Linares R9: Morozevich beats Leko

3/3/2007 – Topalov managed to save a white game against the clearly superior Ivanchuk, who got into time trouble and had to concede a draw. Peter Leko lost badly to Alexander Morozevich to join him at the tail-end of the cross table, with Topalov half a point clear. The other games were drawn. Full report with pictures and analysis.

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Round nine

Round 9: Saturday, March 3rd

Alex. Morozevich 
1-0
 Peter Leko
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Peter Svidler 
½-½
 Vishy Anand
Veselin Topalov 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk

Round 10: Sunday, March 4th

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

Carlsen,M (2690) - Aronian,L (2744) [E15]
XXIV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (9), 03.03.2007 [Mihail Marin]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.b3 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Be7 7.Bg2 c6 8.Bc3 d5 9.Ne5 Nfd7 10.Nxd7 Nxd7 11.Nd2 0-0 12.0-0 Rc8 13.e4 c5 14.exd5 exd5 15.dxc5 dxc4 16.c6 cxb3 17.Re1 b2 18.Bxb2 Nc5 19.Nb3 Nd3 20.Re2 Nxb2 21.Rxb2 Qxd1+ 22.Rxd1 Rfd8 23.Rbd2 Rxd2 24.Rxd2 Rd8 25.Rxd8+ Bxd8 26.Nd4 Bc4.

27.Bf1. Not really creative. In the game Topalov-Leko, played just days earlier in Morelia, White chose 27.a4 Kf8 28.Nb5 which left White with "the symbolically better side of a dead drawn position". Carlsen is not that ambitious and forces an immediate repetition of moves. 27...Bd5. Not 27...Bxa2? because of 28.Nb5 winning a piece after 29.c7. 28.Bg2 Bc4 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

Svidler,P (2728) - Anand,V (2779) [C42]
XXIV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (9), 03.03.2007 [Mihail Marin]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.0-0 Be7 8.c4 Nb4 9.Be2 0-0 10.a3 Nc6 11.cxd5 Qxd5 12.Nc3 Nxc3 13.bxc3 Bf5 14.Re1 Rfe8 15.Bf4 Rac8.

16.h3!? This move has a relatively short history (it was introduced in 2003 by Kramnik against Anand), but has been submitted to a thorough investigation over the past few years. White makes a generally useful move, inviting Black to define his intentions. 16...Be4 17.Qa4. A rare continuation, successfully employed by Grischuk (true, in rapid games). 17...Qf5 18.Bg3 Bc2. After 18...Bd6 19.Ne5 Bxe5 20.Bg4 Qg6 21.dxe5 Bf5 22.Bf3 White exerted unpleasant pressure over Black's position in Grischuk-Nielsen, Monte Carlo 2006. 19.Qb5 Qxb5 20.Bxb5 a6 21.Bxc6 bxc6 22.Re5. A new move. Grischuk preferred 22.Ra2 when after 22...Ba4 23.c4 Bb3 24.Rae2 Kf8 25.c5 Black found it very difficult to free himself from the pin along the e-file in Grischuk-Volokitin, Foros 2006. 22...f6 23.Ra5.

With only rooks on board, this manoeuvre would ensure White considerable advantage. However, in the presence of minor pieces, the rook could easily remain misplaced on a5. 23...Bd3 24.Ne1 Bb5 25.a4 Be2 26.Nc2 c5. Black decides to solve the problem of his double pawns in radical way. 27.dxc5 Kf7 28.c6 Preventing the complete isolation of the rook on a5 after an eventual ...c6, but the extra-pawn becomes vulnerable now. 28...Red8 29.Ne3 Rd2 30.Rb1 Bd6 31.Bxd6 Rxd6 32.Nf5 Rxc6 Black has successfully solved hisproblems. The position is about equal. 33.Nd4 Rb6 34.Re1 Bd3 35.Rc5 Rd6 36.Re3 Bb1 37.Nc6 Re8 38.Nd4 Rc8 39.Re2 Bd3 40.Re1 Rd7 41.f3 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

