Medias R9: All games drawn, Carlsen lead ahead of Gelfand

6/25/2010 – On his 42nd birthday today Boris Gelfand had the advantage, but failed to convert it when his clock ran out of time. Magnus Carlsen didn't try another King's Gambit, but his opponent, Liviu Dieter Nisipeanu pulled a well-prepared Jaenisch on him and held him to a draw. On the free day there was another soccer match. We have pictures and a fairly radical proposal to improve football.

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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 nine summary

By GM Dorian Rogozenco

Today was Boris Gelfand’s birthday. The Israeli Grandmaster turned 42. It is the second time that Boris celebrates his birthday in Bazna. And just like one year ago, he makes a draw on his birthday. And just like in the previous year he had the advantage today, but failed to convert it. His game versus Ponomariov started with the sharp Panov Attack of the Caro-Kann. Ponomariov’s aggressive intentions with the white pieces were accurately neutralized by Gelfand, who got a very good play against opponent’s isolated central pawn. On move 31 the Israeli Grandmaster was left with just two minutes for ten moves and therefore he accepted Ponomariov’s draw offer.

Magnus Carlsen decided that one King’s Gambit in this tournament is enough, and in today’s game versus Nisipeanu played the usual 2.Nf3 (after 1.e4 e5). However, the Romanian Grandmaster quickly surprised the world number one with the aggressive Jaenisch Gambit, which is a very rare guest at the top level. Magnus played the main line, but Nisipeanu’s preparation was very deep and he achieved a draw without difficulties. Does it mean that in the near future we’ll see more of the Jaenisch Gambit in top level chess? My guess is that it does.

There is little to say about the game Radjabov-Wang Yue. The Azerbaijani played a known theoretical variation in the Petrov’s Defense, which leads to a forced draw.

Results of round nine (Thursday, June 24, 2010)
Carlsen, Magnus
½-½
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter
Radjabov, Teimour
½-½
Wang Yue
Ponomariov, Ruslan
½-½
Gelfand, Boris

Carlsen,Magnus - Nisipeanu,Liviu Dieter [C63]
Kings' Tournament Medias Bazna/Romania (9), 24.06.2010 [Rogozenco]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5 4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Nxe5 dxe4 7.Nxc6 Qg5 8.Qe2 Nf6. 8...Qxg2 is bad in view of 9.Qh5+ g6 10.Qe5+.








9.f4. This sharp position is one of the main theoretical lines of the Jaenisch Gambit. 9...Qxf4 10.Ne5+ c6 11.d4 Qh4+ 12.g3 Qh3 13.Bc4 Be6 14.Bg5 0-0-0 15.0-0-0 Bd6 16.Rhf1 Rhe8








17.Bxf6. This move leads to massive exchanges and a draw. 17.Bxe6+ Qxe6 18.Nc4 would have kept more tension, although the position is equal anyway. 17...gxf6 18.Rxf6 Bxe5 19.Rxe6 Rxe6 20.Bxe6+ Qxe6 21.dxe5 Qh6+. 21...Rxd1+ 22.Kxd1 Qxe5 is a mistake in view of 23.Qg4+ Kc7 24.Qf4! and the pawn endgame is lost for Black: 24...Qxf4 (or 24...Kd6 25.Ke2) 25.gxf4 Kd6 26.Ke2 Ke6 27.Ke3 Kf5 28.b4 b6 29.a4 and White easily wins the needed tempo to put Black in zugzwang. 22.Rd2 Rxd2 23.Qxd2 e3 24.Qe2 Qg5 25.Kd1 Kc7!








26.Qd3. Actually only this move is a novelty. There have been two correspondence games where White played 26.e6 but they both ended with a draw anyway. 26...Qh5+ 27.Kc1 Qh6. Another possibility was 27...Qxe5 28.Qxh7+ Kb6 29.Qf7 Qe4 which should also be a draw. 28.Kd1. Here Magnus had an interesting possibility to enter a pawn endgame with 28.Qd6+ Qxd6 29.exd6+ Kxd6 30.Kd1 Ke5 31.Ke2 Ke4









Analysis diagram

Although the endgame is tricky, most likely it is still a draw.

28...Qh5+ 29.Ke1 Qxh2 30.Qd6+ Kc8 31.Qf8+ Kc7 32.Qe7+ Kc8 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


Ponomariov,Ruslan - Gelfand,Boris [B10]
Kings' Tournament Medias Bazna/Romania (9), 24.06.2010 [Rogozenco]

1.c4 c6 2.e4 d5 3.cxd5 cxd5 4.exd5 Nf6 5.Bb5+ Nbd7 6.Nc3 a6 7.Be2 b5 8.d4 b4 9.Na4 Bb7 10.Nf3 Bxd5 11.Bf4 e6 12.Rc1 Be7








13.0-0. 13.Bc7 Qc8 brings White little. The best he can do is to retreat the bishop to g3 and then play similarly to the game: 14.Bg3 Qd8 (14...Qb7?? is a blunder in view of 15.Rc7) 15.0-0 and the bishop is on g3 instead of f4. This doesn't seem to change the evaluation as equal. 13...0-0 14.b3








