour and ten minutes ahead on the clock. Strenuous resistance in the ending eventually saved her the game, and the Russian was most likely quite frustrated by the missed point he would have loved to score against one of his principal angstgegners.

Polgar,Ju (2727) - Bareev,E (2643) [B19]
WCh Candidates s/f Elista RUS (1), 27.05.2007
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 Nd7 8.h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 e6 11.Bf4 Qa5+ 12.Bd2 Qc7 13.0-0-0 0-0-0 14.Ne4 Ngf6 15.g3 Nxe4 16.Qxe4 Nf6 17.Qe2 Rd5

18.Ne5 Rxd4 19.Bf4 Re4 20.Qd3 Bc5 21.Ng6 Rxf4 22.Nxf4 Qa5 23.f3 Qxa2 24.c3 Bb6 25.Kc2 Qa5 26.Kb1 Qg5 27.Ne2 Rd8 28.Qc2 Rxd1+ 29.Rxd1 Qxh5 30.g4 Qc5 31.Qd3 Qd5 32.Kc2 Qxd3+ 33.Kxd3 h5 34.gxh5 Nxh5 35.b4 a6 36.c4 Bc7 37.Rh1 g6 38.c5 a5 39.bxa5 Bxa5 40.Ra1 Bc7 41.Kc4 Nf6 42.Rh1 b6 43.cxb6 Bxb6 44.Nc3 Kd7 45.Rh8 Kd6 46.Kd3 Ba5 47.Ne4+ Nxe4 48.Kxe4 Bb4 49.Rb8 Ba3 50.Rd8+ Ke7 51.Ra8 Bc5 52.Rb8 f6 53.Rb7+ Kd8 54.f4 Be7 55.Ra7 Ke8 56.Rc7 c5 57.Rb7 Kf8 58.Rb8+ Kf7 59.Rb7 Kf8 60.Rb8+ Kg7 61.Rb6 Kf7 62.Rb7 Ke8 63.Rb6 ½-½

Interestingly, today’s eight games saw no less than three Black kings opt to remain uncastled. Rublevsky’s proved safe enough with the queens off, whilst Gurevich’s original treatment of his favourite 4…dxe4 French held solidly against Leko. The third wandering monarch was less lucky, as Malakhov never succeeded in activating his king’s rook, and his position fell apart in the heavy piece ending.

Grischuk,A (2717) - Malakhov,V (2679) [B61]
WCh Candidates s/f Elista RUS (1), 27.05.2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 Bd7 7.Qd2 Nxd4 8.Qxd4 h6 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.Bb5 Bc6 11.0-0 Bg7 12.Rad1

12...Kf8 13.Qd3 Qa5 14.Bxc6 bxc6 15.Ne2 f5 16.exf5 Qxa2 17.b3 Qa5 18.Qf3 Rc8 19.Ng3 Be5 20.c4 Bxg3 21.fxg3 Qe5 22.f6 exf6 23.Rde1 Qg5 24.h4 Qg6 25.Re4 h5 26.Rf4 Rh6 27.Kh2 c5 28.Qc3 Qg7 29.Qd2 Rd8 30.Qa5

30...Rd7 31.Qb5 Rd8 32.Qa5 Rd7 33.Qa4 Rd8 34.Qxa7 Qh8 35.Re1 Kg7 36.Qc7 Qf8 37.Re7 Ra8 38.Qxd6 Ra7 39.Rfe4 Rb7 40.Re3 Rxe7 41.Rxe7 Rg6 42.Qxc5 1-0.

In the other games, Gelfand pressed Kazimzhanov hard, but Black just held on, courtesy of a neat final tactical trick in the ending.

Gelfand,B (2733) - Kasimdzhanov,R (2677) [D43]
WCh Candidates s/f Elista RUS (1), 27.05.2007
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bxf6 Qxf6 7.e3 Nd7 8.Qc2 Qd8 9.Bd3 Be7 10.0-0 0-0 11.Rac1 dxc4 12.Bxc4 b5 13.Be2 Bb7 14.Ne4 Qa5 15.a3 b4 16.axb4 Bxb4 17.Ra1 Qb6 18.Rfc1 Rfd8 19.Ne1 e5 20.Nd3 exd4 21.Nxb4 Qxb4 22.Ra4 Qb6 23.exd4 Nf8 24.Qc3 Bc8 25.Nc5 Rb8 26.b3 Qc7 27.Qg3 Qxg3 28.hxg3 Ne6 29.Bc4 Nxd4 30.Rxa7 Be6 31.Nxe6 fxe6 32.Re1 Kh8 33.Re3 c5 34.g4 Rd6 35.g5 hxg5 36.Rg3 Rdb6 37.Rxg5 R6b7 38.Rxb7 Rxb7 39.Rxc5 Nxb3 40.Rh5+ Kg8 41.Bxe6+ Kf8 42.Bd5 Rb6 43.Rf5+ Ke8 44.Rf7

44...Nd4! 45.Rxg7 Ne2+ 46.Kf1 Nc3 (mate is threatened) 47.Rb7 ½-½.

Adams-Shirov saw something similar, as Adams won a pawn in the late middlegame, but decided his own king was too exposed to allow of any winning chances in the heavy piece ending.

Commentary by Steve Giddins, photos by Casto Abundo (FIDE)

Current standing

 Player
Rating
1
2
3
4
5
6
 Tot. 
 Perf. 
 Magnus Carlsen
2693
0
0.0
 
 Levon Aronian
2759
1
1.0
 
 
 Peter Leko
2738
½
0.5
 
 Mikhail Gurevich
2639
½
0.5
 
 
 Ruslan Ponomariov
2717
½
0.5
 
 Sergei Rublevsky
2680
½
0.5
 
 
 Boris Gelfand
2733
½
0.5
 
 Rustam Kasimdzhanov
2677
½
0.5
 
 
 Gata Kamsky
2705
½
0.5
 
 Etienne Bacrot
2709
½
0.5
 
 
 Alexander Grischuk
2717
1
1.0
 
 Vladimir Malakhov
2679
0
0.0
 
 
 Judit Polgar
2727
½
0.5
 
 Evgeny Bareev
2643
½
0.5
 
 
 Michael Adams
2734
½
0.5
 
 Alexei Shirov
2699
½
0.5
 

Links


Live coverage by Yasser Seirawan on Playchess


Playchess commentator GM Yasser Seirawan

The games of the Candidates Matches, which start at 15:00h local time (13:00h CEST), will be broadcast live on the official site and on Playchess.com server. On the latter there will be daily live audio commentary by GM Yasser Seirawan, with a minimum of three one hour lectures per round, beginning approximately thirty minutes after play has started. For a charge of ten Ducats (about one Euro) a visitor gets a twelve hour pass to listen to the live lectures. Furthermore, GM Seirawan will be awarding daily prizes of Gambit books to the person or persons who have been of the greatest assistance. "We are interested in verbal commentary about a given position (not computer generated analysis), as well as witty insights," he says. "Each and every one is welcome to join in the fun!”

Ducats are the currency used on Playchess.com. You can purchase Ducats here. The amount will be credited to your playchess.com account. You need to allow one working day for processing. If you want your Ducats immediately you can order them using our Click&Buy service. Ducats can also be used to buy ChessBase products.

Note that you can also purchase Ducats directly from Fritz or the Playchess client using the menu "Edit – Payments – Fill up account". This takes you to a special purchase page with your account name automatically passed on, to simplify the process.


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


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register