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Linares R14: All games drawn, Anand wins Super-GM

3/7/2008 – Four players had a chance to at least tie for first – the preconditions were in place for a thrilling last round. This might have seemed especially likely, given the very low percentage of draws (by super-tournament standards) so far, but as it turned out “safety first” was the rule of the day. Anand retained his half point lead, Magnus Carlsen came second. Full illustrated report.
 

Morelia-Linares 2008

The Morelia-Linares tournament took place from February 15th to 23rd February in Morelia, Mexico, and from 28th February to 7th March in Linares, Spain. The second half of the event ran from February 28th to March 7th, 2008, with the games taking place in the Theatro Cervantes in the Centro Histórica de la Cuidad Linares.

Round fourteen report (final)

Round 14: Friday, March 7th

Vishy Anand 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Peter Leko 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Teimour Radjabov
Alexei Shirov 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk


The final round under way in Linares


Anand vs Topalov – would the World Champion clinch first with a win in this game?

With a win over Veselin Topalov, world champion Viswanathan Anand would have clinched clear first, but his choice to play to meet Topalov’s Najdorf with 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.Bg5 indicated his desire for a quiet life. The game followed yesterday’s tragic Radjabov-Shirov game through 11.0-0-0, but here Topalov varied with 11…Qb6 (instead of 11…Nd4), offering a pawn. Anand rightly returned it with 15.Qd2, resulting in an opposite-colored bishops middlegame where neither side had much to play for. The result was a quick draw, and at worst for Anand a tie for first place with Magnus Carlsen.


The winner of Morelia-Linares 2008: World Champion Viswanathan Anand

This would happen only if Carlsen defeated Teimour Radjabov, who once again defended the black pieces with the Schliemann Defense. Carlsen repeated the line Topalov employed in round nine, like Topalov achieving a position with no losing chances and some chances to press. Press he did, for 69 moves, but the pawn-up rook ending the players entered on move 42 offered White no real winning chances, and Carlsen had to settle for second place. Still, it was a terrific result for him, especially in conjunction with his performance in the Corus tournament a month ago (he tied for first). Rumor has it he will be number five on the next FIDE rating list. Be afraid…be very afraid!


Magnus Carlsen, soon number five in the world?

[Kevin Spiteri of Marsaxlokk, Malta notes that in our calculations we may not have considered the rounding. "If FIDE round the ratings to the nearest integer (as I am assuming, I might be wrong), Carlsen will be fourth. Topalov's 2767.2 will be rounded down to 2767. Carlsen's 2766.9 will be rounded up to 2767. That will leave both players tied at 2767, with Carlsen taking fourth position, since he has played 29 games, Topalov having played 27 games."]

Carlsen’s second place finish would have been shared if Levon Aronian had managed to defeat Peter Leko, but Leko was never in danger on the white side of an Anti-Marshall. The players clearly didn’t realize it, as they had been using responsible amounts of time, but they were exactly following a 2007 game between Laurent Fressinet and Arkadij Naiditsch all the way through White’s 29th move. The earlier game was drawn in 36 moves, but Aronian’s choice must have been a serious improvement, as it led to a peaceful handshake two moves earlier.

Finally, Alexei Shirov and Vassily Ivanchuk put an end to what must have been a very disappointing tournament for both men. This game seemed headed for a draw almost from the start, as Shirov turned the MacCutcheon French into an Exchange Variation on move five. Nevertheless, it was Shirov who did what pressing there was in the game, trying to avoid exchanges, playing the prophylactic b4 and the space-gaining 20.g4, 24.h4 and 25.h5, but the symmetrical pawn structure and the open e-file led them to share the point as well. This is a tournament I’m sure they’ll both want to forget: Shirov, because he came in last place (with Peter Leko), and Ivanchuk because he lost two games he was winning – had he won them and everything else remained the same, he’d have tied for first. They’ll be back.


Our reporter in Linares, Nadja Woisin, with live commentator Leonxto Garcia

Summary by Dennis Monokroussos of Chess Mind, pictures by Nadja Woisin

Final standings


Video reports by Europe Echecs


Schedule and results

Round 8: Thursday, February 28th

Vishy Anand 
1-0
 Alexei Shirov
Vassily Ivanchuk 
0-1
 Magnus Carlsen
Teimour Radjabov 
½-½
 Peter Leko
Levon Aronian 
1-0
 Veselin Topalov

Round 9: Friday, February 29th

Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Vishy Anand
Veselin Topalov 
½-½
 Teimour Radjabov
Peter Leko 
0-1
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Alexei Shirov

Round 10: Saturday, March 1st

Vishy Anand 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Alexei Shirov 
½-½
 Peter Leko
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Teimour Radjabov 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Sunday, March 2nd
Free day

Round 11: Monday, March 3rd

Teimour Radjabov 
½-½
 Vishy Anand
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Alexei Shirov
Peter Leko 
1-0
 Magnus Carlsen

Round 12: Tuesday, March 4th

Vishy Anand 
½-½
 Peter Leko
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Veselin Topalov
Alexei Shirov 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
Teimour Radjabov 
Wednesday, March 5th
Free day

Round 13: Thursday, March 6th

Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Vishy Anand
Teimour Radjabov 
1-0
 Alexei Shirov
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Peter Leko

Round 14: Friday, March 7th

Vishy Anand 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Peter Leko 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Teimour Radjabov
Alexei Shirov 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Saturday, March 8th
Closing ceremony

Links

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