Nanjing R01: GM commentary and pictures

10/21/2010 – This is one of the highest caliber events of the year – with three players rated 2800 or higher. After our express report with pictures of the opening ceremonies we bring you full analysis – by French GM Romain Edouard – of all three games of round one, together with some remarkable player portraits by Yu Feng. Round one indepth.

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Nanjing Pearl Spring Chess Tournament

The 2010 Nanjing International tournament takes place from October 19th to October 30th in Nanjing, China. It is a ten-round double round-robin event, in which each player faces every other player twice, once with the white pieces, and once with black.

Time control: 40 moves in two hours then 20 moves in one hour followed by the rest of the game in 15 minutes with a 30 second increment as of move 61.

Game start: Rounds 1-9 at 2:30 PM local time (11:30 PM Pacific daylight / 2:30 AM New York / 8:30 AM Paris), and round 10 at 10 AM local time (7 PM Pacific daylight / 10 PM New York / 4 AM Paris)

Rest day: October 25th (after round 5).

Round one games

Round 1: Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Vishy Anand 
½-½
 Wang Yue
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Etienne Bacrot
Veselin Topalov 
½-½
 Vugar Gashimov


It's a photographer's world – before the start of round one in Nanjing


The press has left, the games are under way

Anand,Viswanathan (2800) - Wang,Yue (2732) [D94]
Pearl Spring Chess Tournament Nanjing/China (1), 20.10.2010 [Romain Edouard]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 g6!? 5.Nf3 Bg7 6.Be2 0-0 7.0-0 b6!?








8.a4!? A rare move. 8...a5 9.cxd5 Nxd5 10.e4 Nb4 11.Be3N Bg4 12.h3 Bxf3 13.Bxf3 N8a6 14.d5








White has to go for this kind of move at some point, in order to open the game and take advantage of the two bishops. But Black is extremely solid anyway. 14...Nc5 15.Qe2 Qe8!? 15...cxd5 16.exd5 Rc8 17.Rfd1 would be slightly better for White, though Black is, once again, very solid. But slowsly White will be able to improve his position. 16.Rfd1 Rc8 17.dxc6. This moves is quite logical. Somehow I feel like the best way to try to punish Black for his slightly awkward play (...Qe8) would be to keep the tension. The problem is that it is not so easy to find a plan for White without taking on c6. So let's say the move is fine! 17...Qxc6 18.e5 Qc7 19.Bf4. 19.Bg4 followed by f4 is also possible, but I believe after 19...e6 20.f4 Rcd8 21.Kh2!? Rxd1 22.Rxd1 Rd8 23.Nb5 Qb8 Black should get a draw. 19...Ne6 [19...Rcd8!?] 20.Bg3 Rfd8 21.Bg4 Qc6 22.Nb5 Qc2 23.Qxc2 Rxc2 24.Bxe6 Rxd1+ 25.Rxd1 fxe6 26.Nd4 Rxb2 27.Nxe6 Bh6








28.Rd8+. 28.Rd7! Kf7 29.Nd8+ Kf8 (29...Ke8? 30.e6 Rb1+ 31.Kh2 Re1 32.Rb7 would be bad for Black, due to Rb8-mate problems (White is threatening Nf7).) 30.e6 Rb1+ 31.Kh2 Re1 32.h4 (32.Nf7 Bc1[] 33.Ne5 Bb2[] 34.Nc4 Bf6 35.Rd8+ Kg7 36.Nxb6 Rxe6) 32...Re4 33.f3 Rc4 34.Kh3 and I believe White has some chances. 28...Kf7 29.Nd4 Nc2 30.Nc6 Nb4 31.Nd4 Nc2 32.Nc6 Nb4 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


Chinese GM Wang Yue during his round one game


In the press conference after round one (with Carlsen, Anand and Wang Yue)


Anand not fully satisfied with the result



Normally it's a gong to signal the start of a round. In China it's – well, different

Carlsen,Magnus (2826) - Bacrot,Etienne (2716) [C45]
Pearl Spring Chess Tournament Nanjing/China (1), 20.10.2010 [Romain Edouard]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Bc5 5.Nb3 Bb6 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.Qe2 0-0. A rare move, but once played by Anand! To be honest, I just don't like this line for Black. 7...d6 is more common. 8.Bg5 h6








9.Bh4!N 9.h4 d6 10.f3 hxg5 11.hxg5 Ng4 12.fxg4 Qxg5 13.Qf3 Bxg4 14.Qg3 Ne5 15.Be2 f5 16.exf5 Qxf5 17.0-0-0 Bxe2 18.Nxe2 Qf2 19.Qh2 Qxe2 20.Qh8+ Kf7 21.Rdf1+ Bf2 22.Qh7 Ke6 23.Kb1 Qg4 0-1 Rublevsky,S (2649)-Anand,V (2781)/Bastia 2004. 9...a5 10.a4 Nd4. Not forced, but attractive. But I am not sure that other continuations are easier to play. I checked the following line briefly: 10...Re8 11.0-0-0 d6 12.f3!? Be6 13.g4 Bxb3 (13...Ne5 14.Nd4+/-) 14.cxb3 Nd4 15.Qg2!? Nxb3+ 16.Kb1 Nd4 17.Bc4 c6 18.g5 hxg5 19.Bxg5 and Black will face a decisive attack. 11.Qd3 Nxb3 12.cxb3 Re8 13.0-0-0. From here on Etienne started to spend a lot of time for each move. I already prefer White even if Black's position shouldn't be a disaster at all. 13...d6 14.Qc2!








