Carlsen beats Bacrot in first round Nanjing

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Carlsen beats Bacrot in first round NanjingIn the first round of the Pearl Spring tournament in Nanjing Magnus Carlsen defeated Etienne Bacrot just before the first time control. Soon after that Viswanathan Anand and Wang Yue drew their game and the encounter between Veselin Topalov and Vugar Gashimov saw the same result.

General info

The third Kanion Cup Nanjing Pearl Spring Chess Tournament takes place October 21-30 in Nanjing, China. Viswanathan Anand, Magnus Carlsen, Veselin Topalov, Wang Yue, Vugar Gashimov and Etienne Bacrot play a double round-robin with one rest day halfway. More info here.


Round 1 report

The first impression of this tournament is a very positive one. The stories we heard about the excellent organization are not exaggerated. The giant playing hall is located on the Pearl Spring hotel's third floor (or second, to European standards, as the ground floor is '1') and has a sharp red coloured carpet and the three tables and chairs placed about six meters from each other. Spectators are seated on luxurious arm chairs and can watch the games on TV screens.

The players are also staying and eating at the hotel, just like most journalists, as it is located about 10 km from the city center. In the restaurant we've learnt that Topalov came with his brother, his Spanish girlfriend/wife (we'll ask) [Update: wife] and his second Ivan Salgado Lopez - yes, that young, Spanish GM who won the important game against Svidler in the last round of the Olympiad.

Vugar Gashimov brought Viorel Iordachescu, who also works for Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu. Magnus Carlsen came with his father Henrik and Wang Yue works with Li Chao. Etienne Bacrot's second is Sebastien Mazé.

Quite a lot of Chinese journalists are at the tournament to report - we'd say thirty. It's a pretty big event for Nanjing, which could also be seen from the big signs along the highway from the aiport to the city.

In the first round Carlsen started well with a smooth win against Bacrot. "He probably underestimated the fact that Black's position can get very unpleasant as long as he doesn't manage to do something concrete in the center," he said. The Norwegian could quickly weaken the Frenchman's kingside. Then, "he defended very well for a while but even with best play Black probably has to lose a pawn" (Carlsen). When Bacrot missed a knight check, the game was over quickly.


Not long after that, Anand and Wang Yue split the point, and so the press conference of the day (they do only one every day) was with them and Carlsen together. "Black is very solid because he has the b4 square," said Anand. The critical moment was when White went for d5 and Qe2, hoping to get a better ending due to Black's weaknesses on the queenside. "But I was very impressed by 15...Qe8. I'm not sure why, but somehow it's an unpleasant move." TheWorld Champion kept a slight edge, but couldn't increase the advantage to anything tangible.

Anand-Wang Yue

Topalov-Gashimov was quite a similar affair. White got a nice space advantage in the ending but there was never really a way for the Bulgarian to get more than that. He kept on trying but Gashimov kept on playing accurately during the time trouble phase.


Games round 1

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Pearl Spring (Nanjing) 2010 | Schedule & results
Pearl Spring (Nanjing) 2010 | Round 1 Standings


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