Linares R7: Ivanchuk beats Aronian with black

2/27/2009 – The King's Indian has been doing well in Linares. Black hasn't lost a single game, and today Vassily Ivanchuk scored a victory with it, against Levon Aronian. Vishy Anand used his white game against Alexander Grischuk to experiment with his new 1.d4 repertoire, Grischuk was happy to draw. The other two games were also drawn. 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 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 seven report

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

Anand-Grischuk left us with the impression that both sides achieved their goals – Grischuk made an important draw with the black pieces, while Anand continued to experiment with 1.d4. This time the Indian chose a relatively rare variation already on move three, after which the game transposed into the King’s Indian Defense. The World Champion continued to play aggressively, although White’s chances for a successful attack were small. Perhaps Anand is already mainly concerning about the World Championship match versus Topalov? Hopefully not. In any case Grischuk did everything correctly – he opened the position and forced White to forget about the initial attacking intentions. Anand felt that he should better slow down and after massive exchange of pieces an equal rook endgame arose, which led to an immediate draw agreement.

Aronian-Ivanchuk saw another King’s Indian Defense, which, by the way, is doing very well in Linares: Black didn’t lose any game with this opening so far. And today Ivanchuk scored a victory with it. In a positionally complicated line Aronian achieved an advantage, but took the wrong decision to win a pawn that was of little important. Black got an easy play with good attacking prospects on the kingside. In order to change the course of the game Aronian gave up a knight and exchanged queens, but Black’s extra piece proved stronger in endgame than three white pawns.

Radjabov and Carlsen, two big specialists of some of the sharpest Sicilian variations, started their game today with Italian Opening, named also the “Gioco Piano”. Its name says it all, in Italian it means “a quiet, level game”. Radjabov succeeded in creating some attacking ideas, but the position was just too dry for much creativity. Draw by repetition.

Dominguez-Wang Yue was a long game, in which neither side could break the balance. The draw in a rook endgame was a logical outcome (of a game started with the Petrov Defense).


Commentary by GM Dorian Rogozenco

Anand,V (2791) - Grischuk,A (2733) [E84]
XXVI SuperGM Linares ESP (7), 26.02.2009

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3. This way White wants to avoid main lines of the Gruenfeld Defense. 3...Bg7. Grischuk has nothing against the King's Indian, where due to the early advance f2-f3 White is practically forced to play the Saemisch Variation. After 3...d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 in contrast to usual Gruenfeld positions Black cannot exchange knights on c3. 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Be3 a6 7.Nge2 Nc6 8.Qd2 Rb8 9.Rc1. Usually White plays a less committing 9.Nc1, leaving open the possibility to castle queenside later on. 9...e6. A good reaction thanks to its flexibility. Black can choose later what pawn to advance further. For the moment Black's idea is to see White's intentions. 9...b5 would be a mistake, justifying 9.Rc1. White wins a pawn with 10.cxb5 axb5 11.Nxb5 Rxb5 12.Rxc6. 10.b3. A solid move, but sooner or later White must take a decision about his plan. 10...Nd7. Again a tricky move from Black, practically forcing White to start active actions. The point is that now a quiet development 11.Ng3 with the intention Be2 and 0-0 is strongly met by 11...e5 12.d5 Nd4, with excellent position for Black. 11.h4 h5 12.g3. After 12.g4 hxg4 13.fxg4 Nf6 14.g5 Black has a pleasant choice between 14...Ng4 and 14...Nh5. 14...Ng4 (14...Nh5) 15.Bg1 f6. 12...Ne7. After removing the knight from c6 Black is ready for the advance b7-b5. 13.g4








A double-edged decision. White's position is only optically better, in reality Black's prospects in the upcoming complications are by no means worse. More careful is 13.Bg2 b5 but the World Champion was in the aggressive mood. 13...hxg4! 14.fxg4 Nf6. White must play carefully to avoid troubles. 15.g5. 15.Bh3 hoping for an attack with h4-h5 would have been unwise. After 15...e5 the complications favour Black. 15...Nh5. 15...Ng4 was a sharper alternative. 16.Bg2 e5. Time for Black to open the position. White's kingside attack finished without properly being started. 17.Bf3. In case of 17.d5 Black has several good options: 17...b5, 17...Bg4 and 17...f5. 17...b5








18.dxe5. Starting massive exchanges of pieces. White needs it in order to... castle and hide the king. Doubtful for White is 18.Bxh5 gxh5 19.Ng3 Bg4. 18...Bxe5 19.Nf4. Too early for 19.0-0 in view of 19...Bh3 20.Rf2 bxc4 21.bxc4 Qd7 with advantage for Black. 19...Bxf4 20.Bxf4 bxc4 21.bxc4 Be6 22.Nd5 Bxd5 23.cxd5 Qd7 24.0-0








Finally White castled. The position is equal. 24...Nxf4 25.Qxf4 c6 26.h5 cxd5 27.h6 Qe6 28.exd5 Nxd5 29.Bxd5 Qxd5 30.Qf6 Qe5 31.Qxe5 dxe5 32.Rc5 Rb5. 32...Rb5 33.Rxb5 axb5 34.Re1 f6 35.gxf6 Rxf6 36.Rxe5 Ra6 37.Rxb5 Rxa2. Draw. [Click to replay]


Aronian,L (2750) - Ivanchuk,V (2779) [E92]
XXVI SuperGM Linares ESP (7), 26.02.2009

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.Be3 c6 8.d5 Ng4 9.Bg5 f6 10.Bh4 c5 11.0-0 h5 12.Ne1 Nh6 13.f3








