Linares R8: Grischuk beats Gashimov, Topalov misses a win

2/21/2010 – "Two exciting games – and one Petroff," writes our commentator GM Anish Giri. Gelfand used the latter in a colorless draw against Vallejo. The other two games were more entartaining. Topalov had a clear win against Aronian but missed the killer move; and Grischuk profited from a non-obvious error in Gashimov's Benoni to narrow the gap to the leading Topalov. Big illustrated report with commentary.

ChessBase 14 Download ChessBase 14 Download

Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. Start your personal success story with ChessBase 14 and enjoy your chess even more!


Along with the ChessBase 14 program you can access the Live Database of 8 million games, and receive three months of free ChesssBase Account Premium membership and all of our online apps! Have a look today!

More...

February 2010
M T W T F S S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Ciudad de Linares 2010

The traditional Linares tournament is taking place in Andalucia, Spain, from February 13 to 24, 2010. It has been shrunk down to six players – in 2009 there were eight, and in previous years there have been up to 14 players. The category this time is 21, with an average Elo of 2757 (and no player below 2700). Time controls as two hours for 40 moves, then one hour for 20, then 20 minutes for the rest of the game, with a 30 second increment (starting from move 61).

Round eight report

By GM Anish Giri

Round 8: Sunday, 21 February 2010

Veselin Topalov 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Francisco Vallejo 
½-½
 Boris Gelfand
Alexander Grischuk 
1-0
 Vugar Gashimov

Today there were two exciting games – and one Petroff. Gelfand, who played the latter, had no problems in achieving equality.


Israeli GM Boris Gelfand


Top Spanish GM Francisco Vallejo Pons

Vallejo tried the somewhat rare 8.Nbd2, but Gelfand quickly exchanged everything and the game ended in a colorless draw. The other two games however were way more entartaining.


Bulgarian GM Veselin Topalov


GM Levon Aronian from Armenia

V. Topalov - L. Aronian [D43]
XXVII Linares/Spain (8), 21.02.2010 [Giri,Anish]

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 d5 4.d4 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bxf6. Topalov decided not to go to the razor-sharp Anti-Moscow Gambit, which arises after 6.Bh4. 6...Qxf6 7.e3 Nd7 8.Bd3 dxc4 9.Bxc4 g6 10.0-0 Bg7 11.e4 e5 12.d5 Nb6








13.Bb3. Here we get one of the main lines of the Moscow Variation. 13...0-0. 13...Bg4 is another main move. After something like 14.Rc1 0-0 15.h3 Bxf3 16.Qxf3 Qxf3 17.gxf3 Rfd8 18.dxc6 bxc6 we get a more pleasant endgame for White. Recently Aronian won this endgame with white against Gelfand. 14.Rc1 Rd8 15.h3! A strong and logical novelty. 15.Qe2 was played before. Recently 15...Bg4 happened in Bacrot-Aronian Jermuk 2009. 15...Bd7 16.Qe2 Be8 17.Rfd1 Bf8?! An innacuracy. 17...Rac8! was better, first improving the rook. The bishop can be developed a bit later. 18.dxc6!








18...Bxc6. 18...Rxd1+ was not the solution to all problems either: 19.Rxd1 Bxc6 20.Nd5 Bxd5 21.Bxd5! and White is better. 19.Nd5 Bxd5 20.exd5! Bd6 21.Nd2 Qe7 22.Ne4 Kg7 [22...Rac8!] 23.Re1 Re8. 23...Bb4 was possible, but after 24.d6! Bxd6 25.Nxd6 Rxd6 26.Qxe5+ Qxe5 27.Rxe5 White gets a better ending, thanks to his bishop against Black's knight. 24.h4!








A strong idea by Topalov. Now White wants to weaken some squares around Aronian's king. 24...Rad8? 24...h5! was much better. I guess Levon didn't like that from now on Black wouldn't be able to play f5 (due to Ng5). But perhaps he can just play Rac8, change some rooks and hold the position. 25.h5 f5 26.Nxd6 Rxd6 27.Rc5 e4 28.hxg6








Now White is better, and Levon's agressive try 28...f4? only makes things worse. 28...Kxg6 was better.] 29.Qd2 Qe5 30.Rc7+ Rd7 31.Rxd7+ Nxd7 32.Ba4 Rd8 33.Qa5! Now White is simply winning. 33...Nb6. Hoping that opponent doesn't see an easy winning trick...








