Linares R14: Annotation by GM Mihail Marin

3/11/2007 – In our express weekend reports we brought you a general summary of the overall results – now it is time to look at the last-round games through the eyes of our GM trainer. Alexander Morozevich won yet another game, his third in a row, and Peter Leko scored his maiden victory in this event to climb up to Topalov at the end of the table. Commentary and pictures.

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Round fourteen (final)

Round 14: Saturday, March 10th

Peter Leko  
1-0
 Magnus Carlsen
Peter Svidler 
0-1
 Alex. Morozevich
Veselin Topalov 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Vishy Anand

Final standings

Note that the official site lists Magnus Carlsen in second place, which can be explained by the same tiebreak score.


Commentary by GM Mihail Marin

The following express commentary was provided by Romanian GM Mihail Marin, who is the author of a number of very popular ChessBase training CDs and articles for ChessBase Magazine. GM Marin will study the games of the Morelia/Linares tournament in greater detail and provide the full results of his analysis in the next issue of ChessBase Magazine.


A twenty-mover with peaceful outcome between Aronian (left) and Topalov

Topalov,V (2783) - Aronian,L (2744) [E15]
XXIV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (14), 10.03.2007 [Mihail Marin]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.b3 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Be7 7.Bg2 c6 8.Bc3 d5 9.Ne5 Nfd7 10.Nxd7 Nxd7 11.Nd2 0-0 12.0-0 Rc8 13.e4 c5 14.exd5 exd5 15.dxc5 dxc4 16.cxb6 Nxb6 17.Re1 cxb3 18.Qxb3 Nd7 19.Ne4 Nc5 20.Nxc5. A surprisingly short draw, if we consider who is playing with the white pieces. Topalov was probably too dissapointed by his general result to continue the fight in accordance with the Sofia rule. 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


The "reserve player" Vassily Ivanchuk, Ukraine


... and second seed Vishy Anand, India

Ivanchuk,V (2750) - Anand,V (2779) [E15]
XXIV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (14), 10.03.2007 [Mihail Marin]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.Nbd2 Bb4 6.Qc2 Bb7 7.Bg2 c5 8.dxc5 Bxc5 9.b3 Nc6 10.0-0 Be7 11.Bb2

The position is characteristic for the English Hedgehog lines, but the knight's development on d2 deprives White from the possibility of maintaining the centre under pressure. 11...Qc7 12.Rac1 h6 13.Ne4 Nb4 14.Nxf6+ Bxf6 15.Qb1 Bxb2 16.Qxb2 0-0 17.Qd2 Nc6 18.Rc3 Ne7 19.Rd1 Bc6 20.Qd6 Qxd6 21.Rxd6

White will not be able to maintain the blockade on d6. At the same time, Black's only weakness, the d7-pawn, is safely defended, which yields White's advantage a rather symbolic significance. 21...Nf5 22.Rd2 Rac8 23.Bh3 Ne7 24.Nd4 Rc7 25.e4 Rfc8 26.f3 Kf8 27.Kf2 a6 28.Ke3 Bb7 29.Rcc2 Nc6 30.Nxc6 Bxc6 31.Bf1 Ke7 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


"You talkin' to me?" – Peter Svidler finished the event with his only loss


Alexander (the comeback kid) Morozevich, scoring for the third time in succession

Svidler,P (2728) - Morozevich,A (2741) [C11]
XXIV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (14), 10.03.2007 [Mihail Marin]
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 a6 8.Qd2 b5 9.a3 Bb7

10.dxc5. A rare and possibly not best move. White's desire to clear the d4-square for his pieces is understandable, but theprize to pay is relatively high: Black wins time for his development. 10...Bxc5 In most of the games where this line was played, Black captured with the knight. With his move, Morozevich shows that he treasures the dynamic factors (rapid development) higher than static ones (the exchange of the dark-squared bishops). 11.Bxc5 Nxc5 12.Bd3 b4. In such situations, it is far from clear whether the move a3 slows down Black's attack or just facilitates it. 13.Ne2. After this volunatry retreat, the second aspect mentioned in the previous comment seems to become valid. Svidler probably disliked the fact that after 13.axb4 Nxb4 Black threatens not only ...Nbxd3+ followed by the fork on b3, but also ...d4. However, both threats could be parried with 14.Be2 . True, this would leave the e4-square poorly defended, but we should also take into account that Black's knight's jump to b4 has left the d4-square to White's mercy. 13...Qb6 14.Qe3?! Slightly carelessly. With a black bishop on b7, White's main concern should be to maintain the d4-square safely blocked. Therefore, 14.Nfd4 Should have been preferred. 14...d4! The tendency of such pawns to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the other pieces is known from Nimzovich' time. 15.Nfxd4 Nxd4 16.Qxd4 bxa3 17.Rxa3 Rd8. The g2-pawn is not entirely eadible yet, because of Rg1 followed by Rxg7. However, the activity of the black bishop along the h1-a8 diagonal is quite annoying for White. 18.Qe3 Qxb2.

