Mind Games Final: Karjakin, Zhao Xue top Basque

by Alejandro Ramirez
12/18/2013 – The SportsAccord World Mind Games has come to an end in Beijing, China. The last chess event was the unique Basque rapids. Karjakin crushed the men's section with an amazing 8.5/10 including 2-0 wins against Leko and Le Quang Liem. In the women's China took places one two and three, but Gunina almost cut in by taking out Hou Yifan. However, like in the blitz, a blunder spoiled her chances...

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SportAccord Mind Games will be held in Beijing, China between the 12th of December and 20th December 2012. The World Mind Games was held for the first time in 2008 and consisted of 5 disciplines: chess, bridge, draughts (checkers), go, and xiangqi (Chinese chess). SportAccord, the organizer of the Mind Games, is the umbrella organization for both Olympic and non-Olympic sports as well as for major organizers of conferences and sporting events.

Day 7: Basque Rapids - Men

Dominguez did not shine in any event but he was always a dangerous opponent

It isn't easy to handle two rapid games and a cup of tea at the same time

Giri had some trouble finding his groove in China. He finished last in the rapid and thirteenth in the Basque

Karjakin continued dominant in China in the last day of events by defeating Le Quagn Liem 2-0.

[Event "Basque"] [Site "Beijing"] [Date "2013.12.18"] [Round "4.1"] [White "Le Quang Liem (VIE)"] [Black "Karjakin Sergey (RUS)"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E46"] [PlyCount "106"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Nge2 d5 6. a3 Be7 7. cxd5 exd5 8. Nf4 c6 9. Bd3 Na6 10. O-O Nc7 11. Bd2 Ne6 12. Nfe2 a5 13. Rc1 Ne8 14. f3 f5 15. Kh1 Nd6 16. Qc2 Bf6 17. Be1 Bg5 18. Bf2 g6 19. Rcd1 Nc7 20. Nf4 Ne6 21. Nfe2 Nc7 22. Rfe1 Re8 23. Nc1 Be6 24. Bg3 Bh4 25. Qf2 Bxg3 26. Qxg3 Bf7 27. h3 Qf6 28. Qf2 Re7 29. Re2 Rae8 30. Rde1 Ne6 31. f4 Ne4 32. Qf3 Kh8 33. Bc2 g5 34. Nd3 g4 35. hxg4 fxg4 36. Qxg4 Rg8 37. Qh3 Ng3+ 38. Kg1 Nxe2+ 39. Rxe2 Bg6 40. Ne5 Bxc2 41. Rxc2 Reg7 42. g4 $6 {Black is up the exchange, but he has some problems converting since White's knight on e5 is very powerful.} (42. Re2 { was more prudent, but Black is better after Rg3.}) 42... Nxf4 $1 43. exf4 Qxf4 {For the sacrificed piece Black will take on d4 and destabilize the knight on e5, which is holding his opponent's position together. Not to mention that he does get three pawns.} 44. Kh1 Qxd4 45. Re2 Qf4 (45... Rf8 {was somewhat more accurate, but with such a big advantage it is possible that Karjakin was focusing on the other game.}) 46. Qh2 Qf1+ 47. Qg1 Qf6 48. Qd4 Rf8 49. Kh2 h5 $1 {Removing the last defender of the enemy king.} 50. gxh5 c5 (50... Rg5 { also worked} 51. Ng6+ Rxg6 $1) 51. Qd3 Qh4+ 52. Qh3 Qf4+ 53. Kh1 Qc1+ 0-1

 

