Morelia R1: Three wins in round one

2/16/2008 – The Mexican half of the Morelia-Linares tournament has started with a bang. Three of the four games ended in decisions. Vishy Anand beat Alexei Shirov with the black pieces, Peter Leko and Veselin Topalov won their games against Teimour Radjabov and Levon Aronian respectively with white. Magnus Carlsen and Vassily Ivanchuk drew in 39. Pictorial report.

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Morelia-Linares 2008

The Morelia-Linares tournament is taking place from February 15th to 23rd February in Morelia, Mexico, and from 28th February to 7th March in Linares, Spain.

Quick impressions of round one

By Manuel López Michelone

Round 1: Friday, February 15th

Alexei Shirov 
0-1
 Vishy Anand
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
 Peter Leko 
1-0
 Teimour Radjabov
Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Levon Aronian

Shirov-Anand: 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Nbd7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9. O-O-O b5 10. Bd3 Bb7 11. Rhe1 Qb6 12. Nb3 Rc8 13. Qh3 Rxc3 14.bxc3 Qc7 15. Kb1 Be7 16. e5 dxe5 17. f5 Nd5 18. Bxe7 Kxe7 19. fxe6 fxe6 20.Qg3 g6 21. Rd2 Rc8 22. Qg5+ Ke8 23. Qg4 Nxc3+ 24. Ka1 Bd5 25. Re3 Nf6 26.Qh4 Qe7 27. Bf1 Bxb3 28. cxb3 Nce4 29. Rb2 Rc1+ 30. Rb1 Qc5 0-1.

The World Champion played a theoretical novelty as early as move 13, with an exchange sacrifice on c3. A first view of the sacrifice looks dubious, but Shirov's attack didn't work and Vishy soon got a winning position with a terrible attack against the white king. Probably Shirov failed when he played 22.Qg5+. The move 22. Qh4+ looks better, as Vishy pointed out. After 30...c5 Fritz showed that Black checkmates in ten moves!

Carlsen-Ivanchuk: 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nf3 Be7 8.Bc4 O-O 9. O-O Be6 10. Bb3 Nc6 11. Qe2 Na5 12. Rfd1 Nxb3 13. cxb3 Nd7 14.Nd2 Qc7 15. Rac1 Rfc8 16. Nd5 Qd8 17. Rxc8 Rxc8 18. Nxe7+ Qxe7 19. Nc4 Bxc4 20. bxc4 Nc5 21. b3 Rc6 22. Qc2 h6 23. g3 Qc7 24. Kg2 Nd7 25. Qd3 Nf6 26. a4 Nd7 27. h3 Kf8 28. Bc1 Nc5 29. Qf3 Qb6 30. Ba3 Qxb3 31. Qxb3 Nxb3 32. Bxd6+ Kg8 33. Bxe5 Rxc4 34. Rd8+ Kh7 35. Rd7 Rxe4 36. f4 Kg8 37. Rd8+ Kh7 38. Rd7 Kg8 39. Rd8+ Kh7 1/2-1/2.

The wonder boy tried hard to break Ivanchuk's defence. He got a small advantage in an ending of bishop against knight (with a rook on each side), but I guess Carlsen wasted some moves with 23.g3 and 24.Kg2, instead of building up more pressure against Ivanchuk position. But how to improve Magnus play? I am not sure at this time, but probably White didn't play the best moves and finally he had to accept the draw.

Leko-Radjabov: 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bg5 a6 8. Na3 b5 9. Nd5 Be7 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 11. c3 O-O 12. Nc2 Bg5 13. a4 bxa4 14. Rxa4 a5 15. Bc4 Rb8 16. b3 Kh8 17. Nce3 Bxe3 18. Nxe3 Ne7 19. O-O f5 20. exf5 Bxf5 21. Ra2 Be4 22. Rd2 Rb6 23. Re1 Qb8 24. Qa1 Qc7 25. Red1 h6 26. h3 Bb7 27. Qa3 Rd8 28. Be6 Qxc3 29. Rxd6 Rbxd6 30. Rxd6 Qe1+ 31. Kh2 Re8 32. Rd7 Nc6 33. Bf7 Ra8 34. Rxb7 Qxf2 35. Bd5 Rc8 1-0.

A typical Svesnikov variation by Radjabov. At some point a tactical position arose, and probably Leko found his better chances this way. I guess Radjabov played for a win and didn't accept an ending with three pawns against two pawns on the same flank, with both rooks for each side. So he took his chances, but Leko was better and won a very well played game.

