Carlsen stands firm, Van Wely wins

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Magnus Carlsen stood firm today against Vladimir Kramnik and he managed to draw the blindfold game. He did loose lose the rapid game and because Anand played 1-1 against Aronian, Kramnik is now two points ahead of Anand and Ivanchuk in the combined standings. Loek van Wely won his first minimatch (1,5-0,5 against Peter Svidler) and isn't in last position anymore. Radjabov is still having a hard time in Monaco.

Morozevich is one of the King's Indian adepts and Vallejo cursed inside the church by playing the Exchange Variation (though he did get a won position with it, but he let Moro escape). Carlsen approached Kramnik's Closed Ruy Lopez quietly but solidly with 6.d3 and even in the final position he might still have a slight advantage but against the "king of blindfold chess" a draw is excellent. Svidler-Van Wely was a more or less correct draw although I think White had an advantage somewhere. Leko got a big advantage against Ivanchuk's Caro-Kann when Black had to position his pieces on ugly squares, but 29.g4 was too reckless (30...f6 31.Ng6 Nxf2! was possible there). 45.Rd7 hastened the end. In Aronian-Anand things went quietly for a long time but White had a small plus all the time. 26...b6 looks a bit more solid than 26...b5 and perhaps Black's rook should have stayed on the eigth rank. Anyway, a strong game by Aronian. Which is even more true for Gelfand who played a lovely little attacking game against Radjabov.

In his rapid game against Morozevich, a Meraner, Vallejo probably went a bit too far already when he took on b2 but Rc2 was definitely wrong. This became clear after the nice twin 26.Rxd5+! and 28.Qd6! when despite the counter-sac Black was in a hopeless position. Kramnik's 14.axb5 against Carlsen was a novelty over the old game Jussupow-Van Wely, Groningen 1994 in which 19.Nh4 was played (White won). It's surprising that Kramnik used this in a blindfoldrapid game (such a move is great in a normal game) but perhaps it's already known somewhere in the books. Anyway, Kramnik seems to have won this game totally on preparation. Van Wely is perhaps one of the boys you should try the King's Indian against. Svidler, who's really experimenting in Monaco, did play it and lost in a typical positional way, without a chance. The tournament site writes that Black "could have won a pawn with 14...exd4" but this seems too dangerous to me, e.g. 15.e5!? dxe5 16.Nxe5! Bxe5 17.Bh5 with an advantage. Ivanchuk-Leko saw the well-known endgame Kramnik likes to play (as in Wijk aan Zee this year against Navara) but here the position became very equal very soon. In Anand-Aronian the Marshall discussion continued, which was debated in Wijk aan Zee (Anand-Aronian) and Morelia/Linares (Svidler-Aronian), where both times 21...Nxe4 was played. Despite two draws, Aronian today tried the new move 21...Nd5, which just seems to loose a second pawn. This is what Anand said too, afterwards. Radjabov seemed to get a plus after some nice manoeuvring and then Gelfand had an advantage, but in the end the point was shared.

The blindfold games:

The rapid games:

Results round 9:


Carlsen    ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú Kramnik    ?Ǭ??¢‚Ǩ‚Äú?Ǭ?
Svidler    ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú Van Wely   ?Ǭ??¢‚Ǩ‚Äú?Ǭ?
Vallejo    ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú Morozevich ?Ǭ??¢‚Ǩ‚Äú?Ǭ?
Aronian    ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú Anand      1-0
Leko       ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú Ivanchuk   0-1
Gelfand    ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú Radjabov   1-0


Kramnik    ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú Carlsen    1-0
Van Wely   - Svidler    1-0
Morozevich ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú Vallejo    1-0
Anand      ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú Aronian    1-0
Ivanchuk   ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú Leko       ?Ǭ??¢‚Ǩ‚Äú?Ǭ?
Radjabov   ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú Gelfan     ?Ǭ??¢‚Ǩ‚Äú?Ǭ?

Standings blindfold:

    1. Kramnik               8
  2-4. Svidler, Ivanchuk,
       Gelfand               6
  5-6. Morozevich, Aronian   5
    7. Anand                 4
  8-9. Radjabov, Carlsen    3?Ǭ?
   10. Leko                  3
11-12. Van Wely, Vallejo     2

Standings rapid:

    1. Anand                7?Ǭ?
  2-4. Aronian, Ivanchuk
       Kramnik              5?Ǭ?
    5. Leko                  5
  6-7. Carlsen, Morozevich  4?Ǭ?
    8. Svidler               4
    9. Gelfand              3?Ǭ?
10-11. Radjabov, Van Wely    3
   12. Vallejo              2?Ǭ?

Combined standings:
    1. Kramnik             13?Ǭ?
  2-3. Ivanchuk, Anand     11?Ǭ?
    4. Aronian             10?Ǭ?
    5. Svidler              10
  6-7. Gelfand, Morozevich  9?Ǭ?
  8-9. Carlsen, Leko         8
   10. Radjabov             6?Ǭ?
   11. Van Wely              5
   12. Vallejo              4?Ǭ?

Tomorrow it's already the penultimate round, no. 10:


Anand      - Leko
Ivanchuk   - Gelfand
Radjabov   - Aronian
Kramnik    - Svidler
Van Wely   - Vallejo
Morozevich - Carlsen


Leko       - Anand
Gelfand    - Ivanchuk
Aronian    - Radjabov
Svidler    - Kramnik
Vallejo    - Van Wely
Carlsen    - Morozevich
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