Linares R3: All games well-fought draws

2/21/2009 – The results may seem desolate, but the games of round three were by no means boring. In each the players worked hard in an attempt to score a point. In fact one last until late in the evening, with Vassily Ivanchuk pushing in vain for 65 moves to overcome Alexander Grischuk. Rooky Leinier Dominguez did well to hold Anand to a draw. Illustrated report with annotations by GM Dorian Rogozenco.

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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 1th 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 three report

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

Dominguez and Anand played a theoretical variation in Najdorf Sicilian that led by force to an equal endgame with rook and bishop versus rook and knight. Both sides tried to make use of the plusses in their position and fought until the end, but the inevitable draw happened anyway.

Wang Yue and Carlsen also exchanged queens already in the opening. The Chinese grandmaster had some slight pressure and even succeeded to win the pawn, which, however was not enough for a victory.

Aronian against Radjabov achieved a slight advantage out of the opening, and White was pressing the entire game. But the Azerbaijani defended well and succeeded to achieve a draw without visible difficulties.

Ivanchuk and Grischuk played a theoretical line of the Nimzo Indian, where the Ukrainian repeated Kramnik’s new move that brought Vladimir his only victory in the World Championship match in Bonn last year. Two moves later Grischuk deviated from the game Kramnik-Anand, but also found himself under pressure and was forced to give up a pawn soon. Both players were spending lots of time and in his attempt to avoid possible counterplay from Black Ivanchuk decided to return the extra pawn – perhaps a hasty decision. After that Black’s task became easier and the draw looked like the most likely result all the way till the end of the game.


The entrance to the Teatro Cervantes de Linares, where the event is being staged


A long time before the start of the games spectators start to trickle in


...and the first journalists take up their posts in the press room


Punctually at 4 p.m. round four has started


Commentary by GM Dorian Rogozenco

Aronian,L (2750) - Radjabov,T (2761) [E61]
XXVI SuperGM Linares ESP (3), 21.02.2009

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.Nf3 0-0 5.g3. The fianchetto system is one of the most solid ways to meet King's Indian. 5...c6 Radjabov prepares the advance d5, which would transpose into the Gruenfeld Defence. 6.e4!? A somewhat unexpected decision. It turns out that Aronian is looking for more than fight for a slight edge in the position arising after 6.Bg2 d5 7.cxd5 cxd5. 6...d5 7.cxd5 cxd5 8.e5 Ne4 9.Bg2 Nc6 10.0-0 Bg4 11.h3 Bxf3 12.Bxf3 Rc8








13.h4. This is a standard advance in such structures. White gains more space on the kingside and might launch an attack later on. Black is usually looking for counterplay on the opposite side. However, there is another idea behind the advance of the h-pawn. Somitemes Black can fight for the supremacy in the center by means of f7-f6. In that case the advance of the h-pawn will weaken the pawn g6, discouraging Black from the mentioned plan in the center. Although Black has no weaknesses, White's chances are slightly preferable first of all thanks to his space advantage. 13.Nxe4 dxe4 14.Bxe4 Qxd4 15.Bxc6 (or 15.Qxd4 Nxd4 16.Bxb7 Rb8 followed by 17...Bxe5) 15...Qxd1 16.Rxd1 Rxc6 is equal. 13...Qa5. By increasing pressure on c3 Radjabov tries to force his opponent to take on e4, which would open for Black the d-file and considerably increase the influence of his bishop on the long diagonal. The standard method 13...Nxc3 14.bxc3 Na5 15.Qd3 doesn't fully solve Black's problems: White easily protects his only weakness on c3 and can concentrate on developing the attack on the kingside. 14.Qd3. 14.Nxe4 dxe4 15.Bxe4 would be a mistake. After 15...Rfd8 Black will retain the pawn in a favourable situation – all his pieces will remain active. 14...Rfd8 15.Be3. A clever move, provoking the following answer. The tactics 15.Nxd5 doesn't work: 15...Rxd5 16.Bxe4 Rxd4 and White will remain with a pawn down. 15...Nb4. This leads Black nowhere, but it was not easy to create counterplay anyway. [15...f6 16.exf6] 16.Qe2 Nxc3 17.bxc3








