Morelia R1: Carlsen beats Morozevich

2/18/2007 – Magnus Carlsen beat Alexander Morozevich in a game lasting five and a quarter hours. Anand held Topalov to an effortless draw with the black pieces. Svidler and Aronian drew in 39 moves. Ivanchuk had Leko on the ropes but ran into deadly time trouble, and the game ended in a dramatic draw. Full analysis by GM Mihail Marin.

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Round one

Round 1: Saturday, February 17th

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

Round 2: Sunday, February 18th

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

We bring you the cross table at thes early phase because it shows something truly unique: a 16-year-old leading in a Super-GM tournament!

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.

Svidler,P (2728) - Aronian,L (2744) [C89]
XXIV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (1), 17.02.2007 [Mihail Marin]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 A specialist of the Marshall Attack himself, Svidler decides to take the bull by the horns. 8...d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.d4 Bd6 13.Re1 Qh4 14.g3 Qh3 15.Re4 g5 16.Qf1 Qh5 17.Nd2 Bf5 18.f3 Nf6 19.Qg2 Qg6 20.Re3 Rae8 21.Ne4 Nxe4 22.g4 Ng3 23.hxg3

23...Bd3N. Aronian decides to deviate from his recent game against Anand, possibly fearing his opponent's speciffic preparation. After 23...Bb1 24.Qe2 Rxe3 25.Qxe3 h6 26.Qe1 Bc2 27.Bxc2 Qxc2 28.Qe4 Qd1+ 29.Kg2 Kg7 30.Qe3 Bxg3 31.Kxg3 Re8 32.Qxe8 a draw was agreed in Anand-Aronian, Wijk aan Zee 2007. In spite of his huge material disadvantage, Black will give perpetual. 24.Bd2 Rxe3 25.Bxe3 Re8 26.Re1 c5 27.dxc5 Bxc5 28.Qd2 Bxe3+ 29.Rxe3. White has managed to emerge out of the opening with what might seem like a sound extra-pawn. However, some subtle tactical nuances will allow Black achieve a draw more or less by force. 29...Qb6 30.Kf2 Rd8 This is it. White has no way to free himself from Black's domination. 31.Qe1 Re8 32.Qd2 Rd8 33.Bc2 Bg6 34.Qe2 Re8 35.Bxg6 hxg6 36.Qd2 Rd8 37.Qe2 Re8 38.Qd2 Rd8 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


Topalov,V (2783) - Anand,V (2779) [E15]
XXIV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (1), 17.02.2007 [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 For Topalov, this variation has been a fertile territory for research and innovating along the past years. 11...0-0 12.0-0 Nf6 13.e4 dxe4 14.Nxe4 b5 15.Qe2N. This new move leads to an interesting position. Previously, 15.Nc5 had been played, when after 15...Bxc5 16.dxc5 bxc4 17.Qe2 Nd5 18.Be5 Qg5 19.Bd6 Rfd8 20.bxc4 White was in complete control in the game L'Ami-Iordachescu, Vlissingen 2006. 17...Qd3 looks like an improvement for Black. 15...bxc4 16.Rfd1 Nd5 17.Be1 Nb6.

A paradoxical situation: For White, it will not be easy to win the pawn back without making certain strategic concessions, but for Black it will be just as difficult to give his minimal material advantage a stable character! 18.Nc5 Qc8 19.Nxa6 Qxa6 20.a4. A logical move, which, however, weakens the queenside dark squares. The simplistic 20.Bxc6 would have allowed Black activate his play with 20...Rac8. 20...Rab8 21.Bf3 Bf6 22.Rac1 Nd5 23.Qxc4 Qb7 24.Qxc6 Qxb3 25.Be4 Nb4 26.Qd7 a5 27.Rb1 Qa2 28.Qa7 Qxa4 29.Ra1 Qb5 30.Qxa5 Nd5 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


Ivanchuk,V (2750) - Leko,P (2749) [C45]
XXIV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (1), 17.02.2007 [Mihail Marin]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Bc5 5.Be3 Qf6 6.c3 Nge7 7.g3 d5 8.Bg2 dxe4 9.0-0 0-0 10.Nd2 Bb6 11.Re1 Nxd4 12.Nxe4 Qg6 13.Bxd4 Nc6 14.Bxb6 axb6 15.Qd2.

