Amber 10: Anand winner on all fronts

3/31/2005 – In the blindfold section he is two points ahead, in the rapid one. With one round to go it is clear that Vishy Anand will win in both groups, and that he will be the winner in the overall tally. Only one player achieved a similar result before, back in 1997. Can you guess who? The answer to this tricky question is given in our illustrated report.

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The Fourteenth Amber Blindfold and Rapid Chess Tournament will take place at the Monte Carlo Grand Hôtel in Monaco, from 19th to 31st March 2005. The Dutch billionaire J.J. van Oosterom is the exclusive sponsor of this event.

Round ten

After ten of eleven rounds Vishy Anand has wrapped up the Fourteenth Amber Blindfold and Rapid Chess Tournament. In the blindfold section he is two points clear of the field, in the rapid one point. Which of course means that he is also the uncontested victor on the overall scoresheet, a full three points beyond anybody's reach. Only one other player achieved a similar result, back in 1997. Coincidentally that player was – Vishy Anand!

Blindfold Round ten
Ivanchuk-Morozevich 1-0
Shirov-Bareev 1/2
Vallejo-Leko 0-1
Topalov-Van Wely 1-0
Anand-Svidler 1/2
Kramnik-Gelfand 1/2
Rapid Round ten
Morozevich-Ivanchuk 1-0
Bareev-Shirov 1/2
Leko-Vallejo 1/2
Van Wely-Topalov 1/2
Svidler-Anand 1/2
Gelfand-Kramnik 0-1

Overall standings after ten rounds

Anand's two tenth-round games against Peter Svidler – a Sicilian and a French – were fairly uneventful draws. In the above picture you see how the blindfold works. Both players have notebooks with empty chessboards, where the opponent's moves are displayed as arrows and where they can enter their own moves by clicking on squares.

Alexander Morozevich, Anand's closest follower

The blindfold game between Ivanchuk and Morozevich was a complicated affair which was fun to watch on the Playchess server. Morozevich sacrificed a pawn, Ivanchuk said thanks, and the game ended in the latter's favour.

Vassily Ivanchuk, veteran GM from Ukraine

The rapid game between the two saw Ivanchuk fairly effortlessly overrun a defensive Morozevich, only to ruin a won position in the end.

Morozevich,A (2741) - Ivanchuk,V (2711) [A36]
Amber Rapid Monte Carlo MNC (10), 30.03.2005
1.g3 c5 2.Bg2 Nc6 3.c4 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.b3 Nf6 6.Bb2 0-0 7.d3 e6 8.Bxc6 dxc6 9.Qd2 e5 10.f3 Nh5 11.0-0-0 a5 12.Kb1 Rb8 13.Qe3 b6 14.Qf2 Rb7 15.e3 f5 16.f4 Rd7 17.Kc2 Nf6 18.Nf3 Ng4 19.Qg1 exf4 20.gxf4 Re8 21.Ne5 Nxe5 22.fxe5 Bxe5 23.h4 Qf6 24.Na4 Bxb2 25.Nxb2 Rde7 26.Re1 f4 27.e4 Re5 28.Rf1 Rh5 29.Na4 Rxh4 30.Rxh4 Qxh4 31.Nxb6 Bh3 32.Rf2 Qg3 33.Qe1 Rd8 34.Na4.

Watch how Ivanchuk blows an easily won position. 34...Qxd3+ (34...Rxd3 was probably better) 35.Kb2 Qg3 36.Ka3 Rd4? (now 36...Rd3 was definitely better) 37.e5 Bf5 38.Nxc5 Rxc4 39.Qd2 Rxc5. The position is now a draw. 40.Qd8+ Kf7?? 41.Qf6+ Kg8 42.e6 h5 43.Qf7+ Kh8 44.e7 1-0.

The glare: Peter Leko causing great discomfort to Francisco Vallejo Pons

The mini-match between Peter Leko and Francisco Vallejo was most discouraging for the young Spaniard. In the blindfold game he got into deep trouble with the Four Knights and lost. In the rapid encounter he outplayed his Hungarian opponent with the black piece, only to see how incredibly tenacious Peter Leko can be in his defence. The game ended in a disappointing draw. With that Leko joined Morozevich in the second tier slot, both three points behind the comet in the evening skies of Monaco.

Veselin Topalov, looking smart with the new beard

Bulgarian GM Veselin Topalov, number three in the world but number ten in this tournament, scored once in the blindfold against tail-ender Loek van Wely. Vladimir Kramnik, number four in the world and number six in Monaco, took a point off Israeli Boris Gelfand.

The final round will be played on Thursday, an hour earlier than usual, with the first three blindfold games starting at 12:30h, the next three at 14:15h, and the two rapid rounds at 16:15h and 17:45h.


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