Amber 2009: Aronian and Carlsen catch Anand

3/25/2009 – After their free day on Monday it was back to work in the Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament. The ‘prologue’ to the next World Championship between Anand and Topalov ended in a tie, while Aronian and Carlsen won their matches to to draw level with Anand. Report with recreational pictures by John Nunn, video impressions by Europe Echecs and a video interview with Vishy Anand

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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 nine: Three leaders in Amber

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

Following the free day of yesterday, that some of the players used to rest at the hotel and others to join an excursion to Ile Saint Honorat (a small island off the bay of Cannes), the players arrived on the third floor of the Palais de la Mediterranée with recharged batteries.

The ‘prologue’ to the next World Championship match between Vishy Anand and Veselin Topalov ended in a 1-1 tie, allowing both Levon Aronian (who beat Alexander Morozevich 1½-½) and Magnus Carlsen (who defeated Sergey Karjakin 1½-½), to draw level with the World Champion in the combined standings.

Carlsen stays firmly in control in the blindfold competition, one point ahead of Anand. In the rapid competition Aronian leads, half a point ahead of Anand and Kamsky. Full bulletin report.

Standings after nine rounds

Blindfold
 
Rapid
 
Combined
1.  Carlsen    7    
2. Anand 6
3. Aronian 5½
Leko 5½
5. Kramnik 5
6. Morozevich 4½
7. Ivanchuk 4
Radjabov 4
Topalov 4
10. Kamsky 3
Wang Yue 3
12. Karjakin 2½
 
1.  Aronian    6    
2. Anand 5½
Kamsky 5½
4. Kramnik 5
5. Carlsen 4½
Karjakin 4½
Topalov 4½
8. Ivanchuk 4
Leko 4
10. Morozevich 3½
Radjabov 3½
Wang Yue 3½
 
1.  Anand      11½
Aronian 11½
Carlsen 11½
4. Kramnik 10
5. Leko 9½
6. Kamsky 8½
Topalov 8½
8. Ivanchuk 8
Morozevich 8
10. Radjabov 7½
11. Karjakin 7
12. Wang Yue 6½

Pictorial impressions from Nice by John Nunn


In Cannes the players greet a new visitor to the tournament, Loek van Wely


On the island of Saint Honorat, Levon Aronian with the mainland in the background


The water around the island looks so blue and clear that Chucky must investigate closer


Sofi and Peter Leko: warmly dressed despite the hot sunny weather


The fortified monastery of Abbey Lérins. This is where Saint Honoratus, after whom the island is named, founded a monastery in the early fifth century.


Ivanchuk's wife Oxana at the top of the tower, where you have a great view of...


...the church and monastery of the Abbey Lérins, which is used as a Christian retreat


The boat waiting to take the players back to Cannes


Video reports by Europe Echecs

These video reports are by GM Robert Fontaine and the Europe Echecs team. They give us a unique view of the tournament, with daily wrap-ups and atmosphere reports.

An interview with World Champion Viswanathan Anand


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Topics: Amber 2009
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