Linares R8: all games drawn

3/2/2007 – The Super-GM Morelia/Linares has entered its second half with the first round completed in the Andalusian town of Linares. All games were drawn: Aronian-Svidler was an unfought 16-mover, Anand-Topalov a light 25-move tussle, Leko-Ivanchuk a 38-move struggle, and Morozevich vs Carlsen a 42-move battle with black pressing. Report with commentary.

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Round eight

Round 8: Friday, March 2nd

Peter Leko 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Vishy Anand 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Peter Svidler
Alex. Morozevich 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen

Round 9: Saturday, March 3rd

Alex. Morozevich 
-
 Peter Leko
Magnus Carlsen 
-
 Levon Aronian
Peter Svidler 
-
 Vishy Anand
Veselin Topalov 
-
 Vassily Ivanchuk
GamesReport

Standings


Commentary by GM Mihail Marin

The following express commentary was provided by Romanian GM Mihail Marin, who is the author of a number of very popular ChessBase training CDs and articles for ChessBase Magazine. GM Marin will study the games of the Morelia/Linares tournament in greater detail and provide the full results of his analysis in the next issue of ChessBase Magazine.


The playing hall before the start of the games


The tables with the chess boards

Aronian,L (2744) - Svidler,P (2728) [D94]
XXIV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (8), 02.03.2007 [Mihail Marin]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 [Aronian tried 4.Bg5 twice in recent games against Svidler. Although White obtained promissing positions each time, he lost both games, which explains Aronian's desire to change the background.] 4...Bg7 5.e3 c6 6.b4.

The old Makogonow system. Instead of embarking long forced variations, White aims for a positional fight, hoping that his queenside advantage of space will count in the long run. One important element is that Black is deprived of the possibility of an early ...c5, which is Black's main source of counterplay in the Grünfeld. 6...0-0 7.Bb2 a5 8.b5 a4 9.Rc1 Qa5 10.Bd3 Bg4 11.h3 Bxf3 12.Qxf3 e5 13.cxd5 exd4 14.exd4 Re8+ 15.Kf1 cxd5 16.g3 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


The two top seeds: Veselin Topalov (left) faces Vishy Anand

Anand,V (2779) - Topalov,V (2783) [B90]
XXIV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (8), 02.03.2007 [Mihail Marin]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nf3 Be7 8.Bc4 0-0 9.0-0 Nc6. Topalov deviates from 9...Be6 , which led him to defeat in the second-round game against Ivanchuk. 10.Re1.

Curiously, both players had previous experience with this position, but with... reversed colours! 10...b5. This and the next move are aimed to prevent an early installation of the enemy knight on d5. 10...Na5 places the knight on an unfavourable square, which could be felt after 11.Bf1 Be6 12.Nd5 (Preventing the activation of the knight with ...Nc4. The e4-pawn is taboo because of the threat Bb6.) 12...Bxd5 13.exd5 b5 14.b3! and White had the better chances in Topalov-Gelfand, Linares 1994.; 10...h6 11.a3 Be6 is also met by 12.Nd5 for instance 12...b5 13.Ba2 Rc8 14.Nd2 Bxd5 15.exd5 Nb8 16.c4 and White has the initiative, while Black still needs some time to reach an active square with his queen's knight, Short-Anand, Monaco rapid 1993. 11.Bf1. A safe square for the bishop. The most recent game in this line went 11.Bb3 Rb8 12.Bg5 Nd7 13.Bxe7 Qxe7 14.Nd5 Qd8 15.c3 Nc5 16.Bc2 a5. Black takes full advantage of the lack of pressure along the f1-b5 diagonal in order to carry out his standard minority's attack. White tried 17.b4 but after 17...axb4 18.cxb4 Ne6 the weakness of the d4-square offered Black good play in Jakovenko-Khairullin, Moscow 2006. 11...Rb8.

The b6-square is well defended now, which enables ...Nxe4 in case of an early jump of the White knight to d5. 12.Bg5 Ng4. Black prevents the undesirable exchange Bxf6, which would leave the d5-square without its natural defender. Another logical possibility was 12...b4 and if 13.Bxf6 then 13...bxc3 14.Bxe7 Nxe7. 13.Bd2. A novelty. White avoids the exchange of the relatively passive e7-bishop. Black had no problems after 13.Bxe7 Nxe7 14.a3 Bb7 15.Qd2 Qc7 16.Rad1 Rfd8 17.h3 Nf6 in Short-Ehlvest, Horgen 1995. 13...Be6 14.Nd5. Finally, White has installed his knight in the centre, but Black is well coordinated and is not forced to capture on d5 at once. 14...h6 15.h3 Nf6 16.c4 Qd7 17.b3 Bd8! A multi-purpose move. Black clears the e7-square for his knight and prepares the activation of his bishop along the g1-a7 diagonal. 18.Rc1 Bxd5 19.cxd5 Ne7 20.Bd3 Bb6

Black has successfully solved all his opening problems. We can conclude that after his painful defeat against Ivanchuk, Topalov did his homework quite well. 21.Nh4 g5 22.Nf3 Rfc8 23.Rxc8+ Rxc8 24.Nh2 Ng6 25.Ng4 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


