Anand & Ivanchuk in today's final Le?ɬ?n

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Today Viswanathan Anand and Vassily Ivanchuk will play the final of the Advanced Chess tournament in Le?ɬ?n, Spain. Anand beat Vallejo on Friday, and yesterday Ivanchuk defeated Shirov.

The 21st Torneo Magistral de Ajedrez Ciudad de Le?ɬ?n is held May 30-June 1 in the building of the Delegaci?ɬ?n Provincial de la Junta de Castilla y Le?ɬ?n, in Le?ɬ?n, Spain.

The set-up is two semi-finals played on Friday and Saturday, and the two winners playing the final on Sunday.

The rate of play is twenty minutes plus ten seconds increment and in case of a 2-2 score, a tiebreak is played with blitz games of five minutes. And a tiebreak was needed already in the first semi-final on Friday between Anand and Vallejo.


As he had proven in Dos Hermanas earlier this year, where he beat Shirov, Vallejo Pons again showed to be a very strong rapid player, and a tough nut to crack for Vishy Anand.

In the first game the Spanish player reacted well to Anand's rare line in the Ruy Lopez and in an ending with rook against two minor pieces he seemed slightly better all the time because of the active rook. The final phase was very exciting but a draw all the same.

Anand won the second game after he had borrowed a line in the Caro-Kann from Magnus Carlsen. A very interesting fight that showed once more that rapid chess, although less correct, can be quite fun to watch sometimes. Then Anand also played the Caro-Kann himself and this time it was Paco who won, in crushing style we might add.

A quick draw in game four resulted in a 2-2 score and then Anand showed his class in the blitz games. Again he seemed inspired by Carlsen and went for the Dragon, got a slightly better ending and with world champion technique he converted it into a win. With White, Anand got a totally winning position right out of the opening and then amically offered a draw anyway, to secure the spot in the final.


Yesterday, Ivanchuk showed again that he's in great form, defeating Alexei Shirov 3-1 - no need for blitz games. In the first game Ivanchuk, playing the White pieces, obtained only a small advantage after the opening, but a mistake by Shirov (18?¢‚Ǩ¬¶Bd8?) led to a difficult position for Black. With 19.f4! Ivanchuk got a clear advantage, then a strong attack, and finally an easily winning endgame with queen against two rooks.

In the second game Shirov repeated his play against the Najdorf he had employed before against Karjakin Anand. Ivanchuk deviated fron the Anand game (Morelia/Linares 2008) with 12?¢‚Ǩ¬¶Be7. At first White's attack looked promising, but with several strong moves, Ivanchuk demonstrated that his forces were approaching the opponent's king faster. He gained a big material advantage and his 2-0 lead became critical.

The third game followed Carlsen?¢‚Ǩ‚ÄúShirov, Morelia/Linares 2008, where Ivanchuk again was the first to come with something new: 18.Kh1 instead of 18.Ra6. It looked about equal after the opening but of course Shirov had to try hard for a win and he did. Even with very few pieces left he could win the game, but he overlooked the winning move 56?¢‚Ǩ¬¶Rb1+!. By holding the draw, Ivanchuk decided the match.

Shirov deserves credit for played for a win in the unimportant last game as well. However, Ivanchuk got a decent position right after the opening, and the game finished in a draw by a repetition of moves.


At the press conference afterwards, Ivanchuk said he had expected 18?¢‚Ǩ¬¶f5 in the first game instead of 18?¢‚Ǩ¬¶Bd8?. In the second game he had analyzed complex lines after 22.Bh6 and then 24.Bh6, but he couldn't reach a clear evaluation. In the third game he mentioned 43.Nxc7!? which could lead to an interesting ending with several pawns for a piece.


Today is the final between Anand and Ivanchuk. The games start at 16.30 CET.




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