Now <i>this</i> is how you must play it

3/26/2003 – Vishy Anand is still in the lead in Monaco, with but now it's Peter Leko and Veselin Toplaov who are hot on his heels. Both won both their games today and are just half a point behind the leader. Vladimir Kramnik beat Boris Gelfand in the blindfold game, but the classical chess world champion has not been able to win a single rapid game so far. Here's our illustrated report.

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Results of round nine

ma
Blindfold
Rapid
Morozevich 1-0 Bareev
Bareev 1-0 Morozevich
Anand 1-0 Almasi
Almasi 1/2 Anand
Ivanchuk 0-1 Topalov
Topalov 1-0 Ivanchuk
Ljubojevic 0-1 Shirov
Shirov 1-0 Ljubojevic
Gelfand 0-1 Kramnik
Kramnik 1/2 Gelfand
van Wely 0-1 Leko
Leko 1-0 van Wely

Anand beat Almasi 1.5-0.5 and kept his lead, with Peter Leko and Veselin Topalov, who won both their games, in hot pursuit. Almasi played the Berlin against Anand in the blindfold and was beaten in a rook ending. In their rapid game, as Jeroen van den Berg reports on the Amber web site, Anand finished with 27 minutes and 37 seconds left, 2 minutes and 37 seconds more than his start time. The game was drawn.

Veselin Topalov beat Ivanchuk in the blindfold game when the latter blundered in a bad position. The Bulgarian went on to gain a big advantage in the rapid game, where the following position occurred:

Position after 27...Qe4. Topalov continued 28.Rdf1 and went on to win forty moves later, when in fact he had a quick decapitation strike at his disposal. We are sure you will see it immediately.

Evgeny Bareev is leading in the rapid section but has only managed to score two points in the blindfold. Vladimir Kramnik, who had lost disastrously to Morozevich in the previous round, beat Gelfand 1.5-0.5 (winning the blindfold game with black). Remarkably Kramnik has not won a single game in the rapid section so far.

Standings after round nine


Picture gallery


A picture of concentration and determination: Boris Gelfand


Gelfand vs Kramnik, with a GM photographer in the background


Anand vs Almasi, with the typically tiny audience in Monaco


Alexander Morozevich vs Evgeny Bareev. Both won one game today.


Analysing together in the press area: Ljubojevich, Topalov, Anand and a dejected Ivanchuk. The quick win Topalov missed in the diagram above was 28.Rxf8+! Kxf8 29.Rf1+ Ke7 30.Qg7+ and mate to follow.


The daily table soccer matches, here between Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam of New in Chess, Jeroen Piket, Loek van Wely and his girlfriend Marion.

 


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