Kramnik, Aronian, Ivanchuk still lead in Monaco

by ChessBase
3/23/2007 – In Round 6 Vladimir Kramnik regained the overall lead, thanks to a 1½-½ win over one of the co-leaders, Levon Aronian. The other, Vasily Ivanchuk, was lucky to draw his mini-match against Peter Svidler and is now in second place, half a point behind Kramnik. Peter Leko and Teimour Radjabov both chalked up a win to improve their positions in the overall table. Round six report.

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


The 16th edition of the annual Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament is being held from March 17 to 29 at the Fairmont Monte Carlo Hotel in Monaco, with a total prize fund of € 216,000 (US $288,000). On each day of play there are two rounds, one a blindfold session and the second rapid chess.

Results of round six: Friday March 23

Blindfold     Rapid Chess  
Van Wely-Leko
  Leko-Van Wely

Vladimir Kramnik bounced back after his poor performance yesterday with a smooth win over Levon Aronian in their blindfold game. The Armenian grandmaster wasn’t fully informed about the opening he played and forcibly lost a pawn after 16…Bb7. After he had converted the advantage with a steady hand Kramnik wasn’t too excited about his achievement (or at least not showing it), but it seems safe to say that not many grandmasters would coast home this easily against a player of Aronian’s calibre. Kramnik keeps impressing in the blindfold, where his score is 5½ out of 6! Vishy Anand and Levon Aronian top the rapid standings with 4½ out of 6.

Vishy Anand had expected an Open Ruy Lopez in his blindfold game against Magnus Carlsen and was taken by surprise by the Sicilian variation they got on the board. "And just like four years ago when I had the same opening against Leko, I didn’t remember anything." After 29 moves he came to the conclusion that in this game at any rate there was nothing and he proposed a draw. The rapid game, for a long time, looked like a model game by Anand, who gradually outplayed Carlsen with the black pieces. But just when White seemed to be about to collapse, Carlsen produced a move that his opponent described as a "fantastic resource" (39.Kg2!). Anand delved into the position, but no matter how he tried and calculated, he couldn’t find a win.

Peter Leko chalked up a win against Loek van Wely in the rapid section when both players tried to trick each other with move-orders, as Leko put it. After the dust had subsided the Hungarian had a dream position, and after he found a nice way to trap the black queen (with 19.h5 and 22.Rh4) he forced his opponent to resign after 31 moves.

Teimour Radjabov made no secret of his intentions in the blindfold game against Paco Vallejo. Aggressively countering the Spaniard’s Dutch Defence he sacrificed an exchange as early as move 6 for which he got ample compensation. White’s pressure was annoying, but manoeuvring carefully Vallejo stayed in the game until he allowed White to tear open his queenside. That’s where his king was hiding and two moves before he was going to be mated he resigned.

The harbour of Monte Carlo in Monaco

The key game in round six: Kramnik vs Aronian, blindfold, 1-0

... and the rapid chess game between the two: ½-½

Vishy Anand was held to draws in both games by Magnus Carlsen

Francisco Vallejo, Spain, vs Taimour Radjabov, Azerbaijan


Blindfold games

Rapid chess games

Combined standings


Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register