Morozevich,A (2741) - Leko,P (2749) [E15]
XXIV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (9), 03.03.2007 [Mihail Marin]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.Qb3 Be7. In the main lines, starting with 5...Nc6 , Black would have to play ...d5 at a later moment, when the placement of the knight in the front of the c-pawn leaves Black with some problems of coordination. The move chosen by Leko is in the spirit of hypermodern chess: White is allowed to build up an impressive pawn centre, which, hopefully, will give Black a target for counterattack. 6.Nc3 0-0. Same policy. Another possible continuation is 6...Bb7 7.Bg2 Nc6 and now 8.Qd1! parries Black's bth threats, 8...Nxd4 and 8...Na5 9.Qa4 Bc6 followed by 10...Nxc4. After 8...Na5 9.b3 d5 10.cxd5 exd5 11.0-0 0-0 12.Bb2 c5 13.dxc5 bxc5 14.e3 Black had the same kind of problems as in the main line, Beliavsky-Nikolic, Celje 2003. 7.e4 c5. A novelty over 7...Bb7 which did not prove entirely adequate after 8.d5 exd5 9.exd5 c6 10.Bg2 Na6 11.0-0 Nc5 12.Qd1 cxd5 13.cxd5 Nce4 14.Nh4 Nxc3 15.bxc3 Bc5 16.Nf5 Re8 17.c4 d6 18.Bb2 Bc8 19.Nd4 Bxd4 20.Qxd4 . White has managed to consolidate his advantage of space, while the pressure along the a1-h8 diagonal is quite annoying for Black, Lautier-Sokolov, Aix les Bains 2003. 8.d5 exd5 9.exd5.

Black has managed to stabilize the situation in the centre, but faces the difficult task of activating his queen's bishop. 9...Re8 10.Bd3 Bf8+ 11.Kf1 d6 12.Kg2 Nbd7 13.h4 g6 14.Qa4 Bb7 15.h5.

15...Nxh5?? Equivalent to positional suicide. Instead of allowing his kingside fall apart, Black should have strived for queenside counterplay with 15...a6 . White would have had to consolidate his d5-pawn with 16.Qc2 b5 17.b3 but after, say, 17...Bg7 18.hxg6 hxg6 19.Bg5 Qc7 followed by ...Ne5, Black's position would have been viable. In certain cases, ...b4 followed by ...Nxd5 could be strong. 16.Rxh5! It is hard to refrain from such a move, of course. I wonder whether Leko underestimated the force of the sacrifice or simply considered his position very bad anyway when capturing on h5 with the knight. 16...gxh5 17.Ne4 f5 18.Neg5 h6 19.Nh3 Ne5 20.Nxe5 dxe5 21.Bxf5 Qf6 22.Be4 Re7 23.Qd1 h4 24.Qh5 hxg3 25.fxg3 Rg7 26.Bd2 Qf7 27.Qe2 Bc8 28.Nf2 Bf5 29.Bxf5 Qxf5 30.Ne4.

Black has managed to exchange his passive bishop, but White's domination has not been released in any way. The next phase of the game features the massive invasion of White's pieces. 30...Rf7 31.Rh1 Qg6 32.Rh4 Kh8 33.Ng5 Rf5 34.Ne6. It becomes clear already that Black is in ig trouble. 34...h5 35.Bg5 Kg8 36.Rxh5. And now, the material situation has become almost equal, without bringing any relief for Black. 36...Re8 37.g4 Rf7 38.Bh4 Bg7 39.Rg5 Qh6 40.Qxe5 Kh8.

