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Linares R8: Aronian beats Carlsen with black

3/1/2009 – All four games were very hard-fought, but three ended in a draw, with black pressing on all three boards. In the fourth game is was black again, with Levon Aronian gaining an advantage against Magnus Carlsen in a well-prepared Semi-Slav. It took the Armenian GM 6½ hours and 93 moves to overcome the resistance of his young Norwegian opponent. Grischuk still leads by a full point. Round eight report.
 

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 eight report

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


Levon Aronian, Armenia, vs Magnus Carlsen, Norway

Magus Carlsen met with a well-prepared opponent, Levon Aronian, who improved on a 2007 games which Nyback won against Jaracz in Dresden 2007 (CBM 118) with a pawn sacrifice on move 14. Soon Aronian had an advantage and was playing for a win. Carlsen defended quite heroically, for over 6½ hours and 93 moves, only to lose the point in a rook and two pawns vs rook and pawn ending.

Anand played a Semi-Slav (Anti-Meran) against Teimour Radjabov, whose novelty on move 16 left Black with a comfortable position. The World Champion was on the offensive for the rest of the game, which featured a prolongued phase of tactical fireworks, eventually leading to simplifications and a drawn rook ending, which his Azerbaijani opponent managed to hold.

Tournament leader Alexander Grischuk got into trouble with the white pieces against Leinier Dominguez in an Exchange Gruenfeld, when the Cuban GM managed to neutralize his Russian opponent's strong initiative and even found himself on the more pleasant side of a drawn ending. This game, which ended after 47 moves in a draw, merits further study.


Games under way in round eight in Linares


The audience in the theater, with headphones to follow the live commentary


Commentary by GM Mihail Marin

Please note that due to tournament games, coupled with illness, our regular Linares commentator, GM Dorian Rogozenco, will not be able to provide us with further annotations, probably for the rest of the event. GM Mihail Marin, who annotated the FIDE Candidates Match Topalov vs Kamsky will take over with one game per round. Possible another guest GM will join in next week.

Ivanchuk,V - Wang Yue [C42]
XXVI SuperGM Linares ESP (8), 19.02.2008 [Mihail Marin]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.0-0 Be7 8.c4 Nb4 9.Be2 0-0 10.Nc3 Bf5 11.a3 Nxc3 12.bxc3 Nc6 13.Re1 Re8 14.cxd5 Qxd5 15.Bf4 Rac8








Together with the Marshall Attack, this tabyia is one of the biggest nightmares for 1.e4 players. In practice, Black's piece activity has usually matched the potential force of White's mobile pawn centre. The theoretical evolution has been anything but spectacular over the past years. Players of similar level, using similar engines, which run on computers of similar strenght will logically find similar variations. Modern times... 16.a4!? Not this time, though! This generally useful move, winning space on the queenside, has never been played before and does not seem to be on the engines' list of preferences. We may call it a human novelty. 16...Bd6 17.Be3 Na5 18.Nd2 Qe6 19.g3 h6 20.Bf3 c5








After a series of half-waiting moves for both sides, Black decides to start concrete play. His decision is logical, because it is not easy to suggest a way of further improving the piece placement. 21.dxc5. My personal feeling is that this move, which spoils White's structure, is connected with an oversight (see my comment on White's 28th move). The main alternative was 21.d5 , leading to a structure that is characteristic for the Gruenfeled Defence! (Compare with the game Grischuk-Dominguez, from this same round). 21...Bxc5 22.Bxc5 Qxe1+ 23.Qxe1 Rxe1+ 24.Rxe1 Rxc5 25.Re8+ Kh7 26.Ne4 Bxe4 27.Bxe4+ g6








