Linares R6: Carlsen defeats Anand, Grischuk leads

2/26/2009 – Two big sensations in round six: Magnus Carlsen beat World Champion Vishy Anand, and did so convincingly, with remarkable techincal skill. Alexander Grischuk defeated Levon Aronian to increase his lead in this event to a full point. Sorry, three sensations: the incalculable Vassily Ivanchuk agreed to a draw in a winning position. Report with GM commentary and pictorial impressions.

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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 six report

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

Carlsen-Anand: Today Magnus Carlsen won a great game versus Vishy Anand. White quickly achieved a better endgame and succeeded to win it by showing remarkable technical skills. Towards the end of the game the Anand missed several possibilities for a more stubborn defense. This is already his second loss in the first six games (!). Considering that yesterday he was about to lose too, so far something goes clearly wrong for the World Champion.


Anand ponders his eleventh move


Spanish journalist Leontxo Garcia commenting for the Linares public and on Playchess

Grischuk-Aronian: Grischuk made an important step toward overall tournament victory by today winning a good game against Aronian. The Armenian introduced a new idea in the so-called Anti-Moscow Gambit and forced Grischuk to consume a lot of time. However, the Russian kept things under control and skillfully used the main drawback of opponent’s position – the vulnerable black king. Aronian defended well, but continued to play quickly in opponent’s time-trouble, when great accuracy was required instead. On move 38 Black made the fatal mistake and thanks to a tactical trick Grischuk won material, firmly converting it into a full point.

Wang Yue-Radjabov was an interesting battle that ended in a draw in a knight endgame. White’s hopes for an opening advantage in the King’s Indian Defence were connected with a new move, which, however, due to its transparency could hardly surprise Radjabov, who didn’t have troubles to hold the balance.


Vassily Ivanchuk in a relaxed moment...

Ivanchuk-Dominguez: Ivanchuk confirmed his reputation of being the most unpredictable player around. The sudden draw on move 47, where White had an extra pawn and a very large advantage, makes me wonder what on earth happened?? Black’s resignation in the final position would have been much more understandable.


Commentary by GM Dorian Rogozenco

Carlsen,M (2776) - Anand,V (2791) [D45]
XXVI SuperGM Linares ESP (6), 25.02.2009

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Nf3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.g4








In the early 90-es Shirov played this advance few times, after which it quickly gained popularity. Its evaluation changed many times, but it is clear that in spite of diversity of options for Black, there is no clear way to neutralize it. 7...Nxg4 8.Rg1 Qf6 9.Rxg4 Qxf3 10.Rxg7 Nf6 11.h3 Qf5. Two years ago in Linares Morozevich against Aronian played 11...h6 and achieved a draw. Anand makes a new move, accepting a slightly inferior endgame. 12.Qxf5. 12.Bd3 Black just takes tha pawn 12...Qxh3. 12...exf5 13.cxd5 cxd5. An unexpected decision, which allows White to achieve a favourable exchange of dark-squared bishops. Just like in his game versus Ivanchuk, Anand shows confidence in some doubtful type of endgames. 14.Nb5 Bb4+ 15.Bd2 Bxd2+ 16.Kxd2 Ke7 17.Bd3 Be6








White has a small, but stable advantage first of all thanks to his better structure. Of course from here to the victory is a long way. 18.Nc7!? Just like Fischer did in some games, Carlsen exchanges opponent's poor-looking bishop, which nevertheless had important defensive tasks to protect the weak pawns. 18...Rag8 19.Nxe6 Kxe6 20.Rxg8 Nxg8 21.Ke2 Ne7 22.Kf3 Rc8 23.a4 Rc7. 23...a5 is met by 24.Ra3! and then 25.Rb3. 24.a5 h6 25.h4 Kf6 26.h5 Nc8 27.Kf4 Nd6 28.Rg1 Rc8 29.f3 Ke6








Next Carlsen shows in an instructive way how to make progress in this position. 30.Rg7. Threatening 31.Rh7. 30...Rh8. Forced. 31.Bc2! The bishop goes to b3, nailing opponent's king on e6. 31...Rc8 32.Bb3 Rh8. Black keeps everything protected, but the Norwegian finds a way to shake his position. 33.Rg1. With the idea 34.Rc1. 33...Rc8 34.Rg7 Rh8. Repeating the position in a better endgame is a good way to set some psychological pressure on your opponent. 35.Rg2 Rc8 and now 36.Rg1!








