Aerosvit 2008: All games drawn, Carlsen leads at halftime

6/13/2008 – Naturally it couldn't go on forever. Magnus Carlsen, the ultimate fighter, took a break in round six and drew in eighteen moves against Evgeny Alexeev. All other games were drawn. At halftime Carlsen leads by a point and a half, ahead of two young Ukrainian grandmasters. Saturday is a free day. Round six report with beautiful pictorial impressions by WGM Anastasiya Karlovich.

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Aerosvit-2008 Tournament in Foros, Ukraine

The "Aerosvit-2008" tournament is taking place in a sanatorium complex in the settlement Foros of AR Crimea, Ukraine, from June 7th (day of arrival), to June 20th, 2008 (day of departure). The event is a 12-player round robin with invited participants. The average rating of the players is 2711.7, time controls are 90 minutes for the first 40 moves and 30 minutes to the end of the game, with an addition of 30 sec. after every move. In case of equal points at the end of the tournament the tiebreak is based on the (1) the result of the direct encounter; (2) the Sonneborn-Berger system; (3) the number of won games. The rounds are from Sunday, June 8th until Thursday, June 19th, always starting at 15:00h local time, which is currently CEST +1 (14:00h Berlin/Paris, 13:00h London, 08:00 a.m. New York). Here is a chart for your local time.

Round six report

White
Res.
Black
Moves
Carlsen, Magnus
½-½
Alekseev, Evgeny
18
Svidler, Peter
½-½
Jakovenko, Dmitry
30
Eljanov, Pavel
½-½
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter
17
Ivanchuk, Vassily
½-½
Volokitin, Andrei
22
Shirov, Alexei
½-½
Karjakin, Sergey
36
Van Wely, Loek
½-½
Onischuk, Alexander
34

Eljanov-Nisipeanu followed a 2000 women's game from Istanbul, Kachiani Gersinska vs Baginskaite, for nine moves, then deviated to a draw on move 17. What else is there of interest to say about this game? It was a Catalan Bogo, and at move 12 there were five pawns, three white and two black, lined up on the fourth row.

Carlsen-Alekseev lasted one move longer, and was 13 moves of theory. Since young Magnus has been playing the most enterprising fighting chess, with games lasting an average of 54.8 moves in the tournament so far, we will refrain from poking fun at this subdued effort.

Ivanchuk-Volokitin saw ten moves of theory in a QGD, an innocuous novelty and then a repetition on move 22. Svidler-Jakovenko was a Marshall with Black tentatively probing for an advantage but giving up the effort after 30 moves. Van Wely-Onischuk saw White pressing all the way to a rook and minor-piece ending, which was drawn after 34 moves. This gave Loek plenty of time to find a good TV set where he could watch the superb form the Dutch soccer team was showing in the European Championship: they have defeated – nay, trounced – the reigning world champion and vice champion so far.

Shirov-Karjakin was the longest game, 36 moves in an Anti-Meran, which followed the piece sacrifice line that has become popular this year.

Shirov,A (2740) - Karjakin,Sergey (2732) [D43]
Aerosvit Foros UKR (6), 13.06.2008
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.0-0 Nbd7 11.Ne5 Bg7

Remember how this April a letter by Bobby Fischer to Veselin Topalov was discovered in which the eleventh World Champions wrote: "You asked me for new ideas. Okay, here is one I had on the Moscow Variation. After 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.0–0 Nbd7 11.Ne5 Bg7 why can’t you simply sac the knight on f7? 12.Nxf7 Kxf7 and then continue with 13.e5 Nd5 14.Ne4? What can Black do?" Topalov played the sacrifice against Vladimir Kramnik and won the game. Unfortunately the Fischer letter turned out to be a hoax perpetrated on the pagan "April Fool's" festival, and that Topalov had come up with the knight sacrifice all by himself. In the meantime it has been played by Timman (against Ljubojevic, who won), and in Kiselev-Gundavaa, Moscow, 1-0, and om Beckhuis-Steingromsson, Plovdiv, 0-1. And now by Alexei Shirov:

