Kings' R9: the collapse of Vassily Ivanchuk

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Kings' R9: the collapse of Vassily IvanchukThe second half of the King's Tournament in Medias, Romania has a dominating theme, and it's not a happy one. We're witnessing a total collapse of Vassily Ivanchuk, who played one of his worst games in years today and lost in just 22 moves, having spent only 17 minutes. Nisipeanu-Carlsen and Nakamura-Radjabov ended in draws. On Tuesday the final round, with Carlsen vs Karjakin, starts at 12.30 CET.

Organizer Elisabeta Polihroniade making the first move at the board of Karjakin-Ivanchuk

General info

The Kings Tournament takes place June 11-21 at the Natural Gas Documentation and Information Centre in Medias, Romania. Magnus Carlsen, Vassily Ivanchuk, Sergey Karjakin, Hikaru Nakamura, Teimour Radjabov and Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu play a double round-robin with one rest day after five rounds. The rate of play is 2 hours for 40 moves, then 1 hour for 20 moves and then 15 minutes to finish the game, with a 30-second increment after move 60. No draws are allowed before move 30. Round 9 starts at 15.30 local time (14.30 CET); round 10 starts at 13.30 (12.30 CET).

Kings' Tournament, round 9

Round 9 report by GM Dorian Rogozenco

Ivanchuk’s quick loss against Karjakin was the biggest surprise of the 9th round. After just 15 moves Black’s position already looked bad, allowing Karjakin nicely to finish the game with a direct attack against the opponent’s king. Ivanchuk resigned at move 22 after spending just 17 minutes of his time for the entire game.

Karjakin vs Ivanchuk, a short affair

Nisipeanu-Carlsen was an interesting strategic battle in the Breyer Variation of the Ruy Lopez. On move 16 the Norwegian chose a rare subvariation, forcing his opponent to think for about 20 moves. The result of this lengthy thinking was an interesting novelty from the Romanian GM, which looked promising for White indeed. However, Carlsen quickly started activity in the center and after a Nisipeanu’s positional exchange sacrifice it became clear that the chances for both sides are equal. Draw agreed on move 32.

Nisipeanu vs Carlsen

Radjabov met Nakamura’s 1.e4 with the so-called Kalashnikov Variation of the Sicilian Defense. The game confirmed Radjabov’s words from the beginning of the tournament: “The opening doesn’t matter, everything should be a draw”. In spite of Nakamura’s extra pawn, the better control of the dark squares secured Radjabov the draw in the bishops endgame.

Nakamura vs Radjabov

Photos © Ionut Anisca

Thus before the last round Carlsen and Karjakin are leading the field with 6 points out of 9. They will meet tomorrow (Carlsen with the white pieces) to determine the victor of the 5th edition of the Kings’ Tournament.

Here are the regulations in case the game ends in a draw:

  • A greater number of wins.
  • The result of the direct mini-matches between contenders.
  • Berger.
  • A tie-break match will be played in case of a tie for the first place in the tournament between the first two players in the final standing (according to points, or the additional criteria). The match will consist of two games with a time-control of 15 minutes per player + 3 seconds added for every move played. In case of a tie, another match of two blitz-games will be played with a time-control of 5 minutes per player + 3 seconds for every move played. In case of another tied result – there will be played a last "sudden-death" decisive game with a time-control 5 minutes for the whole game for the White-player and 4 minutes for the whole game for Black-player. The White-player will only need a victory in this game to win the tournament; whole the Black-player will win the tournament by just not losing that final decisive game.
  • In case the first place might be shared by more than two players – the final standing will be determined according to the criteria that have been mentioned above.

Round 9 games with notes by GM Dorian Rogozenco

Game viewer by ChessTempo



Kings Tournament 2011 | Schedule & results Kings Tournament 2011 - full schedule Kings Tournament 2011 | Round 9 standings


Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

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