Linares R8: Anand, Carlsen, Aronian win

2/28/2008 – The slugfest continues. After three days of travel, rest and jet lag adjustment the players came out swinging, with three decided games in the first round of the Spanish leg of the Super-GM tournament. Anand beat Shirov, Aronian beat Topalov and Carlsen did the same to Ivanchuk with the black pieces. We bring you a full report with games, commentary and pictures from Linares.

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Morelia-Linares 2008

The Morelia-Linares tournament is taking place from February 15th to 23rd February in Morelia, Mexico, and from 28th February to 7th March in Linares, Spain. The second half of the event runs from February 28th to March 7th, 2008. It is taking place in the Theatro Cervantes in the Centro Histórica de la Cuidad Linares. The rounds start at 16:00 local time (= CET, 20:30h Chennai, 18:00 Moscow, 15:00 GMT/London, 10 a.m. New York). You can find the starting time at your home location here.

Round 8 report

Round 8: Thursday, February 28th

Vishy Anand 
1-0
 Alexei Shirov
Vassily Ivanchuk 
0-1
 Magnus Carlsen
Teimour Radjabov 
½-½
 Peter Leko
Levon Aronian 
1-0
 Veselin Topalov

The location has changed, but Linares is seeing the same fighting chess the troupe offered in Morelia.


The playing hall in the Theatro Cervantes in the Centro Histórica de la Cuidad Linares

Viswanathan Anand was the day’s big winner: he started out half a point ahead of Alexei Shirov and Veselin Topalov, both of whom lost. Anand himself took care of Shirov, reminding us that when Black doesn’t achieve sufficient counterplay in the Sveshnikov Sicilian, his pawn weaknesses may cost him the game. It took Anand 57 moves and some fine technique to bring in the full point, and he was up to the challenge.

Anand,V (2799) - Shirov,A (2755) [B33]
XXV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (8), 28.02.2008
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 0-0 13.a4 bxa4 14.Rxa4 a5 15.Bc4 Rb8 16.b3 Kh8 17.Nce3 g6 18.Qe2 f5 19.h4 Bxe3 20.Qxe3 fxe4 21.h5 g5 22.Qxe4 Bb7 23.Qe3 e4 24.0-0 Ne5 25.Rfa1 Qe8 26.Rxa5 Qxh5 27.Qxe4 Rbe8 28.Be2 Qh4 29.Qxh4 gxh4 30.Ne3 h3 31.gxh3 Nf3+ 32.Bxf3 Rxf3 33.Rh5 Rg8+ 34.Kf1 Rgf8 35.Nd1 Rd3 36.Rh4 Bf3 37.Rd4 Rxd4 38.cxd4 Rf4 39.Ne3 Rxd4 40.Ra4 Rd3 41.Rf4 Bh5 42.b4 d5 43.Kg2 Bg6 44.Nf5 Kg8 45.Ne7+ Kg7 46.Nxg6 Kxg6 47.Rf3 Rd1 48.Rb3 d4 49.Kf3 d3 50.Ke3 Rh1 51.b5 Rxh3+ 52.f3 Rh1 53.b6 Re1+ 54.Kxd3 Re8 55.b7 Rb8 56.Ke4 h5 57.Kf4 1-0.


After his victory over Shirov (and Topalov's loss) Vishy Anand is a full point ahead of the field

Topalov, meanwhile, lost in a way that he often does: by overpressing. His game with Levon Aronian was balanced for a long time, but 36…f5 sharpened things considerably. Aronian responded with a defensive exchange sac, and had Topalov played 39…Bd6! he’d have enjoyed a slight edge. After 39…Qxg2+ Aronian enjoyed a superior endgame, and he converted the full point in 65 moves.