Black is in a kind of zugzwang: the rook cannot leave the c-file due to 37.Rc1, and it cannot leave the eight rank due to 37.Rg7-h7. The king must protect pawn d5, meaning that he is left only with knight or pawn moves. But they worsen the position as well. 36...Ne8. After 36...Nc4 White has a pleasant choice between 37.Bxc4 dxc4 (37...Rxc4 38.Rg8 is also difficult for Black) 38.Rg7 Rh8 39.e4 or the immediate 37.e4.; 36...b5 has the drawback that it opens the a-file: 37.axb6 axb6 38.Ra1; And 36...a6 is no solution either since Black will soon have to find another move. White simply hands over to his opponent the right to move: 37.Rg7 Rh8 38.Rg2 Rc8 39.Rg1 and Black is again in zugzwang. 37.e4. Now that the knight does not control this square, White can advance the e-pawn. 37...fxe4 38.fxe4 Nf6 39.e5! Ne4. After 39...Nxh5+ 40.Ke3 the knight is caught on h5. 40.Ke3 b6 41.axb6 axb6 42.Kd3 Nf2+ 43.Ke2 Ne4 44.Ke3. White uses the zugzwang motif again! 44...f6 45.Rg6 Rc1 46.Rxh6 Rh1 47.Bc2 Rh3+. Now it was time for Black to wait with 47...Re1+! 48.Kd3 Rh1 after which in spite of all White's efforts to win Black's chances to draw would have been higher. 48.Kf4 Rh4+ 49.Kf3 Nd2+ 50.Ke2 Rh2+ 51.Kd1 Nc4 52.Rxf6+ Ke7 53.Bg6 Rd2+ 54.Kc1 Rxd4 55.b3 Nxe5 56.Rxb6 Rh4 57.Bf5








Black cannot take the pawn h5 due to the check on e6, winning black knight. 57...Nf3? Anand misses the last chance: 57...Rh1+ 58.Kc2 (58.Kd2 allows the study-like solution 58...Nc4+!! 59.bxc4 Rxh5 60.Bg6 Rh2+ and Black achieves the theoretically drawish endgame rook versus rook plus bishop.) 58...Nf3 threatening a fork on d4 59.Bg4 (or 59.Bg6 Nd4+ 60.Kd3 Ne6) 59...Rh2+ 60.Kc3 Ng5 and due to the following Ne4-f6 Black must escape. 58.h6 Nd4








59.h7! Nxf5 60.Rb8! Nd4 61.Kb2! Now it's all over. White wins the rook and keeps the b-pawn alive. 61.b4? Nc6=; 61.h8Q? Rxh8 62.Rxh8 Nxb3+=. 61...Kd6 [61...Rxh7 62.Rb7+] 62.h8Q Rxh8 63.Rxh8 Kc5 64.Rh5 Nc6 65.Rh4 Nb4 66.Ka3 d4 67.Rh5+ Nd5 68.Kb2 Kc6 69.Ka3 Kc5 70.Rh4 Nb4 71.Rh8 Nc6 72.Rh5+ Kd6 73.b4 d3 74.Rh3 Ne5 75.Kb3 d2 76.Kc2 Nc6 77.Rh4 Kd5. A splendid achievement for Carlsen. 1-0. [Click to replay]


Grischuk,A (2733) - Aronian,L (2750) [D43]
XXVI SuperGM Linares ESP (6), 25.02.2009

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Ne5 h5 10.h4 g4 11.Be2 Bb7 12.0-0 Nbd7 13.Qc2 Nxe5 14.Bxe5 Bg7 15.b3








15...0-0. A new idea in a well-known theoretical position. Black returns the extra pawn in order to win a tempo and complete development. Grischuk has a large experience in the Anti-Moscow Gambit (well, Aronian too!). Here is one of Grischuk's latest wins: 15...cxb3 16.axb3 0-0 17.Bg3 c5 18.e5 Nd5 19.Nxb5 cxd4 20.Nd6 Rb8 21.Qd2 Nc3 22.Bd3 a5 23.Ra3 Bd5 24.Bc2 Rb6 25.Re1 a4 26.Qd3 f5 27.exf6 Rxf6 28.Nc4 Bxc4 29.bxc4 Qe7 30.Qxd4 Qxa3 31.Qxb6 e5 32.Qd8+ Qf8 33.Qa5 e4 34.Bxe4 Nxe4 35.Rxe4 a3 36.Re3 Qf7 37.Qxa3 Qxc4 38.Qa5 Qf7 39.Re5 Rh6 40.Qd8+ Kh7 41.Re7 1-0 Grischuk,A (2728)-Karjakin,S (2727)/Sochi 2008. 16.bxc4 Nh7 17.Bxg7 Kxg7. Now both pawns on d4 and h4 are under attack, but Black also has no time to protect pawn b5, which means that the material equality will be kept anyway. 18.Rad1 Qxh4. 18...bxc4 is weak. After 19.g3 White will regain easily pawn c4, keeping all the advantages of the position (better pawn structure and all pieces, including the king). 19.cxb5 cxb5 20.Nxb5 Rac8 21.Qd3 Rfd8. A better option seems to be 21...g3 and then take on e4, but with time advantage Aronian preferred to keep more tension in the position. 22.d5! exd5 23.Qd4+ Kg8 24.Qxa7! It's not about taking a pawn, it's about gaining time to transfer the knight to d4. 24...Qe7 25.e5! Qxe5. Aronian had a difficult task to choose which worse position to play. In case of 25...Ra8 26.Qe3 Rxa2 27.Nd4 or 27.Bd3 White had excellent compensation for the pawn. 26.Qxb7 Rb8 27.Qc7 Qxe2 28.Nd4