41.Rxg7! It is not difficult to see that this wins. 41...Qd2+ 42.Kh3 Qd3+ 43.Bg3 Rxe6 44.dxe6 Rxg7 45.e7 Qh7+ 46.Kg2, and for the first time in this tournament, Morozevich' original and enterprising play has been crowned with success. 1-0. [Click to replay]

Topalov,V (2783) - Ivanchuk,V (2750) [B42]
XXIV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (9), 03.03.2007 [Mihail Marin]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Bc5 6.Nb3 Ba7 7.Qe2 d6 8.Be3 Nc6 9.f4 Nge7 10.0-0 0-0

11.c3. Slightly passive. 11.Nc3 b5 12.a3 looks more ambitious. 11...b5 12.N1d2 Bxe3+ 13.Qxe3 Rb8 14.Kh1 Qb6 15.Qe2 a5. Black takes advantage of the lack of pressure against the b5-pawn in order to launch the thematic minority's attack. 16.a3 Bd7 17.Rf3 Ng6 18.g3 Rfd8 19.Rd1 Nce7 20.h4 h6 21.Kh2 Be8 22.Rg1 Nc6 23.h5 Nf8

24.g4?! With his knights passively placed, White is not prepared for such a resolute action. Instead of obtaining the desired attacking chances, he will be left with just weaknesses on the dark squares. 24...e5! With a knight on c3, such a move would hardly have been advisable. 25.g5 hxg5 26.fxg5 Rb7 27.Qf1 Ne6 28.h6 g6 29.Nc1 Qc7 30.Qf2 Qe7 31.Qh4 b4 32.Nc4 bxc3 33.bxc3 d5 34.exd5 Rxd5 35.Re3 Qc5 36.Rf1 Rb2+ 37.Rf2 Rxf2+ 38.Qxf2 Qe7 39.Be4 Rd1 40.Qc2 Rd8

White's attack has been extinguished before even starting, while his structure is in ruins. 41.Nd3 Nxg5 42.Bxc6 Bxc6 43.Ndxe5 Qf6 44.Nxc6 Qxc6 45.Qe2 Qc7+ 46.Ne5 Rd5 47.Kg2 Ne6 48.Qc4 Qe7 49.Kg3 Qg5+ 50.Ng4 Rc5 51.Qe4 Rf5 52.Rf3 Kh7 53.c4 a4 54.Qe3 Qe7 55.Qc3 Qc7+ 56.Kf2 Rxf3+ 57.Qxf3 Qc5+ 58.Ne3 f5 59.Qb7+ Kxh6

The sequence of moves before the first and the second control has been a complete success for Black. He has converted his positional advantage into an extra-pawn. 60.Qd5 Qe7 Along the next phase of the game, Ivanchuk will insistently avoid the exchange of queens, probably hoping to finish the game with a mating attack. Only a thorough analysis will prove whether his decision was objectively best, but for practical reasons the knight ending would have been a relatively safe to the desired victory. 61.Qe5 Qh4+ 62.Kf1 Ng5. For instance, 62...Qe4 would have offered Black little chances for survival. 63.Qh8+ Nh7 64.Qe5 Nf6 65.Ke2 Kg5 66.c5 Qh5+

67.Kd3. Topalov starts playing very resourcefully. He gradually activates his positin, while Black's pawns are on the same positions as several moves earlier. 67...Qf3 68.Kc4 Qb7 69.Qc3 Ne4 70.Qb4 Qa6+ 71.Kd4 Qf6+ 72.Kd5 Kf4 73.Qd4 Qf7+ 74.Kc6 Qe8+ 75.Kb6 Qb8+ 76.Ka6

76...Qa8+. The decision to give perpetual looks premature, even with litle time left. A brief glance is sufficient to reveal that 76...Qc8+ 77.Kb6 Qxc5+! would have simplified to a position where Black can still play for a win without any risk after 78.Qxc5 Nxc5 79.Nd5+ Ke4 80.Kxc5 g5


Analysis diagram

Apparently, 81.Nf6+ Kd3 82.Kd5 would have still saved the day for White, but this is another question. 77.Kb6 Qb8+ A narrow escape by Topalov. 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


Round nine in progress in Linares


The spectators in the tournament hall in the Anibal Hotel

Pictures by Jesus J. Boyero

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 
1-0
 Peter Leko
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Peter Svidler 
½-½
 Vishy Anand
Veselin Topalov 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk

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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