Nanjing: Carlsen strikes again, third win in four games

10/1/2009 – The rampage continues: in round four of Pearl Spring 18-year-old Norwegian GM Magnus Carlsen showed grit and determination to win his third game, against Russian GM Dmitry Jakovenko, with the black pieces. Magnus now has a performance of over 3100. Radjabov had Topalov on the ropes, but could not score a first victory. Wang Yue-Leko was a draw in 29 moves. Illustrated report.

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Second Nanjing Pearl Spring Chess Tournament

This event, organized by the Municipal People’s Government of Nanjing, is taking place from 27th September to 9th October 2009 in Nanjing, China. Time controls are 90 minutes for 40 moves and 60 minutes for the rest of the game, with no increment. The tournament is a six-player double round robin and has a total prize fund of 250,000 Euros, with the winner taking 80,000 Euros.

Round four

Round 4: Thursday, October 1st, 2009
Wang Yue 
½-½
 Peter Leko
Dmitry Jakovenko 
0-1
 Magnus Carlsen
Teimour Radjabov 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov


Looking good in red: the star in Nanjing Magnus Carlsen at the start of round four


Magnus plays 4...Nf6 followed by 5...a6


Stunned by Carlsen's Najdorf? Dmitry Jakovenko in game four

Jakovenko,D (2742) - Carlsen,M (2772) [B92]
2nd Pearl Spring Nanjing CHN (4), 01.10.2009
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6. The first game, a Scotch, was clearly the result of Carlsen's work with Garry Kasparov. This Najdorf, an opening that is not in the mainstream of the young Norwegian player, is clearly instigated by one of the world's greatest Najdorf players, with whom Magnus worked just before the Nanjing tournament. 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.0-0 0-0 9.Be3 Be6 10.Qd2 Nbd7 11.a4 Nb6 12.a5 Nc4 13.Bxc4 Bxc4 14.Rfd1 Rc8 15.f3 Rc6 16.Kh1. A new move – the game before this repeated one in which Leko beat Shirov in 2008. 16...Qc8 17.Rac1 Rd8 18.Nd5 Bxd5 19.exd5 Rc4 20.Qd3 e4 21.fxe4 Rxe4 22.c4 Re8 23.Bg1 Bf8 24.Nd4?! both Fritz and Rybka definitely prefer 24.Rf1 and show a small amount of dismay at this move. 24...g6 25.Rf1 Bh6 26.Qf3 Rf4 27.Qd3 Ng4 28.Nf3 Rfe4 29.Rc3 Ne3 30.Re1 Qg4 31.Re2 Qh5 32.Bxe3 Rxe3 33.Rxe3 Bxe3? 34.Qe2 Qh6 35.c5 dxc5 36.d6 Re6 37.d7 Bg5 38.Qd1 Bd8 39.Rxc5 Qf8 40.Rd5. Not the best final move before the time control. 40.Rc4 would have been a better defence. 40...Qb4

In time trouble over the last ten moves Magnus has frittered away much of his considerable advantage. Now in good Karpovian manner he ignores what has transpired and starts a new game, determined to convert the slight advantage that is left into a full point. 41.b3 Re3 42.Nd2 Qc3 43.Nf3 Qb4. Carlsen's choice was pragmatically better than that of the chess engines, which want to play 43...Qxb3 44.Qxb3 Rxb3 45.Re5 Rb1+ 46.Ng1 Kg7 47.Re8 Bxa5 48.d8Q Bxd8 49.Rxd8. But this looks like a draw.44.Nd2 Qf4 45.Nf3 Rc3 46.Qe2 Qe3 47.Qxe3 Rxe3 48.Rd4? Kf8

49.Rb4? Definitely a serious mistake with grave consequences. Our engines advocate 49.b4 or 49.Kg1. 49...Rd3 50.Rxb7 Rd1+ 51.Ng1 Bxa5 52.g4 Ke7 53.Kg2 Rxd7 54.Rxd7+ Kxd7

Now it is all a "matter of technique". There were some skeptical viewers on the Playchess server, but the ChessBase editor was able to win a bottle of good wine betting on the kid. 55.Kf3 Kd6 56.Ke4 Kc5 57.Kd3 Kd5 58.Nf3 Bd8 59.h3 h6 60.h4 h5 61.gxh5 gxh5 62.Ke3 Kc5 63.Kd3 Kb4 and White resigned in view of 64.Kc2 Bf6 and zugzwang:

0-1. With this win Magnus Carlsen has three full points from four games, with an Elo performance of over 3100. He is, interestingly, the only player in the tournament that has won any games. We will be watching the final game of the first half – and then of course the return rounds – with considerable anticipation. [Click to replay]


On the verge of a first victory in Nanjing: Teimour Radjabov


A highly unusual last place for the world's top ranked player Veselin
Topalov – but watch for a trademark comback in the second half