[Event "Basque"] [Site "Beijing"] [Date "2013.12.18"] [Round "4.2"] [White "Karjakin Sergey (RUS)"] [Black "Le Quang Liem (VIE)"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C65"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "125"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 O-O 6. O-O d6 7. h3 Ne7 8. d4 Bb6 9. Re1 d5 10. Nxe5 Nxe4 11. Nd2 Nd6 12. Bf1 c6 13. b3 Re8 14. a4 Ng6 15. Nxg6 Rxe1 16. Qxe1 hxg6 17. Ba3 a5 18. Qe3 Be6 19. Re1 Bc7 20. Bd3 Bf5 21. Nf3 Bxd3 22. Qxd3 Ne4 23. Nd2 Nxd2 24. Qxd2 Bd6 25. Bxd6 Qxd6 26. g3 Qd7 27. Kg2 Re8 28. Re3 Kf8 29. h4 Qf5 30. Rxe8+ Kxe8 31. Qe3+ Kd7 32. Qf3 Qxf3+ 33. Kxf3 Ke6 34. Kg4 b5 35. Kf4 Kd6 36. g4 Ke6 37. Kg5 Kd6 38. h5 {Black equalized relatively easily in this Spanish. Now he has to play precisely to hold a draw, as his endgame technique has not been the best so far.} gxh5 $2 (38... Kd7 $1 { A beautiful idea.} 39. hxg6 fxg6 {and g6 is poisoned:} 40. Kxg6 $2 c5 $1 {And Black breaks through on the queenside!}) 39. gxh5 {Now the pawn race is lost for the Vietnamese player.} c5 40. dxc5+ Kxc5 41. axb5 Kxb5 42. f4 a4 43. bxa4+ Kxa4 44. f5 Kb3 45. f6 gxf6+ 46. Kxf6 Kxc3 47. h6 d4 48. h7 d3 49. h8=Q d2 50. Kxf7+ Kc2 {The rest is elementary: The queen will always beat a lone king and pawn if the pawn is a b, d, e or g pawn.} 51. Qc8+ Kb2 52. Qb7+ Kc2 53. Qe4+ Kc1 54. Qc4+ Kb2 55. Qd3 Kc1 56. Qc3+ Kd1 57. Ke6 Ke2 58. Qc4+ Ke1 59. Qe4+ Kf2 60. Qd3 Ke1 61. Qe3+ Kd1 62. Kd5 Kc2 63. Qe2 1-0

In the last round the Russian also beat Gata Kamsky to finish with an amazing 8.5/10 in the Basque. A full two points behind was Mamedyarov who beat Aronian 2-0 in the very last round to claim silver. Ivanchuk and Ponomariov had a duel of Ukrainians to determine who would medal. Had either player won their match they would have a medal, but because of the 1-1 split it was Ponomariov who took the bronze while Ivanchuk stayed off the podium.

Kamsky, employing a new concentration pose, was Karjakin's last victim of the tournament

Rank Name Rtg FED   1.Rd   2.Rd.   3.Rd.   4.Rd.   5.Rd. Pts
1 Karjakin Sergey 2787 RUS   16 1 1   11 ½​ 1   3 1 ½​   8 1 1   6 ½​ 1 8.5
2 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2795 AZE   8 1 0   14 ½​ ½​   10 1 0   12 1 ½​   11 1 1 6.5
3 Ponomariov Ruslan 2748 UKR   15 1 ½​   5 1 1   1 0 ½​   11 ½​ ½​   4 1 0 6.0
4 Ivanchuk Vassily 2732 UKR   10 0 1   8 ½​ 0   15 ½​ 1   5 ½​ 1   3 0 1 5.5
5 Kamsky Gata 2734 USA   7 ½​ 1   3 0 0   13 ½​ 1   4 ½​ 0   14 1 1 5.5
6 Grischuk Alexander 2828 RUS   12 0 ½​   9 1 1   11 ½​ ½​   14 ½​ 1   1 ½​ 0 5.5
7 Wang Yue 2729 CHN   5 ½​ 0   15 ½​ 1   14 ½​ ½​   10 1 ½​   8 0 1 5.5
8 Le Quang Liem 2756 VIE   2 0 1   4 ½​ 1   12 ½​ 1   1 0 0   7 1 0 5.0
9 Wang Hao 2690 CHN   14 1 0   6 0 0   16 1 ½​   13 1 0   10 0 1 4.5
10 Nepomniachtchi Ian 2799 RUS   4 1 0   12 ½​ ½​   2 0 1   7 0 ½​   9 1 0 4.5
11 Aronian Levon 2797 ARM   13 1 1   1 ½​ 0   6 ½​ ½​   3 ½​ ½​   2 0 0 4.5
12 Dominguez Perez Leinier 2758 CUB   6 1 ½​   10 ½​ ½​   8 ½​ 0   2 0 ½​   16 ½​ ½​ 4.5
13 Giri Anish 2700 NED   11 0 0   16 ½​ 1   5 ½​ 0   9 0 1   15 1 0 4.0
14 Radjabov Teimour 2749 AZE   9 0 1   2 ½​ ½​   7 ½​ ½​   6 ½​ 0   5 0 0 3.5
15 Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2761 FRA   3 0 ½​   7 ½​ 0   4 ½​ 0   16 ½​ ½​   13 0 1 3.5
16 Leko Peter 2738 HUN   1 0 0   13 ½​ 0   9 0 ½​   15 ½​ ½​   12 ½​ ½​ 3.0

