Linares R11: Carlsen beats Ivanchuk

3/6/2007 – Magnus Carlsen continues his extraordinary performance with a further victory in Linares, taking veteran Vassily Ivanchuk to the cleaners on the white side of an Exchange Grunfeld. Anand drew Morozevich with black and leads by half a point ahead of Carlsen. Svidler, Aronian and Ivanchuk follow. Full report with analysis.

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Round eleven

Round 11: Tuesday, March 6th

Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Peter Leko
Alex. Morozevich 
½-½
 Vishy Anand
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Peter Svidler 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov

Round 12: Wednesday, March 7th

Peter Leko 
-
 Peter Svidler
Veselin Topalov 
-
 Magnus Carlsen
Vassily Ivanchuk 
-
 Alex. Morozevich
Vishy Anand 
-
 Levon Aronian
GamesReport

Standings after eleven rounds


Commentary by GM Mihail Marin

The following express commentary was provided by Romanian GM Mihail Marin, who is the author of a number of very popular ChessBase training CDs and articles for ChessBase Magazine. GM Marin will study the games of the Morelia/Linares tournament in greater detail and provide the full results of his analysis in the next issue of ChessBase Magazine.


At the start of Carlsen vs Ivanchuk: the Mayor of Linares Juan Fernandez, organiser Paco Ablate

Carlsen,M (2690) - Ivanchuk,V (2750) [D87]
XXIV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (11), 06.03.2007 [Mihail Marin]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Bc4 c5 8.Ne2 Nc6 9.Be3 0-0 10.0-0 Na5 11.Bd3 b6 12.Rc1 cxd4 13.cxd4 e6 14.Qd2 Bb7

This variation does not enjoy a good reputation. Ivanchuk might have hoped that his opponent's lack of experience would prevent him from finding the best plan. 15.h4! Which is not the case. Since the pressure against the d4-square has been somewhat released, White can start active operations on the wings. 15...Qe7. 15...Qd7 is the more popular continuation, but the character of the position remains the same. 16.h5 Rfc8 17.e5!? A new move, aiming to take advantage of the chronic weakness of Black's kingside dark squares. White usually plays 17.Bg5. 17...Rxc1 18.Rxc1 Rc8. Black aims to exchange as many pieces as possible, in order to approach an ending where his queenside majority would offer him the better chances. However, White's attack remains dangerous even in positions with a reduced number of pieces. 19.Rxc8+ Bxc8 20.Bg5 Qc7

21.Bf6. The exchange of the dark-squared bishops (which is usually carried out by means of Bh6) gives White's attack a strategic character. The fact that there is an enemy king around only makes the perspective more enjoyable... 21...Nc6. Black cannot afford to capture on f6. After 21...Bxf6 22.exf6 Qd8 23.Qg5 Qe8 24.Nf4 Black cannot prevent a decisive sacrifice on g6. 22.Qg5. Threatening Bxg7 followed by Qf6+, with a decisive attack. 22...h6 23.Qc1. 23.Qh4 would have been equally good, by making 23...g5? impossible in view of 24.Qe4! with decisive threats. The point behind placing the queen on the apparently modest c1-square will be revealed soon. 23...g5 24.Bb5. The exchange of this bishop for the c6-knight is generally designed to increase White's domination on dark squares. Here, in view of the pin along the c-file, White simply wins a piece. 24...Bd7

25.d5! Clearing the d4-square for the knight. Compare with the same pawn break from Carslen's game against Topalov, earlier in the same tournament. 25...exd5 26.Nd4. Black is lost. The rest of the moves were played by inertia. 26...Bxf6 27.exf6 Qd6 28.Bxc6 Qxf6 29.Bxd7 Qxd4 30.g3 Qc5 31.Qxc5 bxc5 32.Bc6 d4 33.Bb5 Kf8 34.f4 gxf4 35.gxf4 1-0. [Click to replay]


Magnus Carlsen in the press room after his victory over Ivanchuk


Anand at the start of his game against Morozevich

Morozevich,A (2741) - Anand,V (2779) [E15]
XXIV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (11), 06.03.2007 [Mihail Marin]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.Qb3 d5 6.cxd5 Qxd5

