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Chess Classic Mainz 2009 (CCM9) 2009-07-27 - 2009-08-02

Chess Classic

Felix Bossert 3. Mini-ORDIX Open
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28. Juli 2009 / 11:00 Uhr / 7 Runden

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July 27- Aug 2nd, 2009 Rheingoldhalle, Mainz
Chess Classic Mainz 2009 (CCM9)
14. GRENKELEASING Rapid World Championship
GM V. Anand, GM L. Aronian, GM I. Nepomniachtchi, GM A. Naiditsch



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Chess Classic

Exciting chess and calm comments

02.08.2008 - Anand and Carlsen lead after the first day of the 13. GRENKELEASING Rapid Chess World Championship The keenly awaited encounter between Magnus Carlsen and World Champion Vishy Anand came early. The drawing of lots decided they had to play in the first round of four player double round robin. And this duel between the current World Champion and the 17-year old Norwegian, who many consider to be a future World Champion, attracted quite a lot of attention and the Rheingoldhalle was packed with spectators.

However, the game itself turned out to be a little disappointing. Though no doubt people were hoping for a sharp fight when Carlsen opted for the Sicilian Dragon, moreover, the line, with which he had just narrowly escaped defeat against Leinier Dominguez two days ago in Biel.

Magnus Carlsen and Weltmeister Vishy Anand

But Anand did not want to repeat the line Dominguez played to let Carlsen demonstrate the result of his homework, but instead preferred to swap queens and exert positional pressure against Black’s weak d-pawn. But Carlsen’s active bishop compensated for his slight positional disadvantage and after 31 moves Anand was content to share the point. In the press conference after the game, Carlsen, who on Thursday had just played the last round in Biel and who had arrived only half an hour before the start of the tournament, dryly explained: “I did not sleep too much last night and thus I was very tired and content with the result.”

Judit Polgar and Alexander Morozevich were not so peacefully inclined. Morozovich with Black opted for a Ruy Lopez and an interesting position arose. Yet, Polgar, who in recent months had not played that much still seemed to be a bit rusty when she allowed a position to arise, in which Black’s knight clearly dominated the white bishop and in which a long, passive defense lay ahead.

Alexander Morozevich and Judit Polgar

Morozevich gradually increased the pressure and with more time on the clock looked certain to win the game. However, with the seconds ticking away he made things more difficult for himself than necessary and the game wound up in a rook endgame, in which Black was better, but Polgar could hope. In vain, as it turned out when Morozevich’s passed pawns were getting closer and closer to White’s first rank. When they finally arrived on e2 and d2 Polgar resigned.

In the second round Judit did not seem to fare much better when she got a clearly worse, if not even already lost position against Anand. But when it came to converting his advantage, Anand returned the favor: He did not seem what to do with his extra pawn and in an attempt to get active he sacrificed/blundered his material advantage. Suddenly the position was unclear and Anand-fans had to suffer some awkward minutes until Anand gave a piece for all of Polgar’s pawns to draw the game.

Carlsen vs. Morozevich was a bit less dramatic. In a Sicilian Defense Morozevich had no problems to at least equalize but Carlsen found adequate counterplay and when everything boiled down to an opposite colored bishops endgame Morozevich soon gave up his attempts to win.

After this somewhat peaceful prelude things really heated up in the third round. Anand, who, as he later explained, did not have much after the opening, gradually outplayed Morozevich and in contrast to the previous game he now managed to convert his advantage.

And the other game between Judit Polgar and Magnus Carlsen really turned out to be spectacular. Carlsen again chose the Dragon and Polgar went for a much sharper line than Anand in the first round. Both sides were attacking and after an inaccuracy by Polgar Carlsen gave his two rooks against queen and a couple of pawns. In the very tactical, complicated position he creatively used White’s exposed king and his own pawns to win. Thus, after the first half of the 13. GRENKELEASING Rapid World Championship Anand and Carlsen share the lead with 2 points each, followed by Morozevich with 1.5 and Judit Polgar with 0.5.

However, one wonders what kind of game it takes to excite the young Norwegian. No matter how complicated the position, he always remains calm at the board. He actually appeared to be more nervous in the press conference, though he was very calm there as well. In fact, all four players seem to share this sober, almost too distanced view of their own games. It’s hard to imagine them raving about a well played game or expressing amazement about some beautiful win or a particularly exciting move – instead, they prefer to hint at options and opportunities the opponent had. Maybe being objective means being strong, but it would be nice to see these chess artists display a bit more feeling about their creations. However, as long as they continue to play the strong and exciting chess they do, one should not complain too much. Or, as Judit Polgar said, when asked whether she would not like to write or at least contribute some article for the press: “I will make news on the stage.”

Results day 1 of the 13. GrenkeLeasing Rapid WCC

All games (PGN)

Johannes Fischer

Published by Harry Schaack / Mike Rosa

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