Grischuk loses to Carlsen but still leads in Linares

PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage
Linares R12In the 12th round of Linares, Grischuk suffered his first loss of the tournament, with Black against Carlsen. All other games were drawn and so the Russian grandmaster still leads with half a point, but anything can happen now in the second Grand Slam of 2009.

From February 18 till March 8 the 26th Torneo Internacional de Ajedrez Ciudad de Linares takes place. There is no appearance fee for the players this time; the prize fund is € 314,000. The winner takes € 100,000, the second place is € 75,000 and the third player earns € 50,000.
Round 12 In the previous round we already mentioned that the schedule for tournament leader Grischuk was a very tough one (meeting Carlsen, Anand and Aronian in the last three rounds). In the 12th round the Russian lost his first game of the tournament, with Black against Carlsen, who outplayed his opponent in a Classical Scheveningen Sicilian.

Suggestions for improvements are 15...Nxe5 and 16...Be6 because in the game White got an advantage with some simple moves. It seems that Carlsen slipped for one moment (as a quick computer check indicated, but the position deserves further analysis) but except for that one move he played a very strong game. After that Grischuk (meanwhile also in timetrouble) had no chance defending against the White pawns.

Ivanchuk could have joined Grischuk in the lead, but for that he had to win with Black against Anand. Instead, he drew, using the Berlin Wall in which the world champion used a method that was known from before the Kramnik-Kasparov match - it wasn't much for White.

Aronian and Wang Yue left theory quickly when the Armenian came up with the new plan Bf4-e5 in the opening. The Chinese decided to completely ignore that bishop on e5 and "play around" it. He was quite succesful, scoring a relatively easy draw after 31 moves.

Radjabov tried the Alapin Sicilian - a rare line at top level chess! In fact he chose a pet variation of Australian IM (soon GM) David Smerdon, who has featured in several articles on this site. Also in this game White got his chances - in fact he won a pawn in the ending, but the Cuban defended well, until two lonely kings were left on the board.

Two very exciting rounds are ahead of us! On Friday it's Carlsen-Radjabov, Grischuk-Anand, Ivanchuk-Aronian and Wang Yue-Dominguez, and the last round on Saturday has Radjabov-Wang Yue, Dominguez-Ivanchuk, Aronian-Grischuk and Anand-Carlsen.

Before ending this report I'd like to mention that Macauley Peterson travelled from Sofia straight to Linares to cover the event for the Chess.FM blog.



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