Alekhine R05: Vachier leads after Paris leg

4/25/2013 – Fressinet missed winning chances in two consecutive games, but this time he was relentless and finished off Kramnik in superb fashion. Anand showed attacking prowess and demolished Ding. Gelfand and Aronian drew while Adams and Vitiugov also split the point. Vachier seized his chance, beat Svidler with Black and takes his lead to Saint Petersburg. GM commentary inside.

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The Alekhine Memorial is taking place from April 20th to May 1st 2013. The first part of the event takes place in Paris, France, (April 21-26, rounds one to five), the second in Saint Petersburg, Russia, (April, 26-May 1, rounds six to nine). The super tournament is dedicated to a great Russian chess player Alexander Alexandrovich Alekhine, a citizen of Russia and France, and is held at the initiative and with the support of Russian businessmen Gennady Timchenko and Andrey Filatov. Ten grandmasters from seven countries are playing in the Memorial starts with with five rounds in the Louvre Museum in Paris and ends with four rounds in Saint Michael’s Castle in Saint-Petersburg.

Round five report

As if to make an exit worth remembering, the players fought with their most aggressive chess! The highlight of today must be Fressinet's victory, but it is clear that the other games were also very hard-fought.

Round 05 – April 25 2013, 14:00h
Vladimir Kramnik 2801
0-1
Laurent Fressinet 2706
Viswanathan Anand 2783
1-0
Ding Liren 2707
Peter Svidler 2747
0-1
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2722
Boris Gelfand 2739
½-½
Levon Aronian 2809
Michael Adams 2727
½-½
Nikita Vitiugov 2712

Alekhine's portrait gleams in approval of today's round

Kramnik, Vladimir -Fressinet, Laurent 0-1
Kramnik relies again on a quick 1.Nf3 2.g3 setup to try to outplay his opponent after the opening moves are over. In this case, Fressinet had a little surprise ready for him. The idea of playing a quick Nc6 and d5 usually is not great against the Queen's Gambit setups because of the pressure on d5: the knight on c6 unfortunately blocks Black's possibility of ever defending it. However since White committed to such an early g3 this is less of an issue.

The game exploded quickly into fireworks as Fressinet sacrificed a pawn as early as move six and proceeded to long castle, trying to take advantage of White's slow development. By move twelve he was down a full piece, but his positional compensation was raging and White still had no development on the board. Black's compensation grew move by move: his bishops activated powerfully, he obtained a passed h-pawn and White's coordination was non existent. By move 20 Kramnik was lost, but what really sealed the deal was a further bishop sacrifice on f2, allowing Black's passed pawns to rush forward. A complete demolition. Our friend GM Chirstian Ioan-Chirila fully annotates for us:

Guest commentator Alexander Grischuk warning Fressinet against treating top Russian grandmasters in such a way...

 

Anand, Vishy - Ding Liren 1-0

When top players play the Caro-Kann, many times they achieve a comfortable draw. Once in a while, however, they get absolutely destroyed. This was one of those cases. After sacrificing a pawn in the opening Black obtained good pressure against White's queenside pawns as well as the weak pawn on e5. However he might have cashed in his chips too quickly, as when he took on e5 White's pieces suddenly came to life. White's pressure on the kingside became unbearable and some simple moves were sufficient to leave Black's king hopelessly defenseless.

Ding Liren prepares himself against the Indian's forthcoming ambush

Adams, Michael - Vitiugov, Nikita 1/2-1/2
Black's knight that started on g8 had made a tour around the board and landed on a6 before move ten was played, and yet Black seemed to be doing quite alright out of the opening. The game became very murky as Black pushed his kingside pawns forward while White did the same in the center. The complications lead to a position in which Adams had a slight edge in an endgame, but eventually he was unable to convert it.

MVL putting the last finishing touches on Svidler

Svidler, Peter - Vachier Lagrave, Maxim 0-1
A bizarre anti-Gruenfeld gave the Russian grandmaster a strong center, but in exchange Vachier obtained the pair of bishops: always an interesting fight. The excitement was augmented as the players castled in opposite sides, and a small combination by Svidler gave him an extra pawn but opened the position for Black's pieces. Some precise moves later, Vachier recovered his pawn in an endgame where White had a two versus one majority on the kingside, and Black had the same on the queenside. These positions are a text-book advantage for the bishop, and the technique shown was extremely accurate. Vachier emerges as the sole leader after the Paris leg.

