Linares R5: All games drawn, miracle save by Anand

2/25/2009 – "Who said beating a World Champion is easy?" asks our annotator. And indeed, after running into an opening problem against Vassily Ivanchuk, Vishy Anand used some miraculous stalemate motifs to save the game. All the other games were also drawn, Dominguez-Radjabov being the most volatile. Pictures, annotations by GM Dorian Rogozenco, video interviews and another truly atrocious pun.

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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 five report

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

Wang Yue against Aronian made a little convincing attempt to improve on his early game, which he played few months ago at the Grand Prix tournament in Russia. Aronian’s precise reaction immediately solved all Black’s problems and in an equal endgame the players made a draw by repeating the position three times.

Grischuk and Carlsen played a long theoretical variation of the Sveshnikov Sicilian, where White’s plus is extremely small. The Russian Grandmaster failed to show anything new and Carlsen easily achieved a draw after massive exchanges of pieces.


Leinier Dominguez from Cuba


Teimour Radjabov from Azerbaijan

Dominguez-Radjabov was a sharp and complicated Sicilian Dragon. The Cuban Grandmaster made a rare move, but it was Radjabov who introduced a strong novelty and then sacrificed an exchange, obtaining very good prospects. Black increased his advantage in endgame and could have put Dominguez on a verge of losing by creating a mating net around the white king in the center of the board. Instead of that Radjabov made an inaccuracy, allowing his opponent to escape with a draw rather easily.

Ivanchuk-Anand was an amazing game, which had it all: the rare case of a “hole” in Anand’s preparation, Ivanchuk’s missed the win and then an incredible escape by the World Champion in a study-like endgame. The players repeated the first 23 moves from the seventh game of the World Championship match Anand-Kramnik, which ended peacefully in 37 moves, after Kramnik’s precise defense. In that game Kramnik offered a draw on move 22, which Anand (with the white pieces) rejected. Thus already then it was clear that only White can play for a win, but apparently the World Champion had great faith in Black’s defensive resources, since he decided to repeat the variation in Linares with the black pieces. The World Champion didn’t even wait to see Ivanchuk’s improvement for White and on move 23 was the first one to deviate. That was a poor novelty, since after Ivanchuk’s nice reply it became clear that Black will be suffering for long. Few moves later Anand had to give up a pawn and struggle in a highly unpleasant four-rooks endgame. It looked like Ivanchuk’s win is just a matter of time, but in the end Anand escaped miraculously, using stalemate motifs.


Commentary by GM Dorian Rogozenco

Ivanchuk,V (2779) - Anand,V (2791) [D19]
XXVI SuperGM Linares ESP (5), 24.02.2009

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bxc4 Bb4 8.0-0 0-0 9.Qe2 Nbd7 10.e4 Bg6 11.Bd3 Bh5 12.e5 Nd5 13.Nxd5 cxd5 14.Qe3 Re8 15.Ne1 Bg6 16.Bxg6 hxg6 17.Nd3 Qb6 18.Nxb4 Qxb4 19.b3 Rac8 20.Ba3 Qc3 21.Rac1 Qxe3 22.fxe3 f6 23.Bd6 a5?!








The key of the position is the c-file. How can White take control of it? 23...g5 24.h3 Kf7 25.Kf2 Kg6 26.Ke2 fxe5 27.dxe5 b6 28.b4 Rc4 29.Rxc4 dxc4 30.Rc1 Rc8 31.g4 a5 32.b5 c3 33.Rc2 Kf7 34.Kd3 Nc5+ 35.Bxc5 Rxc5 36.Rxc3 Rxc3+ 37.Kxc3 1/2-1/2 Anand,V (2783)-Kramnik,V (2772)/Bonn 2008. 24.Bc7! A superb move. Now White will quietly double on the c-file and then remove the bishop from c7, thus forcing Black to give up the c-file. Perhaps Ivanchuk had a similar idea in mind in case of Kramnik's 23...g5, but Anand's 23...a5 only made 24.Bc7 even more powerful. 24...fxe5 25.dxe5 b6 26.Rc3 Rf8 27.Rfc1! Black is already in serious troubles. 27...Rf5 28.g4 Rf7 29.Bd6 Nc5 30.Bxc5 bxc5 31.Rxc5 Rcf8 32.Rxa5 Rf3 33.Ra7 g5 34.Re1 d4 35.exd4 Rxb3 36.Rf1 Rd3 37.Rxf8+ Kxf8 38.a5 Rxd4 39.h3 Kg8 40.a6 Ra4 41.Kf2 Ra5 42.Kf3 Rxe5 43.Re7 Kh7 44.Re8 Ra5 45.Rxe6 Ra3+ 46.Ke4 Rxh3








