Nanjing R6: first win for Topalov as Jakovenko blunders

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Nanjing r6A terrible blunder by Dmitry Jakovenko allowed Veselin Topalov to score his first win in round 6 of the Pearl Spring tournament. Magnus Carlsen was under pressure throughout the game with Black against Peter Leko, but held a worse ending to a draw, while Teimour Radjabov and Wang Yue drew quickly.

The 2nd Pearl Spring tournament takes place September 27 - October 9 in Nanjing, China. It's a 6-player, double round-robin with Topalov (2813), Carlsen (2772), Leko (2762), Radjabov (2757), Jakovenko (2742) and Wang Yue (2736) playing for a € 250,000 prize fund. The rate of play is 40 moves in 90 minutes plus 1 hour.

Round 6

After the first rest day the Pearl Spring Grand Slam tournament resumed on Sunday. The batteries recharged, Topalov took some risks today in his Black game against Jakovenko and in the end it paid off. Opting for the Grünfeld, the Bulgarian came up with a sharp novelty on move 14 and soon afterwards it became clear that he fully played for a win. 16...Nxa1 seems like a pretty safe option or Black but instead Topalov decided to sacrifice his knight on h5 in return for a dangerous attack. The White king was lured to f3 but Jakovenko defended strongly. Just when the Russian was about to start consolidating his material plus, he committed a gross blunder while the players weren't even in serious time trouble. A welcome gift for the world's number one, who needed a boost to start, well, yet another comeback perhaps!?

Nanjing r6

No matter how good your form is, a Black game against Leko is never an easy task. Carlsen also went for the Grünfeld against the Hungarian's 1.d4 and a position we've seen four times last week in Valencia quickly appeared on the board. Black's 11...e5 was probably an attempt to keep the game enjoyable, but a few powerful moves by Leko later, Carlsen might have regretted his choice. There was nothing better than sacrificing an exchange for a pawn, but Black's compensation in fact was probably just about enough. After the queens were swapped, Carlsen quite easily held the ending.

Nanjing r6

Radjabov-Wang Yue was a very quick draw and the reasons seems to be that the Azeri grandmaster got confused about the opening. His opponent surprised him with the Queen's Gambit Declined, which the Chinese had only played twice before in 2007, and despite the fact that he had played the position himself several times before, Radjabov apparently mixed up some moves to end up in a theoretical position that's impossible to search for in the database because White is supposed to have the move there. Bailing out with 13.Bxf6 and 14.d5 was a boring but understandable choice.

Nanjing r6

Today we saw what the concept "fighting player" actually means. Carlsen's 11...e5 avoided simplification, and so did Topalov's 16...Nxe3. Both moves were risky, but at the same time kept more practical winning chances. It's nice to see these two fighters currently topping the live rating list.

Games round 6



Game viewer by ChessTempo


2nd Pearl Spring (Nanjing) 2009 | Round 6 Standings 2nd Pearl Spring (Nanjing) 2009

2nd Pearl Spring (Nanjing) 2009 | Schedule & results 2nd Pearl Spring (Nanjing) 2009

Nanjing r6

Magnus Carlsen still leads by a 2-point margin with 4 rounds to go



Nanjing r6

The post-mortem between Radjabov and Wang Yue ('yes, that bishop might better go to e5') with many young spectators - now that the holiday season has started, the tournament is getting more spectators than in the first week



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