Morelia R7: Carlsen, Topalov and Shirov win

2/24/2008 – What an exciting tournament! On the final day there were three decided games. Magnus Carlsen played a classic against Levon Aronian; Veselin Topalov, playing black, took a full point from a luckless Peter Leko; and Alexei Shirov won a fine game against Teimour Radjabov. Anand is the sole winner of the first half of Morelia-Linares 2008. Full report with pictures.

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.

Summary of Round 7

By Antonio Galan

Round 7: Saturday, February 23rd

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

Once again, the last round on Mexican soil delighted the audience with good fighting chess. The players showed up in an enterprising mood and a decision was reached in no less than three games!

Carlsen-Aronian – This game was the first to produce a result. In an Archangel-like Ruy Lopez (with a3 played to sideline the Marshall), the sharp tactical play of Aronian went wrong soon. The weaknesses Black incurred to grab White’s d4 pawn proved very costly. Black was left with a minor piece deficit insufficiently compensated by three pawns. The rest was a pretty straightforward demonstration of Carlsen’s technique.

Anand-Ivanchuk – Here a Scheveningen Sicilian was tried where Anand went for the usual pawn assault aimed at the black castling. Nevertheless, Ivanchuk took proper measures at the center, neutralizing the attacking attempts and proceeding to keep the game balanced. The draw was agreed on move 31.

Leko-Topalov – Another Sicilian was seen in this game, with Leko adopting a sound setup, very much in his style. Nevertheless, White’s relative passivity allowed Topalov to play d5 and seize the initiative and a fairly free game for his pieces. Later, the white queen was traded by the black rooks, leaving Black with advantage, given the lack of coordination of the white pieces. Under time pressure Leko made a final blunder and Topalov pocketed the full point.

Shirov-Radjabov – This game was a continuation of recent discussions these two players have maintained in the King Indian Defense. Even under well trodden field, both sides spent a long time finding the most appropriate setups to carry out their typical strategies on opposite flanks: White undermining Black’s queenside with Black undertaking a direct attack on the white king. But Shirov was the one who emerged triumphant after depleting Radjavbov’s attacking attempts and benefiting from a final blunder where the black queen got trapped.

Final standings after the Morelia half


Picture gallery

By Frederic Friedel


Ready for the final round in Morelia: Morelia-Linares organiser Francisco Albalate, Salvador Jara, President of the Chess Festival in Morelia, and arbiters Faik Gasanov and Juan Vargas.


Veselin Topalov waits backstage for the start of the round


Vishy Anand arranging the tools of his trade


Vassily Ivanchuk preparing to face Anand


Their game starts with 1.e4 (after which Ivanchuk left the stage for five minutes)


Magnus Carlsen begins his final game in Morelia, against Levon Aronian


Magnus at the start of what Vishy Anand later called "one heck of a game"


Alexei Shirov trying to get into the mood (he succeeded)


Peter Leko begins what will become a traumatic round seven game


He faces a grimly determined Veselin Topalov...


... who goes for a Sicilian Scheveningen


And the game is under way


Magnus Carlsen comes over to see the position


Radjabov is struggling against Alexei Shirov


Magnus Carlsen's game against Levon Aronian is in its last throes


In the end Lev Aronian resigns the game – with an appreciative smile!


The two discuss the game on the stage, while the arbiter waits to collect the paperwork


Alexei Shirov is pressing hard against Teimour Radjabov and ultimately wins the game


Peter Leko will soon collapse in his game against Veselin Topalov


As he emerges Magnus Carlsen is mobbed by fans


He spends half an hour signing autographs, posing for pictures and speaking to journalists


Players and dignitaries lined up at the closing ceremony


Just the players: Ivanchuk, Topalov, Radjabov, Carlsen, Anand, Shirov, Leko and Aronian


Afterwards dinner with Anand, Aruna, Magnus and Henrik Carlsen


We enjoy anecdotes, stories, jokes and gossip


Both Anand and Magnus are Monty Python fans and know entire episodes by heart,
like this famous sketch, which they reconstructed almost verbatim


Monty Python – the Pope and Michelangelo

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 
0-1
 Vishy Anand
Veselin Topalov 
0-1
 Magnus Carlsen
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Alexei Shirov
Teimour Radjabov 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Thursday, February 21st
Free day

Round 6: Friday, February 22nd

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

Round 7: Saturday, February 23rd

Vishy Anand 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Alexei Shirov 
1-0
 Teimour Radjabov
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Levon Aronian
Peter Leko 
0-1
 Veselin Topalov
Sunday, February 25th
Transfer to Linares, Spain

Links

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