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Linares R11: All games drawn, with some fighting chess

3/4/2009 – Two games, Ivanchuk-Carlsen and Wang Yue-Anand, were relatively unspectacular draws, but the other two, Alexander Grischuk vs Teimour Radjabov and Leinier Dominguez vs Levon Aronian, had the spectators on the edge of their seats. Both games have been annotated by our team of GM Mihail Marin and GM-elect Anish Giri. We also bring you new pictorial impressions from Linares.
 

XXVI Linares 2009

This year the Linares 2009 tournament is being staged only in Spain – in the previous three years the first half was in Morelia, Mexico, and next year the first half will probably be in the Arab Emirates. The 2009 event goes from February 19th to March 7th, with three rest days. The prize fund is 314,000 Euros, with the winner getting 100,000 Euros, followed by 75,000 and 50,000 Euros for second and third place. There are no appearance fees for the players, so the motivation to fight for points may be unusually high. The venue is el Teatro Cervantes de Linares, the starting time of the games is 16:00h (4 p.m.) Spanish/European time.

Round eleven report

Round 11: Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Vassily Ivanchuk
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Wang Yue
½-½
Vishy Anand
Leinier Domínguez
½-½
Levon Aronian

Commentary by GM Mihail Marin

Dominguez Perez,L (2717) - Aronian,L (2750) [C88]
XXVI SuperGM Linares ESP (11), 03.03.2009 [Mihail Marin]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.h3 Bb7 9.d3 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5








1.a4. For a moment, I will pretend to forget that I am just a mouse click away from listing several dozens of games where the first ten moves have been played, or asking for a computerised evaluation of the rare 11th white move. Instead of taking advantage of these miracles of the present, I will try to look at the previous phase of the game in a simple minded way. To start with, when making his 7th move, Aronian declared his intention to play the Marshall Attack. Dominguez refrained from c2-c3, in order to avoid the weakening of the d3-square and inhibit the pawn sacrifice, but Black played d7-d5 anyway! Now, the real surprise comes: White refrains from capturing the pawn allthesame! Instead, he makes a move that does not really help his development; somehow I get lost in this phylosophycal jungle. Well, I assume that tommorrow the hidden logic of this variation will become crystal clear to me again, but for the moment I may still find myself under the impression of some analytical work I have been doing during the afternoon. Nothing special, just some old-fashioned variation played by Geller, Tal and Smyslov, in which White fights for space and initiative while Black tries parry the immediate threats and consolidate. Really weird chess, now that I think better... 11...Nd4 12.Nbd2 c5 13.Nxd4 exd4 14.Qf3 Bc6 15.Ne4 Qd7








Black is a tempo ahead in development and has considerable space advantage in the centre. This would be the classic evaluation of the position, but I read somewhere that chess has changed a lot in the meanwhile. 16.Bg5 f6 17.Bd2 Kh8 18.axb5 axb5 19.Rxa8 Rxa8








The last exchanges have helped Black solve some of his micro-problems: the permanent pressure along the a-file and the difficulty of finding a comfortable square for his dark-squared bishop. The a-file is Black's now and the bishop can safely retreat to f8. 20.Qh5 Bf8 21.Ng3 Bb7 22.Qg4 Qxg4 23.hxg4 Rc8 24.Nf5 c4 25.Ba2 Nb4 26.Bb1 Nc6. Things did not work out the way White would have wanted to. He has no attack at all, while Black has increased his space advantage and the b1-bishop is desperately passive. Maybe White could have tried to weaken Black's king's position with 27.g5. Instead, he starts a desperate fight for a draw, which will eventually be crowned by success. 27.dxc4 bxc4 28.c3 d3 29.Ba2 Ne5 30.Ne3 g5. Black prevents f2-f4, consolidating the knight in the centre. 31.Rb1 Ba6 32.b3. White has to undermine the enemy pawn centre. (Well, maybe "centre" is not the best word, since Black's pawns have advanced deep into White's territory). In case of 32.b4 the a2-bishop would remain out of play forever. 32...Bc5 33.bxc4








