Medias R7: Carlsen wins fourth game in a row

6/22/2010 – The Kings Tournament has moved to its original location in Bazna, and Magnus Carlsen continues his amazing series, scoring his fourth consecutive win, this time on the white side of a Sicilian Dragon against Teimour Radjabov. The performance of the 19-year-old Norwegian: 2955. Gelfand defeated Nisipeanu and is now alone in second place. Commentary by GM Dorian Rogozenco.

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ROMGAZ and the Chess Club Society "Elisabeta Polihroniade” of Bucharest are staging a double round robin tournament with six top GMs: the world's highest ranked player, Magnus Carlsen of Norway, who at the age of 19 has an Elo rating of 2813. Ukrainian GM Ruslan Ponomariov is a former FIDE knockout world champion; Boris Gelfand of Israel, winner of the FIDE World Cup in 2009; the top Chinese player Wang Yue; Teimour Radjabov, the second highest ranked player of Azerbaijan, and Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, the best Romanian player. The competition is taking place from June 14th to 25th 2010 in Medias, Romania.

Round seven summary

By GM Dorian Rogozenco

Starting with this round the Kings Tournament moved from Medias to its traditional location the Expro Hotel in Bazna. But nothing can stop Magnus Carlsen in his amazing series – the world number one scored his fourth win in a row! Carlsen-Radjabov was a Sicilian Dragon, where White got nothing special out of the opening, although it must be said that there was no clear equality for Black either. On move 16 Radjabov went for complications, which he handled really well, but spent lots of time to find best moves. Everything ended up with a rook endgame with an extra pawn for White. Normally Black should have been be able to achieve a draw, but with little time left Radjabov made few mistakes, after which he couldn’t save the game any longer. It is truly amazing how Magnus Carlsen manages to win any position, no matter if opponent has a draw (today), or has advantage (as for instance the game against Ponomariov yesterday).

But let’s move on to the other two games. Nisipeanu-Gelfand saw another Petroff Defence. The Romanian Grandmaster implemented a novelty, but Gelfand feels those types of positions better than anyone in the world. No wonder that the Israeli Grandmaster reacted very well and solved all the opening problems. Then Nisipeanu miscalculated a concrete variation and ended up in a very unpleasant position, which in combination with little time led to an important victory for Gelfand, who remains now the only player still capable to fight with Carlsen’s supremacy in the tournament.

Ponomariov gradually outplayed Wang Yue on the white side of the Schlechter Variation of the Slav. The Chinese had troubles on the board and with the clock, but something goes wrong with Ponomariov in almost every game – the former FIDE World Champion started to play inaccurately and allowed Wang Yue to escape. Particularly strange looked his decision to let his opponent blockade the white kingside pawns on the light squares, which later helped Black create counterplay. Disappointed, Ponomariov continued to play until no material was left on the board, only to face the inevitable draw.

After seven rounds Carlsen leads with 5.5 points, followed by Gelfand with 4.5 points and Radjabov with 3.5 points. The three other players, Wang Yue, Ponomariov and Nisipeanu are all on 2.5 points.

Results of round seven (Monday, June 21, 2010)
Carlsen, Magnus
Radjabov, Teimour
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter
Gelfand, Boris
Ponomariov, Ruslan
Wang Yue

Carlsen,Magnus - Radjabov,Teimour [B35]
Kings' Tournament Medias Bazna/Romania (7), 21.06.2010 [Rogozenco]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 g6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4

7...Qa5. A common continuation for this specific move order, where Black spared time for d7-d6, and White had to play quickly Bc4 in order to prevent d7-d5. 8.0-0. Black's previous move is designed to prevent the usual plan against the Dragon: f3, Qd2 and castle long. If White continues 8.f3 then Black enters favourable complications with 8...Qb4 for instance: 9.Bb3 Nxe4! 10.Nxc6 Bxc3+ 11.bxc3 Qxc3+ 12.Ke2 dxc6! with advantage for Black. 8...0-0 9.Bb3 d6 10.h3 Bd7 11.Re1 Rfc8 12.Qe2 Qh5 13.Nf3 h6 14.Rad1 g5 15.Nd5 Nxd5

16.Bxd5. A new move. After 16.exd5 Ne5 17.Nxe5 Qxe2 18.Rxe2 Bxe5 the endgame is equal. 16...Bxb2. Radjabov decides to enter the complications. A brave decision based on good calculations, which, however took Teimour a lot of time. 17.Rb1 Bc3 18.Rxb7

18...Bxh3. 18...Bxe1 was possible as well: 19.Rxd7 Bc3 20.Qb5 a6! 21.Qa4 Ne5! 22.Bxa8 and now 22...Rxa8! with a playable position for Black.(The tempting 22...Nxf3+ is actually wrong: 23.gxf3 Rxa8 24.Qc6 Rb8 25.Kg2 (Not 25.Qxc3? Qxh3 attacking on d7 and threatening mate on b1.) 25...Bf6 26.Qxa6 with advantage for White.) 19.Nxg5! Qxe2. 19...Bg4? 20.Bxf7+ Qxf7 21.Nxf7 Bxe2 22.Nxh6+ Kh7 23.Rxe2 Rab8 24.Rb3! is just bad for Black. 20.Rxe2 Bg4 21.Nf3. Clearly inferior is 21.f3 hxg5 22.fxg4 e6 23.Bxc6 Rxc6 24.Bxg5 and all white pawns are weak.

