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March 2008

Anand beats Karjakin

Posted by 365Chess.com on March 23, 2008 in Uncategorized

World champion Viswanathan Anand thumped Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine in the blindfold and won his sixth round game 1.5-0.5 in the Amber Blindfold and Rapid Chess tournament here.

Past the half-way stage in this 11-round event that has one rapid and one blindfold game in each round, the Indian ace now occupies sole second spot and also bridged the gap between him and the leader Levon Aronian of Armenia who played out draws with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan in both the games.

It is still a tight affair and there is no clear winner in sight. With five rounds still to go, Aronian is at the top of the combined points table on 7.5 while Anand is now close behind with seven points.

Five players are just half a point adrift of Anand at joint third. They are Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria, Peter Leko of Hungary, Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine and Magnus Carlsen of Norway.

Anand misread an opening move in the blindfold game but thankfully there was no damage. The Indian ace mistakenly believed that Karjakin had moved his knight on the queen side when in fact it was on the king side and upon realising his mistake Anand was quick to recover.

Despite the mistake, by the 23rd move the writing was on the wall when Anand played a crushing rook move to tighten the noose around his opponent.

In the rapid game there was little for Karjakin as Anand yet again was on top from the beginning. However, it was not as bad as in the blindfold and somehow the Ukrainian youngster was able to maintain the balance. The game was eventually drawn.

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Melody Amber: Aronian leads by a full point

Posted by 365Chess.com on March 22, 2008 in Uncategorized

Armenian GM Levon Aronian has taken the sole lead in the Blindfold and Rapid Chess Tournament that is taking place in Nice, France. Vladimir Kramnik defeated Veselin Topalov in their match, which started without a handshake.

Vishy Anand lost his match against Peter Leko, but was adequately compensated by receiving a third honorary doctorate.

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Melody Amber tournament

Posted by 365Chess.com on March 17, 2008 in Uncategorized

The annual Melody Amber tournament has started, this time not in Monaco but in the beautiful French seaside resort of Nice, with twelve leading grandmasters playing blindfold and rapid chess games.

The prize fund is a massive 216,000 Euro (currently US $336,000).

Vishy Anand started the event with a spectacular win over Vladimir Kramnik.

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Magnus Carlsen: A seventeen-year-old chess star

Posted by 365Chess.com on March 4, 2008 in Uncategorized

Seventeen-year-old Magnus Carlsen continues to prove that he is the new emerging superstar in the chess world.

In January he tied for first place at the elite Corus Chess Tournament in the Netherlands. And now at the prestigious Morelia-Linares Chess Tournament Carlsen is in second place with only four more rounds to go.

This week’s position is from Carlsen’s victory over Vassily Ivanchuk, who is ranked 9th in the world. Ivanchuk, playing white, has two dangerous, advanced pawns on g6 and h5. In addition, Ivanchuk’s bishop threatens black’s rook. Countering this is Carlsen’s advanced pawns on a2 and c4.

With this hint in mind please try and find the move that Carlsen made, which soon won the game.

In chess notation, the board is a grid: the vertical columns are numbered “1” through “8;” the horizontal rows, “a” through “h.” Each square on the board is identified by a specific letter and number.

If the pawn at a2 immediately promotes on a1, white’s bishop takes the new queen. After black’s rook captures the white bishop at a1, white’s king moves to e2, relieving the pin on white’s knight at d1.

From here, black is better and would likely win. However, it would still be a fight. This is because of white’s advanced g6 and h5 pawns.

Instead of immediately promoting, Carlson moved his pawn at c4 to c3, attacking the bishop. This forced Ivnachuk to take Carlsen’s rook. This sacrifice in turn allowed the a2 to promote safely on the next move.

Ivanchuk defended the bishop by moving his knight to d3 but then resigned. He saw that black’s king could now single-handedly thwart the advance of the g6 and h5 pawns. Meanwhile, black’s pawns would march down the board with the queen to assist them.

Oftentimes a young adult shows flashes of genius only to be shown by his elders that such promise needs time to develop before he or she can successfully compete with the best of the best. Carlsen victory over Ivanchuk, who is 39, and his success against the other 30 somethings in the Netherlands and in Spain is proving that at 17 he can already compete with the best of the best.

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