33...Bxe3?! This leads to an optically very pleasant ending for Black, who will even win a pawn at some point. Still, there was no need to help White get rid of his worst piece, the a2-bishop. 33...Ra8, followed by Bc8-e6 and the activation of the king, deserves serious attention. 34.Bxe3 Bxc4 35.Bxc4 Nxc4 36.Bd4 Kg7 37.Rd1 d2 38.Kf1 Re8








39.Be3! The simplest way to solve White's problems. Black has pracically no winning chances in the rook ending with an extra-pawn. 39...Nxe3+ 40.fxe3 Rxe3 41.Rxd2 Rxc3 42.Kf2 Kg6 43.Rd6 Rc1 44.Ra6 Rc4 45.Kg3 Rf4 46.Kh3 Rf1 47.g3 Rf2 48.Ra7 Rf3 49.Kg2 Re3 50.Ra6 Kf7 51.Ra7+ Re7 52.Ra6 Re6 53.Ra7+ Kg6 54.Kh3 h6 55.Rb7 Re2. It is difficult to say whether Aronian was careless, or he just launched an invitation to side-step the Sofia rule.








56.Rg7+! Kxg7. Actually, this is a strange rule. White has been completely humiliated and cannot make a single move. And yet, he is awarded half a point... Draw. [Click to replay]


Got away with a stalemate draw: Cuban GM Leinier Dominguez


Commentary by GM-elect Anish Giri

Grischuk,A (2733) - Radjabov,T (2761) [E97]
XXVI SuperGM Linares ESP (11), 03.03.2009 [Anish Giri]

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 0-0 5.e4 d6 King's Indian, the main weapon of Radjabov. He is a real expert in it.

6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4. The so called Bayonet Attack, probably the most popular weapon against the King's Indian – and against Radjabov as well.








9...Nh5. The knight goes away, freeing the way for the f-pawn. 9...a5 Another main move, which was never (!) played by Radjabov. 10.Re1 Preparing the f1 square for the bishop. 10...f5 11.Ng5 Nf6. The knight goes back, after it had done its job. 12.f3. White protects his central pawn. Another very popular way of protecting the e4 pawn is 12.Bf3. 12...Kh8 is a move Teimour usually chooses in this position. 12...c6 and; 12...Nh5 are other often played moves.








13.c5. Relatively rare, but a very logical move. It has already occured in the practice of Teimour, back then in 2005 in his game against Gyimesi. [13.Rb1 was a latest try here. Van Wely played it and won beautifully against... Radjabov! But I am sure, Teimour definetely has an improvement over that game. ; 13.Ne6 and; 13.Be3 are other possibilities. 13...h6 14.Ne6 Bxe6 15.dxe6 d5. Black strikes in the centre, and now the question is whether the e6 pawn is a strength or a weakness. It is a question of the whole variation by the way! 16.exd5 Nfxd5 17.Nxd5 Qxd5 18.Qb3. White's idea is to open the a-file. 18.Qxd5 is another way of exchangin queens. 18...Nxd5 19.Bc4 Nxb4 20.Rb1 Nc6 and position is unclear, probably around equal. 18...Qxb3 19.axb3 Nc6. 19...Nd5 is another possibility which has been never played before. It looks more natural than Nc6, but has it's own minuses, which Teimour probably knew. 20.b5 e4 21.Ra2 Bd4+ 22.Kf1 Bxc5 23.Bc4! with a clear advantage for White, might be a reason why 19...Nc6 was chosen by Radjabov. 20.Ra4. 20.Bd2 is not good, because of 20...Nd4 with some advantage for Black.; 20.b5 Nd4 is also good for Black.; 20.Bb5!? looks like a real alternative, though 20...Rfe8 21.Bxc6 bxc6 22.b5! Rxe6 23.b6 cxb6 24.cxb6 c5! 25.bxa7 Re7 probably equalizes for Black.








