Melody Amber: Aronian leads by a full point

by ChessBase
3/20/2008 – Armenian GM Levon Aronian has taken the sole lead in the Blindfold and Rapid Chess Tournament that is taking place in Nice, France. Vladimir Kramnik defeated Veselin Topalov in their match, which started without a handshake. Vishy Anand lost his match against Peter Leko, but was adequately compensated by receiving a third honorary doctorate. Results, games and video reports.

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The seventeenth Amber Blindfold and Rapid Chess Tournament is taking place from March 15 to 27 in the Palais de la Mediterranée, Nice, France. Twelve leading grandmasters play blindfold and rapid chess games against each other. The prize fund is a massive 216,000 Euro (currently US $336,000). The sponsor is Dutch billionaire Joop Van Oosterom.

The playing venue of the seventeenth Amber Tournament in Nice, France

Report after round five

Round four: Blindfold Chess   Round four: Rapid Chess
Gelfand-Van Wely 0-1   Van Wely-Gelfand ½-½
Karjakin-Ivanchuk ½-½   Ivanchuk-Karjakin 1-0
Aronian-Carlsen ½-½   Carlsen-Aronian 0-1
Kramnik-Morozevich 1-0   Morozevich-Kramnik ½-½
Anand-Leko ½-½   Leko-Anand 1-0
Mamedyarov-Topalov 0-1   Topalov-Mamedyarov ½-½

The fourth round of the Amber Blindfold and Rapid Chess Tournament was marked by an impromptu birthday celebration for Ukrainian GM Vasily Ivanchuk, who turned 40 on March 18. Ivanchuk has played in this tournament every year ever since it was first held in 1992!

Now we are 39! Top Ukrainian GM Vassily Ivanchuk

There was also some interesting news regarding world champion Vishy Anand: he received an honorary doctorate from the Tamil Nadu Physical Education and Sports University in Chennai. Due to his participation in the Amber tournament the World Champion Anand could not attend the ceremony, but was represented by his parents. This is the third honorary doctorate for Anand. Unfortunately he celebrated by losing his rapid chess game to Peter Leko.

Greetings and congratulations for Dr. Dr. Dr. Anand from opponent Peter Leko, who drew this blindfold game and then, showing little respect of academic titles, won the rapid chess encounter. On the right: Vladimir Kramnik.

Round five: Blindfold Chess   Round five: Rapid Chess
Topalov-Kramnik ½-½   Kramnik-Topalov 1-0
Leko-Mamedyarov 1-0   Mamedyarov-Leko ½-½
Morozevich-Anand 1-0   Anand-Morozevich 1-0
Carlsen-Gelfand 1-0   Gelfand-Carlsen ½-½
Ivanchuk-Aronian ½-½   Aronian-Ivanchuk 1-0
Van Wely-Karjakin ½-½   Karjakin-Van Wely 1-0

The heavy-weight bout between Veselin Topalov and Vladimir Kramnik started (without a handshake) with a Petroff Defence in the blindfold game. White got a slight advantage, but the game ended with a threefold repetition, which saved the players the trouble working out some courteous method of agreeing to a draw. They both looked into the direction of the arbiter, all three nodded their heads, and that was it. In the rapid game Kramnik scored a fine win that gave him satisfaction both from a sporting and a creative point of view.

To shake or not to shake: Blindfold chess in hostile atmosphere between old enemies

In the rapid chess game Vladimir Kramnik scored a fine victory over Veselin Topalov

The big winner of round five was Levon Aronian, who moved into the sole lead in the overall standings with 6.5/10 points, one point ahead of a pack of no fewer than six players.

In the lead: Armenian GM Levon Aronian

Standings after five rounds (ten games)

1. Carlsen    3½
2. Ivanchuk 3
Kramnik 3
Morozevich 3
Topalov 3
3. Aronian 2½
Karjakin 2½
Leko 2½
Van Wely 2½
4. Anand 2
5. Mamedyarov 1½
6. Gelfand 1
1. Aronian    4    
2. Anand 3½
3. Leko 3
4. Gelfand 2½
Ivanchuk 2½
Karjakin 2½
Kramnik 2½
Mamedyarov 2½
Topalov 2½
5. Carlsen 2
6. Van Wely 1½
7. Morozevich 1
1. Aronian    6½
2. Anand 5½
Carlsen 5½
Ivanchuk 5½
Kramnik 5½
Leko 5½
Topalov 5½
3. Karjakin 5
4. Mamedyarov 4
Morozevich 4
Van Wely 4
5. Gelfand 3½

Video reports from the tournament site


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