Gelfand, Boris - Aronian, Levon 1/2-1/2
Gelfand faced again the Semi-Slav that gave him something to think about in his World Championship match against Anand last year. This time he again seems to not obtain much from the opening, and if anything Black's bishop seemed to give him a slight edge. Aronian simplified into a drawn rook endgame and that was the end of this duel.

Standings

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You can watch live video of the games, with GM commentary in English, in the above player. Video streams of past rounds can be reviewed on this page. Information and videos provided by Mark Gluhovsky, press attaché of the Alekhine Memorial

Alekhine Memorial 2013 – Schedule, pairings and results

Round 01 – April 21 2013, 14:00h
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2706
½-½
Laurent Fressinet 2709
Ding Liren 2707
1-0
Levon Aronian 2809
Vladimir Kramnik 2801
1-0
Nikita Vitiugov 2712
Viswanathan Anand 2783
0-1
Michael Adams 2727
Peter Svidler 2747
½-½
Boris Gelfand 2739
Round 02 – April 22 2013, 14:00h
Laurent Fressinet 2706
½-½
Boris Gelfand 2739
Michael Adams 2727
1-0
Peter Svidler 2747
Nikita Vitiugov 2712
½-½
Viswanathan Anand 2783
Levon Aronian 2809
1-0
Vladimir Kramnik 2801
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2722
1-0
Ding Liren 2707
Round 03 – April 23 2013, 14:00h
Ding Liren 2707
½-½
Laurent Fressinet 2706
Vladimir Kramnik 2801
½-½
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2722
Viswanathan Anand 2783
½-½
Levon Aronian 2809
Peter Svidler 2747
½-½
Nikita Vitiugov 2712
Boris Gelfand 2739
1-0
Michael Adams 2727
Round 04 – April 24 2013, 14:00h
Laurent Fressinet 2706
½-½
Michael Adams 2727
Nikita Vitiugov 2712
½-½
Boris Gelfand 2739
Levon Aronian 2809
1-0
Peter Svidler 2747
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2722
½-½
Viswanathan Anand 2783
Ding Liren 2707
½-½
Vladimir Kramnik 2801
Round 05 – April 25 2013, 14:00h
Vladimir Kramnik 2801
0-1
Laurent Fressinet 2706
Viswanathan Anand 2783
1-0
Ding Liren 2707
Peter Svidler 2747
0-1
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2722
Boris Gelfand 2739
½-½
Levon Aronian 2809
Michael Adams 2727
½-½
Nikita Vitiugov 2712
Round 06 – April 28 2013, 14:00h
Laurent Fressinet 2706
-
Nikita Vitiugov 2712
Levon Aronian 2809
-
Michael Adams 2727
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2722
-
Boris Gelfand 2739
Ding Liren 2707
-
Peter Svidler 2747
Vladimir Kramnik 2801
-
Viswanathan Anand 2783
Round 07 – April 29 2013, 14:00h
Viswanathan Anand 2783
-
Laurent Fressinet 2706
Peter Svidler 2747
-
Vladimir Kramnik 2801
Boris Gelfand 2739
-
Ding Liren 2707
Michael Adams 2727
-
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2722
Nikita Vitiugov 2712
-
Levon Aronian 2809
Round 08 – April 30 2013, 14:00h
Laurent Fressinet 2706
-
Levon Aronian 2809
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2722
-
Nikita Vitiugov 2712
Ding Liren 2707
-
Michael Adams 2727
Vladimir Kramnik 2801
-
Boris Gelfand 2739
Viswanathan Anand 2783
-
Peter Svidler 2747
Round 09 – May 01 2013, 14:00h
Peter Svidler 2747
-
Laurent Fressinet 2706
Boris Gelfand 2739
-
Viswanathan Anand 2783
Michael Adams 2727
-
Vladimir Kramnik 2801
Nikita Vitiugov 2712
-
Ding Liren 2707
Levon Aronian 2809
-
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2722

Links

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