Kasimdzhanov and Anand win 3:1, 3:1

by ChessBase
6/11/2005 – FIDE world champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov made his mark at the traditional Ciudad de León rapid chess event by winning both his black games and knocking out Alexei Shirov with a 3:1 score. Former FIDE champ Vishy Anand defeated Norwegian prodigy Magnus Carlsen by the same score. The final is on Sunday.

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Ciudad de León 2005

June 9 – 13, León, Spain

The 18th chess tournament Ciudad de León features four players playing knock-out rapid chess matches. The semi-finals were on June 10 and 11, the final is on June 12. The event takes place in the "Edificio de la Junta de Castilla y León" and is sponsored by the Ayuntamiento de León, the Junta de Castilla y León, the Diputación de León, the Universidad de León, Cajaduero and Alsa, and a number of commercial companies.

The presentation of the event, with GM Vishy Anand (second from left)

The press conference before the event, with Alexei Shirov, Magnus Carlsen, Vishy Anand and Rustam Kasimdzhanov

Semi-final one

In the first semi-final on Friday FIDE world champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov defeated top Spanish GM Alexei Shirov by a clear margin of 3:1, with two black wins and two draws.

In the first game, instead of playing safe with black, Kasimdzhanov opted for the risky Najdorf variation of the Sicilian Defense, and soon got a splendid position. In a very complex game he outplayed Shirov.

In the second game Shirov played a solid Petroff Defence, won a pawn but did not get a better position. The game ended with a draw by repetition of moves.

In the third game, which offered to repeat the Najdorf of the first game, Shirov deviated very early, but again Kasimdzhanov got a good position, and Shirov, trying to win, went too far. He was forced to sacrifice material for a dubious attack, which was easily rejected.

In the last game, the world champion pressed very hard and was close to win again, but Shirov defended his position accurately and obtained a draw.

Rustam Kasimdzhanov, Zenón Franco Ocampos and Alexei Shirov in the press conference

In the press conference Kasimdzhanov said he had prepared the Najdorf variation and he wanted to test his new repertoire against the sharp lines Shirov normally played. All that could be said was that he had succeeded. Shirov praised the accurate play of Kasimdzhanov, and said that he had deserved to win.

Semi-final two

In the second semi-final on Saturday Vishy Anand beat young Norwegian star Magnus Carlsen, 15, Elo 2548, with a score of 3:1.

Magnus Carlsen and Vishy Anand

Anand won the first and third games with white, overcoming Carlsen's Petroff Defence in both cases. With White the younger player tried a Ruy Lopez and a Sicilian Taimanov, but only in the second game did he have small chances of success.

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