Alekhine Memorial Round 1
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The Alekhine Memorial got underway in Paris today with a sensational opening round that would surely have warmed the heart of the fourth world chess champion.
The three decisive games involved the top three seeds in the competition - but not all in the way you might expect!
Lev Aronian had the black pieces against the 20 year-old Chinese GM Ding Liren, and after trying the committal move 12...Bc4 his pieces became horribly cramped - the comical position after move 25...Nac7 was a miserable one for black!
Ding Liren was able to achieve a fine position, forcing victory just after the first time control.
Ding Liren closes in for the kill
Another upset occurred when the world champion Vishy Anand lost with the white pieces against English GM Mickey Adams. Anand struggled on with 3 connected passed pawns against a rook, but his pawns were not very far advanced and the cause was hopeless. Adams also defeated the champion at the London Chess Classic last year.
Mickey Adams pushes his own passed pawn home to beat the world champion
Two surprises were enough, as Vladimir Kramnik demonstrated his prowess with a superb game against fellow Russian GM Nikita Vitiugov. Kramnik subtly dominated play with his knights and scored a fine victory.
Vladimir Kramnik was in great form in the opening round
The other opening round games were drawn, so Ding Liren, Mickey Adams and Vladimir Kramnik share the early lead in the Alekhine Memorial.
An attentive audience watched the games
The Alekhine Memorial will take place from 21 April - 1 May. The official site can be found here. The tournament is a 10-player single round robin competition, with the first half held in the Louvre in Paris and the second half in the Russian State Museum in St. Petersburg.
The time control is 100 minutes for 40 moves, then 50 minutes for the next 20 moves, then 15 minutes to a finish with a 30 second increment from the start. No draw offers are allowed until after 40 moves have been played. The prize fund is €100,000 with €30,000 for first place.
All rounds start at 14:00 local time (12:00 UTC when in Paris, 10:00 UTC when in St. Petersburg), except the last round which is 1 hour earlier.
The schedule of events
|20 April 2013||Paris||Opening Ceremony|
|21 April 2013||Paris||Round 1|
|22 April 2013||Paris||Round 2|
|23 April 2013||Paris||Round 3|
|24 April 2013||Paris||Round 4|
|25 April 2013||Paris||Round 5|
|26 April 2013||St. Petersburg||Welcome Reception|
|27 April 2013||St. Petersburg||Children's Events|
|28 April 2013||St. Petersburg||Round 6|
|29 April 2013||St. Petersburg||Round 7|
|30 April 2013||St. Petersburg||Round 8|
|01 May 2013||St. Petersburg||Round 9 & Prizegiving|
Games and screenshots from the official website coverage.