Zurich Rd5: Anand wins Classical

by Alejandro Ramirez
2/18/2015 – A peaceful day in Zurich as the three games were drawn, and not in the most exciting of ways. The White players did not risk much and were not rewarded with any winning chances. Anand wins the Classical portion of the tournament by half a point under normal scoring systems; in Zurich this means he has a full point lead going into the defining phase: tomorrow's rapid portion.

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Round Five

Round 05 - February 18, 2015, 15:00
Caruana, Fabiano 2811
½-½
Kramnik, Vladimir 2783
Nakamura, Hikaru 2776
½-½
Aronian, Levon 2777
Karjakin, Sergey 2760
½-½
Anand, Viswanathan 2797

The start of the most peaceful round in Zurich

More legendary sightings! Arthur Jussupow paid a visit to the event.

Caruana, Fabiano ½-½ Kramnik, Vladimir
The Italian player played... The Italian opening! Actually a rare sighting since he usually plays the Spanish, but in the past couple of tournaments has experimented with 3.Bc4. However he did not seem successful at all as Kramnik got a very comfortable position.

The Italian player isn't known for his expertise in the Italian

A liquidating sequence forced trade after trade into a clearly drawn rook endgame.

No problems drawing today for Vladimir Kramnik

Nakamura, Hikaru ½-½ Aronian, Levon
The anti-Berlins with symmetrical pawn structure promise white a very slight edge and no risk, but one could argue that the edge is simply too small. Aronian had to endure a slightly worse position on the queenside, but as long as he kept his b7 pawn defended it didn't seem as if the American could do anything. As usually happens in these kinds of positions the e-file is where all the major pieces are traded.

Nakamura pushed without risk, but also without much bite

With only a knight left for Nakamura and a bishop for Aronian it was clear that these pieces too would have to be traded: the only square for the knight was c5, closely guarded by the bishop. The resulting pawn endgame was hopelessly drawn.

Nothing brings chess players together like analyzing a chess game

The organizers certainly look forward to the defining phase of the tournament: the rapids!

Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ Karjakin, Sergey
The reverse Sicilian had some of the most interesting strategical properties of any opening. Black in this case sacrificed his pair of bishops to ruin his opponents pawn structure. This typical idea forces black to try to contain the bishops while white is looking for any way to blast open the position and give his bishops scope. Karjakin's c5 fixed his structure somewhat, but his bishops still remained trapped. He managed to liberate them but at the cost of a pawn. His activity was just sufficient to regain said pawn... But at the cost of his pair of bishops! The resulting endgame was clearly drawn, even if on the surface it might seem that the Russian player was under some pressure.

Anand goes into the rapids with a full point lead, as his classical advantage of half a point over Nakamura counts for double.

Karjakin, in turn, is three (!) points behind Anand

​With the classical portion over, the winner of the tournament will be defined tomorrow. The bottom three players with 2.0/5 now have 4.0/10, way below Anand's 7.0/10. Only a miracle would allow Karjakin, Aronian or Caruana to win the tournament, but if there is one time control in which miracles do happen, that is rapid!

Photos by Eteri Kublashvili

Replay Round Five Games

Classical Final Standings

Note: Games played in the Classical will count for double

Blitz Final Standings

Note: Blitz points do not count for the final tally

Schedule

With the blitz finished the pairings are as follows in the classical portion of the tournament, which starts tomorrow:

Round 01 - February 14, 2015, 15:00
Anand, Viswanathan 2797
½-½
Kramnik, Vladimir 2783
Aronian, Levon 2777
½-½
Karjakin, Sergey 2760
Caruana, Fabiano 2811
0-1
Nakamura, Hikaru 2776
Round 02 - February 15, 2015, 15:00
Kramnik, Vladimir 2783
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru 2776
Karjakin, Sergey 2760
½-½
Caruana, Fabiano 2811
Anand, Viswanathan 2797
1-0
Aronian, Levon 2777
Round 03 - February 16, 2015, 15:00
Aronian, Levon 2777
½-½
Kramnik, Vladimir 2783
Caruana, Fabiano 2811
½-½
Anand, Viswanathan 2797
Nakamura, Hikaru 2776
1-0
Karjakin, Sergey 2760
Round 04 - February 17, 2015, 15:00
Kramnik, Vladimir 2783
½-½
Karjakin, Sergey 2760
Anand, Viswanathan 2797
1-0
Nakamura, Hikaru 2776
Aronian, Levon 2777
½-½
Caruana, Fabiano 2811
Round 05 - February 18, 2015, 15:00
Caruana, Fabiano 2811
½-½
Kramnik, Vladimir 2783
Nakamura, Hikaru 2776
½-½
Aronian, Levon 2777
Karjakin, Sergey 2760
½-½
Anand, Viswanathan 2797

The Rapid portion will be on February 19th.

Schedule of Commentary on www.playchess.com

Date   English
13.02.2015 Blitz Daniel King
14.02.2015 Round 1 Oliver Reeh + Dorian Rogozenco
15.02.2015 Round 2 Mihail Marin
16.02.2015 Round 3 Daniel King
17.02.2015 Round 4 Daniel King
18.02.2015 Round 5 Mihail Marin
19.02.2015 Round 6 Daniel King

Links

The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.



Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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