Three decisive games in third round Nanjing

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Three decisive games in third round NanjingIn the third round of the Pearl Spring tournament in Nanjing, Magnus Carlsen scored his second victory, outpreparing Wang Yue in a Petroff. Viswanathan Anand won with Black against Veselin Topalov in a Lasker Defence - just like their last game of this year's World Championship. Also with the black pieces Etienne Bacrot profited from a big mistake by Vugar Gashimov. Big pictorial report & games with comments by the players.

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 3 report

After his smooth win against Wang Yue, Magnus Carlsen quickly left the third floor of the Pearl Spring hotel, but later he returned to join Viswanathan Anand at the daily press conference, just like the day before - but this time both of them had won. They also shared a quote: both players said about their opponents "I'm not sure exactly what he missed."

Carlsen and Anand at the press conference

"I'm not sure exactly what he missed." "I'm also not sure."

Carlsen was happy to share his thoughts about a game that can easily make a headline like 'Beating the Petroff'. Especially since these days it's a rare thing that a White player gets a clear advantage against this opening and then bags the point soon afterwards.

"I also could have kicked out his rook and still be a bit better but it turned out that after I went for the pawn he didn't have any counterplay," said Carlsen. Like his many fans, the Norwegian thought he had won "surprisingly easy".

Naturally we asked him about his preparation. "I looked at it today. I was prepared as far as 19.Qg3 basically, when I thought he would have nothing better than 19...Qe5. I thought since I'm better either way, whether I take the pawn on c7 or not, it doesn't make any sense to analyze it even further." Since up till that point it was played before, Carlsen admitted that it "wasn't such a big achievement" that he had prepared it that far.

Then it was Vishy Anand's turn. The World Champion had delivered a psychological blow to his opponent Veselin Topalov - who was also his challenger in the World Championship in May this year - by beating the Bulgarian in the same QGD Lasker Defence as their last game in Sofia. Several of our readers have already pointed out that also in that game the white king ended up on h4.


Topalov and Anand meet again - another 0-1 in another Lasker Defence | Photo Yu Feng

"It started to get very interesting quickly," Anand started. He explained that after 15.Qa3 Black "of course has to react tactically" because he can't just allow a white piece on c5. "[With his next few moves] it seems I'm holding".

And that was not all. After the three draws yesterday, there were three decisive games today, as Etienne Bacrot also got the full point, thus climbing to clear third place. "It's the second day in a row that I get a present from my opponent," said Bacrot while smoking a deserved cigarette right after his win against Vugar Gashimov. The Frenchman obviously referred to 14.Nb6+, after which Black is just much better. "I think he just miscalculated something. After some normal move like 14.Nc5 or 14.Bc3 it's an unclear position."


Gashimov resigns his game against Bacrot

Later that night in the restaurant we heard Anand saying something to Bacrot about the game. This might have been about move 36, where both players seemed to have missed that White could draw for just one move... [Update: this wasn't the case. Black was also winning there.]

Etienne Bacrot

After getting outprepared twice, yesterday Bacrot said he needed some luck. Already today Caissa got him his share.

Games round 3

Game viewer by ChessTempo

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

Pearl Spring (Nanjing) 2010 | Round 3 standings Pearl Spring (Nanjing) 2010 | Round 3 standings

Vugar Gashimov (r.) and his second Viorel Iordachescu before the third round

Gashimov (r.) with his second Viorel Iordachescu before the third round | Photo Yu Feng

Leontxo and the chief arbiter

Leontxo Garcia, who is in Nanjing as a representative of the Grand Slam Chess Association, next to chief arbiter Almog Burstein (Israel) | Photo Yu Feng

Leontxo hitting the gong

...Leontxo hitting the huge Chinese gong that starts the round - he hit it well! | Photo Yu Feng

Wang Yue

Wang Yue, caught by surprise in the Petroff | Photo Yu Feng


Topalov suffered another loss against Anand...


...who exchanged a few smiles with Carlsen at the press conference

Team in Nanjing

Macauley Peterson (l.) and yours truly, who enjoyed a few Chinese teas today | Photo Yu Feng

Team in Nanjing

The two of us filming the press conference - it's so nice to have two cameras for this! | Photo Yu Feng


Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

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