7.Qd1!? As expected, Morozevich takes the first chance to avoid a theoretical dispute on the well known paths. Anand had some experience against the popular continuation 7.Qc2 , although it only consisted of blitz games: against Ivanchuk and Gelfand, at Monte Carlo in 2003. 7...c5. The only game where 7.Qd1 had been played before continued with 7...Bb4+ 8.Bd2 Bxd2+ 9.Qxd2 Ne4 10.Qe3 Qa5+ 11.Nc3 Nxc3 12.bxc3 and White's compact centre offered him the more pleasant position in Tkachiev-Gaspariants, Biel 2003. 8.Nc3 Qd8 9.Bg2 Bb7 10.0-0 Nbd7 11.Bf4 Be7

The position is typical for the Catalan opening. White's chances for an advantage are connected with the weakness of the light squares from Black's queenside. 12.dxc5 Nxc5 13.Qxd8+. Carried out before Black's castling, this exchange is aimed to misplace the enemy rooks. Indeed, the natural development would consist of Rac8 and Rfd8, occupying both open files. The main alternative was 13.Qc2 but after 13...0-0 14.Rfd1 Qe8 White has no obvious way to take advantage of the temporary passive placement of the black queen. 13...Rxd8 14.Ne5 Nd5 15.Nb5. A more natural continuation would have been 15.Nxd5 Bxd5 (15...exd5 is less favourable than in the game, because White has not given away his fianchetto-bishop.) 16.Nc6 Bxg2 17.Kxg2 Rd7 18.b4 eventually followed by the consolidation of the c6-knight with b5. White would have retained a stable advantage. 15...f6 16.Bxd5 exd5 17.Nf3 Kf7 18.Nfd4 a6 19.Nc3 Rc8

The absence of the white light-squared bishop makes itself felt. The weakness of the e6-square is hardly relevant now, while the black rook have the c8-square at their disposal (no Bh3 available), making the fight for the c-file just even. 20.Rfd1 Rhd8 21.f3 b5 22.a3 Bf8 23.Be3 Nd7! The knight is heading for c4, a square which has been indirectly weakened by the advance of the white a-pawn. 24.Nc2 Ne5 25.Bd4 Rd7 26.Kf2 Nc4 27.Ra2 Na5 28.Bb6 Nc4 29.Bd4 Na5 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

Aronian,L (2744) - Leko,P (2749) [E00]
XXIV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (11), 06.03.2007 [Mihail Marin]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 c5 4.Nf3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Bb4+ 6.Bd2. Maintaining the game within Catalan paths. 6.Nc3 would have transposed to a Nimzo Indian. 6...Bc5. The alternative is 6...Be7 7.Bg2 0-0 8.0-0 d5 , when the bishop is not optimally placed on d2. 7.Nb3 Be7 8.Bg2 Nc6 9.Nc3 b6 10.Bf4 0-0 11.0-0 Bb7 12.e4 d6

Finally, we have reached a Hedgehog type of position. The main drawback of Black's development is the presence of the queen's knight on c6 rather than on d7. This leaves the c5- and b6-squares insufficiently defended. 13.Qe2 Qc7 14.Nb5 Qb8 15.Rad1 Rd8 16.c5!?

Taking advantage of the aforementioned negative aspect regarding the arangement of Black's pieces. 16...bxc5 17.Nxc5 e5 18.Nxb7 Qxb7 19.Bc1. White's pair of bishops is not too active yet, while the black centre invites to permanent surveillance. Chances are approximately equal. 19...Qa6 20.b3 Rab8 21.Nd4 Qxe2 22.Nxe2 Nb4 23.Nc3 Rdc8

24.Bb2? White obviously underestimated Black's dynamic potential. 24.Bd2 was imperative, although Black would have retained a comfortable position with 24...Bd8 followed by ...Bb6. 24...Nxa2! 25.Nxa2 Rc2 26.Bxe5 dxe5 27.Nc1. White has managed to maintain the material equality, but his position has become very passive. 27...Bc5. This move allows WHite obtain certain counterplay. A policy of calmly strengthening his position starting with, say, 27...a5!? followed by ...h5 might have been more promissing. 28.Nd3 Bd4 29.Ne1 Re2 30.Nf3 Rxe4 31.Nd2 Rg4 32.Bh3 Rg6 33.Nf3 Rh6 34.Bg2 Rh5 35.h3 Rf5 36.Nxd4 exd4 37.Rxd4 Rfb5 38.Ra1 a5 39.Bf1 Rxb3 40.Rxa5 R3b7 41.Kg2 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

