Anand & Cmilyte winners Botvinnik Memorial rapid

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Anand & Cmilyte winners Botvinnik Memorial rapidVishy Anand and Viktorija Cmilyte are the winners of the Botvinnik Memorial rapid tournament in Moscow, Russia. World Champion Anand finished on 4.5/6, one and a half points ahead of Vladimir Kramnik and Levon Aronian. Magnus Carlsen, who lost all three games on the second day, finished last. The duo Anand/Koneru won the mixed blitz event ahead of Aronian/Danielian.

General info

The Botvinnik Memorial event takes place September 1-4 at the Center for New Technologies Digital October in Moscow, Russia. The main event is a 6-round double round robin with 25 minutes and 10 seconds increment on the clock. There's a men's section with the current world's top 4 (Magnus Carlsen, Vishy Anand, Levon Aronian and Vladimir Kramnik) and a women's section with Humpy Koneru, Tatiana Kosintseva, Viktorija Cmilyte and Elina Danielian. The revolutionary aspect of this event is that during the round the clocks are stopped and one of the players gets a microphone to explain what's going on. The opponent wears ear-phones so that he/she won't learn about his opponent's plans. See also our first report.

Day 2

The second and final day of the rapid tournament in Moscow had an unexpected scenario: Magnus Carlsen lost all three games. This way he finished last, and didn't win a single game - something very rare for the player with the highest rating in the world! At the end of the day, the Norwegian tweeted: Carlsen tweet Carlsen's first loss probably wasn't all that devastating for him, since the entertainment value was high and his opponent played very creatively. Carlsen-Aronian Moscow, 2011 1. c4 g6 2. Nc3 c5 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 Nc6 5. a3 d6 6. Rb1 a5 7. e3 e5 8. Nge2 Nge7 9. O-O O-O 10. d3 Rb8 11. Bd2 Be6 12. Nd5 b5 13. cxb5 Rxb5 14. Qa4 Diagram 1 14... Qb8!? Planning the first exchange sacrifice. 15. Nc7 Qxc7 16. Qxb5 Rb8 17. Qa4 Bb3 18. Qh4 Bc2 19. Qc4 Diagram 2 19... Bb3!? 'No, don't want to win it back, want to control the white squares instead.' 20. Qc1 Qb6 21. Re1 d5 22. Nc3 Rd8 23. e4 d4 24. Nd5 Nxd5 25. exd5 Diagram 3 25... Rxd5 'Instead I'll just sac another one!' 26. Bh6 Bf6 27. Bxd5 Bxd5 28. Qd1 Be7 29. h4 Qb7 30. Kh2 f6 31. Qe2 Nd8 32. Bd2 Bf3 33. Qf1 a4 Diagram 4 34. Qh3 h5 35. Ba5 Nf7 36. Qe6 Bd5 37. Qh3 Qb5 38. Bc7 Qxd3 39. g4 Qd2 40. Kg1 Be6 41. Qg2 hxg4 42. Rbc1 Kg7 43. Bb6 c4 44. Qc6 g3 45. fxg3 Bh3 46. Qf3 Qxb2 47. Ba7 Qb3 48. Qxb3 cxb3 49. Bxd4 Bxa3 50. Ra1 Bb4 51. Reb1 exd4 52. Rxa4 Bc5 53. Ra5 Bb6 54. Rb5 Bc7 55. R5xb3 Be5 Diagram 5 56. Kf2 Nd6 57. Kf3 Be6 58. Ra3 Bd5+ 59. Ke2 Nb5 60. Ra5 Nc3+ 61. Kf2 d3 62. Rxd5 Nxd5 63. Rb7+ Bc7 64. Kf3 Kh6 65. Rb3 Diagram 6 65... Bxg3! With the idea 66.Kxg3? d2 67. Rd3 Ne3! -+ 66. Rxd3 Nf4 67. Rd8 Nh5 68. Kg4 f5+ 69. Kh3 Be5 70. Ra8 Bf6 71. Ra6 Kg7 72. Ra7+ Kf8 73. Rb7 Be7 74. Ra7 Kf7 75. Ra6 Nf6 76. Kg3 Ne4+ 77. Kh3 Bc5 78. Rc6 Bd6 79. Ra6 Kg7 80. Ra8 Be5 81. Ra7+ Kh6 82. Rb7 Nf6 83. Re7 Ng4 84. Ra7 Bf6 85. Rf7 Kh5 0-1

Aronian vs Carlsen

Aronian vs Carlsen: a fascinating fight

During the live commentary GM Evgeny Bareev called Aronian's second exchange sacrifice against Carlsen "poetic", and the game overall "an absolute masterpiece". TWIC's Mark Crowther wrote about this:

This is really way over the top. Carlsen subsided to a loss in 85 moves after not playing terribly well would be a better summary.