White will win a pawn soon (he threatens to take on h6, or on c6 and e7) and the question for Radjabov is to find the most optimal way to get some compensation. 21...e6. Another possibility was 21...h5 22.Bxc6 Rxc6 23.Rxe7 a5. 22.Bxc6 Rxc6 23.Bxh6 Bxf3. A serious alternative for Black was 23...Rb6 and he remains with compensation for the pawn after 24.Rc7 (24.Rxb6 axb6 opens the a8-rook and is not at all problematic for Black) 24...Ba5 25.Rc4 (worse is 25.Rd7 e5 26.Re7 Rb2) 25...Rb2 26.a4 e5. 24.gxf3 Ra6. Now 24...Rb6 isn't so attractive anymore, since after 25.Rc7 Ba5 26.Rd7 the rook is well placed on d7 and Black cannot chase it away. 25.Rc7 Bg7 26.Bxg7 Kxg7 27.c3 Rb8 28.f4 Rbb6 29.Rd7 Rc6 30.Re3 Rxa2 31.e5 dxe5 32.fxe5

32...Rc5. The first inaccuracy in time trouble. After 32...Kg6 33.Rf3 Rc5 in opposite to the game the black king is not cut on the backrank. In this case Black should make a draw rather easily. 33.Rg3+! Kf8. A sad necessity. Perhaps Teimour missed that after 33...Kh6 White doesn't take the pawn, but continues 34.Rd8! (34.Rxf7 Rxe5=) 34...Kh7 35.Rd4 and Black gets mated. 34.Rf3 Rxe5 35.Rfxf7+ Ke8 36.Rfe7+ Kf8 37.Rh7. The endgame with a pawn down for Black after 37.Rxa7 Rxa7 38.Rxa7 Rc5 39.Ra3 Ke7 is a draw. 37...Kg8 38.Rdg7+ Kf8 39.Rb7

39...Kg8. The second mistake. Black should have started with 39...Rg5+ 40.Kf1 and only now 40...Kg8 Then 41.Rhe7 Rf5 42.Rb8+ Rf8 43.Rxf8+ Kxf8 44.Rxe6 Rc2 45.Rc6 a5 46.Ke1 a4 leads to a draw. 40.Rhg7+ Kh8 41.Rge7 Rg5+ 42.Kf1 Rc2 43.Rbc7

43...a5. As pointed out by Carlsen, the last chance to make a draw was 43...Rg6 44.Re8+ Rg8 45.Rxe6 Rf8. 44.Rxe6 a4. 44...Rg7 doesn't help in view of 45.Rh6+ Kg8 46.Rc8+ Kf7 47.Ra6. 45.Ra6 Rg4 46.c4! Rg7. 46...Rcxc4 loses a rook after 47.Ra8+. 47.Rxg7 Kxg7 48.Rxa4. With two pawns up the rest is easy for White. 48...Kf6 49.Kg2 Ke5 50.Ra5+ Ke6 51.Rc5 Kd6 52.Rd5+ Ke6 53.Rd4 Ke5 54.Rh4 Rc3 55.c5 Kf5 [55...Rxc5 56.Rh5+] 56.Rh8 Kf4 57.Rc8 Ke5 58.c6 Kd6 59.f3 Rc5 60.Kg3 Rg5+ 61.Kh4 Rg1 62.f4 Ke7 63.c7 Rc1 64.Kg5 1-0. [Click to replay]