17...Nc6. It turns out that after 17...Rxc3 18.Bd2 Black must sacrifice the exchange and although this is quite interesting, it is insufficient to equalise: 18...Nc6 (18...Ra3? 19.Rfb1 Ra4 20.a3 loses a piece) 19.Bxc3 Qxc3 20.Rac1! Qa3 (worse is 20...Qxd4 21.Rfd1 Qxe5 22.Qxe5 Bxe5 23.Bxd5 with a difficult endgame for Black) 21.Rcd1 e6 22.Rd3 Qa4 23.Qd2 and White is better. 18.Rfc1. A rather surprising decision to play on the queenside. In the end it will only lead to massive exchanges and a draw. Stronger looks the typical 18.Rac1 with the idea to use the other rook on the h-file after Kg2 and h4-h5. 18...e6 19.c4 Qb6! Radjabov points out the drawback of White's plan: the weakness of pawn d4. In case of 19...dxc4 20.Rxc4 Aronian's idea would have worked out: his light-squared bishop would have been very strong. 20.c5. 20.cxd5 Nxd4 brings White nothing. 20...Qa5. Black has little to complain that the pawn moved from c3 to c5 – on c5 it only helps Black to exchange it by means of b7-b6 and also open more files. 21.Rab1 b6 22.h5. Well, now this doesn't really look like an attempt to attack. Black has already sufficient counterplay. 22...Qa4. Again pointing out the main drawback of the advance of the c-pawn. 23.Qb5 Qxb5 24.Rxb5 Bf8 25.cxb6 axb6 26.Rcb1. 26.Rxb6 runs into 26...Nxd4! and it is White who must be careful to achieve a draw. 26...Ne7! 27.hxg6 hxg6 28.g4. 28.Rxb6 Nf5 allows Black sufficient activity. 28...Ra8 29.R1b2 Nc8








Right in time. Radjabov protected well his only weakness and White's advantage has only a symbolic character. 30.Bd1. Perhaps 30.Rc2 would have required from Black more accuracy. 30...Rd7 31.a4 Rc7 32.f4 Rc3. After activating the rook Black has little to fear. 33.Kf2 Ra7 34.Rc2 Rxc2+ 35.Bxc2 Rc7 36.Bd1 Rc4 37.Ke2 Rb4 38.Rxb4 Bxb4 39.Bc2 Ne7 40.Bd3 Nc6 41.Bb5 Na7 42.Ba6 Nc6 draw. [Click to replay]



The ritual: Vassily Ivanchuk adjusts his pieces before the start of the game

Ivanchuk,V (2779) - Grischuk,A (2733) [E21]
XXVI SuperGM Linares ESP (3), 21.02.2009

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3 c5 5.g3 cxd4 6.Nxd4 0-0 7.Bg2 d5 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Qb3 Qa5 10.Bd2 Nc6 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.0-0 Bxc3 13.bxc3 Ba6 14.Rfd1 Qc5 15.e4 Bc4 16.Qa4 Nb6 17.Qb4 Qh5








18.Re1. Kramnik's novelty from the 10th game of the World Championship match last year, the only victory obtained by Kramnik in the match. The purpose of 18.Re1 isn't easy to explain, even Kramnik put it that way: "/portals/all/_for_legal_reasons.jpg". Well, puzzled enough? In fact the position is of such nature that White has no many concrete ideas, so he just removes the rook from the possible attack Be2 and tries to show that on the long run his bishop pair secures an edge. Kramnik... 18...c5 19.Qa5 Be2. 19...Rfc8 20.Be3 Be2 21.Bf4 e5 22.Be3 Bg4 23.Qa6 f6 24.a4 Qf7 25.Bf1 Be6 26.Rab1 c4 27.a5 Na4 28.Rb7 Qe8 29.Qd6 1-0 Kramnik,V (2772)-Anand,V (2783)/Bonn 2008. 20.Bf4 e5. After 20...Nc4 21.Qa6 Black has nothing better than 21...e5 anyway; 20...Rfc8 was an alternative to consider. 21.Bxe5 Nc4. 21...Qxe5 22.Rxe2 Nc4 23.Qa6 Qxc3 24.Ree1 leads to the same position from the game. 22.Qa6 Qxe5 23.Rxe2 Qxc3 24.Ree1 Nd2 25.Rac1 Qb4 26.e5 Rad8 27.Qxa7. Nothing brings 27.e6 fxe6 28.Qxe6+ Kh8 29.Qe7 since after 29...Qa4 Black takes the a-pawn and with two pawns versus three on the same wing has no problems to make a draw. 27...c4 28.Re3 Rfe8








29.e6?! With little time on the clock (both players had less than 10 minutes left on the clock) Ivanchuk decides to return the extra pawn in order to keep the e-file closed. A rather doubtful decision. It is understandable that Ivanchuk rejected 29.f4 which weakens the second rank. But after 29.Qb7 Qa5 30.Qb2 Black still had a tough fight for the draw. 29...fxe6. 29...Rxe6 30.Rxe6 fxe6 leaves Black with a weaker back rank and therefore is less logical than the game. 30.Rec3 e5. Grischuk immediately takes advantage of his new pawn on the e-file. In fact the presence of the e-pawn gives Black many new ideas. 31.Bc6 Re7 32.Qe3. 32.Bd5+ is answered by the simple 32...Kh8 (not 32...Rxd5? 33.Qa8+ winning). 32...e4 33.Kg2 h6 34.Rd1. After 34.R1c2 Black replies also 34...Rd6 (34...Rd3 35.Rxd3 exd3 36.Qxd2 Qc5 37.Qxd3 Qxc6+ 38.Qf3 is a better version of endgame for White than what happened in the game). 34...Rd6 35.Rxd2 Rxc6 36.Rd8+ Kh7 37.Rd4 Kh8 38.a3 Qb5 39.Qe2. 39.Rxe4 Qd5 40.f3 Rxe4 41.fxe4 Qe5 will also lead to a draw. 39...e3 40.Rxe3. Perhaps it made sense to keep the blockading rook and take with the pawn 40.fxe3 even if after 40...Re8 the result must have been the same. 40...Rxe3 41.Qxe3 Rc8 42.Qc3 Qb7+ 43.Kg1 Qb3 44.Qxb3 cxb3 45.Rb4 Rc1+ 46.Kg2 Rb1 47.g4 g5 48.Rb7 b2 49.f3 Ra1 50.Rxb2 Rxa3








