Morelia R4: Shirov beats Topalov, Ivanchuk blunders

2/19/2008 – Vassily Ivanchuk is one of the world's most experienced players. And one of the strongest. In round four he ran into his old nemesis: the clock. Just before the first time control he blundered away a highly promising position against Levon Aronian and lost the full point. Meanwhile Alexei Shirov outplayed Veselin Topalov for his first Morelia 2008 victory. 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 four express

Round 4: Tuesday, February 19th

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

The high drama in this came when Vassily Ivanchuk, who seemed to be coasting to a second victory (after his round two win over Peter Leko), ran into the merciless dictates of the clock and turned the game into his second loss in this tournament (in the previous round he had lost to Veselin Topalov).

Ivanchuk,V (2751) - Aronian,L (2739) [C88]
XXV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (4), 19.02.2008
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.Nxd4 exd4 10.e5 Ne8 11.Qxd4 Bb7 12.c4 bxc4 13.Qxc4 d5 14.exd6 Nxd6 15.Qg4 Nb5 16.Nc3 Nxc3 17.bxc3 Bd6 18.Bf4 Qf6 19.Bxd6 cxd6 20.Rad1 Rad8 21.Qb4 Ba8 22.Re3 g6 23.Qb6 Qg5 24.Rg3 Qb5 25.Rxd6 Rxd6 26.Qxd6 a5 27.Qf4 Bd5 28.Rg5 f5 29.Qe5 Rd8 30.h4 a4 31.Bc2 Qb8 32.Qxf5 Bxa2 33.Bxa4 Bf7 34.h5 Qb6 35.hxg6 hxg6 36.Qf4 Rc8

Ivanchuk has played well, gained a two-pawn advantage and should simply consolidate, best of all with 37.Qb4. However he is in desperate time trouble and goes badly astray: 37.Rg3? Rc4 38.Qh6?? 38.Qe5 was the best way to get out of the mess. 38...Rxa4 39.Rh3 Ra1+ 40.Kh2 Qd6+ 41.f4 Qf6 42.Qh7+ Kf8 43.Qh6+ Ke7 44.Re3+ Kd7 45.Kg3 Ra4 46.Rd3+ Kc6 47.Rd4 Ra3 48.Rd3 Bd5 49.Qh3 Qf5 50.Qxf5 gxf5 51.Kh3 Ra1 52.Rd2 Rh1+ 53.Kg3 Rh6 54.Re2 Re6 55.Rd2 Rg6+ 56.Kh3 Kc5 57.Re2 Kc4 58.Rd2 Be4 59.g4 Kxc3 60.gxf5 Bxf5+ 0-1. A dark day for Vassily Ivanchuk.

Alexei Shirov played a great game against Veselin Topalov, especially in the ending, where he showed his incredible strategic ability by winning a theoretically won position quite flawlessly. The game lasted until late in the evening, and the spectators were grateful to both players for having given them this very exciting fight.

Shirov,A (2755) - Topalov,V (2780) [B33]
XXV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (4), 19.02.2008
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 Bg5 12.Nc2 0-0 13.a4 bxa4 14.Rxa4 a5 15.Bc4 Bd7 16.0-0 Ne7 17.Ra3 Nxd5 18.Bxd5 Rb8 19.b4 axb4 20.Nxb4 Qb6 21.Qe2 Bb5 22.Bc4 Rfc8 23.Bxb5 Qxb5 24.Qxb5 Rxb5 25.Rd1 g6 26.g3 Kg7 27.Nd5 Rc4 28.Ra7 Bd8 29.Rd7 Ba5 30.Re1 Bb6 31.Nxb6 Rxb6 32.Re3 Rc8 33.Rf3 Rf8 34.Kf1 g5 35.h4 g4 36.Rf5 h6 37.Ke2 Rc6 38.Kd2 Kg6 39.h5+ Kg7 40.Kd3 Rb6 41.Rc7 Rb1 42.Kc4 Rd1 43.Kb5 Kg8 44.Rf6 Rd2 45.Kc6 Kg7 46.Rg6+ Kh7 47.Rxg4 Rxf2 48.Kxd6 Re8 49.c4 Rd2+ 50.Kc6 Rf8 51.c5 Rd4 52.Rb7 Kh8 53.Kb5 Rd1 54.c6 Rc1 55.Kb6 Rc8 56.c7 Re8 57.Ra7 Rb1+ 58.Kc5 Rc1+ 59.Kd5 Rc2 60.Ra6 Kh7 61.Rc6 Rd2+ 62.Kc5 Ra8 63.Rh4 1-0.

Current standings

Three players are in the joint lead, each with two victories and a loss. They are followed by Shirov and Leko with a win and a loss each on their account. Finally we see three players who have 1.5/4.0 points each.


Picture gallery


Alexei Shirov before the start of his round four game against Veselin Topalov


Veselin Topalov arranges his pieces before the game against Shirov starts


Vassily Ivanchuk at the start of his unlucky fourth round game


Levon Aronian, as always in a cheerful mood


Peter Leko waits for Magnus Carlsen to arrive, while Radjabov lurks in the background


Magnus Carlsen in round four

Magnus had spent the free day exercising, specifically playing tennis in the hot Mexican sun for three hours. This reddened his neck but also, more relevantly, "melted" his brain, leaving him a bit drowsy during this game.


The round is under way in this Morelia 2008 Super-GM


While Topalov and Shirov ponder Teimour Radjabov studies the other games


After he has moved it is Topalov who does the same


Peter Leko and the peripatetic Radjabov watch Carlsen, Anand and Aronian at work


Veselin Topalov struggling in his round four game


Teimour Radjabov holding World Champion Anand to a draw in round four


Sofi Leko sits in the darkened theatre reading books


Actually she is working through a course in German literature, from mediaeval to the present

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 
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 
0-1
 Vishy Anand
Peter Leko 
½-½
 Alexei Shirov
Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Teimour Radjabov
Monday, February 18th
Free day

Round 4: Tuesday, February 19th

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

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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