12.Nxf7 Kxf7 13.e5 Nd5 14.Ne4 Qb6 15.Nd6+ Ke7 16.Bg4. So far this occurred in Topalov-Kramnik, which continued 18.Qg6, and in Kiselev-Grundavaa and Timman-Ljubojevic, in both of which Black played 16...Rag8. Karjakin has something new: a pawn sacrifice. 16... h5 17.Bxh5 Raf8 18.Qg4 Bh6 19.h4 Rhg8 20.hxg5 Bxg5 21.Ne4 Ne3 22.Qxg5+ Rxg5 23.Bh4 Kd8 24.fxe3 Rh8 25.Bxg5+ Kc7 26.Bg4 c5 27.dxc5 Nxc5 28.Rf7+ Kb8 29.Nd6 Rg8 30.Raf1 Rxg5 31.Rf8+ Kc7 32.R1f7+ Nd7 33.Rxd7+ Kxd7 34.Rf7+ Kd8 35.Rf8+ Kd7 36.Rf7+ ½-½. An interesting game in an interesting line, the first we know of that has produced a draw.

Standings after six rounds


Impressions of Foros

By WGM Anastasiya Karlovich

Foros is the southern-most health resort in Crimea. The Crimean mountains are lowest here and come closest to the sea. The Rocks of Foros are only 500-600 meters above the sea level. Foros is also a unique natural health resort. Here, the air is not so humid which, together with the sea breeze, makes it easy to bear the summer heat. The average annual number of sun hours in Foros is 2320 (compare it with 2200 in Sochi and 2300 in Yalta).


A view of the health resort from the mountains around Foros


The main building of the sanatorium complex “Foros”, where all chess players stay during the tournament. It was built in 1988 for the ruling class of the USSR.


A view of the shoreline of the Black Sea in Foros


The Kuznetsov Palace became the playing hall during the tournament

The Kuznetsov Palace was built by architect Billing in 1889. Alexandr Kuznetsov was a monopolist in tea manufacturing and trade, and played prominent role in Russian business community. In 1916 the Russian opera singer Fyodor Shaliapin together with the celebrated writer Maxim Gorky wrote a book of Shaliapin`s reminiscences in this building.


In 1848 the Baidar Gates was built to commemorate the completion of construction of the highway along the Southern Coast of Crimea, and also the visit of Catherina the Great, who enjoyed the great view from this point.


A view of the famous Resurrection Church, as seen from the Baidar Gates

The Resurrection Church is a signature sight of Foros, located on the Red Cliff, 412 meters above sea level. It was built to commemorate the rescue of the Russian Emperor Alexander III in a railway station wreck near Kharkov in 1888. All the cars of the train were almost completely destroyed, except the car in which the Emperor and his family traveled. Many churches were built to commemorate this miracle all around Russia.


This is the country house (dacha) of Mikhail Gorbachev, former Russian President. It is called “Zaria” and has a total area of more than 50 hectares. The main building has three stories and a total area of several thousand square meters. The veiw above is from the highway.


A view of Zaria from the sea. Today the site is used as a venue for various summits and meetings, and hosts top-ranked officials.


A fountain in the park in Foros


A Crimean wine market in the park of the sanatorium “Foros”


A souvenir shop


A monument to Yuri Gagarin, the first human being in Space. Foros was the place where all best Soviet
cosmonauts took their vacations.


Cosmonaut (or was is chess player?) Vladimir Onishuk and his second Valdimir Baklan relax before the game


The head of the Tournament Press Center Anatliy Javorsky and Pavel Eljanov's second Mikhail Brodky


The official commentator of the games, GM Mikhail Golubev


The father of Sergey Karjakin, Alexander Ivanovich. In the background, keeping a watchful eye, is the father of Magnus Carlsen, Henrik Kurtovich (?)


GM Dmitry Yakovenko watches the games on the monitor in the resting room


A little Boing 767, the mascot of Aerosvit and the chess tournament



About the author

Anastasiya (Nastja) Karlovich was Ukrainian champion and vice-champion among girls under 16, 18 and 20. She was European Champion with the Ukrainian team in the Youth Team Championships. She is also

  • a candidate officer in the National Law Academy “Yaroslav the Wise”,
  • a member of the chess club “Law Academy”
  • a member of the German club Grosslehna
  • one of the organisers of WGM and GM closed tournaments “Cup of Rector”.
  • a Woman Grandmaster since 2003



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