Carlsen secures victory in Nanjing

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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CarlsenDrawing quickly with Teimour Radjabov in a Grünfeld, Magnus Carlsen today secured sole victory at the Pearl Spring tournament in Nanjing, with one round to go. The Norwegian thus scored his best career performance ever, finishing clear first at a Grand Slam tournament. Wang Yue-Topalov and Jakovenko-Leko ended in a draw.

The 2nd Pearl Spring tournament takes place September 27 - October 9 in Nanjing, China. It's a 6-player, double round-robin with Topalov (2813), Carlsen (2772), Leko (2762), Radjabov (2757), Jakovenko (2742) and Wang Yue (2736) playing for a € 250,000 prize fund. The rate of play is 40 moves in 90 minutes plus 1 hour.

Round 9

The tournament has been decided in the penultimate round, in which Carlsen kept his 2-point lead once more. Half a point was enough today (trying to win would be too much to ask), and this is what he got, and quite easily. In yet another Grünfeld Defence, this time the Exchange Variation, Radjabov didn't go for the most ambitious lines. His 12.h3 cannot be critical in the position, and although his pawn sac a few moves later was interesting, the simple 20...b5! led to an instant draw.

Radjabov-Carlsen

Leko quickly neutralized Jakovenko's "controlled aggression", the Latvian Gambit Semi-Slav, probably in his preparation. Right out of the opening a position with only heavy pieces appeared on the board which was dynamically balanced and also here the recipe for Black was: give back the pawn at the right moment. White's king turned out to be less safe than his colleague and so Jakovenko went for a queen exchange which could be interpreted as a silent draw offer.

Jakovenko-Leko

The most interesting game was clearly Wang Yue-Topalov, and mainly because of the Bulgarian's winning attempts. And he got quite far. In fact, Topalov was outplaying his opponent from an equal ending, which was impressive enough, but then mysteriously refrained from the simplest way to end up with an extra pawn. From that moment the Chinese defended strongly and even was a pawn up himself for a while, but the game was drawn anyway.

Wang Yue-Topalov

Tomorrow the round starts five hours earlier, and Carlsen plays Jakovenko with the white pieces. He can choose between a quick draw or trying to get that performance rating over 3000 again and win even more rating points. Our guess is that he's much less concerned with the latter than his fans, and therefore opts for the former.

Games round 9



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2nd Pearl Spring (Nanjing) 2009 | Round 9 Standings 2nd Pearl Spring (Nanjing) 2009

2nd Pearl Spring (Nanjing) 2009 | Schedule & results 2nd Pearl Spring (Nanjing) 2009

Spectators

Nobel prize winner Robert Alexander Mundell, who also visited the 1st edition of the tournament, together with IM Silvio Danailov and GM Adrian Mikhalchishin...



Screens

...watching the games, at quite a distance, but helped by TV screens



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