Kramnik, Aronian, Ivanchuk lead in Monaco

3/22/2007 – Tournament leader Vladimir Kramnik got an easy point in the blindfold game against Anand when the latter hung multiple pieces in round four. But after the rest and outing day Kramnik lost 1½:½ to Vasily Ivanchuk, allowing him and Levon Aronian to join him in the lead. Anand and Svidler are a point behind. Report.

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The 16th edition of the annual Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament is being held from March 17 to 29 at the Fairmont Monte Carlo Hotel in Monaco, with a total prize fund of € 216,000 (US $288,000). On each day of play there are two rounds, one a blindfold session and the second rapid chess.

Results of round four: Tuesday March 20

Blindfold     Rapid Chess  
Radjabov-Ivanchuk
½-½
  Ivanchuk-Radjabov
1-0
Kramnik-Anand
1-0
  Anand-Kramnik
½-½
Van Wely-Morozevich
1-0
  Morozevich-Van Wely
1-0
Vallejo-Svidler
0-1
  Svidler-Vallejo
1-0
Aronian-Carlsen
1-0
  Carlsen-Aronian
½-½
Leko-Gelfand
½-½
  Gelfand-Leko
½-½

The blindfold game between Teimour Radjabov and Vasily Ivanchuk, the official bulletin tells us, saw a funny ‘incident’ when the Azerbaijani grandmaster asked the arbiter permission to go to the toilet. Normally speaking the players can go there alone if they go through a door at the back of the playing room and follow a route that doesn’t allow them to see any of the monitors where the games are shown. As this door turned out to be locked Radjabov had to go through the other door, but in this case he’d be able to see the monitors for the spectators in the playing room if he turned around. So, accompanied by chief arbiter Geurt Gijssen he left the room watching straight ahead and when he came back he had to cover his eyes with a napkin!


How to go to the loo – complications for Radjabov in his game against Ivanchuk

The blindfold game between Vladimir Kramnik and Vishy Anand, the bulletin continues, produced the biggest blindfold error so far. To be honest, the ‘clash’ between two of the favourites had not been too exciting when in a drawish ending, where White was only marginally better, Anand played his rook to f2, assuming he was trading it there for its white counterpart. Unfortunately for him that white rook was on f1, a fact that had not escaped Kramnik’s mind, which one move later meant the end of the game.


Blundered multiple pieces blindfold against Kramnik: Vishy Anand (right)

Kramnik,V (2766) - Anand,V (2779) [E20]
Amber Blindfold Monte Carlo MNC (4), 20.03.2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3 c5 5.g3 cxd4 6.Nxd4 Ne4 7.Qd3 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 Nc5 9.Qf3 d6 10.Bg2 e5 11.Nf5 Qf6 12.Ne3 Qxf3 13.Bxf3 Be6 14.Ba3 Nba6 15.0-0-0 Ke7 16.Bg2 Rad8 17.f4 f6 18.Rhf1 b6 19.g4 Nc7 20.h4 g6 21.Kc2 Rhf8 22.Bc6 f5 23.fxe5 dxe5 24.Rxd8 Kxd8 25.gxf5 gxf5 26.Bxc5 bxc5 27.Be4 Ne8 28.Bxf5

28...Nd6? This already hangs a piece. 29.Bxe6 Rf2?? That loses a second one. 30.Rxf2 1-0.

On Wednesday the players enjoyed a free day. Some of them stayed at the hotel, while a slight majority of seven grandmasters joined the excursion to the Esterel mountains in the vicinity of Saint Rafaël. The excursion also included a gourmet lunch at the L’Etoile des Mers restaurant in Théoule sur Mer.


Excursion day for many of the participants of the Amber tournament


Visit to the Esterel mountains near Saint Rafaël


A gourmet lunch at the L’Etoile des Mers restaurant in Théoule sur Mer

Results of round five: Thursday March 22

Blindfold     Rapid Chess  
Gelfand-Vallejo
1-0
  Vallejo-Gelfand
1-0
Carlsen-Leko
½-½
  Leko-Carlsen
½-½
Svidler-Aronian
½-½
  Aronian-Svidler
½-½
Morozevich-Radjabov
½-½
  Radjabov-Morozevich
1-0
Anand-Van Wely
1-0
  Van Wely-Anand
0-1
Ivanchuk-Kramnik
½-½
  Kramnik-Ivanchuk
0-1

In this round Vladimir Kramnik lost 1½:½ to Vasily Ivanchuk, who joined the World Champion in the combined lead together with Levon Aronian. Vishy Anand closed in on the leaders thanks to a 2-0 win against Loek van Wely. He’s one full point behind, but there are still 12 games to go!


Vladimir Kramnik (left) about to drop a point to Vassily Ivanchuk


Vishy Anand took two big ones from Loek van Wely in round five

Standings

Blindfold games

Rapid chess games

Vladimir Kramnik has been dominating the blindfold section with a straight 3/3 points, with Levon Aronian doing the same in the rapid chess section. Both of these players are on the top of the combined chart, with Kramnik leading by half a point.

Combined standings

Links


Topics Amber 2007
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