Nisipeanu,Liviu Dieter - Gelfand,Boris [C42]
Kings' Tournament Medias Bazna/Romania (7), 21.06.2010 [Rogozenco]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Nc3 Nxc3 6.dxc3 Be7 7.Be3 0-0. In the third round Wang Yue played against Nisipeanu 7...Nc6 8.Qd2 Be6 9.0-0-0 Qd7 10.h4 h6 11.Nd4 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 Rg8 13.c4 c5 14.Bc3 0-0-0 15.Qe3 Rde8 16.Kb1 Bf6 17.Qg3 Bxc3 18.Qxc3 Qc6 19.Be2 Bf5 20.Bf3 Be4 21.Bxe4 Qxe4 and the game ended soon with a draw. 8.Qd2 Nd7 9.0-0-0 Ne5. Gelfand used to implement a slightly different plan 9...Re8 10.h4 c6 but after having some problems with it the Israeli Grandmaster switched to Ne5 and c6. 10.h4. Here are two examples from Gelfand's practice just one month ago: 10.Kb1 c6 11.h4 Bg4 12.Be2 Nxf3 13.Bxf3 (13.gxf3 Bh5 14.f4 Bxe2 15.Qxe2 Re8 16.f5 Bf6 17.Qg4 d5 18.h5 Re4 19.Qg3 Qe7 20.h6 g6 21.fxg6 fxg6 22.a3 Qe5 23.Qh3 Qe6 24.Qg3 Qe5 25.Qh3 Qe6 26.Qg3 1/2-1/2 Leko,P (2735)-Gelfand,B (2741)/Astrakhan 2010) 13...Bxf3 14.gxf3 Qa5 15.h5 Qf5 16.Rdg1 f6 17.Rg4 Qxf3 18.Rhg1 Rf7 19.Bh6 Bf8 20.Bxg7 Rxg7 21.Rxg7+ Bxg7 22.h6 Kh8 23.Rxg7 Rg8 24.Rxg8+ Kxg8 25.Qe1 Kf7 26.Qg1 Qh5 27.Qg7+ Ke6 28.b3 Qf7 29.Qh8 Kf5 30.Qg7 Ke6 31.Qg4+ f5 32.Qc4+ d5 33.Qe2+ Kf6 and everything ended up with a draw later on, Jakovenko,D (2725)-Gelfand,B (2741)/Astrakhan 2010. 10...c6

11.h5. A new move. 11.c4 Be6 12.Ng5 Nxc4 13.Qd3 Bxg5 14.hxg5 g6 15.Bf4 Qb6 16.Qd4 Qxd4 17.Rxd4 d5 18.Bxc4 dxc4 19.Be5 f5 20.gxf6 Rae8 21.Rh6 c3 22.Rxh7 cxb2+ 23.Kxb2 Kxh7 24.Rh4+ Kg8 25.f7+ Kxf7 26.Rh7+ Kg8 27.Rh8+ Kf7 28.Rh7+ Kg8 29.Rh8+ 1/2-1/2 Gashimov,V (2734)-Gelfand,B (2741)/Astrakhan 2010. 11...h6 12.Kb1 Ng4! 13.Bf4 d5 14.Bd3 Bd6 15.g3. 15.Nd4 Bxf4 16.Qxf4 Qf6 17.Qc7 Qe5 18.Qxe5 Nxe5 19.Rde1 Nxd3 20.cxd3 c5=. 15...Re8. After 15...Bxf4 16.gxf4 White has good chances to develop an attack on the g-file.

This is probably the critical moment of the game. White makes an ambitious move based on wrong calculations. 16.Rde1 Rxe1+ 17.Rxe1 Bxf4 18.Qxf4. Interesting is 18.gxf4 Nf6 19.Ne5 Nxh5 20.Qe3 and try to organize some attack, but this requires careful analysis, of course. 18...Nxf2 19.Ne5 Qf6 [19...Nxd3?? 20.Qxf7+]

20.Nxc6 Ne4! 21.Bxe4. In his calculations Dieter missed that after 21.Rxe4 (his initial idea when he played 16.Rde1) 21...dxe4 22.Qxe4 Black simply plays 22...Qxc6; In the post mortem the players came to the conclusion that the best chances to fight for a draw was probably 21.Nb4 but even here after 21...Qxf4 (Gelfand was going to start with 21...Be6 and if 22.Qe3 then 22...Qf2) 22.gxf4 Be6 there is no clear draw for White. For instance: 23.c4 (or 23.Bxe4 dxe4 24.Rxe4 Re8 25.Kc1 f6 26.Nd3 Bf7) 23...Nd2+ 24.Kc1 dxc4 25.f5 Bd7 26.Re7 Rd8. 21...Qxf4

Here White has several options, but the choice is actually very difficult, because everywhere Black keeps better prospects. 22.Ne7+. 22.gxf4 dxe4 23.Nd4 Bg4! (Worse is 23...f5 24.Kc1). The somewhat surprising 22.Bd3 doesn't solve all the problems either, since after 22...Kf8 23.gxf4 bxc6 24.f5 (or 24.Kc1 Bg4 25.Rh1 f5) 24...Bd7 25.Kc1 Re8 26.Rxe8+ Kxe8 27.Kd2 Ke7 28.Ke3 Kf6 29.Kf4 c5 Black should be winning. 22...Kf8 23.gxf4 dxe4 24.Nxc8. 24.Rxe4 Bg4 is also lost for White. 24...Rxc8 25.Rxe4 Rc5