47.Kd5? The endgame is of course too complicated for a quick assessment, but my feeling is that this natural move escapes the win. After 47.Kd4 Rg3 48.Kc5 Rxg4 White has 49.Re5! and he wins. This is why the rook is best placed on the e-file. Few variations: 49...Ra4 (49...Kh6 50.a7 Ra4 51.Kb6 Threatening 52.Ra5 51...Rxa7 52.Kxa7 Kh5 53.Kb6 Kg4 54.Kc5 Kf4 55.Kd4 g4 56.Re7 g3 57.Rf7+ Kg4 58.Ke3 g5 59.Rf8 Kh3 60.Kf3 g4+ 61.Ke2 Kg2 62.Rh8 Kg1 63.Rh4 g2 64.Rxg4 Kh2 65.Kf2) 50.Kb5 Ra1 51.Rxg5 Kh6 52.Rc5 g5 53.Kb6 Kh5 (Even simpler is 53...g4 54.a7 Rxa7 55.Kxa7) 54.Ra5 Rb1+ 55.Kc7 Rc1+ 56.Kd7 Rd1+ 57.Ke7 Re1+ 58.Kf7 Rf1+ 59.Kg7 Rd1 60.a7 Rd8 61.a8Q Rxa8 62.Rxa8 g4 63.Kf6 g3 64.Kf5 winning. 47...Rc3! A superb idea from Anand, who figured out that white rook would be worse placed on c6 than on e6. Well, who said that winning against a World Champ is an easy thing? Both 47...Ra3 48.Kc5 g6 49.Kb6 Kh6 50.a7; and 47...Rg3 48.Kc6 Rxg4 49.a7 Ra4 50.Kb7 lose for Black. 48.Rb6. Let's see why 48.Rc6 does not win: 48...Rg3 49.Kc5 (49.a7 Ra3 50.Rc7 Kh6 51.Kc6 g6








Analysis diagram

and now Black escapes thanks to the idea Rxa7 stalemate! The only move to prevent that is 52.Kd7 but then just 52...Ra1 and Black waits until white king leaves the seventh rank, after which he takes on a7 with stalemate.) 49...Rxg4 With the rook on e6 White would have played here 50.Re5, remember? See 47.Kd4. 50.a7 (50.Kb5 Rf4 51.a7 Rf8 52.Ra6 Ra8 53.Kc6 g4 54.Kb7 Rf8 55.a8Q Rxa8 56.Rxa8 Kg6 57.Kc6 Kf5 58.Kd5 g3=) 50...Ra4 51.Kb6 g4 52.Rc4 (or 52.Kb7 g3 53.a8Q Rxa8 54.Kxa8 g5 55.Kb7 g2 56.Rc1 Kg6 57.Kc6 Kf5 58.Rg1 Kf4 59.Rxg2 g4=) 52...Rxc4 53.a8Q Rf4 here Black places the rook on f6, gives up the g4-pawn and achieves a theoretical draw.; 48.Kd4 achieves nothing due to 48...Rc1.