34.Bb3?? And he doesn't! 34.Rxe4! was a simple BAM, that a player with 2800 can normally find in couple of seconds. 34...Qxe4 35.Qc3+ Kg8 36.Qc7 and White threatens Qh7+ and Qxd8, so the game could have finished like this. 34...e3. Now Black get's counterplay and easily manages to make a draw. 35.fxe3 fxe3 36.Qb4 Rd6 37.Re2 Rxg6 38.Qc3 Qxc3 39.bxc3 Rg5 40.Rxe3 Nxd5 41.Bxd5 Rxd5 42.Re7+ Kf6 43.Rxb7 Ra5 44.Rb2








White's pawn is not enough for anything, due to Black's activity and White's passivity. Topalov played the game pretty well and he quickly got a winning position (I should also mention that Levon helped him energetically). I don't know what happened on move 34. Perhaps Topalov is not in shape in this event.. However he still leads it by a full point! 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]



Russian GM Alexander Grischuk


GM Vugar Gashimov of Azerbaijan

A. Grischuk - V. Gashimov [A62]
XXVII Linares/Spain (8), 21.02.2010 [Giri, Anish]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5. Again Benoni! It is a unique opportunity to enjoy watching so many Benonis in a top tournament. Good for Benoni players, who otherwise can only study some old classical games of Kasparov (which were great though)... 4.d5 d6 5.Nc3 exd5 6.cxd5 g6 7.g3. Grischuk goes for the g3 system. 7...Bg7 8.Bg2 0-0 9.0-0 Re8 10.Bf4. The game Aronian-Topalov saw the main move 10.Nd2. 10...Na6. A lot of moves have been tried here – this is one of them. 11.Re1 Bg4








12.Qb3. A new move. It is pretty logical to move a queen away from the x-ray of the bishop with tempo. By the way, it coveres the b5 square as well. 12...Nh5 13.Bg5 Qd7 14.Nd2. Not on move ten, but Grischuk too sends his knight to c4. 14...h6 15.Be3








15...Bf5? A mistake. Unfortunately, in the Benoni, one is often enough to ruin the game... Somehow I really want to play 15...Rxe3 but with the knight on h5 (and on a6) it can't be very good. A pity...; However, the simple 15...Rab8! was better. 16.Nc4 b5 17.Na5 and here there are a lot of moves e.g. Bh3, Nf6 or Rb6. In any case White can be proud of his knight on c6, but Black has enough counterplay. 16.Nc4 Nb4 17.Rac1 Rab8 18.a4 Safe and strong. 18.Nb5!? is interesting and possibly strong, but also very complicated. 18...b6. Preparing a6, but it turns out to be too slow. However, White had a big positional advantage anyway. 19.Nb5 Bf8 20.Bd2 a6








21.Nbxd6! The whole point. Now White has a great advantage. 21...b5. Trying to complicate the matter. But Grischuk is not someone who can be tricked so easily. 21...Bxd6 22.e4 and White wins his piece back while having a great positional advantage. 22.Nxe8 bxc4 23.Qxc4 Rxe8 24.Bxb4 cxb4 25.e4. White has a great centre, and here Black is simply lost. 25...Bg4 26.e5 Qf5 27.e6! fxe6 28.dxe6 Be7 29.f3








Winning material. the rest is easy. 29...Bh3 30.g4 Qg5 31.Bxh3 Nf4 32.Bf1 Rf8 33.Qc7 h5 34.Qe5 Qh4 35.Re4 Nh3+ 36.Bxh3 Qxh3 37.Qg3 hxg4 38.Qxh3 gxh3 39.Kf2 Rd8 40.Ke2








An easy game for Grischuk. Vugar made a rather non-obvious mistake in the opening on move 15, and after that it was only Grischuk who could have helped Gashimov. However he kept on playing very well, leaving his opponent no chances. 1-0. [Click to replay]

Current standings

Statistics

Of the 24 games played so far:

  • White won five games = 21%
  • Black won one game = 4%
  • 18 games were drawn = 75%

Picture Gallery from Linares

By Nadja Wittmann

Linares is located in the Andalusian province of Jaén, Spain, and is the second most important city in that province. The city dates to antiquity, and it was here that Carthaginian general Hannibal married the local Iberian princess Himilce on the eve of the Second Punic War. Around the middle of the nineteenth century Linares became an important mining center. The smelting of lead, the manufacture of lead sheets and pipes, and the production of by-product silver from the lead ores led to a significant population increase. The 6,000 inhabitants in 1849 became 36,000 in 1877. Today the population is over 60,000.