51.Rb5 Kg7 52.h4 gxh4 53.Rh5 Ra2+ 54.Kh3 Ra3 55.Rf5 Kg6 56.Kxh4 h5 57.Rg5+ Kf7 58.Kxh5 Rxf3 59.Kh6 Rh3+ 60.Rh5 Rg3 61.g5 Kg8 62.Rh1 Ra3 63.Rb1 Ra6+ 64.g6 Ra8 65.Rb7 draw. [Click to replay]


Got away with it: Alexander Grischuk during his round four game against Ivanchuk


Dominguez Perez,L (2717) - Anand,V (2791) [B90]
XXVI SuperGM Linares ESP (3), 21.02.2009

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.Qd2 Nbd7 9.f3 h5 10.0-0-0 Be7 11.Kb1 b5 12.Nd5 Bxd5 13.exd5 Nb6 14.Bxb6 Qxb6 15.Na5 Rc8 16.Nc6 Nxd5 17.Nxe7 Nxe7 18.Qxd6 Qxd6 19.Rxd6 Nc6 20.Rd2 Ke7 21.Bd3 Rhd8 22.Rhd1 g6 23.a4 Rb8 24.axb5 axb5 25.Be4 Rxd2 26.Rxd2 Nd4 27.b4 f5 28.Bd3 h4 29.c3 Ne6 30.Bf1 Nf4 31.Kc2 Kf6 32.g3 hxg3 33.hxg3 Nh5 34.Rd5 Nxg3 35.Bxb5








35...e4 36.fxe4 Nxe4 37.Bd3 g5 38.Bxe4 fxe4 39.Kd2 g4 40.Ke3 Rc8 41.Kxe4 Rxc3 draw. [Click to replay]


Magnus Carlsen strolls over to see how Dominguez and Anand are doing


Wang Yue (2739) - Carlsen,M (2776) [D37]
XXVI SuperGM Linares ESP (3), 21.02.2009

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bxf6 Bxf6 7.Qc2 dxc4 8.e3 c5 9.dxc5 Qa5 10.Bxc4 Qxc5 11.Ne4 Qa5+ 12.Ke2 Be7 13.Rhc1 Bd7 14.Qc3 Qxc3 15.Rxc3 Nc6 16.a3 f5 17.Ned2 Bf6 18.Rc2 Ke7 19.Nb3 Rhd8 20.Nc5 Bc8 21.Rac1 Na5 22.Bb5 a6 23.Bd3 b6 24.b4 bxc5 25.bxa5 e5 26.Nd2 e4 27.Bc4 Bd7 28.f3 exf3+ 29.Nxf3 Bc6 30.Bd3








30...Rxd3 31.Kxd3 Be4+ 32.Kc4 Bxc2 33.Rxc2 Ke6 34.Ne1 Bd8 35.Nd3 Bxa5 36.Nxc5+ Ke5 37.Kd3 Ra7 38.Na4 Rd7+ 39.Ke2 Rc7 40.Rc5+ Rxc5 41.Nxc5 Bc7 42.Nxa6 Bd6 43.Nb4 Ke4 44.h3 Bc5 45.Nc2 g6 46.a4 Bb6 47.Nb4 g5 48.Nc6 Bxe3 49.a5 Bc5 50.a6 Kf4 51.Kd3 Kg3 52.Kc4 Bb6 53.Kb5 Be3 54.Kc4 Bb6 55.Kb5 Be3 56.Kc4 Bb6 57.Kb5 draw. [Click to replay]

All photos by Nadja Woisin in Linares


Current standings


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

Round 5: Tuesday, 24 February 2009

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

Round 6: Wednesday, 25 February 2009

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

Round 7:Thursday , 26 February 2009

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

Round 8: Saturday, 28 February 2009

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

Round 9: Sunday, 1 March 2009

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

Round 10: Monday, 2 March 2009

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

Round 11: Tuesday, 3 March 2009

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

Round 12: Thursday, 5 March 2009

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

Round 13: Friday, 6 March 2009

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

Round 14: Saturday, 7 March 2009

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

Links

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Topics: Linares 2009
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