48...g6 49.Kd6. 49.a7 Ra3 50.Rb7+ Kh6 followed by 51...Rxa7 is a stalemate again! 49...Kh6 50.Rb8. Other attempts don't win either. 50...Ra3 51.Ra8 Kg7 52.Kc5 Ra1 53.Kb6 Rb1+ 54.Ka7 Rb4 55.Rb8 Rxg4 56.Rb5 Ra4 57.Rxg5 Rb4 58.Rc5 Kh6 59.Rc6 Kh5 60.Rb6 Rf4 61.Rb5+ g5 62.Kb6 Rf6+ 63.Ka5 Rf7 64.Kb6 Rf6+ 65.Ka5 draw. A very tough game for both opponents. [Click to replay]


Wang Yue (2739) - Aronian,L (2750) [D11]
XXVI SuperGM Linares ESP (5), 24.02.2009

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 Bg4 5.Qb3 Qb6 6.Nc3 e6 7.Nh4 Bh5 8.h3 Be7 9.g4 Bg6 10.Nxg6 hxg6 11.Bg2 g5 12.c5. In the game versus the Russian Grandmaster Inarkiev from December 2008, the Chinese Grandmaster played 12.0-0 Nbd7 13.Qxb6 axb6 14.cxd5 Nxd5 but after 15.Ne2 0-0 16.a3 b5 17.Rb1 N5b6 18.Rd1 Nc4 19.Bf1 Ndb6 Black had reached a comfortable equality, Wang Yue (2736)-Inarkiev,E (2669)/Elista 2008. 12...Qxb3 13.axb3








In such a pawn structure the most important question is whether White is able to advance the b-pawn to b5 or not. 13...Na6! The only way to stop White's advance b3-b4-b5. This is sufficient for Black to hold the balance. 13...Nbd7 14.b4 a6 doesn't prevent the further advance of the b-pawn. White plays 15.b5 cxb5 16.Nxb5 using the pin on the a-file. Next White retreats the knight from b5 and advances b4-b5 again, with better prospects. 14.Bd2 Nc7 15.f4. Now 15.b4 makes little sense, since after 15...a6 the rook a8 is protected and White cannot play 16.b5. 15...gxf4 16.exf4 g6








The closed character of the position brings White's bishop pair to nothing. Together with the fact that Black has no weaknesses, that means White can't play for a win without major risk. The same is valid for Black, who in order to play for a win must open the position somehow, which will only favour White's bishop pair. Both opponents perfectly understood each other's intentions and repeated the position soon. 17.Be3 a6 18.Ke2 Rh7 19.Bf2 0-0-0 20.Raf1 Rdh8 21.Kd3 Bd8 22.Be1 Kd7 23.b4 Kc8 24.Bd2 Kd7 25.Be1 Kc8 26.Bd2 Kd7 draw. [Click to replay]


Dominguez Perez,L (2717) - Radjabov,T (2761) [B77]
XXVI SuperGM Linares ESP (5), 24.02.2009

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 0-0 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.h4 Rc8 11.Bb3 h5 12.0-0-0 Ne5 13.Bg5 Rc5 14.Kb1 Re8








Nowadays this is the main position in Sicilian Dragon, with a lot of move order subtleties. For detailed theoretical explanation see the ChessBase Magazine. 15.f4. Here White has been trying mainly 15.Bh6, 15.g4 and 15.Rhe1. The move made by Dominguez is extremely rare, but in fact is very interesting and undoubtedly represents the result of home preparation. 15...Nc4 16.Qd3 Qc8 17.f5 gxf5. Taking into consideration Radjabov's time spent in the opening, this new move might be the result of the over the board thinking. 18.exf5. 18.Nxf5 runs into 18...Nxb2! 19.Kxb2 Bxf5 20.exf5 Rxc3 21.Qxc3 Ne4 and Black wins the queen. 18...Ne5 19.Qe2 Neg4 20.Rhf1








20...Rxc3! A typical Sicilian sacrifice. For the exchange Black gets a pawn and destroys white king's shelter. Considering that White has no attack on the kingside and Black enjoys the stable square g4 for the knight, the exchange sacrifice secures Black sufficient compensation. 21.bxc3 Qxc3 22.Bc1 a5 23.Bb2 Qe3 [23...Qc5!?] 24.Rde1 Qxe2 25.Rxe2 a4 26.Bc4 Ne5 27.Bb5 Rc8 28.Bxd7 Nfxd7 29.Nf3 Rc4 30.Nxe5 Nxe5 31.g3 Rg4 32.Rg2 [32.Re3? Nc4] 32...Nc4! 33.Bc1. After 33.Bxg7 Black plays 33...Ne3! regaining the exchange and remaining with advantage. 33...Be5 34.Rf3 f6








