R4: Leko beats Anand (update)

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
In a slightly chaotic fourth round of the Amber tournament, the most notable result was Anand-Leko ?Ǭ?-1?Ǭ?. Van Wely won again, this time against Gelfand, after irregularities in both their blindfold and rapid games.

In their blindfold game, Gelfand lost on time, but afterwards he claimed he had played 39.Rxd5 with seven seconds left on the clock, and his laptop screen had said "illegal move" and he lost on time. Arbiter Geurt Gijssen decided that after this first blindfold session, the game had to be entered in the computer again, to check if it was a software error. And so he and John Nunn sat down behind the two laptops, and played the same game. Nunn's 39.Rxd5 was accepted this time, and then it was decided Loek did win the game.

In their rapid encounter, Gelfand played 14...Qa5 and then nocked over a few pieces. Not really that terrible, except when the DGT board gets confused. And when the players then end up in a RB-R ending, which they play for about sixty moves, it takes a while before the game can be reconstructed completely.

And we didn't even mention Carlsen-Aronian yet. After Magnus had played his rook to a3, he saw it was a blunder and quickly played a different move. But Aronian knew he had let go, and the tournament's video footage confirmed this, and so Magnus had to resign. Not something to be proud of for a future world champion but hey, he's in good company (Kasparov once did the same against Judit Polgar).

Update March 19th: No reason to be too harsh on Magnus - he apologized to Levon, and today he came to me and stressed that he didn't have the intention to cheat. Instead, he was "mainly being clumsy" he said. His father Henrik gave a similar description on his blog:

"Magnus moved his rook to a3 and discovered immediately the blunder (due to Rg3+). He mind was so occupied by registering the blunder and instinctively correcting it that he did not really notice whether he had released his rook at a3 or not. Aronian immediately took exception to the corrected move and the arbiter was involved. Magnus was somewhat surprised when the arbiter said that the video footage clearly showed that Magnus had released the rook on a3 before moving it to c1. He has not seen the video but of course he accepted the ruling of the arbiter, and duly resigned. 0-1. After the game Magnus has emphasised that he did not intentionally try to cheat and he has apologised to Aronian for any disagreement he may have felt during the episode."

So was there any normal chess today? There certainly was. Leko beat Anand, in the rapid. He was surprised by Vishy's 6...e6 and although he didn't really remember theory, he decided to go for the wild Perenyi Attack anyway, "to have some fun". He had his fun, since his well-played attack was totally crushing.

Topalov beat Mamedyarov; Shakh blundered with White in the blindfold and drew his Black easily. Kramnik outplayed Morozevich with White (also the blindfold one) and then held the draw in an amazing ending.

Ivanchuk is probably the only player who delivers a brilliant novelty such as 14.Qxe6 in a rapid game, where any other player would have saved it for a more important game. But with it he could give himself a nice birthday present (today Chucky turned 39).

Tomorrow is the first rest day. After four rounds we can safely say that it's about time for the critics to stop calling this tournament inferior. We've seen fantastic chess here.

Blindfold games:Rapid games:


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