The start of the game Leko (right) vs Ivanchuk

Leko,P (2749) - Ivanchuk,V (2750) [C10]
XXIV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (8), 02.03.2007 [Mihail Marin]
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Bg5 h6 7.Nxf6+ Nxf6 8.Be3!? More natural looks 8.Bh4. 8...Nd5

9.Bd3!? Very provocative. White allows the dark squares in his camp to be weakened for the sake of rapid development. The main alternatives are 9.Qd2 ; and 9.Bd2. 9...Nxe3 10.fxe3 Bd6 11.e4 e5 12.dxe5 Bc5 13.Bb5+ c6 14.Qxd8+ Kxd8 15.Bc4 Ke7 16.c3 Be6 17.Bxe6 Kxe6 18.Ke2 Bb6

White's extra-pawn has no real significance. In fact, both central pawns are weak. It is hard to understand what Leko was counting on when heading for this position. Could he have been tempted by the fact that Fritz prefers White?! 19.Rhf1 Rhf8 20.Rad1 Rad8 21.Rxd8 Bxd8 22.Rd1 Bc7 23.Ke3 g6 24.g4 Rd8 25.Rxd8 Bxd8 26.Kf4 c5 27.h3 Bc7 28.h4 f6 29.c4 Bxe5+ 30.Nxe5 g5+

The position is dead drawn, but with his last move Black makes it clear that, if anything, only he can be better. 31.Ke3 Kxe5 32.h5 a6 33.b3 Kd6 34.Kd3 b6 35.a3 Kc6 36.Kc3 Kd6 37.Kd3 Ke5 38.Ke3 Kd6 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


Magnus Carlsen, once more the object of interest for the photographers


... and adjusting his pieces before the start of his game against Morozevich (right)

Morozevich,A (2741) - Carlsen,M (2690) [C83]
XXIV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (8), 02.03.2007 [Mihail Marin]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Be7 10.Nbd2 Nc5.

11.a4. Morozevich is faithful to himself by playing a very rare move in a well known position. In the Ruy Lopez, White usually does not part with his light-squared bishop so easily. 11...Nxb3 12.Qxb3 0-0 Actually, it would be interesting to know what he had in mind against the natural 12...d4 . As an adherent of the Open Variation of the Ruy Lopez, I would say that Black is more than OK here. 13.axb5 axb5 14.Rxa8 Qxa8 15.Qxb5 Rd8 16.Qd3 Qb7.

Black has certain compensation for the sacrificed pawn, due to his pair of bishops and the lead in development. 17.Nd4 Just as in the previous game against Carlsen, Morozevich decides to immediately return the material. The difference is that now he gets very little in exchange. 17...Nxe5 18.Qe2 Bf6 19.Nxe6 fxe6 20.f4 Qb6+ 21.Kh1 Nf7 22.Nf3 c5

Black has the more active position and the better pawn structure. His chances are preferable. 23.g4 Re8 24.g5 Bd8 25.f5 e5 26.c4 Qa6 27.Re1 e4 28.cxd5 Qxe2 29.Rxe2 Nd6 30.Nh4 h6 31.Bf4 Nb5 32.d6 Nd4 33.Rg2 Bxg5 34.Bxg5 hxg5 35.Rxg5 Kf7 36.Rg3 Nb5 37.Rg6 Rd8 38.Re6 Nxd6 39.Re5 c4 40.Rd5 Kf6 41.Ng2 Ke7 42.Ne3 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay].


The commentary room with Leontxo García and Jorge Morales

Pictures: Paco Albalate


Schedule

Round 8: Friday, March 2nd

Peter Leko 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Vishy Anand 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Peter Svidler
Alex. Morozevich 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen

Round 9: Saturday, March 3rd

Alex. Morozevich 
-
 Peter Leko
Magnus Carlsen 
-
 Levon Aronian
Peter Svidler 
-
 Vishy Anand
Veselin Topalov 
-
 Vassily Ivanchuk
GamesReport

Round 10: Sunday, March 4th

Peter Leko 
-
 Veselin Topalov
Vassily Ivanchuk 
-
 Peter Svidler
Vishy Anand 
-
 Magnus Carlsen
Levon Aronian 
-
 Alex. Morozevich
GamesReport
Free day: Monday, March 5th

Round 11: Tuesday, March 6st

Levon Aronian 
-
 Peter Leko
Alex. Morozevich 
-
 Vishy Anand
Magnus Carlsen 
-
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Peter Svidler 
-
 Veselin Topalov
GamesReport

Round 12: Wednesday, March 7th

Peter Leko 
-
 Peter Svidler
Veselin Topalov 
-
 Magnus Carlsen
Vassily Ivanchuk 
-
 Alex. Morozevich
Vishy Anand 
-
 Levon Aronian
GamesReport
Free day: Thursday, March 8th

Round 13: Friday, March 9th

Vishy Anand 
-
 Peter Leko
Levon Aronian 
-
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Alex. Morozevich 
-
 Veselin Topalov
Magnus Carlsen 
-
 Peter Svidler
GamesReport

Round 14: Saturday, March 10th

Peter Leko  
-
 Magnus Carlsen
Peter Svidler 
-
 Alex. Morozevich
Veselin Topalov 
-
 Levon Aronian
Vassily Ivanchuk 
-
 Vishy Anand
Games Report
Closing Ceremony

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