Carlsen and Ivanchuk start with wins in Medias

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Carlsen and Ivanchuk start with wins in MediasMagnus Carlsen and Vassily Ivanchuk both won their first white game at the Kings Tournament in Medias, Romania. Today Carlsen defeated Hikaru Nakamura in a Queen's Gambit Declined, while Ivanchuk beat Teimour Radjabov in a King's Indian. Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu and Sergey Karjakin drew their game quickly.

General info

The Kings Tournament takes place June 11-21 at the Natural Gas Documentation and Information Centre in Medias, Romania. Magnus Carlsen, Vassily Ivanchuk, Sergey Karjakin, Hikaru Nakamura, Teimour Radjabov and Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu play a double round-robin with one rest day after five rounds. Games start 15.30 local time (14.30 CET).

Round 1

The tournament that everyone has been waiting for since, the end of the Candidates matches, has finally started. The 2011 Kings Tournament is a very promising event in many aspects: the field of players is full of uncompromising fighters, it's the first classical event for Magnus Carlsen since January and there's a spot for the Grand Slam Masters Final at stake. If Carlsen or Nakamura (who already qualified) finish first, the number two qualifies (and we assume this spot will shift to third place if they finish on first and second place).

The first round immediately lived up to these high expectations, with two good fights that ended decisively. Like in Monaco three months ago, Magnus Carlsen played Hikaru Nakamura in the first round - always an interesting pairing, as both players tweeted after the opening ceremony.

Like in Monaco, the Norwegian beat the American with the white pieces (in March he did so in the rapid after the blindfold game had ended in a draw). Nakamura deviated from his usual King's Indian (or Dutch Defence) by going for the topical Queen's Gambit Declined - and he had a new idea.

Vassily Ivanchuk

Carlsen played aggressively, castling queenside and going for an attack. His own king position was not so safe, nor the centre situation so clear, so a very complicated middlegame followed. Nakamura was the first to make a mistake, and Carlsen got a dangerous attack. In the timetrouble phase the Norwegian probably could have won quicker, but in any case he started with an excellent game. Afterwards he showed it on the computer with GM Dorian Rogozenco (Nakamura decided not to join):

Vassily Ivanchuk also won his first game with White, against Teimour Radjabov. The Ukrainian played an excellent game, despite an unfortunate start of his tournament. Ivanchuk was absent from the opening ceremony; originally he had planned to come a couple days early, but his Lviv flight was cancelled for some reason. His second Sarunas Sulskis from Lithuania spoke on behalf of his boss during the ceremony.

And then, on the first playing day, the organizers were a little bit stressed when everyone was about to leave for the car ride from Bazna to Medias. For this 14 km daily trip the players all have their own car, but Chuky was nowhere to be found. Then, at the arrival, he suddenly stepped out of the car of the Carlsens. He had wanted to go and just went into their car, even though they mentioned that he would have his own. :-)

Vassily Ivanchuk

Teimour Radjabov decided to return to his beloved King's Indian, but things went terribly wrong at an early stage. Ivanchuk played the rare move 9.Bf3 in the Averbakh variation and then, after two mistakes at move 14 and 15 already, Radjabov's position was more or less lost and Ivanchuk finished it off nicely. The Azeri did join the post-mortem afterwards.

Nisipeanu played a well-known pawn sacrifice against Karjakin's Nimzo-Indian, but the young Moscovite was the first to come up with a novelty. The game could have ended in a draw in a spectacular way, like Karjakin showed afterwards, but instead it was a move repetition at move 17.


Games round 1 - notes by GM Dorian Rogozenco

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Kings Tournament 2011 | Schedule & results Kings Tournament 2011 - full schedule


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