Asrian Memorial: Aronian catches Leko in the final rounds

6/15/2008 – The Karen Asrian Memorial rapid chess tournament in Yerevan ended today with a clear victory for Armenia's top GM Levon Aronian, who defeated Michael Adams 1½:½ in the last two games; while Peter Leko, who had been leading most of the time, lost ½:1½ to Alexander Morozevich. The draw average in this event was 65%. Final report.

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Karen Asrian Memorial – Yerevan 2008

The "Chess Giants Yerevan 2008" rapid chess tournament was originally scheduled to be held in Yerevan, Armenia, from June 9th to 15th, 2008. Due to the sudden and tragic death of top Armenian GM Karen Asrian on June 9th, 2008, at the age of 28, the Armenian Chess Federation decided to interrupt the event for a few days, and then rename it to the "Karen Asrian Memorial". This will be the name it will bear in the future. In addition, the rapid open scheduled to have been played in parallel to the main tournament from June 12-15, was cancelled.

Final report

Before the last two rounds of mini-matches on the final day Peter Leko was leading with 7.5/12 points, with Levon Aronian half a point behind. In the first game of the day Leko, with the white pieces, fell victim to an unusual Sicilian and a vicious attack on his king, which was castled queenside. In the meantime Levon Aronian played the following miniature against England's top GM Michael Adams:

Aronian,L (2763) - Adams,Mi (2729) [E17]
Karen Asrian Mem Yerevan ARM (13), 15.06.2008
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 6.0-0 0-0 7.Re1 Na6 8.Ne5 d5 9.cxd5 exd5 10.Nc3 c5 11.dxc5 Nxc5 12.Be3 Re8 13.Nd3 Ne6 14.Rc1 Ne4 15.Qa4 Bf6 16.Nxe4 dxe4 17.Red1

17...exd3? 18.Bxb7 Nd4. Adams was certainly not eager to get tied down with 18...Rb8 19.Rxd3 Qe7 20.Rd7 Qf8 (yes, the queen has no other squares) 21.Qxa7. 19.Bxd4 dxe2 20.Re1 1-0.

The winner of the Karen Asrian Memorial 2008: Levon Aronian

In the final games Leko conceded a 27-move draw with black against Morozevich, while Aronian got his with black against Adams in 23 moves. The Armenian champ was the overall winner, followed by Leko and then, half a point behind, Morozevich and Gelfand.

Caught in the penultimate round: Peter Leko from Hungary

Final standings (after 14 rounds)

The drawing average in this event was 65%. White won 21% of the games, Black 14%.


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