Thanks to his perfectly placed pieces Black has full compensation for his slight material deficit. From the practical point of view Black's position is preferable. Nevertheless all White's weaknesses are protected and it is everything but easy for Black to break through. Dominguez follows a reasonable defensive plan: he places the pawn to c3, brings his king to d3 and starts to wait. 35.c3 Kf7 36.Kc2 Ke8 37.Kd3 b5 38.Be3 Kd7 39.Bf4 Kc6 40.Rf1 Kc5 41.Rf3 Kd5 42.Rf1 Kc6 43.Rf3 Nb6 44.Bd2 Nd7 45.Bf4 Nc5+ 46.Kc2 Ne4 47.Re2 d5 48.Ree3 Kd6 49.Rf1 Rg8 50.Rd1 Kc6 51.Rf1 Bxf4 52.Rxf4 Nxg3. 52...Rxg3?? loses due to 53.Rfxe4 Rg2+ 54.Re2. 53.Rxe7 Ne4 54.Kd3 Rg2 55.a3








55...Kc5?! After 55...Rg3+ 56.Kd4 Nc5! with the threat 57...Nb3 mate Dominguez would have had to return the exchange and hope to survive in a difficult rook endgame after 57.Re6+ Nxe6+ 58.fxe6 Kd6 59.Rxf6 Rg4+ 60.Kd3 Rxh4. 56.Rc7+ Kd6 57.Rc8 Ra2. 57...Ke5 still leaves Black with some winning chances. 58.Kd4 Rd2+ 59.Ke3 Ra2 60.Kd4 Rd2+ 61.Ke3 Ra2 62.Kd4 draw. [Click to replay]


Grischuk,A (2733) - Carlsen,M (2776) [B33]
XXVI SuperGM Linares ESP (5), 24.02.2009
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Nd5 Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.c3 Bg5 12.Nc2 Ne7 13.h4 Bh6 14.a4 bxa4 15.Ncb4 0-0 16.Qxa4 Nxd5 17.Nxd5 a5 18.Bb5 Be6 19.Bc6 Rb8 20.b4 Bxd5 21.Bxd5 axb4 22.cxb4 Qb6 23.0-0 Qxb4 24.Qd7 Kh8 25.Ra4 Qb5 26.Qxb5 Rxb5 27.Bxf7 Bd2 28.Rfa1 Bc3 29.Ra8 Rbb8 30.Rxb8 Rxb8 31.Ra6 g6 32.Rxd6 Bd4 33.h5 gxh5 34.Bxh5 draw. [Click to replay]


Current standings

About the author

Dorian Rogozenco was born on 18.08.1973 in Kishinev, Moldova. He has been a grandmaster since 1995 and played several Olympiads for Moldova, and then for Romania.

Rogozenko has produced several training CDs and DVDs for ChessBase, and two chess books. He is the editor-in-chief of the Romanian chess magazine Gambit (since 2002).

Please do not write about the placement of the king and queen in the picture – it's an inside joke.

Video reports by Europe Echecs

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


Impressions from Linares


A lonely figure in a street-side café in Linares. Who could it be?


It's Vassily Ivanchuk, not eating or drinking anything, just sitting and thinking (most likely
something on the lines of "I actually do want to be Obama's Elf!" – if you forgive the atrocious pun)


This is Sebastián Palomo Martínez, a well-known personality who...


Who ceremoniously executed the first move in the top game of the day. What is he famous for?


This! He was a famous Spanish matador bullfighter in his prime.
Today,
"Palomo Linares", as he is fondly called, paints and breeds bulls.


Magnus Carlsen prefers it more sedentary: he sticks to tennis on the free day


Father Henrik, who normally joins in at tennis and football, watches his son today


The super-grandmaster in full action


The comedy hit in Linares movie theatres: Bienvenidos Al Norte (Welcome to the North)


A peaceful park in Linares

All photos by Nadja Woisin in Linares


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
  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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