Morelia R3: Anand and Topalov win

2/18/2008 – Vishy Anand bounced back from his round two loss with a fine black-pieces win against tournament youngster Magnus Carlsen. Veselin Topalov scored his second victory, a wonderful game against veteran Vassily Ivanchuk, to take the lead in this event. The other two games were drawn. Brief comments are provided by our Mexican friends in this illustrated report.

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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.

Round three – quick impressions

By Manuel López Michelone

Round 3: Sunday, February 17th

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

Current standings

Two wonderful and exciting games. Topalov is doing everything right!

Topalov-Ivanchuk: Apparently Topalov did it again! A theoretical innovation with move 16.a3!?, White played 19.Qa3! and 20.c3! fast, so probably this was a home analysis. This would not be the first time Topalov shows excellent opening preparation – just remember his game against Kramnik in Wijk aan Zee few weeks ago. White played with lots of energy and kept Ivanchuk on the ropes.


Veselin Topalov, as always in a white suit, in a great game against Vassily Ivanchuk

Topalov,V (2780) - Ivanchuk,V (2751) [B90]
XXV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (3), 17.02.2008
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.f3 Nbd7 9.g4 b5 10.g5 b4 11.Nd5 Nxd5 12.exd5 Bf5 13.Bd3 Bxd3 14.Qxd3 Be7 15.h4 a5 16.a3 a4 17.Nd2 Rb8 18.axb4 Rxb4 19.Qa3 Qb8 20.c3 Rxb2 21.Qxa4 Rb7 22.Ke2 Rc7 23.Rhb1 Qc8 24.Bb6!

After the last move probably White is almost with a winning position. The c-pawn cannot be captured: if 24...Rxc3? 25.Ne4 Rc4 26.Rc1!! amazing move! 26...Rxc1 27.Rxc1 Qxc1 28.Qa8+ Nb8 29.Qxb8+ Kd7 30.Nc5+!! delivering mate or winning the black queen. Ivanchuk defended with all his resources, but Topalov simplified the position and got a winning ending. 24...Rb7 25.Ba7 e4 26.fxe4 Rxb1 27.Rxb1 0-0 28.Qc6 Ne5 29.Qxc8 Rxc8 30.Rb8 Rxb8 31.Bxb8 Kf8 32.Nf3 Ng6 33.c4 Ke8 34.e5 Kd7 35.Kd3 h6 36.exd6 Bxd6 37.Bxd6 Kxd6 38.gxh6 gxh6 39.Kd4 f6 40.c5+ Kd7 41.Ke4 h5 42.d6 Ke6 43.Nd4+ Kd7 44.Nf5 Ne5 45.Kd5 Nc6 46.Nd4 1-0. A wonderful game from the former Bulgarian world champion Topalov!

Carlsen-Anand: Anand got a very small edge. Nevertheless, Carlsen probably didn't play the best moves and soon he was in trouble, Magnus was forced to give up the exchange and the world champion then simplified the position to get an ending with three pawns + rook against four pawns + bishop (all in the king side). Anand played the ending almost perfectly and scored again, this time against the Norwegian wonder boy.


Magnus Carlsen at the start of his round three game against Vishy Anand

Carlsen,M (2733) - Anand,V (2799) [D43]
XXV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (3), 17.02.2008
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Ne5 h5 10.f3 h4 11.Bf2 Bb7 12.Be2 Nbd7 13.Nxd7 Nxd7 14.0-0 e5 15.a4 a6 16.d5 Rh6 17.dxc6 Bxc6 18.axb5 axb5 19.Rxa8 Qxa8 20.Qc1 Rg6 21.Rd1 Bc5 22.Bxc5 Nxc5 23.Qe3 Nb3 24.Qb6 Nd4 25.Rxd4 exd4 26.Nxb5 Bxb5 27.Qxb5+ Qc6 28.Qe5+ Re6 29.Qxd4 Qb6 30.Qxb6 Rxb6 31.Bxc4 Rxb2 32.g3 f6 33.Be6 Ke7 34.Bg4 Re2 35.gxh4 gxh4 36.h3 Kd6 37.Kf1 Rb2 38.f4 Kc5 39.e5 Rb4 40.exf6 Rxf4+ 41.Ke2 Kd4 42.Bf3 Rxf6 43.Bb7 Rb6 44.Bc8 Ke4 45.Bg4 Rb2+ 46.Ke1 Ke3 47.Kf1 Kf4 48.Ke1 Kg3 49.Kf1 Rf2+ 50.Ke1 Rf4 51.Bc8 Rf8 52.Bg4 Kg2 53.Ke2 Re8+ 54.Kd3 Kf2 55.Bf5 Re3+ 56.Kd4 Kf3 57.Bg4+ Kf4 58.Kd5 Re5+ 59.Kd4 Rg5 0-1.