Here Black played 13...g5 once before, but Ivanchuk forces opponent's bishop to abandon the diagonal h4-d8 in a different way, after which Black uses his g6 pawn to support the advance f6-f5. 13...Nf7 14.Rb1 Bh6. Creating a positional threat to transfer the bishop via e3 to d4. 15.Bf2. 15.Qd3 can be answered by 15...Bg5 and then f5 anyway. 15...Na6 16.a3 b6 17.b4 f5 18.exf5 gxf5 19.f4!? Bxf4 20.Bxh5 Bd7 21.Rb3 Qg5








Aronian played well until now, but here he errs. 22.b5? This advance is connected with a wrong idea. In order to find the correct solution White needs to notice the well hidden tactical motif: black queen and king are both on the same file and White has ideas to pin the queen! This can be reached in the following way: 22.Nd3! Be3 (22...Bd2 doesn't prevent White's intention: 23.Nb1 Be3 24.b5 Nc7 25.Nxc5 Bxc5 26.Rg3) 23.bxc5! Nxc5 (Relatively best is to make a positional concession and leave the knight on a6, although after 23...bxc5 24.Bxe3 Qxe3+ 25.Nf2 White has a large advantage.) 24.Nxc5 Bxc5 25.Bxc5 (Accuracy is always required. Bad is to start with 25.Ne4 fxe4 26.Bxc5 in view of 26...Ba4!) 25...bxc5 26.Ne4! fxe4 27.Rg3 Mission completed. White wins thanks to the pin on the g-file. 22...Nc7 23.Bxf7+ Rxf7 24.Ne2 Rg7 25.Nxf4 Qxf4 26.Bxc5 Qh6 27.Be3 f4 28.Bc1 Bg4 29.Qd2 Rf8 30.Nd3 Ne8








White is a pawn up, but that doesn't matter at all. In fact he might even prefer not to have the pawn on c4, which closes the c-file. Unexpectedly it turns out that the position is difficult for Aronian, since Black has very easy play on the kingside, where he enjoys two open files and a space advantage. Black plans Nf6, then remove the bishop from g4 and place the knight there, after which White will be forced to make fatal weaknesses around his king. 31.Nxf4. This doesn't save White, but there was no way out in any case. 31...Rxf4 32.Rxf4 Qxf4 33.Qxf4 exf4 34.Bxf4 Rf7 35.g3 Re7. At this moment White still has three pawns for the piece. Unfortunately he is forced to give them one by one in order to prevent Black's increasing activity. 36.h3 Bxh3. The first one is gone. 37.Kf2 Nf6 38.g4 Bxg4. The second one. 39.Re3 Ne4+ 40.Ke1 Kf7 41.a4 Nc5 42.Kd2 Rxe3 43.Kxe3 Ke7 44.Kd4 and Aronian resigned before Black would take the next pawn on a4. 0-1. [Click to replay]


Radjabov,T (2761) - Carlsen,M (2776) [C53]
XXVI SuperGM Linares ESP (7), 26.02.2009

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d3 a6 6.Bb3 0-0 7.0-0 d6 8.h3 h6 9.Re1 Ba7 10.Nbd2 Be6 11.Bc2 Re8 12.Nh2 d5 13.Qf3 dxe4 14.dxe4 Ne7 15.Ndf1 Ng6 16.Be3 Bxe3 17.Nxe3 c6 18.Nf5 Bxf5 19.exf5 Nf4 20.Rad1 Qc7 21.Ng4 N4h5 22.Re3 Nxg4 23.hxg4 Nf6 24.Qg3 Rad8 25.Rde1 Rd2








26.Bb3. The piece sac 26.g5 hxg5 27.Qxg5 Rxc2 28.Rg3 is not dangerous for Black: 28...Kf8 29.Qxg7+ Ke7 30.Rg6 Nd5 (but not 30...Qd6 31.Rxf6 Qxf6 32.Rxe5+). 26...Qd8 27.g5 hxg5 28.Qxg5 Nd5 29.Qh5 Qf6 30.Rh3 Kf8 31.Qg4 Kg8 32.Qh5 Kf8 33.Qg4 Kg8 34.Qh5 draw. [Click to replay]


Dominguez Perez,L (2717) - Wang Yue (2739) [C42]
XXVI SuperGM Linares ESP (7), 26.02.2009

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Nc3 Nxc3 6.dxc3 Be7 7.Be3 Nc6 8.Qd2 Be6 9.0-0-0 Qd7 10.h4 h6 11.Nd4 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 Rg8 13.c4 0-0-0 14.Qc3 g6 15.g3 Qa4 16.Kb1 c5 17.Bf6 Bxf6 18.Qxf6 h5 19.Rg1 Rge8 20.b3 Qb4 21.Kb2 Qb6 22.Bd3 d5 23.cxd5 Rxd5 24.Be4 Rdd8 25.Rge1 Rxd1 26.Rxd1








26...c4 27.Rd2 cxb3 28.axb3 Kb8 29.Rd4 Qc7 30.Rb4 b6 31.Rd4 Rc8 32.c4 Re8 33.Bf3 a5 34.Kc3 Ka7 35.Qf4 Qxf4 36.gxf4 Rc8 37.Bd5 Rc5 38.Bxe6 fxe6 39.Re4








39...Rf5 40.Kd3 Kb7 41.Ke3 Rf6 42.Re5 Kc6 43.Ke4 Kd7 44.Rb5 Kc6 45.Rg5 Kd6 46.Ke3 Kc6 47.Kf3 Kc7 48.Re5 Kd6 49.Rb5 Kc6 50.Rg5 Kc7 51.Ke3 Kc6 52.Ke4 Kd6 53.f3 Kd7 54.Ke5 Ke7 55.Ke4 Kd6 56.Rb5 Kc6 57.Rg5 draw. [Click to replay]


Current standings

Video reports by Europe Echecs

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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
  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

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Topics: Linares 2009
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