20...Rfe8!N Finally the novelty came. These days it seems to be normal to play novelties somewhere in the ending. Apart from just being the novelty, this move is also very strong. It is most probably that Radjabov found this natural improvement over the board, as he spend more than an hour, if I am not mistaken. But it could be that he was just trying to remember his own analysis (can you imagine how much he has to remember??). 21.Bc4. Other moves are not dangerous for Black as well. For example 21.Bb2 Rxe6 22.b5 Nd4 23.Bc4 Ree8 24.Bf7 Rf8 25.Bxg6 Nxb3 26.Bxe5 Nxc5 with something like equality. 21...a6! Another strong move from Radjabov.








Now it was time for Grischuk to spend his time. He was thinking for about an hour here if I remember correctly. 22.b5. White wants to exchange rooks and count on his two bishops in an open position ... or maybe Grischuk simply understood that he had no advantage, and just decided to simplify it all even further and make a draw. 22.Bb2 does not give White anything either. 22...Rad8 23.Bc3 g5 and Black is at least not worse. 22...axb5 23.Rxa8 Rxa8 24.Bxb5 Re8 25.Rd1 Rxe6 26.Rd7 Bf8 27.Rxc7 Bxc5+ 28.Kf1 Re7. The last moves were very logical: Black took White's pawn on e6, meanwhile White activited his pieces. 29.Rxe7. 29.Rc8+ also leads to a draw. 29...Kg7 30.Bxc6 bxc6 31.Rxc6 Bd4 32.Bd2 Ra7 33.Ke2 Ra2=. 29...Bxe7 30.Bb2 Nd4. 30...Bf6 is also drawish. 31.f4 Kg7 32.fxe5 the simplest (32.Bxc6 also isn't bad) 32...Nxe5 (32...Bxe5 33.Bxc6 Bxb2 34.Bxb7 with a draw) 33.Bxe5 Bxe5 is drawn, due to the opposite colour bishops. 31.Bxd4 exd4








Now the position with opposite coloured bishops arose. Black's extra pawn doesn't really count. The funny thing is that in one of the latest game of the same oponents in the same variation, in the Fide Grand Prix in Elista, Radjabov also had an extra pawn in an opposite colour bishop ending. That time he tried really hard, but could not win. Now it is also drawn. 32.g4 Kg7 33.gxf5 gxf5 34.Bd3 Kf6 35.h3 Kg5 36.Ke2 Kf4 37.Bc2 h5 38.Bd3 Bf8 39.Kf2 Kg5 40.Kf1 Bc5 41.Ke2 h4 42.Bc2 f4 43.Kd3 b5 44.Ke4 b4








Draw. [Click to replay]


Azerbaijani GM Teimour Radjabov during his game against Alexander Grischuk

Current standings


Pictorial impressions from Linares

By Frederic Friedel


World Champion Vishy Anand prepares for his round eleven game against...


Chinese GM Wang Yue, a truly difficult player to beat


Magnus Carlsen, 18-year-old grandmaster from Norway at the start of his round 11 game


Magnus executes the second move of the game: 2...e6 in a QGD


This was the first game to end on this day: draw after 22 moves


Still in the lead: Alexander Grischuk with an amazing 2852 performance


Leinier Dominguez contemplating during his difficult game against Levon Aronian

In the press room


Aurelio Jesus Dominguez Cuesta, the father of Leinier

Aurelio, who is proud that his first name contains all five vowels, is an economist who often accompanies his son at such events. He is not a chess player at all ("My rating? Zero!") but supports his son psychologically.


Chess legend Ljubomir Ljubojevic

Ljubojevic has defeated almost every top grandmaster during his career, including world champions Garry Kasparov (blitz) and Anatoly Karpov. He is originally from Yugoslavia, but has lived for a long time in Spain, specifically in Linares.