The bull ring in Linares is famous for the death of bullfighter Manolete (Manuel Rodríguez Sánchez). On the 28th of August every year, people place flowers on his statue in Linars. Manolete's death is remembered in the ring by putting a bunch of roses in the place where he fell.


View Larger Map

Linares is the birthplace of classical guitarist Andrés Segovia,singer Raphael and the hometown of jazz vocalist Virginia Maestro and Venerable Manuel Lozano Garrido.


The Paseo de la Virgen de Linarejos, the landmark promenade in the city of Linares


On the sides of the promenade, between the palm trees, there are benches decorated with...


... brightly-coloured Andalusian tiles, depicting in the main part the history of the region.


The bullfight stadium Plaza de Toros in the Jardines de Santa Margarita


The XIX Finals in Linares, where the cavaleiro or horseman has been unseated


A bullfight during the Festival of St Agustine in 1883


The most famous bullfighter of them all: Manuel Rodriguez Sanchez, called Manolete


The Paseo back in 1912


This one tells us all about the Paseo de la Virgen de Linarejos


El Ayuntamiento de Linares – the City Council, back in 1934


The Ayuntamiento in February 2010


A depiction of Linares in 1668 by the Florentine painter Pier Maria Baldi


Until recently Linares was a lead mining and smelting city. The last mine closed in 1991.


A mining station back in 1897


Inside a Linares mine in 1914


Building the railway in Andalucia


The obligatory bull – a public obsession in this part of Spain

Schedule and results

Round 1: Saturday, 13 February 2010

Francisco Vallejo 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Alexander Grischuk
Boris Gelfand 
½-½
 Vugar Gashimov

Round 2: Sunday, 14 February 2010

Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Vugar Gashimov
Alexander Grischuk 
1-0
 Boris Gelfand
Francisco Vallejo 
½-½
 Levon Aronian

Round 3: Monday, 15 February 2010

Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Boris Gelfand 
½-½
 Francisco Vallejo
Vugar Gashimov 
½-½
Alexander Grischuk

Round 4: Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Boris Gelfand 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Vugar Gashimov 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Alexander Grischuk 
½-½
 Francisco Vallejo

Round 5: Thursday, 18 February 2010

Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Alexander Grischuk
Francisco Vallejo 
0-1
 Vugar Gashimov
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Boris Gelfand

Round 6: Friday, 19 February 2010

Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Francisco Vallejo
Alexander Grischuk 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Vugar Gashimov 
½-½
 Boris Gelfand

Round 7: Saturday , 20 February 2010

Vugar Gashimov 
½-½
 Veselin Topalov
Boris Gelfand 
½-½
 Alexander Grischuk
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Francisco Vallejo

Round 8: Sunday, 21 February 2010

Veselin Topalov 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Francisco Vallejo 
½-½
 Boris Gelfand
Alexander Grischuk 
1-0
 Vugar Gashimov

Round 9: Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Alexander Grischuk 
   Veselin Topalov
Vugar Gashimov 
   Francisco Vallejo
Boris Gelfand 
   Levon Aronian
Games - Report

Round 10: Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Veselin Topalov 
   Boris Gelfand
Levon Aronian 
   Vugar Gashimov
Francisco Vallejo 
   Alexander Grischuk
Games - Report

Live commentary on Playchess

Naturally the games of the Linares tournament are being broadcast live on Playchess. In addition to the moves (and live chat with thousands of other visitors) we also have special audio commentary by two well-known grandmasters:


Playchess (and ChessBase Magazine) commentator GM Daniel King
who is famous for his Power Play DVDs


Yasser Seirawan, who has an interesting Best Games DVD

Schedule of commentators

13th Feb  

GM Daniel King

6:00 p.m.

14th Feb

GM Daniel King

6:00 p.m.

15th Feb

GM Yasser Seirawan  

5:00 p.m.

16th Feb

GM Yasser Seirawan

5:00 p.m.

17th Feb Free day  

18th Feb

GM Daniel King

6:00 p.m.

19th Feb  

GM Daniel King

6:00 p.m.

20th Feb

GM Yasser Seirawan

5:00 p.m.

21st Feb

GM Yasser Seirawan

5:00 p.m.

22nd Feb Free day  

23rd Feb

GM Yasser Seirawan  

5:00 p.m.

24th Feb

GM Daniel King

6:00 p.m.

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!


Topics Linares 2010
Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register