Linares R13: Carlsen falters, Ivanchuk catches up

3/6/2009 – Vassily Ivanchuk, who won Linares in 1991, is poised to do so again, eighteen years later, when he defeated Levon Aronian to join Alexander Grischuk in the lead. The latter was unable to convert a very promising position against Vishy Anand. The tragedy was Magnus Carlsen, who had a well-deserved win on the bat, but spoilt it to a draw. Big pictorial report with annotations by Anish Giri.

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XXVI Linares 2009

This year the Linares 2009 tournament is being staged only in Spain – in the previous three years the first half was in Morelia, Mexico, and next year the first half will probably be in the Arab Emirates. The 2009 event goes from February 19th to March 7th, with three rest days. The prize fund is 314,000 Euros, with the winner getting 100,000 Euros, followed by 75,000 and 50,000 Euros for second and third place. There are no appearance fees for the players, so the motivation to fight for points may be unusually high. The venue is el Teatro Cervantes de Linares, the starting time of the games is 16:00h (4 p.m.) Spanish/European time.

Round thirteen report

Round 13: Friday, 6 March 2009

Magnus Carlsen
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Vishy Anand
Vassily Ivanchuk
1-0
Levon Aronian
Wang Yue 
½-½
Leinier Domínguez


Round thirteen – the penultimate in Linares 2009 – is under way

Carlsen,M (2776) - Radjabov,T (2761) [B30]
XXVI SuperGM Linares ESP (13), 06.03.2009
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 e6 4.0-0 Nge7 5.c3 a6 6.Ba4 b5 7.Bc2 Bb7 8.Qe2 Ng6 9.d4 cxd4 10.cxd4 Rc8 11.a3 Be7 12.Nc3 0-0 13.Rd1 Na5 14.g3 Nc4 15.h4 Nxa3 16.bxa3 Rxc3 17.h5 Qc7 18.Bd3 Nh8 19.Bb2 Rb3 20.Rac1 Qa5 21.d5 Bxa3 22.Bxa3 Rxa3 23.Qe3 f5 24.exf5 Bxd5 25.Ne5 Qd8 26.fxe6 dxe6 27.Bxh7+ Kxh7 28.Qxa3 Rf5 29.Qd3 Kg8 30.Qe2 Nf7 31.Ng6 Kh7 32.Nf4 Ng5 33.Qg4 Qa8 34.Nxd5 Rxd5 35.f4 Rxd1+ 36.Qxd1 Ne4 37.Qd3 Qd5 38.Qxd5 exd5 39.Kg2 a5 40.g4 b4 41.Rc8 b3 42.g5 g6 43.h6 Nd6 44.Rb8 a4 45.Rb4 d4 46.Rxa4 d3








47.Kf3?? 47.Kf1 would have won quite comfortably. The trick is that after 47...Nb5 48.Rb4 Nc3 White has 49.Ke1 with no fork in sight. After the text move, however, Radjabov found 47...Nb5! 48.Rb4. The point is that 48.Ke3 b2 49.Rb4 Nc3 is a draw, e.g. 50.Kxd3 (or 50.Rxb2 Nd1+ 51.Kxd3 Nxb2+) 50...b1Q+ 51.Rxb1 Nxb1 draw. 48...Nc3. The threat 49...d2 must be addressed immediately. 49.Rb7+. 49.Ke3 is impossible because of 49...Nd5+ and Black wins. 49...Kg8 50.Rb8+ Kh7 51.Ke3 b2 52.Rb7+ Kg8 53.Rb8+ Kh7 draw. A tragedy for Magnus Carlsen, who would have joined Ivanchuk and Grischuk at the top of the table, and fighting for the tournament win in the last round. For Teimour Radjabov we can only say congratulations, well found, the trick that saved the game.


Teimour Radjabov in a desperate situation against Magnus Carlsen


"I cannot believe I blew it!" – "Gottcha, now you cannot win anymore!"


Deep disappointment at the missed opportunity that could have brought victory in Linares


The critical game ends in a draw, Magnus remains in third place


Commentary by GM-elect Anish Giri

Ivanchuk,V (2779) - Aronian,L (2750) [D45]
XXVI SuperGM Linares ESP (13), 06.03.2009

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6. The Semi Slav, one of the sharpest opening, which was developed a lot thanks to Anand. 5.e3 Nbd7 Meran... 6.Qc2. Anti-Meran...








6...Bd6 and now... the Anti-Anti Meran, do you think? No! 7.b3. White chooses a calm and positional approach. Instead 7.g4! is sharp and was tried by Magnus in this tournament successfully against Anand and unsuccessfully against Aronian. 7...0-0 8.Be2 b6 9.0-0 Bb7 10.Bb2 Rc8 11.Rac1. Normally, as I know, Black puts his queen on e7, before striking in the centre. But this move order was already played by Anand against Ivanchuk.








