Grischuk Hangs On To Win Linares

Grischuk Hangs On To Win Linares

SonofPearl
SonofPearl
Mar 7, 2009, 1:30 PM |
19 | Chess Event Coverage

After an exciting tournament and a thrilling penultimate round in Linares, the final round ended on a disappointing note.  All four games were fairly uneventful draws, leaving Alexander Grischuk (pictured) as the winner by virtue of superior tie-breaks over Vassily Ivanchuk.

The first tie-break was the head-to-head score, but since both games between Grischuk and Ivanchuk were drawn, the second tie-break of most wins tipped the balance for Grischuk (he won 3 compared to Ivanchuk's 2).

Congratulations to Alexander Grischuk who only got invited to the tournament as a reserve to fill Veselin Topalov's shoes when his delayed match with Gata Kamsky clashed with Linares.

Yet it was a sad end, and it's difficult to imagine that tournament chess will ever hold much attraction for sponsors when the finale, instead of being a heartstopping culmination of a great event, is more often marred by caution and draws.

Drawn games are an essential part of chess, but from the point of view of a sporting spectacle, would chess benefit from abolishing the right of players to mutually agree to a draw without playing out the game to a conclusion, no matter how unlikely a decisive result is?  Even then, players could still collude to engineer a draw by using an opening line leading to a repetition of moves...

Perhaps we need to rely on the reaction of fans, organisers and sponsors to make it clear our displeasure when players draw games prematurely.  I'm talking about YOU Vishy Anand and Magnus Carlsen.  In their last round game with the chess world watching, the world champion and a likely future world champion chose to agree a draw instead of fighting on in a position with life still left in it.  If Carlsen had managed to win, he would have won the tournament!

Some games in this tournament have been played long and hard until lone kings faced one another, their armies all gone - the ultimate end.  If games must be drawn, let's see more of this honourable conclusion!

1  Grischuk, Alexander   RUS   2733 *   *   ½   ½   ½   0 ½   ½   1 ½   1 ½   1 ½   ½   ½   8
2  Ivanchuk, Vassily  UKR  2779 ½  ½  *  *  ½  ½  ½  ½  ½  ½  ½  ½  1 1 ½  ½  8
3  Carlsen, Magnus  NOR  2776 ½  1 ½  ½  *  *  1 ½  ½  0 ½  ½  ½  0 ½  1  
4  Anand, Viswanathan  IND  2791 ½  ½  ½  ½  0 ½  *  *  1 ½  1 ½  0 ½  ½  ½  7
5  Wang Yue  CHN  2739 0 ½  ½  ½  ½  1 0 ½  *  *  ½  ½  ½  ½  ½  ½   
6  Radjabov, Teimour  AZE  2761 0 ½  ½  ½  ½  ½  0 ½  ½  ½  *  *  ½  1 ½  ½   
7  Aronian, Levon  ARM  2750 0 ½  0 0 ½  1 1 ½  ½  ½  ½  0 *  *  1 ½   
8  Dominguez Perez, Leinier  CUB  2717 ½  ½  ½  ½  ½  0 ½  ½  ½  ½  ½  ½  0 ½  *  *  6


More from SonofPearl
Chess.com News Is Changing...

Chess.com News Is Changing...

Beijing To Host 5th 2012/13 Grand Prix

Beijing To Host 5th 2012/13 Grand Prix