In spite of the almost complete symmetry, Black still faces some problems of development. 15...Qf5. A novelty. The placement of the queen in front of the bishop looks a bit awkward. Leko probably wanted to solve his problems by displaying activity with his queen, but Her Majesty will not enjoy sufficient stability along the 5th rank. A recent opening catastrophy went 15...Ra5 16.Qf4 Ne5 17.Rad1 f6 18.b4 Ra8 19.Ng5 Bg4 20.Rd2 Rae8 21.Rxe5 and Black resigned in Rublevsky-Sasikiran, Khanty Mansyisk 2005. 16.h3 h6 17.g4 Qb5 18.a4!? Rxa4.

19.Nf6+. This spectacular move will only lead to a draw by perpetual. The main alternative was 19.Rxa4 Qxa4 20.g5 , provoking the serious weakening of Black's king's position without major material investments. For instance, if 20...h5 then 21.Nf6+ when Black has to reject the present with 21...Kh8 , leaving White with a wide choice of maintaining his initiative. 19...gxf6 20.Rxa4 Qxa4 21.Qxh6 Qa5 22.Qxf6 Qc5 23.Be4 Ne7 24.Rd1 Ng6 25.Bxg6 fxg6 26.Qxg6+ Kh8 27.Qh6+ Kg8 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


Carlsen,M (2690) - Morozevich,A (2741) [E66]
XXIV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (1), 17.02.2007 [Mihail Marin]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.Nc3 d6 6.Nf3 c5. This move order presents a series of minor advantages over the more popular 6...Nc6 7.0-0 a6 8.d5 Na5 9.Nd2 c5 10.Qc2 e5 . First of all, White's centre is submitted to less pressure after 6...Nc6, offering White a wider choice of systems on the 8th move. The second aspect will become clear later. 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5. The main drawback of this variation is that White can retain a tiny edge without any risk by means of 8.dxc5 . However, the critical line against both 6...Nc6 and 6...c5 remains the advance of the d-pawn. 8...Na5 9.Nd2 e5 10.b3.

10...Ng4. This is Black's additional possibility compared to the 6...Nc6 lines. Black decides to start his kingside play without "wasting time" with ...a6, ...Rb8 and ...b5. Leaving the a5-knight out of play for such a long time is a very risky decision, but it seems to suit Morozevich' original and enterprising style of play. 11.h3. Generally speaking, White should avoid such weakening moves, unless he has something concrete in mind. A classical brilliant game went 11.e4 f5 12.exf5 e4 13.f6 Nxf6 14.Ndxe4! Nxe4 15.Nxe4 Bxa1 16.Bg5 Bf6 17.Nxf6+ Rxf6 18.Qa1 Kf7


Analysis diagram

Now, after the quiet move 19.Re1!! Black found it difficult to defend against the threats Rf3 or Qc3 b6 Re6! in Geller-Velimirovic, Havana 1971. 11...Nh6 12.Nde4. This novelty is a logical consequence of the previous move. With the provocative knight jump to the centre, White aims to take advantage of Black's temporary lack of coordination by energetical means. 12...f6.

Black intends to consolidate with ...Nf7. The generally desirable 12...f5 is met by 13.Ng5 , taking advantage of the weakness of the light squares in Black's camp. 13.Nxd6!? There was no way back already. 13...Qxd6 14.Ne4 Qd8 15.Nxc5 White's compensation for the sacrificed piece is out of question. The a5-knight did not improve its situation any bit, while the white central pawns look threatening. 15...f5!? Morozevich chooses to return the material "with interest", for the sake of rapidly completing his development. 15...Nf7? would have been bad because of 16.Ne6 Bxe6 17.dxe6 Nd6 18.e7 Qxe7 19.Qd5+ with a more advantageous position for White than in the game. However, 15...Nf5 or 15...Qc7 are worth investigating. 16.d6 e4 17.d7 Nf7 18.Rb1 Qe7 19.dxc8Q Raxc8 20.Na4 Rfd8 21.Qe1 Nc6.