Thanks to the better pawn structure Black can be optimistic about the future. It is rather White who must find a way to develop some initiative. 14...Ra7. An interesting plan – to bring the queen to a8. The drawback is obvious - the rook on a7 remains a bit out of play for a while. 14...Rc8 was actually a possible alternative, since after 15.Bxa6 Rxc1 16.Bxc1 (or 16.Qxc1 Bxf3 17.gxf3 Qa8 18.Be2 Nd5) 16...Qa8 Black has some compensation for the pawn. 15.Ne5 Qa8 16.f3 Qd8!? After 16...Rc8 17.Qd2 Rxc1 18.Rxc1 Black has some problems due to the awkward rook on a7. 17.Bd3 Ba8 18.Qe2 a5 19.Nc6 Bxc6 20.Rxc6 Nd5 21.Bg3 N7b6 22.Nxb6 Nxb6








23.f4. A very aggressive and committing move. After 23.Rfc1 Nd5 (23...Qxd4+?? 24.Bf2) 24.R1c4 the position remains about equal. 23...g6 24.Bf2 Nd5 25.Qf3 Rd7 26.Bb5 Rd6








The rook is back into play and Black's chances should be better now. 27.g4. Continuing in the same aggressive style. But it is difficult to suggest a sensible plan instead. 27...Qb8 28.Ba4








28...f5! 29.g5 Nc3. The transfer of the knight to e4 is very attractive. However, Black had another very attractive possibility. Here Gelfand could have played 29...Rxc6 30.Bxc6 Qxf4 31.Bxd5 Qxg5+ 32.Bg3 (or 32.Kh1 exd5 33.Qxd5+ Kg7 34.Qxa5 Bd6 35.Qd5 Qf4 36.Qg2 Qd2 37.Bg1 Qd3) 32...exd5 33.Qxd5+ Kg7 34.Qxa5 Bd6 and White must struggle to survive. 30.Re1 Ne4 31.Be3. Black is still better, but White has everything protected and it is not simple to break through without allowing counterplay. After all, Black's king might become vulnerable as well. Considering the severe time trouble (2 minutes for 10 moves) Gelfand's decision is understandable. 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


Radjabov,Teimour - Wang,Yue [C42]
Kings' Tournament Medias Bazna/Romania (9), 24.06.2010 [Rogozenco]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Be7 7.0-0 Nc6 8.c4 Nb4 9.Be2 0-0 10.Nc3 Bf5 11.a3 Nxc3 12.bxc3 Nc6 13.Re1 Re8 14.Bf4 dxc4 15.Bxc4 Bd6 16.Rxe8+ Qxe8 17.Ng5 Bg6 18.Bxd6 cxd6 19.h4 Qe7 20.Qg4 h6 21.h5 Bxh5 22.Qxh5 hxg5 23.Rd1 Rf8 24.Rd3 Qe1+ 25.Kh2 Qxf2








This is a theoretical position, which since 2002 has been known to lead to a forced draw. Therefore Radjabov's choice is difficult to explain. 26.Qxg5. Formally this is a new move, which nevertheless was mentioned by Gelfand back in 2002 as harmless. 26.Rh3 Qf4+ with equality was met in 2002 in two games of Gelfand. Since then the variation is considered to be a draw. 26...Qf6 27.Qxf6 gxf6 28.Rg3+ Kh8 29.Rh3+ Kg7 30.Rg3+ Kh8 31.Rh3+ Kg7 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

[Click to replay]

Current standings


The soccer game

There was a general request by players and guests that the soccer match of the first free day in Medias be repeated during the second break.

The usual suspects: Magnus Carlsen, Alexander Huzman (who has been Gelfand's second for twenty years), Ruslan Ponomariov, Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu (playing in yellow for the enemy side) and Alexander Moiseenko, the second of ruslan Ponomariov.

Magnus is a soccer fan, always ready for a game. And he's really good at it. There is a genuine danger that one day he will say: "Nah, it is definitely more interesting for me."

Football today: the best players are always covered by three opponents – watch the FIFA World Championship in South Africa, and see how far it has come.

If a player gets the ball he is immediately tackled. In the World Cup (watch it!) the only options seem to be (a) to retreat with the ball; (b) pass it sidewards to a player, who is then immediately in the same position; or (c) pretend you are going to dribble past the three defenders, which is of course impossible, but might get you a free kick.

Above Magnus goes for (c), assisted by Ruslan Ponomariov, and seems to succeed. But only because he has a reasonable amount of space – and is very good with the ball.

Which brings us to our radical proposal, aimed at making football more attractive to players and spectators. At the top level there are clearly too many players on the pitch. So: we should have 16 players in each team, but only eight on the field at any one time. They can be exchanged whenever they want for a fresh player, as in ice hockey, providing there are always only eight in play. This will ensure space to unfold their artistic skills – have you seen what players can do with a ball? – and produce, we predict, dazzling football unlike the strategic pottering around we see in today's game.

You can follow the World Championship and your favourite teams here:


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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