White wants to go Bc4, and at the same time allow some combinations with e5. 14...Bd7?! I guess the idea for this move is to wait for Bc4 and go ...Be6, without playing ...c6, weakening the d6-pawn. That's why 15.Kb1!? could be clever. But it looks like 15.Bc4 is almost winning by force. 14...c6 15.Bc4 Qe7 ought to be a better defense. Somehow, I feel that White should be at least slightly better. But things are far from easy, for instance: 16.Rhe1 Be6 17.Nd5!? (17.f3 Bxc4 18.bxc4 Qe6 followed by ...Nd7, and Black should have no problem.) 17...cxd5 18.exd5 g5! 19.Bg3 Nxd5 20.Rxd5 Bc5 21.Rxc5 dxc5 22.Rxe6 fxe6 23.Qg6+ Qg7 24.Bxe6+ Rxe6 25.Qxe6+ Kh7=. 15.Bc4 Be6 16.Rhe1 Qe7 17.e5! dxe5 18.Rxe5. White is threatening Nd5. From now on Etienne plays kind of all the best defensive moves. But it is not enough to hold this tough position against Carlsen. 18...Qf819.Bxf6 gxf6 20.Re2+/-








20...Qg7 21.Bxe6! Rxe6 22.Rxe6 fxe6 23.Rd3 Kh8 24.Rg3 Qh7 25.Qd2 Bc5 26.Ne4 Be7 27.Rh3 Kg7 [27...Rd8 28.Rxh6 Rxd2 29.Rxh7+ Kxh7 30.Kxd2+-] 28.Qd7+- Kf7 29.Ng5+!?








[29.Nxf6!? Kxf6 30.Rf3++-] 29...fxg5 30.Rf3+ Kg8 31.Qxe6+ Kh8 32.Rf7 Bd6 33.Rxh7+ Kxh7 34.Qf7+ Kh8 35.g3 Ra6 36.Kb1 Bb4 37.f4 gxf4 38.gxf4








1-0. [Click to replay]


Oh the pain... Etienne Bacrot in his game against Magnus Carlsen


The happy winner of round one: Magnus Carlsen from Norway


Topalov,Veselin (2803) - Gashimov,Vugar (2719) [D16]
Pearl Spring Chess Tournament Nanjing/China (1), 20.10.2010 [Robot 4]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 e6 6.e3 c5 7.Bxc4 cxd4 8.Qxd4!?








This move has been played only three times! 8.exd4 is main, of course. 8...Qxd4 9.Nxd4 a6 10.e4 Bc5. 10...Bb4 was another possibility (though ...Bc5 seems more logical) and; 10...Bd7N is given by the engine at a huge depth. 11.Nb3 Bb4 12.f3 Nc6 13.Be3 Bd7 14.Kf2 Rc8 15.Be2 Na5 16.Nxa5 Bxa5 17.g4+/= Bc6








Here I like two different ideas for White. 18.Rhd1. 18.Na2! followed by b4, b5, with some undiscussable advantage, as 18...Bxa4? loses to 19.Nc1+- and; 18.g5!? Nd7 19.Nb5 axb5 20.axb5 Bxe4 21.Rxa5 Bd5 22.Ra3+/=. 18...Bc7! 19.h4 Be5 20.Rac1 0-0 21.b3 Rfd8 22.Rxd8+ Rxd8 23.Nb1 [23.Na2!?] 23...Be8 24.Rc2 Nd7 25.Nd2 Bd6 26.f4 e5 27.f5 Kf8 28.g5 f6 29.h5 fxg5 30.Bxg5 Be7 31.Bxe7+ Kxe7 32.Ke3 h6 33.Rc7 Rb8. Strangely, it is not easy at all to break Black's defense. 34.a5 Kd8 35.Rc1 Ke7 36.Rg1. 36.b4 Nf6 is not so easy either. 36...Kf8 37.Nc4 Bf7 38.b4 Rc8 39.Nd6 Rc7








