Linares: Carlsen's Dragon does Dominguez

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Carlsen-AnandIn the 9th round of Linares, the three games Ivanchuk-Radjabov, Wang Yue-Grischuk and Aronian-Anand were quite uneventful draws, but in a sharp Chinese Dragon Carlsen scored a nice win with Black against Dominguez. The Norwegian climbed back to second place and shares it with Ivanchuk and Aronian; they are still a point behind leader Grischuk.

From February 18 till March 8 the 26th Torneo Internacional de Ajedrez Ciudad de Linares takes place. There is no starting 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 9 Just as Radjabov quickly followed Carlsen's example and started playing the Dragon as well in 2008, now Carlsen followed Radjabov's footsteps by going for the relatively unexplored Chinese Dragon (10...Rb8), which was what the two got on the board against each other in September in Bilbao.

"Just when you think you had covered it all, the lad lets go of his rook on b8 instead of c8..." might have been a thought running through Dominguez's mind. Well, probably not, because in the opening phase of this great game, the Cuban again knew exactly what he was doing. His 18.Rhe1 was new - the more direct (and standard) 18.h4 had been played before. It seemed logical to play positionally, against Black's hanging pawns, but it wasn't really dangerous.

Thanks to the bishop on d7 (a better piece than Nb3 which had nowhere to go) pawn e6 was well protected and so with two half open files, Black already had the better chances. After some regrouping Carlsen grabbed the initiative with d5-d4-d3 and Rxf3 and Dominguez immediately went wrong there with 29.d4? (29.Qd2 was necessary).

A forced series of moves followed, with both sides making use of back rank mates, but after the smoke had cleared Black was a pawn up, and White's knight had gotten into a terrible pin. Carlsen gave Dominguez one more chance by allowing 39.hxg6, but the Cuban missed it and then it was dead lost. Long live the Dragon - who would have thought, two years ago?

Of the other three games, only Ivanchuk-Radjabov was interesting, but after some manoevering and a pawn push in the center, these players also called it a day - something that Grischuk, Wang Yue, Aronian and Anand had done long before.

Besides Grischuk, the only player who's still undefeated is Ivanchuk. Guess what? They play tomorrow!

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