Morelia R2: Aronian beats Anand, Ivanchuk beats Leko

2/17/2008 – After yesterday's victory Vishy Anand fell to a terrible blunder on move 30 in his game against Levon Aronian. Similarly Peter Leko lost the thread around move 38 against Vassily Ivanchuk and gave up the full point. Radjabov spoilt a promising game against Veselin Topalov to a draw, while Shirov and Carlsen never really left the draw window. Express report with pictures.

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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.

Round two – day of fighting chess and blunders

By IM Guil Russek

Round 2: Saturday, February 16th

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

Anand,V (2799) - Aronian,L (2739) [C89]: Aronian chose his favourite Marshall's attack getting some compensation for two pawns. White's position was preferable until he played the incorrect 29.Nd2 and then the blunder at the next move (30.Nf3??). The game, essentially, was decided by this big mistake by Anand.


Vishy Anand (right), who won in round one, faces Levon Aronian, who had lost his round one game

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 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.Re1 Bd6 13.g3 Re8 14.d4 Rxe1+ 15.Qxe1 Ra7 16.Be3 Re7 17.Nd2 Qe8 18.Nf1 h5 19.a4 Be6 20.Bd1 h4 21.axb5 axb5 22.Bf3 Bh3 23.Bxd5 cxd5 24.Qd1 f5 25.Bg5 Re4 26.Bxh4 Qg6 27.Bd8 f4 28.Qd3 Qh5 29.Nd2? Re2 30.Nf3??

Anand did not consider Aronian's reply, the obstruction sacrifice 30...Re3!!, which wins immediately, because the world champion's king is totally vulnerable. 31.fxe3 Qxf3 32.Qc2 fxg3 33.hxg3 Qxg3+ 34.Kh1 Bf5! with mate to follow. 0-1. [Click to replay]



Vassily Ivanchuk in Round two


Peter Leko: a traumatic loss after a euphoric first-round win

Ivanchuk,V (2751) - Leko,P (2753) [C88]: A game where the Ukranian Ivanchuk again proved his great strategical understanding. He chose a line considered innocuous (until now) but the resultant position, after 17.Qxa8 and the queen exchange for the two rooks, showed that black is the one who has to play cautiously to keep the balance. After the precise 21.Be3! white is better and this advantage was increased after Leko played a serious mistake 38...Qf6? instead of 38...Bh3! that could complicate the game. Ivanchuk played the precise replies 39.Rb6! and 40.Nb3! that left the black bishops exposed. Finally, the white rooks, bishop and knight will break into the black position. So Leko resigned.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.d4 Nxd4 9.Bxf7+ Rxf7 10.Nxe5 Rf8 11.Qxd4 c5 12.Qd1 Qc7 13.Ng4 Nxg4 14.Qxg4 d5 15.Qh5 dxe4 16.Qd5+ Kh8

17.Qxa8 Bb7 18.Qa7 Ra8 19.Bf4 Qc6 20.Qxa8+ Bxa8 21.Be3 Qf6 22.c3 Bd6 23.Nd2 Qe5 24.g3 h6 25.a4 Bc6 26.axb5 axb5 27.Nb3 Bf8 28.Red1 Bd5 29.h4 Kg8 30.Nc1 g5 31.hxg5 hxg5 32.Ra5 Qc7 33.Ra6 Qf7 34.Rb6 Be7 35.Rxb5 Be6 36.Rb8+ Kg7 37.Rb7 Kh6 38.Re1

38...Qf6 39.Rb6 Qf5 40.Nb3 Kh5 41.Nd2 Bd7 42.Ra1 Bd8 43.Rb8 1-0. [Click to replay]



Teimour Radjabov facing the Berlin Wall of his opponent


Veselin Topalov with the same defence but a different watch

Radjabov,T (2735) - Topalov,V (2780) [C67]: Topalov decided to change his favourite Najdorf Defense of the Sicilian for the so-called Berlin's Wall of the Spanish Opening – with this line he lost last year in the first round against Svidler in this same tournament. When Radjabov was ready to pressure the black position he made a big mistake with 18.Rd2? That overlooked Black's reply 18...Nxe5! winning a pawn. Nevertheless Black's advantage was not easy to convert because of the lack of coordination of Topalov's pieces and the weakness of the h4 pawn that Radjabov finally captured, getting a balanced position. After some struggle the game finished in a draw by repetition.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Nc3 Ne7 10.h3 Ng6 11.Bg5+ Ke8 12.Rad1 Bd7 13.Nd4 h6 14.Be3 Be7 15.f4 h5 16.Ne4 h4 17.c4 Rh5 18.Rd2?

18...Nxe5! 19.b3 (if 19. fxe5 Rxe5 recovering the piece with this double attack) 19...f6 20.Re2 Nf7 21.Bf2 Kf8 22.Nf3 Re8 23.Nxh4 Rh6 24.Rd1 Bc8 25.Nf3 b6 26.Nd4 Nd8 27.Ng3 Bb4 28.a3 Rxe2 29.Ndxe2 Be7 30.b4 Kf7 31.Nd4 g6 32.f5 Rh8 33.fxg6+ Kxg6 34.Nge2 Kf7 35.Nf4 Rg8 36.Kf1 Bd6 37.Nd3 Ba6 38.Nf5 Bf8 39.Rc1 Bc8 40.Nd4 Bh6 41.Re1 Bf8 ½-½. [Click to replay]


Shirov,A (2755) - Carlsen,M (2733) [B42]: An equal, level game from beginning to the end, and a very interesting one from the positional point of view because of the constant change of the pawns structure. First Carlsen got an isolated d-pawn and later, after the piece simplification, Carlsen stayed with hanging pawns. When Shirov allowed 28...c4! White took an apparently risky decision with 30.g4! but it was the correct way to equalise the game and to reach a drawing position, because both sides may have perpetual check: both kings were very exposed.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Ne7 6.0-0 Nbc6 7.Nxc6 Nxc6 8.Be3 Be7 9.Nd2 d5 10.exd5 exd5 11.Nb3 0-0 12.Re1 Re8 13.c3 Bd6 14.Qc2 g6 15.Bc5 Bc7 16.Rxe8+ Qxe8 17.Qd2 Qe5 18.Qh6 Bf5 19.Bxf5 Qxf5 20.Nd4 Qe4 21.f3 Qe8 22.Nxc6 bxc6 23.Bd4 Be5 24.Qd2 Qb8 25.g3 Qd6 26.Re1 Bxd4+ 27.cxd4 c5 28.Kg2 c4 29.h4 h5 30.g4 hxg4 31.fxg4 Qd7 32.Kg3 Re8 33.Rxe8+ Qxe8 34.h5 Qe4 35.hxg6 fxg6 36.Qf4 Qe1+ 37.Kh3 Qh1+ 38.Kg3 Qe1+ 39.Kh3 ½-½. [Click to replay]


About the author:

Guil Russek was born in Israel and soon moved to Mexico ("both without my consent"). He is an International Master who has played in six Olympiads (from Tessaloniki 1984 to Istanbul 2000) for Mexico.

Guil has written six books, likes classical music, reading, traveling... "not really a heroic lifestyle," he says, "but at least it does not cause severe damage to anyone." Currently he is reading Austerlitz by Sebald and listening to Schumann 4th Symphony. He needs just three minutes to eat a nonkosher hotdog.



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

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

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