Nanjing R5: Carlsen beats Topalov, Bacrot wins again

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Nanjing R5: Carlsen beats Topalov, Bacrot wins againIn the fifth round of the Pearl Spring tournament in Nanjing Magnus Carlsen crushed Veselin Topalov in a Closed Ruy Lopez. Etienne Bacrot scored his third consecutive win, with Black against Wang Yue. Viswanathan Anand couldn't get an advantage against Vugar Gashimov's Schlechter Defence and drew quickly.

General info

The third Kanion Cup Nanjing Pearl Spring Chess Tournament takes place October 21-30 in Nanjing, China. Viswanathan Anand, Magnus Carlsen, Veselin Topalov, Wang Yue, Vugar Gashimov and Etienne Bacrot play a double round-robin with one rest day halfway. More info here.


Round 5 report

Carl SchlechterIs Carl Schlechter the most underrated player in chess history? Well, he's surely one of those players who seems unjustly forgotten in the chess world - seriously, who ever talks about him?

For those few readers of this site who have never heard of Schlechter, let's briefly introduce the man who gave his name to an opening system that's suddenly become popular and succesful, a hundred years after his prime.

This year it is exactly a century ago that Carl Schlechter played a match against Emanuel Lasker for the World Chess Championship in Vienna and Berlin. With one game to go, game number ten, Schlechter was leading 5-4, and reached a won position. But then tragedy struck twice: he blundered into a drawn position, and then blundered again which led to the loss of the game. The match ended tied at 5-5 (+1 -1 =8) and Lasker retained his title.

The opening system we were talking about is of course the Schlechter System, reached after the moves 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 g6 (or via a Grünfeld move-order, 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.e3 c6). And this is exactly the system with which Vugar Gashimov held the World Champion of 2010 to a draw in a mere 25 moves.

After winning a tempo in the opening, compared to other games, Black was already fine - see the game viewer for the explanation. Anand played only logical moves, but still White didn't have anything after twenty moves, and so the Indian started repeating. A better advertisement for the Schlechter System is not possible.


Not too long after that, Magnus Carlsen won his game against Veselin Topalov. The Bulgarian had a complete off-day and in a Closed Ruy Lopez he chose the wrong plan about three times. Carlsen gained the bishop pair, then the centre and then got a winning attack on the black king. "He didn't have his best day," said the tournament leader at half-time.


Magnus Carlsen wins in style | Photo Yu Feng

The runner-up at half-time is Etienne Bacrot, and the Frenchman is even a full point ahead of Anand in the standings after winning his third game in a row, against Wang Yue. The Chinese GM pressed too long in a topical line of the Queen's Indian which Bacrot and his second Sebastien Mazé have been analyzing for two years already.

Wang Yue-Bacrot

Anand is at fifty per cent and with five rounds to go anything can happen. Gashimov is just about performing at his rating level with minus one, but might well do better in the second half. Topalov desparately needs another trademark comeback to stop his downhill trend of the last few weeks, while Wang Yue will have a rough tournament as he might need to take more risks to create winning chances - which is not the Chinese's strongest point.

Games round 5

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Pearl Spring (Nanjing) 2010 | Schedule & results Pearl Spring (Nanjing) 2010 | Schedule & results

Pearl Spring (Nanjing) 2010 | Round 5 standings Pearl Spring (Nanjing) 2010 | Round 5 standings


The view from the press room - every day many people can be found on the river


Vugar Gashimov, explaining the ins and outs of his opening today

Etienne Bacrot and his second Sebastien Mazé going through the game - yet another win

Bacrot at the press conferenc

Bacrot at the press conference | Photo Yu Feng


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