R6: day of draws

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
And suddenly the Amber tournament saw a bit of a boring day. From a total of twelve games, no less than ten ended in a draw. In the blindfold session, Anand beat Karjakin with Black and Morozevich defeated Van Wely, also with Black.

We have to admit that the chess wasn't very good today. Or in other words: this time there wasn't anything special to compensate for the inevitable mistakes.

We start with the blindfolds. After a very unusal (exchange) Caro-Kann, Topalov had played well and reached a winning position against Carlsen, but then threw away the win at perhaps a dozen times. Quite easy to find were ...g3! at moves 30 and 31 and what about 35...Nxd4+, but it wasn't so bad if Veselin hadn't missed the dead simple 47...d3 which forces resignation after only a few checks.

Ivanchuk also threw away a winning position, which he had reached after a weak appearance by Leko, but the Hungarian did set up a neat trap at move 36, which Vassily fell right into. Aronian had a nice position too, but Mamedyarov used something that is known as the Nijenhuis technique: give away your weak pawn as soon as possible, because afterwards the opponent will lack a decent plan!

Despite the fact that it was only after 8.Ng5 that Anand found out Karjakin hadn't played his knight to b3, and the Indian later also couldn't remember whether his rook was on e8 or on f8, he managed to win pretty fast anyway. A sudden, deadly attack by Vishy that would have made any scorpion proud.

Loek won't win the brilliancy prize either for what he came up with against Morozevich's "occasional pet line", the Albin Counter Gambit. Especially 19.a4 was kind of naive, Moro said to me at the buffet tonight. Perhaps the craziest thing of the day happened in Gelfand-Kramnik. In a position where both players were considering to offer a draw, Gelfand accidently (a slip of the mouse) took on e4 with the queen. Because Kramnik preferred to be a gentleman instead of winning the game like this, he offered a draw anyway.

Then the rapids. Topalov-Carlsen wasn't a bad game, in which the Bulgarian played one of his trademark exchange sacrifices. He couldn't win it and so Magnus still seems to be an impregnable barrier for him. Mamedyarov-Aronian created nothing special, probably still shaky from their game of Fussball (table soccer) before the game. Leko and Ivanchuk, who played another not too exciting game. didn't have this excuse by the way.

Kramnik got a slight edge against Gelfand but couldn't make much more out of it. With my laptop we checked the game with Rybka tonight, and Vladimir was happy that it appeared that they hadn't made any big mistakes. Anand-Karjakin looked like a correct draw and Van Wely reacted accurately this time against Morozevich, in an Exchange Slav.

Morozevich and Carlsen share the lead in the blindfold section with 4 out of 6. Aronian leads with half a point in both the rapid and the combined standings.

Blindfold games:Rapid games:


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