After a series of precise moves White achieved what he was dreaming of – a perfectly placed knight on d4. Together with Black's broken pawn structure on the kingside this makes Aronian's position very dangerous. 28...Qc4. Due to the threat 29.Nc6 Black had no choice and must give up the h5-pawn. 28...Qxa2 loses because of 29.Nc6. 29.Qe5. Actually even here White can consider 29.Nc6 with the idea 29...Rbc8 30.Ne7+ Kf8 31.Qh2! Kxe7 32.Qe5+ Kf8 (32...Kd7 33.Rd4! and White wins) 33.Qh8+ Ke7 34.Rfe1+ with a strong attack. On the other hand Grischuk had little time left and choosing the simplest way was a good practical decision. 29...Re8 30.Qxh5 Rb6 31.Nf5 Rbe6 32.Ne3 Qxa2 33.Nxg4 Qe2 34.Qh4 Qc4 35.f4 Rg6 36.Rf3 Qc5+ 37.Kh1 Qe7 38.Qh3








Black's position is still highly dangerous due to White's numerous threats. 38...Qd6? The losing move. After 38...Nf6 39.Re3 (39.Nh6+ Kf8 40.Nf5 Qd7 41.Qh8+ Ng8 brings White nothing) 39...Qf8 (39...Ne4 40.f5 Kg7 41.fxg6 Rh8 42.Qxh8+ Kxh8 43.Rxd5) 40.Nxf6+ Rxf6 41.Rg3+ Rg6 42.Rxd5 Qb4! Black had good chances to escape. 39.f5 Rg5. 39...Ng5 40.fxg6 Nxh3 41.gxf7+ Kf8 42.fxe8Q+ Kxe8 is hopeless for Black. The easiest win is now 43.Nf6+. 40.Nh6+ Kf8








41.Nxf7! Qf6. White has a decisive attack after 41...Kxf7 42.Qxh7+ Kf8 (or 42...Rg7 43.Qh5+ Kf8 44.f6) 43.f6. 42.Nxg5 Nxg5 43.Qh4. White keeps his large material advantage - an exchange and a pawn up, which Grischuk easily converted into a win. 43...Re7 44.Rh3 Qxf5 45.Qh8+ Kf7 46.Rh5 Re8 47.Qh6 Rg8 48.Qd6 Rg6 49.Qxd5+ Qxd5 50.Rxd5 Ne4 51.Rhf5+ Kg7 52.Rd7+ Kh6 53.Rf4 Ng3+ 54.Kh2 Nh5 55.Ra4 Nf6 56.Rdd4 Rg5 57.Rf4 Rg6 58.Rf3 Nh7 59.Rh3+ 1-0.[Click to replay]


Wang Yue (2739) - Radjabov,T (2761) [E92]
XXVI SuperGM Linares ESP (6), 25.02.2009

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.Be3 Ng4 8.Bg5 f6 9.Bh4 g5 10.Bg3 Nh6 11.d5 Nd7 12.0-0. The main move is 12.Nd2 which Wang Yue already played against Radjabov: 12...f5 13.exf5 Nf6 14.Nde4 Nxe4 15.Nxe4 Bxf5 16.Bd3 White is slightly better, but the game finished with a draw in 46 moves, Wang Yue (2736)-Radjabov,T (2751)/Elista 2008. 12...f5 13.exf5 Nc5. Following in footsteps of Ivan Cheparinov, Topalov's second, who introduced this move on the high level only few months ago. Previously Black used to answer automatically 13...Nxf5. 14.b4. This new and most natural-looking move leads to a forced play. 14.Qd2 g4 15.Nh4 a5 16.f3 gxf3 17.Rxf3 let to a messy game in Kasimdzhanov,R (2672)-Cheparinov,I (2696)/Elista 2008. 14...e4. The point of 13...Nc5. 15.Nd4 Nd3