Aronian,L (2739) - Topalov,V (2780) [A29]
XXV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (8), 28.02.2008
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e5 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Bg2 Nb6 7.0-0 Be7 8.a3 0-0 9.b4 Be6 10.Rb1 f6 11.d3 Nd4 12.Nd2 c6 13.Nde4 Nd5 14.e3 Nxc3 15.Nxc3 Nf5 16.Qc2 Rc8 17.Rd1 Qd7 18.d4 exd4 19.exd4 Bd6 20.Ne4 Rcd8 21.Bb2 Qf7 22.Rd2 Bd5 23.Re1 Bb8 24.Rde2 b6 25.Nd2 Bxg2 26.Kxg2 Qd5+ 27.Kg1 b5 28.Nb3 Bd6 29.Na5 Rc8 30.Rc1 Rc7 31.Qd3 Rfc8 32.Rec2 g6 33.Qf1 Kf7 34.Qg2 Ne7 35.Re1 h5 36.h4

36...f5 37.Bc1 f4 38.Rxe7+ Bxe7 39.Bxf4

39...Qxg2+? 40.Kxg2 Rd7 41.Nxc6 Kg7 42.d5 a6 43.Kf3 Bf6 44.Ke4 Re7+ 45.Kd3 Rd7 46.d6 Re8 47.Nd4 Kf7 48.Nf3 a5 49.Rc5 axb4 50.axb4 Rb7 51.Nd2 Ra8 52.Ne4 Bd8 53.Rd5 Ra3+ 54.Kd4 Rb3 55.Kc5 Ke6 56.Rd2 Rb1 57.Re2 Kd7 58.Kd5 Rd1+ 59.Rd2 Rxd2+ 60.Bxd2 Ke8 61.Ke6 Rb6 62.Bg5 Rc6 63.Bxd8 Kxd8 64.Ng5 Ke8 65.Nf7 1-0.


Levon Aronian, who won a fine game against Veselin Topalov, who overpressed


Topalov was joined in Linares by his well-known manager Silvio Danailov

Vassily Ivanchuk was responsible for the tragedy du jour, losing a won position against Magnus Carlsen. Had he chosen 20.Qd1 instead of 20.Qc4 he probably would have won, but in serious time trouble the game got away from him, and Carlsen won the race between the opposing sides’ passed pawns.


The start of the roller coaster game Carlsen vs Ivanchuk

Finally, the game between Teimour Radjabov and Peter Leko was drawn, but it was as exciting as any of the decisive games. Radjabov sacrificed material for pressure, Leko sacrificed back, and in the end the game remained unclear when the players decided to call it a day.


Try 1...a6, Peter! Friendly advice from Lev Aronian to Peter Leko before the game

Summary by Dennis Monokroussos of Chess Mind


Dennis Monokroussos doing live commentary on Playchess.com


Ivanchuk vs Carlsen

By Henrik Carlsen

Four days rest including the 24 hour travel sounds OK, but it's really hard adjusting seven hours backwards, especially if you got up late Mexican time over there. Magnus has been out walking a little every day but we haven't had any real exercise like on the free days in Morelia yet. Still, the players seemed to have migrated from the jetlagged zombie-like appearance yesterday and the day before and showed good fighting spirit today. The playing venue Theatro Cervantes is situated in the centre of Linares in the Cervantes street. (Amusingly I'm reading Don Quixote during the round!)

Magnus went for e5 and the Ruy Lopez against Ivanchuk, and according to conventional wisdom black is okay after 6.Bxc6 dxc6. However, Magnus could not remember the theory and somewhere he obviously went wrong.

Ivanchuk,V (2751) - Carlsen,M (2733) [C67]
XXV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (8), 28.02.2008
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 a6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.Qe2 Bf5 8.Re1 Bb4 9.c3 Bd6 10.Qc2. Here Ivanchuk had spent more than an hour on the clock but was clearly better. To avoid simplifications and a worse ending Magnus chose complications. 10...Qd7 11.dxe5 Bc5 12.Rxe4 0-0-0

Black is a piece down, but with the Bf5 pinning the rook on e4. At this point the computer gives Ivanchuk a clear advantage, but for humans it is not easy to find the best continuation for White. 13.Nbd2 Qd5 14.Kf1 Rhe8 15.b3. This was was probably a little inaccurate. 15...g5 16.Bb2 g4 17.Nd4 Bxd4. Black could have entered a worse but maybe drawn ending with 17...Bxe4. Again Magnus chose complications.18.cxd4 c5 19.Rae1 cxd4.

Now White has to find Qd1 to maintain a significant advantage. Short on time Ivanchuk played 20.Qc4? and after the exchanges the endgame is fairly equal but unbalanced and difficult to play for White, with little time left. Ivanchuk had 54 seconds left for 12 moves and managed to play reasonably well but due to small inaccuracies his position went continuously downhill until the time control.

