Aronian a point clear with one round to go

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Levon AronianBeating Wang Yue 1¬?-¬? today, Levon Aronian is back in sole lead at the Amber tournament with just one more round to go, tomorrow at 12.30. Anand blundered a queen today against Morozevich in the blindfold while Carlsen lost 1¬?-¬? to Kramnik after playing far below his normal level in the first game.

The 18th Amber Blindfold and Rapid tournament, organized by the Association Max Euwe in Monaco, takes place from March 14 (first round) to March 26 (last round) at the five-star hotel Palais de la Mediterran?©e, splendidly located on the famous Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France. The total prize-fund is ‚Ǩ 216,000 and this year‚Äôs field is stronger than ever with all the world‚Äôs best players taking part.
Round 10


Blindfold games:Rapid games:


Carlsen-Kramnik

Kramnik scores an easy win against Carlsen

This Wednesday started most disappointingly for the many fans of Magnus Carlsen, and no less for the current world's number four himself. He had played very strongly thus far in the blindfold tournament, but in his game against Vladimir Kramnik he was just not himself, and he lost like a child (now that Magnus has reached the mature age, we can safely use this expression). "He was completely out today", Kramnik said. "I just got a present."

9.d5 was already surprise for the Russian and he said that after 10...exd5 White surely has to take back with the e-pawn. Then after 12...Qh4 13.Qf4 Qf5 Kramnik explained that 14. Qg3 is the only move. "I really don't understand why he went 14.exf5 because 14...Bxf5 is the most natural move after which White can resign."

For a while it was unclear what was happening in the other games, since the computer that is sending through the moves suddenly decided that it badly needed a reboot, and this meant that for the rest of the session, only the arbiter's laptop screen was showing the moves, and nobody else in the world had a clue what was going on. As it turned out, Leko had blundered against Karjakin on move 46, allowing 46...Bc3!, and Ivanchuk also left the playing hall as a winner. The Ukrainian wasn't sure about his plan with 19.c5. He tought 27...Nc4 to be wrong. A few moves later he won a pawn and then finished it off flawlessly.

Anand-Morozevich

Anand blundering terribly against Morozevich

Also in the next blindfold session there was not a single draw. It started with what might turn out to be a very expensive blunder by the World Champion: Anand had a huge oversight and took with the queen on d5. Soon afterwards Kamsky also blundered, and so we were remembered again of the downside of this tournament.

The ending in Aronian-Wang Yue was probably drawn, but as Ivanchuk correctly predicted around move 45: "It's probably winning because of the time", where Wang Yue had about half a minute left against Aronian five. However, after the game Ljubojevic tried to convince a bunch of reasonable chess players (such as Kramnik, Radjabov, Topalov, Leko and Wang Yue himself) that Black was winning after 52...Ne7 as he'd be catching the bishop on g7. Most of the kibitzers didn't want to agree with him, but were short of an argument.

The rapid tournament started with two not very interesting draws in Karjakin-Leko and Radjabov-Ivanchuk and so Kramnik-Carlsen was clearly the game that got all attention. The Russian had a small plus all the time thanks to his nice centralization, but the accurate 43...Qf7! held everything together.

Topalov-Kamsky

Topalov-Kamsky: a highly entertaining win for Black

Wang Yue-Aronian and Morozevich-Anand then also ended in a draw; the latter was clearly preparation by Anand for most of the game, as he barely used any time. Morozevich had to be careful and he was, rightly forcing the draw when the position asked for it. Kamsky then won a crazy game with "the beautiful 27...Nf3!" as he said himself. "I wanted to show that I can also play Sicilians, instead of some Spanish torturing manoeuvring bullshit." :-)

And so last year's winner Levon Aronian has excellent chances to repeat his success, going into the last round a point clear of Anand and Carlsen. The chief arbiter changed the pairings so that tomorrow Anand, Aronian and Carlsen will play in the second session. It's Wang Yue-Anand, Topalov-Aronian and Radjabov-Carlsen in the blindfold, at 14:00 CET, because the first session will start at 12:30 CET.


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