Generally speaking, Black can be content with the outcome of the opening. He is much better developed and has considerable advantage of space. Besides, the g2-bishop will remain passive for a long time. However, White's position has no weaknesses, which gives him hope to repell the first wave of Black's initiative and retain the small material advantage. From this point of view, Carlsen's play in the next phase of the game deserves the highest praise. 22.Nc3 Nd4 23.Bb2 b5 24.Nd5 Qd6 25.Bxd4 Bxd4 26.Rd1 Be5 27.Qa5 bxc4 28.Ne3 Qc7 29.Qxc7 Bxc7 30.Nxc4 Ne5 31.Rxd8+ Rxd8 32.Rc1 Nxc4 33.Rxc4.

Only a dozen of moves have passed since the previous diagrammed position and we can see that White has fulfilled all the programmed tasks. He has provoked mass exchanges and retained the extra-pawn at the same time. Even so, it is highly questionable whether he has real winning chances, because of Black's persisting advantage of space and the presence of the opposite coloured bishops. 33...Rd1+ 34.Bf1 Bd6 35.e3 a5 36.Kg2 Kf7 37.Rc2 Ke7 38.Be2 Rd5 39.Bc4 Rd1 40.g4 f4? A blunder just before the first time control. Morozevich must have overlooked White's 43rd move. 41.exf4 Bxf4 42.Re2 Rd4.

43.Bd3!! With this unexpected tactical resource, White wins a second pawn. 43...Kf6 [43...Rxd3 44.Rxe4+ leads to a hopeless rook ending.] 44.Bxe4 Rd2 45.Rxd2 Bxd2 46.Kg3 Be1 47.Kf3 Bb4 48.h4 h6 49.Ke2 Bd6. Morozevich' plan is hard to understand. The best chance for survival was blocking the white pawns on light squares with 49...g5 when White still needs to prove a winning plan. 50.Kd3 Bc5 51.f4 h5 52.g5+ Kg7 53.Kc4

This move marks the fiasco of Black's play in the endgame. Although he has managed to block the enemy pawns on dark squares and make them vulnerable, the white king has been given enough time to get activated. Black's counterplay will be too slow. 53...Bd6 54.Kb5 Bxf4 55.Kxa5 Bg3 56.Kb5 Bxh4 57.a4 Bxg5 58.a5 Kf6 59.a6 Be3 60.Kc6 g5 61.b4 Ke5 62.b5 Kxe4 63.b6 g4 64.a7 g3 65.a8Q Kf3 66.b7 Bf4 67.Qf8 Ke4 68.Qe8+ 1-0. [Click to replay]


Schedule and results

Round 1: Saturday, February 17th

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

Round 2: Sunday, February 18th

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

Round 3: Monday, February 19th

Veselin Topalov 
   Peter Leko
Peter Svidler 
   Vassily Ivanchuk
Magnus Carlsen 
   Vishy Anand
Alex. Morozevich 
   Levon Aronian
GamesReport
Free day: Tuesday, February 20th

Round 4: Wednesday, February 21st

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

Round 5: Thursday, February 22nd

Peter Svidler 
   Peter Leko
Magnus Carlsen 
   Veselin Topalov
Alex. Morozevich 
   Vassily Ivanchuk
Levon Aronian 
   Vishy Anand
GamesReport
Free day: Friday, February 23rd

Round 6: Saturday, February 24th

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

Round 7: Sunday, February 25th

Peter Leko  
   Vishy Anand
Vassily Ivanchuk 
   Levon Aronian
Veselin Topalov 
   Alex. Morozevich
Peter Svidler 
   Magnus Carlsen
GamesReport
Transfer to Linares, Spain

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