Note: Rapid ratings used

Men Basque Games games four and five

Day 7: Basque Women

Lagno was remained in the middle of the standings throught the three events

A last second blunder completely changed the standings...

The Basque system saw a complete dominance by the Chinese women. Yesterday the three of them were leading the tournament and the only thing that changed in the end was their positions in the top three. Zhao Xue had a good break in round four against Elizabeth Paehtz and she was able to take down the German 2-0, giving her a half point edge over the other Chinese players. Zhao Xue and Ju Wenjun split the match, allowing the possibility of Hou Yifan winning the tournament if she beat Gunina 2-0. However, Gunina herself was looking to medal by beating Hou Yifan by any score! Tragically for the Russian she again blundered a great possibility:

[Event "Basque"] [Site "Beijing"] [Date "2013.12.18"] [Round "5.4"] [White "Hou Yifan (CHN)"] [Black "Gunina Valentina (RUS)"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B19"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez, Alejandro"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/8/1R6/8/1kpP4/p5K1/3N4/3r4 b - - 0 64"] [PlyCount "14"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:00:59"] [BlackClock "0:05:24"] 64... Kc3 {Gunina's Caro-Kann left her in an unpleasant endgame in which she eventually lost a piece, but now she has more than enough counterplay and White's last pawn is about to fall. With a draw the Russian would have clinched a bronze medal since her tiebreak (direct encounter) would have allowed her to overtake Hou Yifan. However disaster strikes} 65. Nb1+ Kxd4 $4 { A complete blindspot.} (65... Kd3 {should also draw since d4 will fall sooner rather than later, for example} 66. Nxa3 Ra1 67. Nb5 c3 {and White has to shed material soon to avoid the pawn from queening.}) (65... Rxb1 66. Rxb1 a2 67. Rg1 Kb2 {was the surest way to draw. Both players get a queen and everything is equal.} (67... Kxd4 {also works.})) 66. Rd6+ {White picks up the rook on d1 and the bronze medal. Black's pawn on a3 will be stopped by White's rook without any issues.} Kc5 67. Rxd1 Kb4 68. Nxa3 Kxa3 69. Kf3 Kb2 70. Ke2 Kc2 71. Rd8 1-0

With these results Zhao Xue claimed gold, Hou Yifan silver on tiebreaks over bronze medallist Ju Wenjun. Cmilyte and Kosteniuk ended the tournament with 2-0 wins over Dzagnidze and Paehtz, but they were never in any medal contention despite beating Gunina on tiebreaks.