11...c5 12.dxc5. Novelty. 12...bxc5 13.Rfd1 Qe7 14.g3. Strong move! Ivanchuk prepares cxd exd Nh4! 14...Rfd8 15.cxd5 exd5. A structure with hanging pawns has arisen. Hanging pawns might be weak, but they can be strong as well.. Depends on how well the player handles them. 16.Nh4. As I told you! The knight is provoking some weaknesses. 16...Bb8 17.Bf1 Transporting the bishop to g2 or h3.








17...Ne5. An inaccuracy, I think. Qe6, putting the queen on a typical square for this structure and preventing Bh3, kept position equal. 18.Bh3 Rc7 19.Bg2








19...d4. Too early. Aronian just gives up a pawn. But to be honest his position was a bit unpleasant already. Though I think, after the best Rcc8! Black can hold the position. 20.Nf5 Qe8 21.exd4 cxd4 22.Nxd4 Bxg2 23.Kxg2 g6








24.Ne4! Nice trick, which Black could have avoided by not playing g6. But it was very bad for Black anyway. The rest is easy for Ivanchuk. 24...Qe7 25.Nxf6+ [Marcin Korzekwa of Swidnica, Poland, points out that Ivanchuk missed very nice move here: 25.Nf5!! – Goodness, he's right!] 25...Qxf6 26.Qe2 Rxc1 27.Rxc1 Qd6








28.Qe4. 28.f4! would win immediately. 28...Nd7 29.Nc6 winning. 28...Qb4 29.Rc2 f5 30.Qe2 Qb7+ 31.Nc6!








31...Re8 32.Kg1 Nf3+ 33.Qxf3 Re1+ 34.Kg2 Qb5 35.Rc4








1-0. [Click to replay]


In the lead with one round to go: Vassily Ivanchuk


Grischuk,A (2733) - Anand,V (2791) [B97]
XXVI SuperGM Linares ESP (13), 06.03.2009

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6. The Najdorf – a very sharp opening. Some lines have already been analyzed until a draw. 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 8.Qd2 Qxb2. The Poisoned Pawn – one of those variations which have already been calculated until the end. 9.Rb1 Qa3 10.f5 Nc6 11.fxe6 fxe6 12.Nxc6 bxc6 13.e5 dxe5 14.Bxf6 gxf6 15.Ne4 Qxa2 16.Rd1 Be7 17.Be2 0-0 18.0-0 Ra7 19.Rf3. Until here everything is very well-known. 19...Rd7. One of the main moves, together with Kh8. Normally they transpose. But...








20.Bd3!?N An interesting novelty which, I think, really deserves attention... I am wondering, what did Grischuk prepare if Anand had first played 19...Kh8!? 20...f5 21.Qh6








21...Kh8. 21...Rf7 might be a possible improvement. 22.Rg3+ Kh8 23.Ng5 Rg7 24.Nxe6 Rf7 and Black probably holds everywhere, though the position is really complicated, even for engines. 25.Kf1 (25.Kh1 Qc4! and Black holds.) 25...Bh4! and Black is fine.


Anand under pressure after 22.Ng5...


...looks for a way to save this critical game


Tension in the press room: Henrik and Ingrid Carlsen, Aruna Anand follow the games

22.Ng5 Bc5+ 23.Kh1. It looks like Black has some problems. He should probably look for improvements earlier. (21...Rf7 for example.)








23...Qa5. 23...Qd5 was another possibility, but Black's position looks really risky. 24.Rh3 Rg7 25.Be2 Be7! 26.Rh5 Qc5 27.Nxh7 Kg8 28.Nxf8 Kxf8 29.Rh3 with a big advantage for White. 24.Rh3 Qc7 25.Nxe6 Qd6 26.Nxf8 Qxf8 27.Rf1 Rf7 28.Qh5 Qe7








So far the players played very well. Now Grischuk made an inaccuracy. 29.Rhf3. 29.Bxf5! White shouldn't be afraid of any ghosts. 29...e4 30.Rb3 Bd6 (30...Ba7 31.Rbb1 Qf8 32.g4 and White is winning.) 31.Rbb1 With a big advantage. 29...f4 30.Be4 Rg7 31.Rb3 Ba7








32.Rd3? I don't understand what happened, maybe it was a time trouble, but it is an obvious blunder. 32.Qh6 with advantage. 32...Bg4 33.Qh6 Be2








34.Rc1 Bxd3 35.cxd3 Rg8 With equality. Draw. [Click to replay]



Chinese GM Wang Yue, before the start of round thirteen


While their charge, Leinier Dominguez, starts his game against Wang Yue...