Although we agree that it always feels a bit uncomfortable to see such legendary players making amateurs' mistakes, we don't think Bareev's comment was way off the mark. This event is obviously not intended to produce high-level games in the first place, just like the Amber tournament never was. These kind of events are all about entertainment; a very different approach which you may like or not. In fact the organizers stated specifically in their tournament regulations (PDF here):

1. PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES The event is held to:
  • Promote and popularize chess in Russia;
  • Celebrate the Grandmaster Mikhail Botvinnik's centenary;
  • Involve children in mass chess functions;
  • Determine the winner.

In this respect it was great to see many kids rushing onto the stage and ask for signatures, just after the last moves had been played. The Russian Chess Federation did a great job commemorating Botvinnik and simultaneously paying attention to the new generation. Back to round 4, in which Anand and Kramnik also drew their second mutual game. In the middlegame Anand was given the microphone and pointed out that the game could have been a Botvinnik Variation (!) but instead turned into a Moscow. A few sentences later Kramnik made clear to Ilya Levitov, who was the host, that he could hear what Vishy was saying. The players were listening to music when their opponent talked, and apparently at that moment one of the songs just finished... In the penultimate round Carlsen experimented in the opening, and was punished for it. He answered Kramnik's 1.Nf3 with 1...b5 and just after the opening he told the spectators:

I don't think I got a particularly good position and now... I'm quite worried, but I'm hoping to... survive.

Well, he didn't. It's not likely that Black can hold the position that was reached after fifteen moves: Kramnik-Carlsen Moscow, 2011 Diagram 7 Anand beat Aronian for the second time, and again convincingly. In a Closed Ruy Lopez the World Champion got a nice, positional plus and then his opponent suddenly went all the way on the kingside (in a last attempt to win the tournament!?), sac'ing a few pawns along the way. Anand had no trouble defending his king and snatching the material at the same time. In the last round it became clear that Carlsen was just not having his day. Against Anand he lost an exchange in a simple manner, and only noticed when it happened: Carlsen-Anand Moscow, 2011 Diagram 7 29. Ree1? 29. Rxf8+ Rxf8 30. Ng3 Rf2 31. Re2 is about equal. 29... g6 Here Carlsen's face revealed that he had completely missed this.


Carlsen looks surprised after Anand plays 29...g6

30. Ng3 Bf2 Ouch, that was the problem. 31. Rxf2 Rxf2 32. Ne4 Instantly played; White is lucky to have some compensation in the form of a good knight but lost anyway. For Levon Aronian the second day went much better than the first. He finished with a win against Kramnik and so the two shared second place, one and a half points behind Anand.

Duos blitz

After the rapid event on Saturday the players played three more games, in duos, with a time control of 5 minutes plus 5 seconds increment. The duos were: Anand/Koneru ('India' - average Elo 2709) Cmilyte/Carlsen ('Europe' - average Elo 2674) Kosintzeva/Kramnik ('Russia' - average Elo 2664) Danielian/Aronian ('Armenia' - average Elo 2662)

The duos start: 'Europe' vs 'Armenia'

The duos start: here 'Europe' vs 'Armenia'

For each duo the lady had to make the first move, then the man, then the lady again, and so on. Before the start, arbiter Andrzej Filipowicz of Poland explained the following rules, which made clear once more that this whole event was more for the show than for the chess:

The women start, the man continue. The players cannot speak; the only things that are allowed to be said are "Please make a move! or "Faster!". Women are allowed to smile; for men this is forbidden because it looks strange!
Andrzej Filipowicz

Andrzej Filipowicz explains the 'rules'...

Kramnik violating one of the arbiters' personal rules

...and Kramnik violating one of them!

The duo Anand/Koneru first beat Kramnik/Kosintseva and then Aronian/Danielian, to finish with a draw against Carlsen/Cmilyte. Therefore the two Indians won this mixed blitz event ahead of Aronian/Danielian, and so World Champion Vishy Anand managed to win two tournaments in one day.

Games men's section, day 2


Game viewer by ChessTempo

Botvinnik Memorial 2011 | Men | Results

Botvinnik Memorial 2011 | Men | Round 6 (Final) Standings

Games women's section, day 2


Game viewer by ChessTempo

Botvinnik Memorial 2011 | Women | Results

Botvinnik Memorial 2011 | Women | Round 6 (Final) Standings

Games duos blitz


Game viewer by ChessTempo

Botvinnik Memorial 2011 | Duos blitz | Results

Botvinnik Memorial 2011 | Duos blitz | Round 3 (Final) Standings


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