Aerosvit 2008: Ivanchuk, van Wely, Alekseev win

6/16/2008 – Vassily Ivanchuk defeated Alexei Shirov on the black side of an Exchange Gruenfeld, in 36 moves. With this he advanced into the group of three "chasing" Magnus Carlsen, who is two full points ahead. Evgeny Alekseev beat Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu and Loek van Wely beat Andrei Volokitin. Carlsen drew against tail-ender Alexander Onischuk. Round eight report.

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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 eight report

White
Res.
Black
Moves
Carlsen, Magnus
½-½
Onischuk, Alexander
29
Eljanov, Pavel
½-½
Jakovenko, Dmitry
24
Alekseev, Evgeny
1-0
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter
51
Svidler, Peter
½-½
Karjakin, Sergey
40
Shirov, Alexei
0-1
Ivanchuk, Vassily
36
Van Wely, Loek
1-0
Volokitin, Andrei
41

The game to watch was, of course, Carlsen-Onischuk, the leader of the field vs the tail-ender. The former had white and the expectancy was for the young Norwegian to blow his ex-Ukrainian (now US) opponent out of the water. But it was not to be. Magnus uncorked a novelty (11.Be3) in the Catalan game, sacrificed a pawn for white initiative and lack of coordination of his opponent's pieces, and was again on the attack. But Onischuk defended with precision and became the third player in this tournament to have achieved a draw against Carlsen. That is the big news these days? Indeed, a medal of honour for a draw against the kid.


Magnus Carlsen vs Alexander Onischuk in round eight

Shirov-Ivanchuk was an important game. Both players were on 3.5/7 (together with Svidler and Jakovenko), both share a third-seed 2740 rating, and both had aspirations for a second-place slot in this tournament. Ivanchuk played a novelty (9...c6) in the Exchange Gruenfeld, and by move 30 Shirov was under considerable pressure.

Shirov,A (2740) - Ivanchuk,V (2740) [D85]
Aerosvit Foros UKR (8), 16.06.2008
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Bd2 Bg7 6.e4 Nb6 7.Be3 0-0 8.Bb5 Qd6 9.Nge2 c6 10.Bd3 e5 11.dxe5 Qxe5 12.Bd4 Qe7 13.Bxg7 Kxg7 14.Bc2 Rd8 15.Qc1 Na6 16.0-0 Be6 17.Nf4 Bc4 18.Re1 Nb4 19.a3 Nxc2 20.Qxc2 Qf6 21.Nce2 Rd7 22.b3 Ba6 23.Rad1 Rad8 24.g3 Qe5 25.f3 Kg8 26.a4 h5 27.Kf2 Rd6 28.Qc3 Nd7 29.Rxd6 Qxd6 30.Rc1 Ne5 31.h4 Qf6

32.b4? Rd3. White needed to defend f3 with 32.Ng1. Now he falls victim to a deadly attack. 33.Nxd3 Qxf3+ 34.Kg1 Bxd3 35.Qxe5 Qe3+ 36.Kh2 Qxe2+ and the game could continue 37.Kh3 Bxe4 38.Rg1 Bf5+ with White losing his queen. 0-1. [Click to replay]


Vassily Ivanchuk, now on place 2-4 after his eighth round win over Shirov

Van Wely-Volokitin was a QGD Lasker in which the many-times Dutch champion built up pressure against his young Ukrainian opponent, who pinned his hopes on a kingside attack that never came to fruition. Apparently Andrei's interlude with the torpedo on the free day was not enough to scare Loek van Wely, who chalked up his second win (vs four losses) in this tournament. Volokitin suffered his second defeat to sink to 50% and place eight (from place two after round seven).

Alekseev,Evgeny (2711) - Nisipeanu,LD (2684) [B82]
Aerosvit Foros UKR (8), 16.06.2008
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.f4 Be7 7.Be3 0-0 8.Be2 Nc6 9.Qd2 e5 10.Nb3 a5 11.a4 exf4 12.Bxf4 Be6 13.0-0-0 Nb4 14.Bxd6 Rc8 15.Bf3 Nd7 16.Kb1 Bxd6 17.Qxd6 Bxb3 18.cxb3 Nc5 19.Qxd8 Rfxd8 20.Nd5 Nxd5 21.exd5 Nxb3 22.d6 Nc5 23.Rhe1 Kf8 24.Be2 Ne4 25.d7 Rc5 26.Bb5 Re5 27.g4 Re6 28.Kc2 Nf6 29.Rxe6 fxe6 30.Rd6 Ke7 31.Rb6 Rb8 32.d8Q+ Kxd8

Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu from Romania, who has the longest hair of any player above 2600 including Judit Polgar (a number of readers asked), has been holding his own against Russian GM Evgeny Alekseev. But now things go bad: 33.g5 Rc8+ 34.Kd3 Kc7?! Why not move the knight to d5? 35.Rxe6 Nd5. Now it is too late. 36.Ke4 Nb6 37.Re7+ Kd6 38.Rxg7 Rc2 39.Rxh7 Rxb2 40.Rh6+ and having made the time control with the two great passed pawns on the g and h-files White has no problems winning the full point. 40...Kc5 41.g6 Nc8 42.Ke5 Rg2 43.h4 Nd6 44.Kf6 Kd4 45.Rh5 Ne4+ 46.Kg7 Rc2 47.Kh6 Rh2 48.g7 Nf6

49.Rf5 Ng8+ 50.Kh7 Ne7 51.Rh5 1-0. [Click to replay]

Standings after eight rounds

Our Magnus Watch tells us that he is performing at a 2960 level (i.e. one could reasonably expect the current result from a player of that strenght), and that he is still number two in the world on the dynamic Live List, four points behind Anand and six ahead of Kramnik. On Tuesday he plays Jakovenko.



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