...his second GM Aryam Abreu, and his father Aurelio Jesus Dominguez watch in the press room


Commenting for the spectators and for Playxchess: Spanish journalist Lenoxto Garcia

All pictures by Frederic Friedel in Linares

Current standings

Final round pairings

Round 14: Saturday, 7 March 2009

Teimour Radjabov
  Wang Yue
Leinier Domínguez
  Ivanchuk Vassily
Levon Aronian
  Grischuk Alexander
Vishy Anand
  Carlsen Magnus
Games - Report

Both Grischuk and Ivanchuk have black in the last round on Saturday. Grischuk's opponent, Lev Aronian, ist 17 points higher than him on the Elo scale, while Ivanchuk has an opponent, Leinier Dominguez, who is 62 points below him. So the veteran GM from Ukraine should have the better chances. Knowing Ivanchuk, he will play for a win. Magnus Carlsen could theoretically go for equal first by beating Vishy Anand with the black pieces, but that is of course a very tall order. If all four games are drawn the final standings will be Ivanchuk and Grischuk equal first, 8.0/14 (with Ivanchuk leading on tiebreak points); Carlsen third with 7.5/14 and Anand fourth with 7.0/14. Should Anand beat Carlsen then th would be third and Carlsen fourth.


Video reports by Europe Echecs

Video reports and interviews are now being provided by Vijay Kumar for Europe Echecs


Schedule and results

Round 1: Thursday, 19 February 2009

Vishy Anand
1-0
Teimour Radjabov
Levon Aronian
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Leinier Domínguez
½-½
Alexander Grischuk
Wang Yue
½-½
Vassily Ivanchuk

Round 2: Friday, 20 February 2009

Teimour Radjavov
½.½
Vassily Ivanchuk
Alexander Grischuk
1-0
Wang Yue
Magnus Carlsen
½.½
Leinier Domínguez
Vishy Anand
0-1
Levon Aronian

Round 3: Saturday, 21 February 2009

Levon Aronian
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Leinier Domínguez
½-½
Vishy Anand
Wang Yue
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Vassily Ivanchuk
½-½
Alexander Grischuk

Round 4: Sunday, 22 February 2009

Teimour Radjabov
0-1
Alexander Grischuk
Magnus Carlsen
½-½
Vassily Ivanchuk
Vishy Anand
1-0
Wang Yue
Levon Aronian
1-0
Leinier Domínguez

Round 5: Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Leinier Domínguez
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Wang Yue
½-½
Levon Aronian
Vassily Ivanchuk
½-½
Vishy Anand
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Magnus Carlsen

Round 6: Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Wang Yue
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Vassily Ivanchuk
½-½
Leinier Domínguez
Alexander Grischuk
1-0
Levon Aronian
Magnus Carlsen
1-0
Vishy Anand

Round 7:Thursday , 26 February 2009

Teimour Radjabov
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Vishy Anand
½-½
Alexander Grischuk
Levon Aronian
0-1
Vassily Ivanchuk
Leinier Domínguez
½-½
Wang Yue

Round 8: Saturday, 28 February 2009

Teimour Radjabov
½-½
Vishy Anand
Magnus Carlsen
0-1
Levon Aronian
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Leinier Domínguez
Vassily Ivanchuk
½-½
Wang Yue

Round 9: Sunday, 1 March 2009

Vassily Ivanchuk
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Wang Yue
½-½
Alexander Grischuk
Leinier Domínguez
0-1
Magnus Carlsen
Levon Aronian
½-½
Vishy Anand

Round 10: Monday, 2 March 2009

Teimour Radjabov
1-0
Levon Aronian
Vishy Anand
½-½
Leinier Domínguez
Magnus Carlsen
0-1
Wang Yue
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Vassily Ivanchuk

Round 11: Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Vassily Ivanchuk
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Wang Yue
½-½
Vishy Anand
Leinier Domínguez
½-½
Levon Aronian

Round 12: Thursday, 5 March 2009

Teimour Radjabov
½-½
Leinier Domínguez
Levon Aronian
½-½
Wang Yue
Vishy Anand
½-½
Vassily Ivanchuk
Magnus Carlsen
1-0
Alexander Grischuk

Round 13: Friday, 6 March 2009

Magnus Carlsen
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Vishy Anand
Vassily Ivanchuk
1-0
Levon Aronian
Wang Yue 
½-½
Leinier Domínguez

Round 14: Saturday, 7 March 2009

Teimour Radjabov
  Wang Yue
Leinier Domínguez
  Ivanchuk Vassily
Levon Aronian
  Grischuk Alexander
Vishy Anand
  Carlsen Magnus
Games - Report

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Topics: Linares 2009
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