19.Qxc5?! [White sacrifices the echange, but gets no adequate compensation for it. True, after 19.0-0 Black has a great position, but White is very much in the game still. It is hard to say whether Svidler overestimated his attacking chances after the game move or simply disliked his position in general.] 19...Qb1+ 20.Kd2 Qxh1 21.Nc3 Qxh2 22.Ra4 Qxg2+ Although Black is temporarily deprived of the right to castle, it is the white king who is in danger. 23.Kc1 Rc8 24.Qb4 Qg1+ 25.Nd1 Bf3 26.Rxa6 Qc5 27.Qa4+ Kf8 28.Ra5 Qg1 0-1. [Click to replay]


Determined to salvage something from this tournament: Peter Leko


In spite of the last-round loss an incredible second place: Magnus Carlsen

Leko,P (2749) - Carlsen,M (2690) [E15]
XXIV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (14), 10.03.2007 [Mihail Marin]
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 b6 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Bxd2+ 6.Qxd2 Ba6 7.b3 0-0 8.Nc3 d5 9.cxd5 exd5 10.Bg2 Re8 11.Ne5 c5 12.0-0 Bb7 13.Rfd1 Na6 14.Qf4 Nc7 15.Ng4 Nxg4 16.Qxg4

White has obtaind strong pressure against Black's hanging pawns. The exchange of two pairs of minor pieces favours him, by restricting Black's possibilities of counterplay in the centre. 16...Qf6 17.e3 Rad8 18.Rac1 Qe7 19.dxc5 bxc5 20.Qa4 Rd7!?

An indirect way of defending the a7-pawn. However, placing the rook on d7 has a major drawback, as shown by Leko's next move. 20...a6 21.Qa5 , threatening Na4 would not have been much fun either. 21.Ne4! Black would have obtained certain counterplay after 21.Qxa7 Ne6 , with the threat of d4. 21...d4. Black could not defend his centre anymore. 21...Ne6 loses the c5-pawn to 22.Nxc5! Nxc5 23.Rxc5; while 21...c4 drops an exchange to 22.Nc5! 22.exd4 Bxe4 23.Bxe4. Since the d7-roo is hanging, White just won a pawn. 23...Ne6 24.d5 Nd4

However, Black's counterplay should not be underestimated. The knight is very well placed, while the white queen is somewhat isolated from the rest of the army (notably, the king). 25.Re1 Qd8 26.Kf1 Rde7 27.Bd3. White has managed to avoid the knight forks on e2 and f3 and get out of the pin. However, Black has not exhausted his resources. 27...Qc8

28.g4!! This paradoxical move is the only way to prevent the deadly check on h3. Black cannot capture the pawn because of Qxe8!+ followed by mate; a curious way of coordinating White's queen with the other pieces. There was no time for the intermediate 28.Rxe7 because of 28...Qh3+ when the king's return to g1 would be met by ...Nf3+ followed by mate, forcing him to go to the centre 29.Ke1 Rxe7+ with a powerful attack for Black. 28...Rxe1+ 29.Rxe1 Rf8 30.h3. White has consolidates his position, maintaining his extra-pawn. However, the technical part is quite difficult, especially beacuse of the weaknesses induced by the move g4. 30...Qd8 31.Be4 Qb6. Black should not have allowed the infiltration of the enemy queen to d7. 32.Bg2 g6 33.Kg1 Kg7 34.Qd7 Rd8 35.Qe7 a5 36.Kh1 Nb5 37.Re6 Nd6 38.Qf6+ Kg8 39.Re7. White has an extra-pawn and a strong attack. The game is practically decided, despite the mutual time trouble. 39...a4?!

40.bxa4?! Just before the time control, Leko misses an immediate win with 40.Rxf7! 40...c4 41.Kh2 Qb8 42.f4 Qc8 43.Re3 Re8 44.Rxe8+ Nxe8 45.Qc6 Qxc6 46.dxc6

Black has managed to exchange the intruders, but the ending is just as hopeless for him as the middlegame. 46...Kf8 47.Kg3 Ke7 48.Kf2 Kd6 49.Ke3 Kc5 50.g5 Nc7 51.a3 Ne6 52.Be4 c3 53.f5 1-0. [Click to replay]

Photos by Nadja Woisin


Schedule

Round 8: Friday, March 2nd

Peter Leko 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Vishy Anand 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Peter Svidler
Alex. Morozevich 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen

Round 9: Saturday, March 3rd

Alex. Morozevich 
1-0
 Peter Leko
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Peter Svidler 
½-½
 Vishy Anand
Veselin Topalov 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk

Round 10: Sunday, March 4th

Peter Leko 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Peter Svidler
Vishy Anand 
1-0
 Magnus Carlsen
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Alex. Morozevich
Free day: Monday, March 5th

Round 11: Tuesday, March 6th

Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Peter Leko
Alex. Morozevich 
½-½
 Vishy Anand
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Peter Svidler 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov

Round 12: Wednesday, March 7th

Peter Leko 
0-1
 Peter Svidler
Veselin Topalov 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Vassily Ivanchuk 
0-1
 Alex. Morozevich
Vishy Anand 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Free day: Thursday, March 8th

Round 13: Friday, March 9th

Vishy Anand 
½-½
 Peter Leko
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Alex. Morozevich 
1-0
 Veselin Topalov
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Peter Svidler

Round 14: Saturday, March 10th

Peter Leko  
1-0
 Magnus Carlsen
Peter Svidler 
0-1
 Alex. Morozevich
Veselin Topalov 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Vishy Anand
Closing Ceremony

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