R10: Aronian wins indeed, already

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Thanks to two quick draws against Kramnik, Aronian today secured clear first place at the Amber Tournament with a round to spare, because main competitors Carlsen and Leko also drew twice.

"Satisfaction" was what Levon Aronian said when I asked him for a first reaction, after saw on the television screen that Leko-Carlsen had ended in a draw. He had drawn both of his games against Kramnik quite fast, which was all "according to plan". The winner Leko-Carlsen could theoretically have caught Aronian to finish shared first, but but since they split the point, Aronian is safe with a 2.5 point lead.

Today's round had begun with a very nice blindfold game by Mamedyarov, who was in big trouble after the opening but profited from a careless Chucky and then found the cunning 30...Bf8! which decided the game immediately. It was only Shakh's second victory, after his Black win against Kramnik.

Van Wely had held Topalov to a draw after Veselin had tried to enter 40...Ke6 three times but couldn't, because the computer kept saying "illegal move". This story is quite similar to what happened to Gelfand earlier in the tournament and so the Amber software, which has been working fine for years, might need some double checking now. Topalov thought he was winning, but declined the offer to replay the game.

Anand had beated Gelfand convincingly by then, after the surprising little move 20...Ba1. One move later it was already lost for White, according to the kibitzing GM's over here. Carlsen again defended a difficult ending to a draw against Leko and Karjakin's escape against Morozevich was a huge surprise.

Despite its 34 moves, the rapid game Mamedyarov-Ivanchuk was over after about ten minutes; the players blitzed until a dead drawn position. Van Wely played too risky against Topalov and had to learn the hard way.

Anand changed his tune and went for 1.c4, but didn't do very well with it. Black is more than fine already after 14...e5 and Gelfand kept on playing very strongly. Morozevich too played a good game this time against Karjakin, winning a pawn and then the resulting rook ending.

And so all depended on Leko-Carsen, which looked very tense but was probably about equal throughout the game. 27.f6 "needs to be analysed", to use a popular phrase amongst 2700 GMs, and 39...Rb8 40.Qa4 Qxf6 41.Rgd1 is nothing for Black since the passed pawns will be exchanged. Also noteworthy: 33...Qxb1 is answered by the spectacular 34.Qxf8!.

So Aronian wins. As Jeroen Piket put it yesterday: "he makes chess look simple, which is usually a good sign." Traditionally, the last round starts earlier tomorrow. Besides, chief arbiter Gijssen changed the schedule a bit:

12.30 CET Blindfold:
Anand-Van Wely
14.00 CET Blindfold:
15.45 CET Rapid:
Van Wely-Anand
17.15 CET Rapid:

Blindfold games:Rapid games:


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