The Chinese women started the day against each other and they split the match Hou Yifan 1-1 Ju Wenjun

Zhao Xue took advantage of the difficult pairings of their opponents to beat the German representative and get a half point advantage in the leaderboard

Rank Name Rtg FED   1.Rd.   2.Rd.   3.Rd.   4.Rd.   5.Rd. Pts
1 Zhao Xue 2489 CHN   15 1 ½​   9 1 1   2 1 0   13 1 1   3 0 1 7.5
2 Hou Yifan 2579 CHN   16 1 1   5 1 1   1 0 1   3 0 1   6 0 1 7.0
3 Ju Wenjun 2552 CHN   9 ½​ ½​   12 1 1   4 1 1   2 1 0   1 1 0 7.0
4 Cmilyte Viktorija 2450 LTU   10 1 1   13 1 0   3 0 0   11 1 0   14 1 1 6.0
5 Kosteniuk Alexandra 2588 RUS   6 ½​ 1   2 0 0   7 0 1   15 ½​ 1   13 1 1 6.0
6 Gunina Valentina 2543 RUS   5 ½​ 0   7 1 ½​   10 ½​ 1   14 ½​ 1   2 1 0 6.0
7 Muzychuk Anna 2566 SLO   14 0 1   6 0 ½​   5 1 0   9 1 0   8 1 0 4.5
8 Sebag Marie 2502 FRA   13 0 0   10 ½​ 0   12 1 ½​   16 1 ½​   7 0 1 4.5
9 Ushenina Anna 2478 UKR   3 ½​ ½​   1 0 0   16 1 ½​   7 0 1   11 0 1 4.5
10 Lagno Kateryna 2566 UKR   4 0 0   8 ½​ 1   6 ½​ 0   12 0 ½​   16 1 1 4.5
11 Cramling Pia 2513 SWE   12 ½​ ½​   14 0 ½​   15 1 0   4 0 1   9 1 0 4.5
12 Koneru Humpy 2626 IND   11 ½​ ½​   3 0 0   8 0 ½​   10 1 ½​   15 1 ½​ 4.5
13 Paehtz Elisabeth 2513 GER   8 1 1   4 0 1   14 0 1   1 0 0   5 0 0 4.0
14 Dzagnidze Nana 2575 GEO   7 1 0   11 1 ½​   13 1 0   6 ½​ 0   4 0 0 4.0
15 Kosintseva Tatiana 2503 RUS   1 0 ½​   16 ½​ ½​   11 0 1   5 ½​ 0   12 0 ½​ 3.5
16 Stefanova Antoaneta 2582 BUL   2 0 0   15 ½​ ½​   9 0 ½​   8 0 ½​   10 0 0 2.0

Note: Rapid ratings used

Women Basque Games games four and five

Photos by Gu Xiaobing, taken from the official FIDE website

Basque Winners

Zhao Xue receives her gold...

In a Chinese filled podium

The podium: Karjakin, Mamedyarov, Ponomariov

Karjakin took two golds in China, the Blitz and the Basque

China won the MindSport games with a total of nine gold medals, the Russians came second with six gold medals, two of them coming from Karjakin!

Schedule

Thursday, December 12th 14:00-19:00    Rapid Event: 1-4 rounds (men), 1-4 rounds (women)
Friday, December 13th 14:00-19:00    Rapid Event: 5-7 rounds (men), 5-7 rounds (women)
Saturday, December 14th 14:00-19:00    Blitz Event: 1-10 rounds (men), 1-10 rounds (women)
Sunday, December 15th 14:00-19:00    Blitz Event: 11-20 rounds (men), 11-20 rounds (women)
Monday, December 16th 14:00-19:00    Blitz Event: 21-30 rounds (men), 21-30 rounds (women)
Tuesday, December 17th 14:00-19:00    Basque System: 1-3 rounds (men), 1-3 rounds (women)
Wednesday, December 18th 11:00-16:00    Basque System: 4-5 rounds (men), 4-5 rounds (women) &
Closing Ceremony

Links

The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.



Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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