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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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July 27- Aug 2nd, 2009 Rheingoldhalle, Mainz
Chess Classic Mainz 2009 (CCM9)
6. Chess960 Rapid World Championship
GM L. Aronian, GM V. Bologan, GM H. Nakamura, GM S. Movsesian



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Chess Classic

Nakamura wins three in a row to become new World Champion

30.07.2009 - When Levon Aronian and Nakamura sat down to play the final of the Chess960 World Rapid Chess Championship it was difficult to name a clear favorite. In the preliminaries Aronian had dominated the first day, Nakamura the second. Both are known as extremely strong blitz and rapid players, and both had shown their Chess960 skills on more than one occasion. Taking this into account, the match was surprisingly one-sided. Nakamura simply won the first three games to become new World Champion – in a very convincing manner.

In the first game Aronian opted with Black for an elastic, dynamic set-up. But when White managed to create weaknesses in Black’s camp, which he soon occupied with his pieces, Black seemed to be in trouble. In a bid for counterplay Aronian decided to give material but Nakamura defended coolly and sent his king from the queenside to the kingside, where it finally was safe. With his last swindling chances gone Aronian resigned.

Position after 26.d4

The game continued with 26...e5 27.Bxd7 Nxd4 28.Rxd4 cxd4 29.Rxe5 Qa2+ 30.Kc1 Qa1+ 31.Kc2 d3+ 32.Kxd3 Qd1+ 33.Qd2 Bc4+ 34.Ke3 Qg1+ 35.Kf3 h5 36.Re1 Qc5 37.Be7 Bd5+ 38.Kg3 h4+ 39.Kh3 1–0

The first game in the fight for third place between Bologan and Movsesian took a different course. Here it was Bologan who pressed with White and advanced his pawns early on. However, this gave Black good counterchances. He forced an exchange of queens and attacked the weak white pawns afterwards. Bologan found no good way to defend them and soon had a lost position, which Movsesian converted into a full point.

Inspired by this win Movsesian played a little brilliancy in the second game. Sacrificing an exchange, he pushed on the kingside, in the center and finally on the queenside, where he mated Black’s king.

movsesian vs bologan1
Position after 20...Nxa8

21.Nf6 g4 22.Qf1 c6 23.Qe1 1–0

While Movsesian was brimming with confidence Aronian appeared shaken after his loss in the first game. At any rate, it hard to find another explanation for the blunder he committed in the second game against Nakamura: After to a relatively simple oversight Aronian lost knight and game. “Probably I had a bad day”, he commented wryly in the press conference.

Nakamura vs Aronian 2
Position after 19.Rbd1

19...Qc6+ 20.Qd5+ Qxd5+ 21.Rxd5? 21.Nxd5 was better 21...Rb7 22.Nxa6 Ra8 23.Nxb4 Bxb4 24.a4 Bc5 25.Re1 e6 26.Rd3 d5 0–1

With Nakamura and Movsesian both leading 2-0 the final seemed to come to a swift end. The match Aronian vs. Nakamura in fact ended quickly. To get back into the match Aronian used lots of time in the third game – time which he later lacked. He got lost in the middlegame complications and fell victim to a surprising attack by White.

Nakamura vs Aronian 3
Position after 18...Nf6

White played: 19.Ba6 e4 20.Qg1 Rxd2 21.Bxb7+ Kxb7 22.Qb6+ 1–0

A convincing victory, which made Nakamura new Chess960 Rapid World Champion.

Now the fourth game between Aronian and Nakamura was just a formal affair, and maybe it was the lack of tension which made Aronian spoil an advantageous position into a draw which led to a final result of 3,5:0,5 for Nakamura.

Things went less smoothly for Movsesian. In the third round he was not able to cope with Bologan’s aggressive play and lost, which made the fourth game crucial. But Movsesian quickly recovered from the loss and played the fourth game in a very professional manner. Despite Bologan’s efforts to stir up trouble Movsesian managed to keep everything under control and steered the game into a completely drawn rook ending. After a couple of moves Bologan accepted the inevitable and agreed to a draw. Movsesian thus won the match 2,5:1,5 and became third in the Chess960 Rapid World Championship.
With only 2 draws from 20 games it was an altogether exciting World Championship, which may help to give Chess960 the popularity it deserves. As Levon Aronian remarked at the press conference: “Chess960 is healthy and good for your chess. If you get into it and not just move the pieces to achieve the known position it really improves your chess vision.”
Tomorrow, in the GRENKELEASING Rapid World Championship, where he will meet Vishy Anand, Arkadij Naiditsch and Ian Nepomniachtchi Aronian has a chance to show how Chess960 improved his classical chess vision.

Picture gallery
Results Chess960Rapid World Championship
Games Chess960Rapid World Championship

Der neue Weltmeister im Chess960 Hikaru Nakamura
A happy man: Hikaru Nakamura, new Chess960 Rapid World Champion

Aronian nachdenklich
A sceptic Levon Aronian

Hikaru Nakamura
The new Chess960 World Champion Hikaru Nakamura

Nakamura against Aronian
A quick analysis after the game: Hikaru Nakamura (left) against Levon Aronian

Movsesian against Bologan
Petite finale: Sergei Movsesian wins against Viktor Bologan

Johannes Fischer

Published by Stefan Späth

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