Nanjing R08: Anand threatens to win, all games drawn

10/28/2010 – The round started quietly, with Bacrot and Gashimov quickly shaking hands, for understandable reasons; Wang Yue left the opening against Carlsen up a pawn, but failed to find a way to improve, and the game of the day was Anand against Topalov, with the Bulgarian in chipper spirits, playing a dynamic, optimistic game. Report with game commentary by GM Romain Edouard.

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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)

Round eight report

Round 8: Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wang Yue
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Vishy Anand 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Etienne Bacrot  
½-½
 Vugar Gashimov


Chief Arbiter Almog Burstein opens the round

Etienne Bacrot and Vugar Gashimov played a short draw that might not seem to warrant any comment, yet does, if one recalls that such a draw could only be done with the agreement of the arbiter. Visibly he felt no need to unnecessarily enforce the rule, understanding the circumstances surrounding it,

Bacrot,Etienne (2720) - Gashimov,Vugar (2719) [D13]
Pearl Spring Chess Tournament Nanjing/China (8), 28.10.2010 [Romain Edouard]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Bf4 a6 7.Rc1 Bf5 8.e3 Rc8 9.Be2 e6 10.0-0 Nd7 11.Qb3 Na5 12.Qa4 Nc6 13.Qb3 Na5 14.Qa4 Nc6 I guess Etienne just took the professional decision to make a draw to have time to recover from his loss in round seven. Draw. [Click to replay]

Wang Yue and Carlsen played a Catalan/Bogo-Indian in which the Chinese GM emerged up a pawn, however, finding ways to improve the position turned out not to be an easy task, and they drew after 28 moves.


Another day, another battle

Wang,Yue (2732) - Carlsen,Magnus (2826) [E00]
Pearl Spring Chess Tournament Nanjing/China (8), 28.10.2010 [Romain Edouard]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 Bxd2+ 5.Qxd2 d5








This line is secondary but known to be very solid for Black. 6.Bg2 c6 7.Nf3 Nbd7 8.0-0 b6 9.Rc1 0-0 10.cxd5 cxd5 11.Nc3 Ba6 12.a4 Rc8 12...Bc4 13.Nb5 Qe7 14.Na3 Ne4 15.Qd1 Ba6 16.Nb5 Bxb5 17.axb5 Qb4 18.Qa4 Qxa4 19.Rxa4 Nd6 20.Rc7 Rfd8 21.Raxa7 Rxa7 22.Rxa7 Nxb5 23.Ra1 Kf8 24.e3 Rc8 25.Bf1 Nd6 26.Bd3 1/2-1/2 Portisch,L (2635)-Spassky,B (2560)/Reykjavik 1988 13.Nb5 Ne4 14.Qf4 Qe7 15.Rc7 Bxb5 16.axb5 Nd6 17.Qc1 Rxc7 18.Qxc7 Rc8 19.Qxa7 Qd8 20.Qa4 h6 21.Qb4 Qf8








White is up a pawn but it is very hard to improve anything. Still, the next moves don't seem accurate, giving Black a chance to draw at once. 22.b3?! Something like 22.e3!? followed by Qb3 should be normal, though we trust Magnus should draw this! No doubt Wang Yue was also not eager to desperately go for a win, as he suffered a little in his last games. 22...Ne4 23.Qxf8+ Kxf8 24.Ne5 Nxe5 25.Bxe4 dxe4 26.dxe5 Rc5 27.Ra8+ Ke7 28.Ra7+ Kf8 Draw. [Click to replay]


Magnus Carlsen watches Topalov's game against Anand,
awaiting the novelty.

The most intriguing game of the round, which had the other players soon checking regularly, was that between Anand and Topalov. Though Anand sprung the novelty in a Closed Catalan, Topalov was in good spirits after his win the previous day, and played his dynamic and optimistic self to fight for the initiative and winning chances. Though computers may quibble about the mathematical correctness of the play, it was good fighting chess, and just what the doctor ordered, both for him and for the audience.

Anand,Viswanathan (2800) - Topalov,Veselin (2803) [E08]
Pearl Spring Chess Tournament Nanjing/China (8), 28.10.2010 [Romain Edouard]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 6.Bg2 0-0 7.0-0 c6 8.Qc2 b6 9.Rd1 Nbd7 10.Bf4 Ba6 10...Bb7 is also possible - of course. 11.cxd5 cxd5 12.Ne5!?N








12.Nc3 had been played a few times. 12...Nxe5!? I'm close to putting a second "N" after this move, as this is actually the move showing a new idea! 12...Rc8 13.Nc6! has actually already been played with another move order. White gains the bishop pair, but practice has showed no problem at all for black. So there were probably some new ideas coming in case this position appeared instead! 13.dxe5 Rc8 14.Nc3 Ng4 15.h3 Maybe this move can be improved upon, though I doubt it.








15...Nxf2! 16.Kxf2 Bc5+ 17.Be3. 17.Ke1 f6! offers Black big compensation. Somehow, it is better to bring White's king to e3 for one move and then remove it, rather than hide it forever on e1. Here Black would probably be much better. 17...Bxe3+ 18.Kxe3 b5








Another computer line is: 18...f6 19.Kf2 b5 20.Qd2 b4 21.Nxd5 fxe5+ 22.Ke1 exd5 23.Qxd5+ Qxd5 24.Bxd5+ Kh8 25.Rac1+/= and White enjoys some space advantage. 19.Qd3 Rc4 20.Nxd5 exd5 21.Bxd5








21...Qg5+?! This simply looks wrong or too optimistic - still, that's why we like Topalov's games! 21...Qb6+ 22.Kf3 Rc5 was probably the best chance, and not far from equalizing, for instance: 23.e4 Qc7 24.Qe3 Bc8! 25.Qf4 Be6 with "drawing counterplay". 22.Kf2 Qxe5?! The logical continuation now, but probably not the best. 23.Bxc4 bxc4








24.Qd6?! 24.Qd4! might give White good winning chances, for example: 24...Qe6!? a) 24...Qh5 25.h4 doesn't help.; b) 24...Qf5+ 25.Kg2 Bb7+ (25...Re8 26.Rd2) 26.Kh2 and White's queen has control of the f2-square. I believe this kind of position should be technically winning for White, as his king is not exposed to a draft anymore.; 25.g4 (25.h4!?) 25...c3!? 26.bxc3! Qxe2+ 27.Kg3 Bb7 28.Rd2 Qe7 29.c4+/- Here some engines declare white has a good advantage, while others deem the advantage decisive. I believe the reality is in between. This should be technically winning but White's weak king gives Black some chances to draw. 24...Qf5+ 25.Ke1 Qxh3! Now Black draws. 26.Qxa6 Qxg3+ 27.Kd2 Qf4+ 28.Kc2 Qe4+ 29.Kc1 Qe3+ 30.Kb1 Qe4+ 31.Kc1 An exciting game! Draw. [Click to replay]

Pictures by Yu Feng

Cross table

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

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