20...Bxe4 21.Rxe4 Rxe5 22.Rxg4 Rde8 23.Nf3 Qxc4+ 24.bxc4 Re2 25.Bxd4 Rxa2 26.Rg7 a5 27.Rxf7 Rc2 28.g4 a4 29.g5 a3 30.Rxh7 a2 31.Rh8 Rxh8 32.Bxh8 Rxc4 33.h3 c5 34.Ne1 Rc1 35.g6 Kd7 36.Bb2 Ke6 37.h4 c4 38.h5 c3 39.Bxc1 a1Q 40.Nd3 0-1. After 40.Nd3 the arbiter stopped the game as Ivanchuk had lost on time but fortunately the position was winning for Black anyway. Magnus was obviously more relieved than satisfied with the full point today, and is now in shared second place with Aronian at +1. Tomorrow Magnus has white against Shirov and we can expect a tough fight.

During lunch today I enjoyed looking over the decoration wall pictures from the 1999-2005 tournaments. Surprisingly to me the format changed two times also in this period. In 1999 there were eight players, the next two years six and from 2002 onwards seven players. After Kasparov's retirement in 2005 the format was changed again with eight players double round robin, partly in Morelia and partly in Linares.

Kasparov was the only player to participate in all the seven tournaments 1999-2005, explaining why the organisers looked for a change of format again following his retirement. Leko, Anand, Shirov and Vallejo Pons were other frequent participants in this period. One female only (Judit Polgar) participated in one of these tournaments.

Current standings


Picture gallery

Linares is a city located in the southern Andalusian province of Jaén, Spain. It is the town where the Carthaginian general Hannibal married the local Iberian princess Himilce on the eve of the Second Punic War, during which he marched an army, which included war elephants, from Iberia over the Pyrenees and the Alps into northern Italy against the Roman Empire.


Since antiquity Linares has earned much of its revenue from lead mines, and the main street, shown above, has a statue of a mine worker on its central crossing.


The town square with the town hall (Ayuntamiento) in the background center


The main promenade of the city – a picture of what it will soon look like


What it looks like right now, with reconstruction work going on


Many of the best chess players in history have walked up and down this passage


What are they doing to my beautiful promenade, says a famous figur at one end


He is Linares Andrés Segovia, one of the greatest classical guitarists who ever lived


Orange trees bearing fruit at the end of February in front of a church


Kamsky vs who in March this year? Actually it is DJs Wally Lopez and Luis Bonias

All pictures by Nadja Woisin in Linares


Schedule and results

Round 8: Thursday, February 28th

Vishy Anand 
1-0
 Alexei Shirov
Vassily Ivanchuk 
0-1
 Magnus Carlsen
Teimour Radjabov 
½-½
 Peter Leko
Levon Aronian 
1-0
 Veselin Topalov

Round 9: Friday, February 29th

Levon Aronian 
   Vishy Anand
Veselin Topalov 
   Teimour Radjabov
Peter Leko 
   Vassily Ivanchuk
Magnus Carlsen 
   Alexei Shirov
GamesReport

Round 10: Saturday, March 1st

Vishy Anand 
   Magnus Carlsen
Alexei Shirov 
   Peter Leko
Vassily Ivanchuk 
   Veselin Topalov
Teimour Radjabov 
   Levon Aronian
GamesReport
Sunday, March 2nd
Free day

Round 11: Monday, March 3rd

Teimour Radjabov 
   Vishy Anand
Levon Aronian 
   Vassily Ivanchuk
Veselin Topalov 
   Alexei Shirov
Peter Leko 
   Magnus Carlsen
GamesReport

Round 12: Tuesday, March 4th

Vishy Anand 
   Peter Leko
Magnus Carlsen 
   Veselin Topalov
Alexei Shirov 
   Levon Aronian
Vassily Ivanchuk 
  Teimour Radjabov 
GamesReport
Wednesday, March 5th
Free day

Round 13: Friday, March 7th

Vassily Ivanchuk 
   Vishy Anand
Teimour Radjabov 
   Alexei Shirov
Levon Aronian 
   Magnus Carlsen
Veselin Topalov 
   Peter Leko
GamesReport

Round 14: Friday, March 7th

Vishy Anand 
   Veselin Topalov
Peter Leko 
   Levon Aronian
Magnus Carlsen 
   Teimour Radjabov
Alexei Shirov 
   Vassily Ivanchuk
GamesReport
Sunday, February 25th
Transfer to Linares, Spain

Links

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