Svidler,P (2728) - Topalov,V (2783) [B90]
XXIV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (11), 06.03.2007 [Mihail Marin]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.f3 h5. A controversial move. Black prevents the standard advance of the white g-pawn, but ireparably weakens his kingside. 9.Qd2 Nbd7 10.0-0-0 Be7 11.h3!? An ambitious move, aiming to start active kingside operations as soon as possible. Earlier this year, a game between the same opponents continued with 11.Kb1 Qc7 12.Bd3 b5 13.Bg5 Nb6 14.f4 Rb8 15.Rhe1 Nc4 , Svidler-Topalov, Wijk aan Zee 2007. Black has a very active position and we can understand Svidler's desire to deviate in spite of the favourable result. 11...Qc7 12.Bd3. It is interesting to quote here the game played by one of Topalov's seconds: 12.Kb1 h4 13.f4 b5 14.Bd3 Nb6 15.Bxb6 Qxb6 16.Rhe1 0-0 and Black's stability on dark squares offered adequate compensation for White's strong centralisation, Cheparinov-Borovikov, Pamplona 2003. 12...h4. Preventing 13.g4. 13.f4. It appears that the move h3 is useful anyway, by controlling the g4-square. 13...b5 14.Rhe1 Rb8 15.Kb1 Nb6 16.Qf2 b4 17.Ne2 Nc4 18.Nd2 Nxe3 19.Qxe3 a5 20.b3 a4

Black's initiative has reached concrete forms, while White is mainly defending. 21.Bc4 axb3 22.cxb3 Bd7 23.Nf3 0-0 24.fxe5 dxe5 25.Nxh4 Bc6 26.Ng3 Nxe4 27.Nxe4 Bxh4 28.g3 Be7 29.Nf2 Rbd8 30.Rxd8 Qxd8 31.Rd1 Qa5 32.Ng4 e4 33.Nh6+ gxh6 34.Qxh6 Qf5 35.g4 Qc5 36.Qg6+ Kh8 37.Qh6+ Kg8 38.Qg6+ 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


Topalov's seconds Silvio Danialov and Ivan Cheparinov follow the game

Photos by Jesus J. Boyero/David Llada

Schedule

Round 8: Friday, March 2nd

Peter Leko 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Vishy Anand 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Peter Svidler
Alex. Morozevich 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen

Round 9: Saturday, March 3rd

Alex. Morozevich 
1-0
 Peter Leko
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Peter Svidler 
½-½
 Vishy Anand
Veselin Topalov 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk

Round 10: Sunday, March 4th

Peter Leko 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Peter Svidler
Vishy Anand 
1-0
 Magnus Carlsen
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Alex. Morozevich
Free day: Monday, March 5th

Round 11: Tuesday, March 6th

Levon Aronian 
-
 Peter Leko
Alex. Morozevich 
-
 Vishy Anand
Magnus Carlsen 
-
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Peter Svidler 
-
 Veselin Topalov
GamesReport

Round 12: Wednesday, March 7th

Peter Leko 
-
 Peter Svidler
Veselin Topalov 
-
 Magnus Carlsen
Vassily Ivanchuk 
-
 Alex. Morozevich
Vishy Anand 
-
 Levon Aronian
GamesReport
Free day: Thursday, March 8th

Round 13: Friday, March 9th

Vishy Anand 
-
 Peter Leko
Levon Aronian 
-
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Alex. Morozevich 
-
 Veselin Topalov
Magnus Carlsen 
-
 Peter Svidler
GamesReport

Round 14: Saturday, March 10th

Peter Leko  
-
 Magnus Carlsen
Peter Svidler 
-
 Alex. Morozevich
Veselin Topalov 
-
 Levon Aronian
Vassily Ivanchuk 
-
 Vishy Anand
Games Report
Closing Ceremony

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