16.Nxe4 Bxd4 17.Rb1. Black must return the extra piece. Everything is still more or less forced. 17...Nxf2. The dark-squared bishops are most important minor pieces and each side can allow to exchange it only for opponent's dark-squared bishop. That's why 17...Bxf2+? 18.Nxf2 is bad for Black. 18.Bxf2. 18.Nxf2? Nxf5 this is a similar picture for White, who is in troubles now because black will exchange the bishop g3 for his knight. 18...Bxf2+ 19.Nxf2 Bxf5 20.Rb3








Finally the forced sequence finished. How to evaluate this position? White is marginally better thanks to a small space advantage and some attacking ideas due to the slightly broken black structure on the kingside. However, Black will soon have a good control in the center and the attacking ideas won't work out, while the space advantage itself is not enough for a win. 20...Qe7 21.Qd2 Rae8 22.Bh5 Bg6! 22...Nf7 is too passive. After 23.c5 White enjoys the initiative. 23.Rh3. In case of 23.Bxg6 hxg6 the doubled pawns control very important squares on the f-file. For instance 24.Rg3 is answered with 24...Rf4 and Black has nothing to fear. 23...Qg7. Here 23...Bxh5 24.Rxh5 Nf7 is just bad in view of 25.Ng4 with a strong attack for White. 24.Bxg6 Qxg6. It is curious that even here 24...hxg6 was an option (though rather unnecessary now), since 25.Qxg5 allows the nice sacrifice 25...Rxf2 with a draw: 26.Kxf2 (26.Rxf2? Re1+ 27.Rf1 Qd4+) 26...Qd4+ 27.Kf3 (27.Kg3? loses: 27...Re3+ 28.Rf3 Nf5+ 29.Kf2 Qd2+) 27...Qd3+ (Not 27...Qe4+? 28.Kg3) 28.Kf2 Qd4+ 29.Kf3=. 25.Re3 Rxe3 26.Qxe3 b6 27.Re1 Nf5 28.Qe4 Qg7 29.Nd3 a6 30.Rf1 Qd4+ 31.Qxd4 Nxd4 32.Rxf8+ Kxf8








33.Kf2 Ke7 34.Ke3 Nc2+ 35.Ke4 b5 36.c5 h6 37.c6 Kf6 38.g3 Na3 39.g4 Nc2 40.h3 Na3 41.Kd4 draw.. [Click to replay]


Ivanchuk,V (2779) - Dominguez Perez,L (2717) [A04]
XXVI SuperGM Linares ESP (6), 25.02.2009

1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.g3 Qb6 6.Nc2 e6 7.Bg2 d5 8.0-0 Be7 9.cxd5 Nxd5 10.Nc3 Nxc3 11.bxc3 0-0 12.Be3 Qa5 13.Nd4 Ne5 14.Bf4 Nc4 15.Qd3 Qa4 16.Qe4 Re8 17.Rfd1 g5 18.Be5 Bd7 19.Bc7 e5 20.Nf5 Qc6 21.Rab1 Qxe4 22.Bxe4 Bxf5 23.Bxf5 b6 24.Rd7 Rac8 25.Bd3 Na5 26.Bxe5 Nc6 27.Bd4 Red8 28.Rb7 Kf8 29.e3 h6 30.Bf5 Rb8 31.Rc7 Nxd4 32.cxd4 a5 33.Rb5 Rd6 34.Bd3 Bd8 35.Rc2 Rb7 36.Kg2 Rdd7 37.Be4 Rbc7 38.Rcb2 Rc3 39.Kf3 Ke7 40.Kg4 Rd6 41.Rf5 Kf8 42.Kh5 Kg7 43.Bd5 Bf6 44.Bf3 a4 45.Be4 a3 46.Re2 Re6 47.Bd5 Rd6








After 48.e4 White has a winning advantage. But: draw. [Click to replay]

Addendum: A Spanish newspaper provides an explanation for the unusual draw:

The sporting gesture of the round was the draw Ivanchuk gave to Dominguez. Both players were very short on time and Ivanchuk on several occasions knocked the pieces over accidentally. Dominguez, displaying a sportsmanlike attitude, put the pieces back on his own time despite risking a loss. The Ukrainian, in the end, rewarded his opponent with a draw despite having a decisive advantage. [Translation by Mig Greengard]


Current standings

Video reports by Europe Echecs

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


Impressions from Linares


Garden chess sets on the main pedestrian street to promote the chess event


Youngsters with their interest in chess aroused by the spectacle


Maybe they will be the heros of a future Linares tournament


Hang on, your king is in check and you are going to get mated!


Paco Albalate, the technical director of the "Supertorneo de Linares"


The "Mayor of Chess" (and Linares), Juan Fernández, who wants to introduce chess into the school curriculum


Award winners: Miss Jaén and Mr Jaén (the province in which Linares is located)


"Miss Jaén", Alejandra Echevarria


"Mr. Jaén": Pedro López

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
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
  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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