Radjabov,T (2757) - Topalov,V (2813) [C45]
2nd Pearl Spring Nanjing CHN (4), 01.10.2009
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.e5 Qe7 7.Qe2 Nd5 8.c4 Ba6 9.Nd2 0-0-0 10.b3 g5 11.Bb2 Bg7 12.0-0-0 Nb6 13.h4 g4 14.f4 gxf3 15.Nxf3 c5 16.Qe1 Bb7 17.Bd3 h6 18.Qg3 Rdg8 19.Rhe1 d5 20.exd6 Bxb2+ 21.Kxb2 Qxd6 22.Bf5+ Kb8 23.Re8+ Nc8 24.Rxd6 Rxg3 25.Rxh8 cxd6 26.Ne1 Kc7 27.Rh7 Ne7 28.Rxf7 Kd8 29.Rf8+ Kc7 30.Rf7 Kd8 31.Bc2 Re3 32.Nd3 Bxg2 33.Rf6 Kc7 34.Nf4 Rf3 35.Be4 Rf2+ 36.Kc3 Bxe4 37.Ne6+ Kd7 38.Nf8+ Ke8 39.Rxf2 Bf5 40.Rd2 Nc8 41.Rf2 Ne7 42.Ne6 Bxe6 43.Rf6 Kd7 44.Rxh6 Bf5 45.h5 Ng8 46.Rh8 Nf6 47.h6 Ke6 48.Ra8 Ng4 49.Rxa7 Nxh6 50.a4 Nf7 51.a5 Be4 52.Rc7 Ne5 53.a6 Nd7 54.Rc8 Ke7 55.b4 cxb4+ 56.Kxb4 Nb6 57.Rb8 Na8 58.c5 Nc7 59.cxd6+ Kxd6 60.a7 Na8 61.Kb5 Bd3+ 62.Ka5 Be4 63.Kb5 Bd3+ 64.Ka5 Be4 draw.


Top Chinese GM Wang Yue at the start of round four

Wang Yue (2736) - Leko,P (2762) [D43]
2nd Pearl Spring Nanjing CHN (4), 01.10.2009
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 c6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bxf6 Qxf6 7.e3 g6 8.Bd3 Bg7 9.0-0 0-0 10.cxd5 exd5 11.b4 Be6 12.Na4 Nd7 13.Rc1 Rfc8 14.Nc5 Qe7 15.Nd2 b6 16.Nxe6 Qxe6 17.Nb3 Bf8 18.a3 c5 19.bxc5 bxc5 20.dxc5 Nxc5 21.Nxc5 Rxc5 22.a4 Rd8 23.Qb3 Qb6 24.Qxb6 axb6 25.Bb5 d4 26.Rxc5 Bxc5 27.Rd1 f5 28.exd4 Rxd4 29.Rxd4 Bxd4 draw.


Hungarian GM Peter Leko with IM Lilit Mkrtchian in the press conference after the round

Results and standings

Schedule and results

Round 1: Monday, September 28, 2009
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Peter Leko
Veselin Topalov 
½-½
 Dmitriy Jakovenko
Wang Yue 
½-½
 Teimour Radjabov
Round 2: Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Veselin Topalov
Peter Leko 
½-½
 Teimour Radjabov
Dmitry Jakovenko 
½-½
 Wang Yue
Round 3: Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Wang Yue 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Teimour Radjabov 
½-½
 Dmitry Jakovenko
Veselin Topalov 
½-½
 Peter Leko
Round 4: Thursday, October 1st, 2009
Wang Yue 
½-½
 Peter Leko
Dmitry Jakovenko 
0-1
 Magnus Carlsen
Teimour Radjabov 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Round 5: Friday, October 2nd, 2009
Peter Leko 
-
 Dmitry Jakovenko
Magnus Carlsen 
-
 Teimour Radjabov
Veselin Topalov 
-
 Wang Yue
Games – Report
Round 6: Sunday, October 4th, 2009
Peter Leko 
-
 Magnus Carlsen
Dmitry Jakovenko 
-
 Veselin Topalov
Teimour Radjabov 
-
 Wang Yue
Games – Report
Round 7: Monday, October 5th, 2009
Teimour Radjabov 
-
 Peter Leko
Wang Yue 
-
 Dmitry Jakovenko
Veselin Topalov 
-
 Magnus Carlsen
Games – Report
Round 8: Tuesday, October 6th, 2009
Peter Leko 
-
 Veselin Topalov
Magnus Carlsen 
-
 Wang Yue
Dmitry Jakovenko 
-
 Teimour Radjabov
Games – Report
Round 9: Thursday, October 8th, 2009
Dmitry Jakovenko 
-
 Peter Leko
Teimour Radjabov 
-
 Magnus Carlsen
Wang Yue 
-
 Veselin Topalov
Games – Report
Round 10: Friday, October 9th, 2009
Peter Leko 
-
 Wang Yue
Veselin Topalov 
-
 Teimour Radjabov
Magnus Carlsen 
-
Dmitry Jakovenko 
Games – Report

Links

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