Morelia R6: All games drawn, Carlsen still leads

2/25/2007 – Vishy Anand fought it out with Vassily Ivanchuk for 32 moves, with the Ukrainian using up almost all his time to abandon a promising position. The others essentially took a break: Aronian Topalov drawn in 22 moves, Carlson-Leko drawn in 20, Morozevich-Svidler drawn in 16. Pictorial report with analysis by GM Mihail Marin.

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Round six

Round 6: Saturday, February 24th

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

Round 7: Sunday, February 25th

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

Standings after six rounds


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) - Leko,P (2749) [D45]
XXIV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (6), 24.02.2007 [Mihail Marin]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.b3 0-0 8.Be2 b6 9.Bb2 Bb7 10.0-0 Qe7 11.Rad1 Rad8 This is the most natural way to develop the queen's rook. One round earlier, Topalov preferred to place it on c8. 12.Rfe1 Rfe8 13.e4 Nxe4 14.Nxe4 dxe4 15.Qxe4 Bb4 16.Rf1.

16...Bd6. This position usually arises through a different move order, with 12.e4 instead of 12.Rfe1. In this concrete position, the last move clearly shows that Leko does not have the least intention of depose the surprising leader of the tournament. The more ambitious 16...f5 is not without drawbacks. After 17.Qc2 Bd6 18.c5 bxc5 19.dxc5 Bxc5 20.Bc4 White obtained excellent compensation for the sacrificed pawn, in view of the weakness of the dark squares from Black's camp, Rustemov-Gurevich, Copenhagen 2001. 17.Rfe1 A brave decision dictated by the impetuosity of youth. Previously, 17.Bd3 and 17.Ne5 have been tried. 17...Bb4 18.Rf1 Bd6 19.Rfe1 Bb4 Excellent fighting spirit! Black could have claimed a draw by repetition already, but he prefers to continue this fierce duel of nerves for a while. 20.Rf1 Bd6 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


Alexander Morozevich of Russia vs Peter Svidler of the same

Morozevich,A (2741) - Svidler,P (2728) [A28]
XXIV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (6), 24.02.2007 [Mihail Marin]
1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.d4. One of Botvinnik's favourite in the past, this line is not too fashionable today. 4...exd4 5.Nxd4 Bb4 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 Ne5 9.f4 Ng6 10.Bxf6 Qxf6 11.g3 Nf8 12.Bg2 Ne6 13.0-0 0-0.

14.e4 Strictly speaking, this is a novelty, although move orders can be tricky and several transposition are possible. 14...d6 15.Qd2 Bd7 16.Rae1 One thing is sure: this position has never been seen before. However, history teaches us that opening theory tends to advance slowly in positional lines, especially in games between co-nationals. Therefore, the abrupt end of the game should not be considered really unexpected. 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


Levon Aronian, super-strong GM from Armenia


Former FIDE world champion Veselin Topalov

Aronian,L (2744) - Topalov,V (2783) [D23]
XXIV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (6), 24.02.2007 [Mihail Marin]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Qc2 dxc4 5.Qxc4 Bf5 6.g3 e6 7.Bg2 Nbd7 8.0-0 Be7 9.Nc3 0-0 10.Re1. After his game against Anand, Aronian had no special reasons to refrain from this variation. 10...Bg6!?

Instead of preventing the advance of the e-pawn, Black takes preventive measures against it. 11.h3. The only game where Black retreated the bishop to g6 before (Wojtkiewicz-Kalbermatter, Bern 1991) continued with 11.e4 . Black reacted passively, allowing White consolidate his advantage of space. However, after the more resolute 11...b5!? followed by ...b4, the white centre would have been in some danger. Aronian's play in the next phase of the game suggests that he did not find a viable plan to meet the opening surprize. 11...h6 12.Bf4 Nd5 13.Bd2 Nb4 14.Rac1 Nc2 15.Red1 Nb6 16.Qb3 Nxd4 17.Nxd4 Qxd4 18.Bxh6 Qc4 19.Be3 Qxb3 20.axb3 Nd5 21.Nxd5 cxd5 22.Rc7 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