We can notice certain elements that seem to compensate for the weakness of the c3-pawn. pawns along the seventh rank are vulnerable and if White will manage to play Bd5 the knight would be dominated. 28.Ra8. Ivanchuk took a long time before playing this move. When playing 21.dxc5 he may have relied on 28.Re7 Kg7 29.Bxb7 Nxb7 30.Rxb7 Rxc3 31.Rxa7 when the same rook ending as in the game would arise, only that with reversed colours. Unfortunately for White, this line is flawed tactically. After 29.Bxb7 (??) Black wins material with 29...Kf8 30.Rd7 Ke8 and 31.Rd5 does not work because of 31...Nxb7 . Would it be this last detail that escaped Ivanchuk's attention?! 28...a6 29.Rd8 Rc7 30.Bd5 Kg7 31.Re8 Nc4








32.Bxc4!? A remarkable decision. Ivanchuk probably felt that only White can be worse in this position, because of his weak pawns. The ending to which he transposes is objectively dead drawn, although at grandmaster level (up to World Champions) it frequently ended in a win for the active side. Ivanchuk's confident play in the final part of the game proves that he knew his lesson well. 32...Rxc4 33.Re7 Rxc3 34.Rxb7 Rc4 35.a5 Rc5 36.Ra7 Rxa5 37.g4 Kf6 38.Kg2 Ra3 39.h4 Ke6








40.h5! Very logical play. In order to make queenside progress, Black will need to march in with the king, sacrificing one or two kingside pawns. Therefore, it is essential for White to bring his own candidates to promotion closer to the back rank. 40...gxh5 41.gxh5 Kf6 42.f3 Ra2+ 43.Kg3 Ra1 44.Kg4 Ra4+ 45.f4 Ra1 46.Ra8 Kg7 47.Ra7. It is obvious now that White is out of any danger. 47...a5 48.Kf5 a4 49.Ra6 a3 50.Ra7








50...a2 51.Ra8 Kh7 52.Ra3 Kg8 53.Ra8+ Kg7 54.Ra7 Rh1 55.Rxa2 Rxh5+ 56.Kg4 Rb5 57.Ra6 h5+ 58.Kh4 f6 59.Ra8 Kg6 60.Rh8 Rb1 61.Kg3 Rb3+ 62.Kg2 Ra3 63.Kf2 Ra7 64.Kg3 Rh7








65.Rxh7! The simplest way to a draw. The resulting pawn ending can be found in the books. 65...Kxh7 66.f5. Black has no active plan, since after 66.f5 Kg7 67.Kh3 (Only not 67.Kh4? because of 67...Kh6 and White is in zugzwang) 67...Kf7 68.Kh4 he should return with 68...Kg7, in order to avoid losing. draw. [Click to replay]


Current standings

Video reports by Europe Echecs

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


The mines of Linares

The city of Linares, where the Super-GM tournament is being held, is located in the Andalusian province of Jaén, Spain, and has a long history, dating back into antiquity. It was at Linares that Carthaginian general Hannibal married the local Iberian princess Himilce on the eve of the Second Punic War.

Around the middle of the nineteenth century Linares became an important mining center for mineral lead. The smelting of lead, the manufacture of lead sheets and pipes, and the production of by-product silver from the lead ores led to a significant population increase. The 6,000 inhabitants in 1849 became 36,000 in 1877. Today the population is over 60,000. The last mine in Linares closed in 1991, and today all mines have been abandoned. But you can still see a few remnants of the old mining glory that was Linares.


A brief history of the La Tortilla Mine and Foundry


The ‘El Fin’ Shaft at La Tortilla Mines in Linares, 1904


A historical photograph from the in the hayday of lead mining and smelting


Today you only see some ruins of the mines, between farm houses and olive groves


A mining museum is under construction, but not ready yet


Just a hall with a few pictures depicting the history of the mines


The entrance to an old smelting oven


A mine shaft, over a kilometer in depth and very dangerous to unaware tourists. The organisers warned us: do not leave the roads around the mine, unless accompanied by an expert!


An expert. This is our guide, Juan Parrilla, from the Heritage Department in Linares

Photos by Nadja Woisin in Linares


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

Round 10: Monday, 2 March 2009

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

Round 11: Tuesday, 3 March 2009

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

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

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