The endgame is very difficult for White. Black takes the h-pawn and is the first one to start advancing his passed pawns. Nisipeanu's time trouble only made it even worse for the Romanian. 26.b4 Rxh5 27.Kb2. 27.Rc4 g5 28.fxg5 hxg5 is also lost. 27...Rf5 28.Rc4 g5 29.fxg5 hxg5 30.Rg4 Kg7 31.c4 Kg6 32.c5 Kh5 33.Rg1 g4 34.Kc3 Kh4 35.a3 Rd5 36.Kc4 Rd2 37.c3 f5 38.b5 f4 39.c6 bxc6 40.bxc6 Rd8 0-1. [Click to replay]

Ponomariov,Ruslan - Wang,Yue [D94]
Kings' Tournament Medias Bazna/Romania (7), 21.06.2010 [Rogozenco]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 g6 5.Nf3 Bg7 6.Be2 0-0 7.0-0 dxc4 8.Bxc4 Bg4 9.h3 Bxf3 10.Qxf3 Nbd7 11.Rd1 e5 12.d5

12...e4 13.Nxe4 Nxe4 14.Qxe4 Nb6 15.Rb1 Re8 16.Qc2 cxd5 17.Bb5 Re6. Black is trying to improve on the previously played 17...Rc8 18.Qb3 Re6 19.Be2 h5 20.Bf3 Rd6 21.Qd3 Rd7 22.b3 d4 23.Bb2 dxe3 24.Qxe3 Bxb2 25.Rxd7 Qxd7 26.Rxb2 with a similar advantage as in the game. 18.Qb3 Qh4 19.Bd2 d4

20.Bf1! A strong manoeuver. White protects pawn h3 and prepares g2-g3 followed by Bg2. 20...Rd8 21.g3 Qe7 22.Bg2 Qe8. After 22...d3 23.Bb4 Qd7 24.Bf1 Black loses the d-pawn. 23.exd4 Bxd4 24.Bc3 Bxc3 25.Rxd8 Qxd8 26.Qxc3 Qe7 27.Rd1. The position is more difficult for Black than it seems due to the superiority of the bishop versus the knight. 27...h5

28.b3. Better is 28.h4. 28...h4 29.g4 Rd6. A brave decision to sac a pawn in order to transfer the knight to the kingside. 30.Rxd6 Qxd6 31.Bxb7 Nd7 32.Qc8+ Kg7 33.Qd8 Qe6 34.Kg2 Ne5

35.Qd4. Ponomariov considered that White wins automatically. As a result he misses completely the transfer of the knight to f4. Of course White should have taken the pawn 35.Qxh4 Then after 35...Qd7 36.Be4 Qd4 37.f3 Qd2+ White has 38.Qf2 with an easy win. 35...Qf6 36.b4 g5. Now the knight comes to g6 and it is not simple anymore. 37.a4. After 37.Qxa7 Nd3 38.Qe3 Nf4+ (Bad is 38...Nxb4 39.a4 which is probably just lost for Black.) 39.Kh1 Qd6 40.a3 Qd1+ 41.Kh2 Qd6 Perhaps White can win by a very precise play, but Black's counterplay is obvious. 37...Ng6 38.Qxf6+ Kxf6 39.b5 Nf4+ 40.Kf3 Ke5

Black is right in time to stop the pawns with the king. The position is a draw. 41.a5 Kd6 42.Ke4 Nxh3 43.Kf5 Nxf2 44.Bf3 Kc7 45.Kxg5 h3 46.Kf6 h2 47.g5 h1Q 48.Bxh1 Nxh1 49.Kxf7 Ng3 50.g6 Nh5

51.Ke7 Ng7 52.Kf6 Nh5+ 53.Kg5 Ng7 54.Kf6 Nh5+ 55.Kf7 Kd7 56.Kf8 Kc7 57.Kg8 Nf4 58.g7 Ne6 59.Kf7 Nxg7 60.Kxg7 Kd6 61.Kf6 Kc5 62.b6 axb6 63.axb6 Kxb6 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

Current standings

Dorian Rogozenco in ChessBase Magazine 136

In his retrospective on the chess highlights of the last two months GM Dorian Rogozenco starts with two highly entertaining games from the European Championship in Rijeka, in both of which White sacrificed his rook on a1 and was able to go on and win the game. Both players of the white pieces (Nisipeanu and Motylev) have annotated these games on the DVD. He also introduces in this first video a strategically impressive victory of both the second and third placed players in the ECh, Baadur Jobava and Artyom Timofeev.
When looking back over the WCh match in the second video Rogozenco casts some light on the critical moments from Sofia. Starting with the two White victories in the first two rounds, then Topalov’s levelling of the match in the third game with the Slav he goes right through to the dramatic final of the last game. Rogozenco takes a critical look at Topalov’s plan in this 12th game, which allowed Anand to decide the match in his favour with the help of the only victory with Black. This meant that there was no need to go into a tiebreak.


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