Anand,V (2779) - Ivanchuk,V (2750) [B90]
XXIV SuperGM Morelia/Linares MEX/ESP (6), 24.02.2007 [Mihail Marin]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.Qd2 Nbd7 9.0-0-0 Be7

10.h3!? A new move. White intends to take advantage of Black's delaying ...b5 by carrying out the standard g4 by other means than an early f3. The f-pawn is reserved a different fate. 10...b5 11.g4 0-0. Eliminating the central pawn with 11...b4 12.Nd5 Nxe4 is not without strategical risk. After 13.Qxb4 Bxd5 14.Rxd5 Nef6 15.Ra5 the weakness of the light squares leaves Black with problems consolidating. 12.Kb1 Qc7 13.Bg2 Nb6 14.Bxb6 Qxb6 15.f4 Bc4 16.g5 Nh5 17.fxe5 dxe5 18.Nd5 Bxd5 19.exd5 Bd6.

This is the position both sides have been aiming for. White has more space, but the impetuous advance of his kingside pawns have left numerous weaknesses behind. 20.Na5. This looks more like a defensive move (preventing the advance of the a-pawn) rather than an attempt to activate White's play. Indeed, the knight's efficiency on c6 would be questionable. The optimal regroupment for White would involve the transfer of the knight to e4, in order to safely block the e5-pawn and put the d6-square and the enemy kingside under pressure. However, this manoeuvre is not easy to achieve, because the best placement of the queen is precisely the d2-square. For instance, after 20.Qe1 Black can radicaly prevent White's plan with 20...e4!? when 21.Bxe4 Ng3 reveals the main drawback of Anand's novelty, the weakness of the g3-square. 22.Rg1 Rfe8 Black's activity has reached alarming heigths and White will soon lose the exchange. 23.Nd2 Qd4 24.c3 Qe5 25.Bc2 Qf4 . The white queen is trapped, which forces 26.Qxg3 , leading to a small material advantage for Black. 20...f5 21.gxf6 Rxf6 22.Rhf1 Re8 23.Rxf6 Nxf6 24.Nb3. Now that the danger of ...a5 has dissapeared, the knight hurries to join the rest of his army, freeing the queen from her defensive task. 24...e4 25.Nd4 Re5 26.c3 Qc5 27.Qe2 Nxd5 28.Bxe4 Nf6 29.Nb3 Qc7 30.Nd2 Qe7 31.Qd3 Bc5 32.Bg2.

In spite of opposite castles, both kings are in relative safety, while in case of simplifications the presence of opposite coloured bishops would make a draw highly probable. Therefore, the oponents decided to shorten the process. 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


An overview of the playing hall and the stage during round six

And the ladies, never flitting, still are sitting, still are sitting...

Tired of all the same old boring pictures of men staring at boards, trying to rearrange pieces of wood better than each other? Once again we caught our two friends in the press room, discussing arguably more interesting subjects. And proving that they have have an unlimited supply of topics to go through.


Pilar Molina (left), Pilar Molina, press officer from Spain, and Aruna Anand


Pilar hails from Linares (spot the connection?) but lives in the Andalucia town of Seville


Aruna is from Chennai (Madras, India) but lives with Anand in Spain...


...which means that this animated conversation took place en Español.

Videos by Nadja Woisin


Schedule and results

Round 1: Saturday, February 17th

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

Round 2: Sunday, February 18th

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

Round 3: Monday, February 19th

Veselin Topalov 
½-½
 Peter Leko
Peter Svidler 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Magnus Carlsen 
0-1
 Vishy Anand
Alex. Morozevich 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Free day: Tuesday, February 20th

Round 4: Wednesday, February 21st

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

Round 5: Thursday, February 22nd

Peter Svidler 
½-½
 Peter Leko
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Veselin Topalov
Alex. Morozevich 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Levon Aronian 
1-0
 Vishy Anand
Free day: Friday, February 23rd

Round 6: Saturday, February 24th

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

Round 7: Sunday, February 25th

Peter Leko  
   Vishy Anand
Vassily Ivanchuk 
   Levon Aronian
Veselin Topalov 
   Alex. Morozevich
Peter Svidler 
   Magnus Carlsen
GamesReport
Transfer to Linares, Spain

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