Amber 2009: Anand in the lead after eight rounds

3/23/2009 – In round seven of the Blindfold and Rapid Tournament World Champion Vishy Anand and Vladimir Kramnik overtook Levon Aronian to take the shared lead. Magnus Carlsen had no mercy with out-of-form Wang Yue, winning 2-0 and moved up to third place. In the key encounter of round eight Anand defeated Kramnik to take the sole lead, ahead of Aronian and Carlsen. New pictures by John Nunn.

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The 18th Amber Blindfold and Rapid tournament, organized by the Association Max Euwe in Monaco, is taking place from March 14 (first round) to March 26 (last round) at the Palais de la Mediterranée, splendidly located on the famous Promenade des Anglais in Nice. The total prize fund is € 216,000. The rate of play is 25 minutes per game per player. With every move made in the blindfold games 20 seconds is added to the clock, with every move made in the rapid games 10 seconds is added. Every day four sessions are played: two blindfold and two rapid games. The first session starts at 14.30h. The fourth session finishes around 20.00h. (Note: the final round on March 26 starts at 12.30h. March 18 and 23 are rest days).

Round seven: Anand and Kramnik set the pace

In Round 7 World Champion Vishy Anand and Vladimir Kramnik overtook Levon Aronian to take the shared lead. Anand defeated Sergey Karjakin 1½-½, while Kramnik booked the same result against Aronian. Magnus Carlsen was the only player with a clean score today. The Norwegian had no mercy with out-of-form Wang Yue and moved in third place half a point behind the leaders. Full bulletin report.

Round seven: Blindfold Chess   Round seven: Rapid Chess
Topalov-Ivanchuk ½-½   Ivanchuk-Topalov ½-½
Morozevich-Leko ½-½   Leko-Morozevich 1-0
Wang Yue-Carlsen 0-1   Carlsen-Wang Yue 1-0
Radjabov-Kamsky 1-0   Kamsky-Radjabov 1-0
Karjakin-Anand 0-1   Anand-Karjakin ½-½
Kramnik-Aronian ½-½   Aronian-Kramnik 0-1

Round eight: Anand defeats Kramnik to take sole lead

In the key encounter of the 8th round of the Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament World Champion Vishy Anand defeated Vladimir Kramnik 1½-½ thanks to a fine win in the blindfold game. With three rounds to go the Indian grandmaster is in the sole lead half a point ahead of Levon Aronian and Magnus Carlsen, and one full point ahead of Kramnik. Magnus Carlsen dominates the blindfold competition with a score of 6½ from 8, although today’s win against Veselin Topalov was far from impeccable. In the rapid competition three players are leading with 5 from 8; Anand, Aronian and Gata Kamsky. Full bulletin report.

Round eight: Blindfold Chess   Round eight: Rapid Chess
Anand-Kramnik 1-0   Kramnik-Anand ½-½
Aronian-Radjabov 1-0   Radjabov-Aronian ½-½
Kamsky-Karjakin ½-½   Karjakin-Kamsky 1-0
Leko-Wang Yue ½-½   Wang Yue-Leko ½-½
Carlsen-Topalov 1-0   Topalov-Carlsen ½-½
Ivanchuk-Morozevich 1-0   Morozevich-Ivanchuk ½-½

Standings after eight rounds

Blindfold
 
Rapid
 
Combined
1.  Carlsen    6½
2. Anand 5½
3. Aronian 5
Kramnik 5
Leko 5
6. Morozevich 4
7. Radjabov 3½
Topalov 3½
9. Ivanchuk 3
10. Kamsky 2½
Wang Yue 2½
12. Karjakin 2
 
1.  Anand      5    
Aronian 5
Kamsky 5
4. Karjakin 4½
Kramnik 4½
6. Topalov 4
7. Carlsen 3½
Ivanchuk 3½
Leko 3½
Morozevich 3½
11. Radjabov 3
Wang Yue 3
 
1.  Anand      10½
2. Aronian 10
Carlsen 10
4. Kramnik 9½
5. Leko 8½
6. Kamsky 7½
Morozevich 7½
Topalov 7½
9. Ivanchuk 6½
Karjakin 6½
Radjabov 6½
12. Wang Yue 5½

Pictorial impressions from Nice by John Nunn


Magnus Carlsen is late and as he rushes to the playing room he is handed his obgligatory orange juice drink for the game by father Henrik. It worked: Magnus defeated Wang Yue 2-0.


Arbiter Geurt Gijssen has to find Karjakin, who is also late for the game


Kramnik enjoys a joke before the game...


...which is shared by his opponent Gata Kamsky


The humour is contagious, as shown by Levon Aronian


Some players take it more seriously, like Veselin Topalov


Ivan Cheparinov, a regular member of the Topalov team, arrived on Saturday to help his master


Lev Aronian and Vladimir Kramnik debate their moves with a chessboard


Vishy Anand and Sergey Karjakin discuss their round seven games in the corridor


We keep telling you: it's the orange juice! Carlsen defeats Topalov in the blindfold


Kramnik starts his blindfold game with a mysterious blue drink which would probably
provoke an immediate drug test in a FIDE event.


Laid back: Vassily Ivanchuk during his blindfold game in round eight


Explaining afterwards how he defeated Morozevich


Alexander Morozevich, who is minus one after eight rounds


Oh the pain! Kamsky, also on minus one, suffering after a lost game

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