Maite Teresa Lopez, chief of the press room

Maite is also the commander over a team of charming hostesses in Linares. She is an accomplished pianist and music teacher, and also a competition foil fencer, one of the best in the Madrid area.


In charge of everything: Francisco "Paco" Albalate

Paco is a French teacher in a secondary school. In Linares he is the Director of the Organising Committee and Technical Director of the tournament. He looks after all our arrangements, and we would be lost without him.


Aruna Anand, patiently following the games in the press room


Indian TV journalist Vijay Kumar, who also produces video reports for Europe Echecs


Video reports by Europe Echecs

Video reports and interviews are now being provided by Vijay Kumar for Europe Echecs


Schedule and results

Round 1: Thursday, 19 February 2009

Vishy Anand
1-0
Teimour Radjabov
Levon Aronian
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Leinier Domínguez
½-½
Alexander Grischuk
Wang Yue
½-½
Vassily Ivanchuk

Round 2: Friday, 20 February 2009

Teimour Radjavov
½.½
Vassily Ivanchuk
Alexander Grischuk
1-0
Wang Yue
Magnus Carlsen
½.½
Leinier Domínguez
Vishy Anand
0-1
Levon Aronian

Round 3: Saturday, 21 February 2009

Levon Aronian
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Leinier Domínguez
½-½
Vishy Anand
Wang Yue
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Vassily Ivanchuk
½-½
Alexander Grischuk

Round 4: Sunday, 22 February 2009

Teimour Radjabov
0-1
Alexander Grischuk
Magnus Carlsen
½-½
Vassily Ivanchuk
Vishy Anand
1-0
Wang Yue
Levon Aronian
1-0
Leinier Domínguez

Round 5: Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Leinier Domínguez
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Wang Yue
½-½
Levon Aronian
Vassily Ivanchuk
½-½
Vishy Anand
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Magnus Carlsen

Round 6: Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Wang Yue
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Vassily Ivanchuk
½-½
Leinier Domínguez
Alexander Grischuk
1-0
Levon Aronian
Magnus Carlsen
1-0
Vishy Anand

Round 7:Thursday , 26 February 2009

Teimour Radjabov
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Vishy Anand
½-½
Alexander Grischuk
Levon Aronian
0-1
Vassily Ivanchuk
Leinier Domínguez
½-½
Wang Yue

Round 8: Saturday, 28 February 2009

Teimour Radjabov
½-½
Vishy Anand
Magnus Carlsen
0-1
Levon Aronian
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Leinier Domínguez
Vassily Ivanchuk
½-½
Wang Yue

Round 9: Sunday, 1 March 2009

Vassily Ivanchuk
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Wang Yue
½-½
Alexander Grischuk
Leinier Domínguez
0-1
Magnus Carlsen
Levon Aronian
½-½
Vishy Anand

Round 10: Monday, 2 March 2009

Teimour Radjabov
1-0
Levon Aronian
Vishy Anand
½-½
Leinier Domínguez
Magnus Carlsen
0-1
Wang Yue
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Vassily Ivanchuk

Round 11: Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Vassily Ivanchuk
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Wang Yue
½-½
Vishy Anand
Leinier Domínguez
½-½
Levon Aronian

Round 12: Thursday, 5 March 2009

Teimour Radjabov
  Leinier Domínguez
Levon Aronian
  Wang Yue
Vishy Anand
  Vassily Ivanchuk
Magnus Carlsen
  Alexander Grischuk
Games - Report

Round 13: Friday, 6 March 2009

Magnus Carlsen
  Teimour Radjabov
Alexander Grischuk
  Vishy Anand
Vassily Ivanchuk
  Levon Aronian
Wang Yue 
  Leinier Domínguez
Games - Report

Round 14: Saturday, 7 March 2009

Teimour Radjabov
  Wang Yue
Leinier Domínguez
  Ivanchuk Vassily
Levon Aronian
  Grischuk Alexander
Vishy Anand
  Carlsen Magnus
Games - Report

Links

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Topics Linares 2009

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