GRENKE Final: Carlsen wins in Armageddon!

by Alejandro Ramirez
2/10/2015 – What a thrilling finish! Carlsen missed a chance to convert against Bacrot, and had to settle for a tiebreak match to determine the winner against Naiditsch... though both were lucky that Caruana did not join them as he missed a win against Baramidze! In the match Carlsen won the first, Naidtisch retaliated, and after two draws The World Champion triumphed in the Armageddon...

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Round 07 - February 09, 2015, 15:00
Adams Michael 2738
1-0
Anand Viswanathan 2797
Naiditsch Arkadij 2706
½-½
Aronian Levon 2777
Carlsen Magnus 2865
½-½
Bacrot Etienne 2711
Baramidze David 2594
½-½
Caruana Fabiano 2811

Round seven under way

The final round! Magnus Carlsen came close to winning the tournament without tiebreaks, but it was not meant to be!

The opening move for the World Champion

Adams, Michael 1-0 Anand, Viswanathan
Adams obtained a very small amount of pressure in the rook endgame, torturing his opponent even though he was not making any real progress. Anand kept defending well, until suddenly his decision to activate his rook gave White too much activity and real winning chances. The game was still drawn, probably, until disaster struck:

This last round win for Michael Adams gave him +1 and a tie for third with Caruana

Viswanathan Anand ran out of patience in a difficult and long defense

[Event "3rd GRENKE Chess Classic"] [Site "Baden Baden GER"] [Date "2015.02.09"] [Round "7.1"] [White "Adams, Michael"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E06"] [WhiteElo "2738"] [BlackElo "2797"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/r7/4pk2/6pP/6P1/5PK1/8/7R w - - 0 84"] [PlyCount "11"] [EventDate "2015.02.02"] 84. Kf2 Ke5 $4 (84... Ra2+ 85. Ke3 Ra3+ 86. Kd4 Ra4+ 87. Kc5 Kg7 $11 {It doesn't seem as if White can make progress in this position.}) 85. h6 Ra2+ ( 85... Rh7 86. Ke3 Kf6 87. Ke4 $18 {Eventually Black will run out of moves.}) 86. Kg3 Ra8 87. h7 Rh8 88. Rh6 Kd6 89. Kf2 (89. Kf2 Ke7 90. Ke3 Kf7 91. Ke4 Kg7 92. Rh5 Rxh7 93. Rxh7+ Kxh7 94. Ke5 {is a completely lost endgame.}) 1-0

Naiditsch, Arkadij ½-½ Aronian, Levon
The German player chose a relatively safe approach in this game, going for a slight edge and trying to pressure Black... however Aronian was easily up to the task and drew without too many problems.

Levon Aronian's 50% was not a bad result, but it cost him a couple of Elo points

Arkadij Naiditsch didn't want to risk everything in his game today

Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ Bacrot, Etienne
Carlsen played a fantastic game, and just when it was time to finish Bacrot off he ran into some unexpected difficulties:

Etienne Bacrot found a magic defense against Magnus Carlsen

[Event "3rd GRENKE Chess Classic"] [Site "Baden Baden GER"] [Date "2015.02.09"] [Round "7.2"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Bacrot, Etienne"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A48"] [WhiteElo "2865"] [BlackElo "2711"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "6k1/p5b1/Pppp3p/7n/1NNP4/5r2/1PP4P/3R2K1 b - - 0 34"] [PlyCount "25"] [EventDate "2015.02.02"] 34... b5 35. Na5 (35. Na3 $1 {Even though this move looks rather awkward, it is actually very powerful. Once c6 falls so does b5, and then a7.} c5 36. Nc6 Rf7 37. Nxb5 $18) 35... c5 36. Nbc6 Rf7 37. Nb7 (37. dxc5 dxc5 38. Rd8+ Bf8 39. Ra8 $18 c4 40. b4 $1 {This key move locks out the bishop and gives White a winning position.}) 37... Nf4 38. dxc5 dxc5 39. Nxa7 $2 {Too hasty! This gives Black unexpected counterplay!} Bd4+ 40. Kh1 (40. Rxd4 Ne2+ $1 (40... cxd4 41. Nxb5 $18) 41. Kg2 Nxd4 42. c3 Rf6 $1 {And a6 falls, with White's winning chances really.}) 40... Nh3 $1 {A miracle perpetual! White cannot escape the threats, for now Nf2+ would win the rook.} 41. Kg2 (41. Ra1 Rg7 {gets White mated, nearly, and is way too risky. The a-pawn is not that fast.}) 41... Nf4+ 42. Kg3 Ne2+ 43. Kg4 Rf4+ 44. Kh3 (44. Kh5 Rf5+ 45. Kxh6 $4 (45. Kg6 Rf6+ 46. Kh5 $11) 45... Nf4 $19) 44... Rf3+ 45. Kg4 Rf4+ 46. Kh3 Rf3+ 1/2-1/2

