Aerosvit 2008: Eljanov and Nisipeanu win, Carlsen leads

6/17/2008 – Romania's Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu defeated Alexei Shirov after a fatal king move by the latter. Magnus Carlsen played a 16-move draw today, while one of his nearest rivals, Ukrainian GM Pavel Eljanov, defeated compatriot Andrei Volokitin to come within theoretical striking distance. With two rounds to go Carlsen leads by a point and a half. And before we forget: Happy Birthday, Pyotr!

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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 nine report

Ivanchuk, Vassily
Svidler, Peter
Karjakin, Sergey
Van Wely, Loek
Jakovenko, Dmitry
Carlsen, Magnus
Volokitin, Andrei
Eljanov, Pavel
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter
Shirov, Alexei
Onischuk, Alexander
Alekseev, Evgeny

Four games were drawn in twenty or less moves, so spectators in Foros and on the Internet around the world were thankful for two exiciting, fought-out games. The first was another unlucky loss for one of the most interesting (and enterprising) players on the international circuit.

Nisipeanu,LD (2684) - Shirov,A (2740) [B33]
Aerosvit Foros UKR (9), 17.06.2008
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Nd5 Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.c4 b4 12.Nc2 a5 13.g3 0-0 14.h4 Be6 15.Bh3 a4 16.Ncxb4 Nxb4 17.Bxe6 fxe6 18.Nxb4 Qb6 19.Qd2 Be7 20.a3 Rf3 21.Rf1 Raf8 22.0-0-0 Rb3 23.Qc2 d5 24.exd5 Bxb4 25.axb4 Qxb4 26.dxe6 Rb8 27.Rd2

Shirov is doing is fine and, having launched a trademark attack on the enemy king can even contemplate winning this game. At the very least there should be no danger of losing. A plausible continuation here would be 27...Rxb2 28.Qxb2 Qxc4+ 29.Qc2 Qxf1+ 30.Rd1 Qb5 31.e7 Qe8 32.Rd8 Rxd8 33.exd8R Qxd8 34.Qxa4 with a drawn endgame. But Black wants more: 27...a3?! 28.Rfd1 g6 29.Rd8+ Rxd8 30.Rxd8+ Kg7 31.Qe4.

The whole line (after 27...a3) was forced. Now White stands better, and Black must defend with ...Kf6 and ...axb2+. But: 31...Kh6? The king goes the wrong way. 32.Qg4 Qe1+ 33.Rd1 a2. Optically this looks terrifying for White, but Black cannot land a winning blow. 34.Kc2 a1N+. Desperation. 35.Rxa1 Qxf2+ 36.Kxb3 1-0. [Click to replay]

Volokitin,And (2684) - Eljanov,P (2687) [C67]
Aerosvit Foros UKR (9), 17.06.2008
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Nc3 Ne7 10.h3 Ng6 11.Ne4 h6 12.b3 a5 13.a4 c5 14.Bb2 Be6 15.Nfd2 Nf4 16.Kh2 g6 17.Nc4 Kd7 18.g3 Nd5 19.f4 h5 20.Rad1 Kc6 21.Ng5 Bg7 22.Nxe6 fxe6 23.Bc1 Bh6 24.Kg2 Rhf8 25.Na3 Rf7 26.c4 Ne7 27.Rd3 Rg8 28.Rfd1 Nf5 29.Nb5

White had a clear advantage, but he is ignoring the danger on his kingside. 29...g5 30.g4? gxf4 31.Kf3 Nh4+ 32.Ke4 b6 33.gxh5 Rg2 34.Nc3 Nf5 35.Rd8 Rg3

36.Nb5 Rxb3 37.R1d3 Rxd3 38.Rxd3 f3 39.Bxh6 f2 40.Rd1 Ng3+ 41.Ke3 f1Q 42.Rxf1 Nxf1+ 43.Kd3 Ng3 44.h4 Rf3+ 45.Kd2 Rf5 46.Bg5 Ne4+ 47.Ke3 Nxg5 48.hxg5 Rxg5 0-1. [Click to replay]

Magnus Carlsen had black against Dmitry Jakovenko, who was suffering from a case of mild food poisoning and played with a complete lack of ambition. In his blog Henrik Carlsen writes: "As white he played the English Opening and a very drawish line. When offered a draw after white's 16th move, Magnus was a bit uncertain about what to do. As you probably already know, he decided to accept the draw offer. Again, a reasonable result for Magnus, although,of course, the game was not what the specatators had hoped for."

Jakovenko,D (2711) - Carlsen,M (2765) [A30]
Aerosvit Foros UKR (9), 17.06.2008
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nc3 e6 4.g3 b6 5.Bg2 Bb7 6.0-0 Be7 7.b3 0-0 8.Bb2 d6 9.e3 Nbd7 10.d4 Ne4 11.Nxe4 Bxe4 12.Qe2 Qc7 13.Rfd1 Qb7 14.Ne1 Nf6 15.Rac1 cxd4 16.Bxd4 ½-½. [Click to replay]

Standings after nine rounds

Magnus watch: with the draw his performance has dropped 2924, but Carlsen is still on track to become the number two in the world rankings, five points behind Anand and five ahead of Vladimir Kramnik. On Wednesday he has white against Volokitin, who has been an angstgegner in the past. But their last encounter was two years ago, and Magnus is probably thirsting for revenge.

Happy Birthday, Pyotr!

Peter Svidler turned 32 on during round nine...

Peter Svidler was born on June 17, 1976, in Leningrad. He learned to play chess when he was six, became a grandmaster at 18. He won the Russian Championship four times (1994, 1995, 1997, 2003), twice before he was 20. In 2005 he shared second with Vishy Anand in the FIDE World Chess Championship in San Luis. Peter is married and has twin sons. He is hopelessly overeducated, reads voraciously and speaks English at a depressing level of eloquence. He is a fan (from "fanatic") of the English game of cricket and will rush from the chessboard to the press center to see whether Sachin Tendulkar made the century. He can spend hours discussing the game, which takes five days to play, with like-minded GMs (Short and Rogers), using technical expressions like "silly midon" and "short leg" while he does so.


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