Topalov-Aronian: 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 c5 5. g3 cxd4 6. Nxd4 Ne4 7. Qd3 Bxc3+ 8. bxc3 Nc5 9. Qf3 d6 10. Bg2 e5 11. Qe3 O-O 12. Nb3 Qc7 13. Nxc5 dxc5 14. O-O Nd7 15. f4 exf4 16. Rxf4 a5 17. Qe7 Qe5 18. Qxe5 Nxe5 19. Be3 Nd7 20. Re4 Ra6 21. Rb1 Rg6 22. Re7 b6 23. Bf4 h5 24. Be4 Re6 25. Rxe6 fxe6 26. Bd6 Rf6 27. Rd1 Kf7 28. Bf4 Kg8 29. Bc7 Rf7 30. Bg6 a4 31. Bxh5 Nf6 32. Bxf7+ Kxf7 33. Bxb6 Ba6 34. Bxc5 e5 35. a3 Bxc4 1-0.

The former world champion outplayed Aronian in the opening. It looks to me that the game was a very well prepared home analysis, and in the first 19 moves Aronian had to think for 1:47 minutes, while Topalov had more than 1:25 hours left on his clock. Black tried hard to improve his horrible position, but the damage was done and Topalov took clear advantage and won easily.

Manuel López Michelone is a FIDE Master and physicist with a Master degree in Artificial Intelligence from Essex University, UK. In the last years he had been involved in researching methods on how to improve at chess. He has currently published three chess books (in Spanish): Perfecciones su Ajedrez, Desarrolla la intuición en Ajedrez and Ajedrez Genial.


Picture gallery


A fan watches Magnus Carlsen fill out his scoresheet. A fan? She is...


Maribel Selfa, delegate for the Socialist Party in the Ajuntamiento
(Town Hall) in Linares, Spain


Daniela de los Santos, community representative in the Mortelia Town Hall


Maribel stands faithfully by Magnus until the game begins


Alexei Shirov before the start of round one


World Champion Vishy Anand about to play 1...c5


Shirov carefully executing the move 7.f4


Peter Leko arranges the white pieces before the game starts


Teimour Radjabov from Baku at the start of a fateful game


Veselin Topalov in white has white against Levon Aronian


The stage crowded with journalists, dignitaries and photographers


After ten minutes they have to leave the stage and the players settle down to the games


Magnus Carlsen immersed in thought


Peter Leko – how did we put it? – immersed in thought


Anand just before the end of his game against Alexei Shirov


Spanish journalist Leonxto Garcia doing commentary for the audience and on Playchess

All pictures by Frederic Friedel in Morelia


Schedule and results

Round 1: Friday, February 15th

Alexei Shirov 
0-1
 Vishy Anand
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
 Peter Leko 
1-0
 Teimour Radjabov
Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Levon Aronian

Round 2: Saturday, February 16th

Vishy Anand 
   Levon Aronian
Teimour Radjabov 
   Veselin Topalov
Vassily Ivanchuk 
   Peter Leko
Alexei Shirov 
   Magnus Carlsen
GamesReport

Round 3: Sunday, February 17th

Magnus Carlsen 
   Vishy Anand
Peter Leko 
   Alexei Shirov
Veselin Topalov 
   Vassily Ivanchuk
Levon Aronian 
   Teimour Radjabov
GamesReport
Monday, February 18th
Free day

Round 4: Tuesday, February 19th

Vishy Anand 
   Teimour Radjabov
Vassily Ivanchuk 
   Levon Aronian
Alexei Shirov 
   Veselin Topalov
Magnus Carlsen 
   Peter Leko
GamesReport

Round 5: Wednesday, February 20th

Peter Leko 
   Vishy Anand
Veselin Topalov 
   Magnus Carlsen
Levon Aronian 
   Alexei Shirov
Teimour Radjabov 
   Vassily Ivanchuk
GamesReport
Thursday, February 21st
Free day

Round 6: Friday, February 22nd

Veselin Topalov 
   Vishy Anand
Levon Aronian 
   Peter Leko
Teimour Radjabov 
   Magnus Carlsen
Vassily Ivanchuk 
   Alexei Shirov
GamesReport

Round 7: Saturday, February 23rd

Vishy Anand 
   Vassily Ivanchuk
Alexei Shirov 
   Teimour Radjabov
Magnus Carlsen 
   Levon Aronian
Peter Leko 
   Veselin Topalov
GamesReport
Sunday, February 25th
Transfer to Linares, Spain

Links

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