40.Nxf7. 40.Rb1!? could just win one tempo, thought I didn't manage to refute clearly 40...Bg8. I believe there must be a win for White in the next lines, which I couldn't find shortly enough: 40...Bg8 41.b5 axb5 42.Rxb5 Nc5 43.Rb6 Bb3 (43...Ke7? 44.f6+! gxf6 45.Nf5++-; 43...Bf7 44.Nxf7 Kxf7 45.Bc4+ Ke7 46.Bd5+-) 44.Rb4!? (44.Nxb7? Nxb7[] 45.Rxb3 Nxa5 46.Rb5 Rc3+ 47.Bd3 Ra3 is much less precise.) 44...Ke7 (44...Bg8 45.Bc4+-) 45.Nxb7 (45.Nc4!? Bxc4 46.Bxc4 Kf6[] 47.Rb6+ (47.Bd5 Kg5 maintains some chances.) 47...Kg5 48.Be2 Kh4 49.Rb1 Nd7 50.Rh1+ Kg5 51.Rg1+ Kf6 52.Bb5 Nf8 53.Kd3 Rc5 54.Rb1 Nh7 is not easy.) 45...Nxb7[] (45...Rxb7 46.Rxb7+ Nxb7 47.a6+-) 46.Rxb3 Nxa5 47.Rb5 Rc3+ (47...Nc6 48.Rc5 Kd6 49.Rd5+ Ke7 50.Bb5+-) 48.Bd3 Nc6 49.Rb7+ Kf8[] (49...Kf6 50.Rc7 Rc5 51.Bb1! followed by Ba2+-.) 50.Rc7 Rc5 51.Bb1! (51.Kd2 Nd4 52.Rxc5 Nb3+ 53.Kc3 Nxc5 54.Kc4 Nd7 55.Kd5 Ke7 56.Bb5 Nf6+ 57.Kxe5 Nxh5=) 51...Rc3+ 52.Kd2 Rb3 53.Rc8+ (53.Bc2 Rb6 54.Bd3 Nb4 55.Bc4 Rc6 56.Rf7+ Ke8 57.Be6 Rc2+ 58.Ke3 Rc3+ 59.Ke2 Rc2+ 60.Kf3 Rc3+ with the idea of 61.Kg4 Nd3!=) 53...Ke7 54.Rxc6 Rxb1 55.Re6+ Kf7 56.Rxe5 Rb3 and Black should get a draw. 40...Kxf7 41.Rb1 Ke7 42.Rg1 Kf7 43.Rd1 Rc3+ 44.Rd3 Rxd3+ 45.Kxd3 Ke7 46.Kc4 Kd6 47.b5 axb5+ 48.Kxb5 Kc7 49.Bf3 Kd6








Now, Black holds. 50.Bd1 Kc7 51.Bc2 Kd6 52.Bb1 Kc7 53.Bc2 Kd6 54.Bb1 Kc7 55.Bc2 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


Veselin Topalov, second seed in this event


Vugar Gashimov, one of the top Azeri stars

Pictures by Yu Feng

Schedule and results

Round 1: Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Vishy Anand 
½-½
 Wang Yue
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Etienne Bacrot
Veselin Topalov 
½-½
 Vugar Gashimov
Round 2: Thursday, October 21, 2010
Wang Yue 
   Vugar Gashimov
Etienne Bacrot 
   Veselin Topalov
Vishy Anand 
   Magnus Carlsen
Games – Report
Round 3: Friday, October 22, 2009
Magnus Carlsen 
   Wang Yue
Veselin Topalov 
   Vishy Anand
Vugar Gashimov 
   Etienne Bacrot
Games – Report
Round 4: Saturday, October 23, 2010
Veselin Topalov 
   Wang Yue
Vugar Gashimov 
   Magnus Carlsen
Etienne Bacrot 
   Vishy Anand
Games – Report
Round 5: Sunday, October 24, 2010
Wang Yue 
   Etienne Bacrot
Vishy Anand 
   Vugar Gashimov
Magnus Carlsen 
   Veselin Topalov
Games – Report
Round 6: Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Wang Yue 
   Vishy Anand
Etienne Bacrot 
   Magnus Carlsen
Vugar Gashimov 
   Veselin Topalov
Games – Report
Round 7: Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Vugar Gashimov 
   Wang Yue
Veselin Topalov 
   Etienne Bacrot
Magnus Carlsen 
   Vishy Anand
Games – Report
Round 8: Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wang Yue
   Magnus Carlsen
Vishy Anand 
   Veselin Topalov
Etienne Bacrot  
   Vugar Gashimov
Games – Report
Round 9: Friday, October 29, 2010
Etienne Bacrot 
   Wang Yue
Vugar Gashimov 
   Vishy Anand
Veselin Topalov 
   Magnus Carlsen
Games – Report
Round 10: Saturday, October 30, 2010
Wang Yue 
   Veselin Topalov
Magnus Carlsen 
   Vugar Gashimov
Vishy Anand 
   Etienne Bacrot
Games – Report

Watching the games from Nanjing

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