Baramidze, David ½-½ Caruana, Fabiano
Baramidze found a way to lose a pawn in what was almost a dead drawn position with opposite colored bishops and a bunch of pieces, but was still holding down the fort. He somehow let Black get too active, until Caruana simply gave back half a point:

Fabiano Caruana missed a key chance to make the tiebreak match a three way

[Event "3rd GRENKE Chess Classic"] [Site "Baden Baden GER"] [Date "2015.02.09"] [Round "7.4"] [White "Baramidze, David"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A15"] [WhiteElo "2594"] [BlackElo "2811"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/3K4/4p1p1/4k2p/5p1P/8/8/5N2 w - - 0 71"] [PlyCount "29"] [EventDate "2015.02.02"] 71. Nd2 Kf6 $4 {Of course, Black had to be active! The numer of pawns is not as important as their quality.} (71... Kd4 $1 72. Kxe6 Kd3 $1 (72... Ke3 73. Nc4+ $11) 73. Nf3 Ke3 74. Ng5 (74. Nh2 Kf2 {traps the knight on h2, with an easy victory.}) 74... f3 {And since the knight must already sacrifice itself, the pawn race is easily lost for White.}) 72. Kc6 g5 73. Ne4+ Kf5 74. Nxg5 Kg4 75. Kd6 {Now there is no chance to win this, the knight can stop the pawns just in time for the king to get back.} Kxh4 76. Ne4 Kg4 77. Kxe6 h4 78. Ke5 f3 79. Kd4 h3 80. Ke3 h2 81. Nf2+ Kg3 82. Nh1+ Kg2 83. Nf2 h1=Q 84. Nxh1 Kxh1 85. Kxf3 1/2-1/2

Tiebreak

With the tournament ending with a tie at the top between Naiditsch and Carlsen a tiebreak match was needed:

Things started off well for the World Champion as he was able to score a victory in the first game

[Event "3rd GRENKE Classic TB"] [Site "Baden Baden GER"] [Date "2015.02.08"] [Round "1"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Naiditsch, Arkadij"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E11"] [WhiteElo "2865"] [BlackElo "2706"] [PlyCount "79"] [EventDate "2015.02.08"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Bb4+ 4. Nbd2 b6 5. a3 Bxd2+ 6. Qxd2 O-O 7. e3 Bb7 8. b4 a5 9. Bb2 axb4 10. axb4 Ne4 11. Qc2 Rxa1+ 12. Bxa1 Qe7 13. c5 f5 14. Be2 Nc6 15. Bc3 bxc5 16. dxc5 Ra8 17. O-O Nxc3 18. Qxc3 Qf6 19. Qd2 Rd8 20. b5 Ne5 21. Nxe5 Qxe5 22. c6 $1 {Using the pin on the d-file White kills the bishop on b7.} Bc8 23. Rd1 d5 24. Qd4 Qxd4 25. exd4 Kf8 26. f4 {Black's position is simply sad. The bishop on c8 has absolutely no moves. White simply has to march his forces forward.} Ke7 27. Ra1 g6 28. Kf2 Kd6 29. Ra3 Rf8 30. h4 Ke7 31. h5 Rg8 32. hxg6 hxg6 33. Rh3 g5 34. fxg5 Kd6 35. Rh6 Ke7 36. Bf3 e5 37. Rh7+ Kd6 38. dxe5+ Kc5 39. Rxc7 Kxb5 40. Bxd5 1-0

However Naiditsch was able to strike back, saving his skin! The game was full of errors but at the end the German triumphed, forcing another two games. Those were drawn, forcing another tiebreak... and Armageddon game to determine the winner of the tournament:

[Event "3rd GRENKE Classic TB"] [Site "Baden Baden GER"] [Date "2015.02.09"] [Round "5"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Naiditsch, Arkadij"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B91"] [WhiteElo "2865"] [BlackElo "2706"] [PlyCount "63"] [EventDate "2015.02.08"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. g3 e5 7. Nde2 Be7 8. Bg2 O-O 9. O-O Nbd7 10. a4 b6 11. Nd5 Nxd5 12. Qxd5 Rb8 13. Nc3 Nf6 14. Qd3 Be6 15. Qxa6 $1 {A nice positional sacrifice. The pawn was certainly not free: Naiditsch had seen a way to recover his material, but Carlsen decided that he was going to keep his pawn, by giving up the exchange!} Qc7 16. Qe2 Bc4 17. Qf3 Bxf1 18. Bxf1 {The light square weaknesses that Black has currently make his position very difficult.} d5 19. exd5 e4 20. Qf5 Rbd8 21. Bf4 Qc5 22. Rd1 Qb4 23. Be5 Bc5 $4 {An almost inexplicable move. This allows White ti simply rip apart the kingside and annihilate the opponent king.} 24. Bxf6 gxf6 25. Nxe4 { Now it's very clearly all over, Black is even down material.} Qxb2 26. Bd3 Rfe8 27. Nxf6+ Kf8 28. Nxh7+ Ke7 29. Re1+ Kd6 30. Qf4+ Kxd5 31. Nf6+ Kc6 32. Nxe8 1-0

With this victory Carlsen wins another tournament, and another excellent recovery after losing to Naiditsch himself in round three.

Replay Tiebreak Games

Final Standings

Photos today by Andre Schulz

Replay Round Seven Games

Select from the dropdown menu to replay the games

Schedule

Round 01 - February 02, 2015, 15:00
Caruana Fabiano 2811 ½-½ Anand Viswanathan 2797
Bacrot Etienne 2711 ½-½ Baramidze David 2594
Aronian Levon 2777 ½-½ Carlsen Magnus 2865
Adams Michael 2738 ½-½ Naiditsch Arkadij 2706
Round 02 - February 03, 2015, 15:00
Anand Viswanathan 2797 ½-½ Naiditsch Arkadij 2706
Carlsen Magnus 2865 1-0 Adams Michael 2738
Baramidze David 2594 ½-½ Aronian Levon 2777
Caruana Fabiano 2811 ½-½ Bacrot Etienne 2711
Round 03 - February 04, 2015, 15:00
Bacrot Etienne 2711
½-½
Anand Viswanathan 2797
Aronian Levon 2777
0-1
Caruana Fabiano 2811
Adams Michael 2738
1-0
Baramidze David 2594
Naiditsch Arkadij 2706
1-0
Carlsen Magnus 2865
Round 04 - February 06, 2015, 15:00
Anand Viswanathan 2797
0-1
Carlsen Magnus 2865
Baramidze David 2594
0-1
Naiditsch Arkadij 2706
Caruana Fabiano 2811
½-½
Adams Michael 2738
Bacrot Etienne 2711
½-½
Aronian Levon 2777
Round 05 - February 07, 2015, 15:00
Aronian Levon 2777
1-0
Anand Viswanathan 2797
Adams Michael 2738
½-½
Bacrot Etienne 2711
Naiditsch Arkadij 2706
½-½
Caruana Fabiano 2811
Carlsen Magnus 2865
1-0
Baramidze David 2594
Round 06 - February 08, 2015, 15:00
Anand Viswanathan 2797
1-0
Baramidze David 2594
Caruana Fabiano 2811
½-½
Carlsen Magnus 2865
Bacrot Etienne 2711
½-½
Naiditsch Arkadij 2706
Aronian Levon 2777
½-½
Adams Michael 2738
Round 07 - February 09, 2015, 15:00
Adams Michael 2738
1-0
Anand Viswanathan 2797
Naiditsch Arkadij 2706
½-½
Aronian Levon 2777
Carlsen Magnus 2865
½-½
Bacrot Etienne 2711
Baramidze David 2594
½-½
Caruana Fabiano 2811

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08.02.2014 Round 6 Simon Williams
09.02.2014 Round 7 Mihail Marin

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Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 2/11/2015 06:45
full credits to naiditsch...has beaten carlsen twice in the tournament!
ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 2/11/2015 06:44
again,.....saveable positions for anand against carlsen and adams .... and an advantageous position against levon.....
anand plays well for the first half of the game then falters...blunders to the chagrin of his many fans ....one like me ...
come on vishy....play well in zurich!!!
enanos7 enanos7 2/10/2015 02:03
Where is Naiditsch win in the tie break? There is a mistake in the article, Carlsen's win is twice. Rooting too hard? ;-)
Amazing end to the tournament. Naiditsch did not get enough credit in chats, his performance was fantastic, and he made the tie break thrilling in contrast with Carsen's usual domination.
tom_70 tom_70 2/10/2015 10:38
I can't remember a more exciting finish to a tournament. Both players were so exhausted , it could have gone either way. Naiditsch played an amazing tournament. Hopefully we'll see him at more top level tournaments.
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