Leko-Shirov: Leko decided to put some pressure on Shirov's Sicilian Defense, and for many moves White was a little bit better. Shirov defended well, and on move 31 the Spanish player found a simplification of the position so the ending was too balanced. The game was a dead draw at move 37.

Leko,P (2753) - Shirov,A (2755) [B90]
XXV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (3), 17.02.2008
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 Be6 10.Bb3 Nc6 11.Qe2 Na5 12.Rfd1 Nxb3 13.cxb3 Qb8 14.Bg5 b5 15.Rd3 h6 16.Bxf6 Bxf6 17.Rad1 Be7 18.Nd5 Bxd5 19.Rxd5 Qc7 20.Ne1 Rac8 21.g3 f5 22.exf5 Rxf5 23.Qe4 Rcf8 24.R1d2 h5 25.Rc2 Qa7 26.Nd3 h4 27.Kg2 hxg3 28.hxg3 Qd7 29.Rc1 Rh5 30.Rh1 Rxh1 31.Kxh1 Qf5 32.Qxf5 Rxf5 33.Kg2 Kf7 34.Nb4 Ke6 35.Rd1 a5 36.Nc6 Rf8 37.Nxa5 ½-½.

Aronian-Radjabov: This game simplified too soon, and both signed a draw at move 24. I guess Radjabov was in some sort of attacking move when he played 14...Nxe3!, but it didn't win a pawn – Aronian recovered it few moves later. Probably this was the least exciting game until now in Morelia.

Aronian,L (2739) - Radjabov,T (2735) [E61]
XXV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (3), 17.02.2008
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.g3 c5 5.Nf3 cxd4 6.Nxd4 0-0 7.Bg2 Qc7 8.b3 d5 9.0-0 dxc4 10.Ncb5 Qd8 11.bxc4 a6 12.Nc3 Ng4 13.e3 Nc6 14.Rb1 Nxe3 15.Bxe3 Bxd4 16.Bxd4 Qxd4 17.Qxd4 Nxd4 18.Nd5 Kg7 19.Nxe7 Be6 20.Nd5 Rac8 21.Ne3 b5 22.cxb5 axb5 23.Rb2 Rfd8 24.Rd1 ½-½.

About the author

  

Manuel López Michelone is a FIDE Master and physicist with a Master degree in Artificial Intelligence from Essex University, UK. In the last years he had been involved in researching methods on how to improve at chess. He has currently published three chess books (in Spanish): Perfecciones su Ajedrez, Desarrolla la intuición en Ajedrez and Ajedrez Genial. The image on his t-shirt is his Simsons Avatar created on the Simpsons Movie site. When Aruna Anand saw the picture on the right on my notebook she said: "Hey, that looks like Manuel..."

Picture Gallery


Before the games begin. Note that Péter Lékó is the only player the Mexicans write without an accent. The others, who have no accents, are spelt Shírov, Ivánchuk, Topálov, Radjábov, etc.


The chess pieces ready for the players, with or without accents


Levon Aronian arranges his pieces before the start of round three


Vishy Anand is ready to play


Alexei Shirov, a daunting figure behind the chess board


Teimour Radjabov, informal but with style


Radjabov and Leko fascinated by Anand's game against Magnus Carlsen


Magnus in trouble ponders his position


Veselin Topalov in full concentration in his game against Vassily Ivanchuk


Radjabov vs Aronian – the least exciting game so far


Players on the stage of the Theatre in Morelia

All pictures by Frederic Friedel in Morelia


Schedule and results

Round 1: Friday, February 15th

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

Round 2: Saturday, February 16th

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

Round 3: Sunday, February 17th

Magnus Carlsen 
0-1
 Vishy Anand
Peter Leko 
½-½
 Alexei Shirov
Veselin Topalov 
1-0
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Teimour Radjabov
Monday, February 18th
Free day

Round 4: Tuesday, February 19th

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

Round 5: Wednesday, February 20th

Peter Leko 
   Vishy Anand
Veselin Topalov 
   Magnus Carlsen
Levon Aronian 
   Alexei Shirov
Teimour Radjabov 
   Vassily Ivanchuk
GamesReport
Thursday, February 21st
Free day

Round 6: Friday, February 22nd

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

Round 7: Saturday, February 23rd

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

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