Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Linares 09 r9: Three Fizzles and a Fight

| Permalink | 43 comments

Magnus Carlsen wanted to bounce back after his painful loss in a drawn endgame to Aronian in the previous round. That he had black didn't matter considering that he has the Dragon Sicilian in his repertoire. Dominguez has already shown himself both game for tackling the shiniest of the Dragon's scales and vulnerable to being outplayed and, unusual for him, outprepared. He had the worse of things with white against Radjabov's Dragon back in round five and he must have had flashbacks today. Carlsen went for the 10..Rb8 "Chinese Dragon" line Radjabov used against him in their spectacular Bilbao game last year, a win for the Norwegian with white. Dominguez played the most consequent move, 12.Bh6, and they banged out theoretical moves until Carlsen dropped the fascinating 17..Rb6 on the board. As with just about anything these days, this piece of Petrosianesque prophylaxis has been played before, though by an amateur in an open event. Regardless of its pedigree it was clearly part of Carlsen's prep and it put Dominguez in the tank for a long time. The lift keeps an eye on the d6 pawn in many lines involving the push ..e5, a key idea that takes squares away from the white pieces.

[According to GM Golubev in the comments, "17...Rb6 is actually the main line of the Chinese Dragon Chapter in the "Opening for White According to Anand Vol. 11" book." Not sure what Anand has to do with it, but okay then! Do you think Carlsen actually reads chess books though?]

The white "Plan A" of pushing the h-pawn and mating comes up short in those lines, so Dominguez tried to play more subtly. After getting in ..e5 Black continued with a pretty rook reload to the c-file and it was clear White had to shift to defense, never a good omen in a sharp Sicilian. Dominguez was down below a minute a move as the complications started with 27..d3! and even the world blitz champion wasn't up to the task. The white back rank is a disaster waiting to happen and it didn't have long to wait. Going into full grovel mode with 29.Qd2 would have given White some defensive chances down a pawn. His 29.d4? got into deep trouble. 30.Re1 allows 30..Rxb3! The kibitzers watching their computers were cheering for a quick end with the remarkably slow coup 31..Rf2!! Had Carlsen played that, with limited time on his clock and a relatively simple solid plus alternative, he would have deserved to have more than his jacket searched! The silicon point is 32.Re1 Rxb2! 33.Kxb2 Rc2+ 34.Ka1 Qc6! (The only move that doesn't lose for Black, winning immediately thanks to the dual threats of ..Qc3+ and ..Rxa2+. Few humans would take the risk of missing something in that line with a good alternative available.) Though it was probably too late to save the game Dominguez played the rest of the complications with great accuracy, limiting the tangible damage to a pawn. But he erred with 39.Qc4+ and was forced into a very awkward pin that left him close to zugzwang. The Cuban decided to see if Carlsen would blunder in a totally dominating position out of frustration and played on to the bitter end with scant stalemate prayers. Carlsen took his time, eschewing the pretty 50..Qd4! but netting the full point and returning to a plus score a few prosaic moves later. Fear the Dragon!

GM Larry Christiansen and I were lucky that game packed several suitcases full of action and violence because the other three round nine games made Kung-Fu Panda look like a Quentin Tarantino movie. Wang Yue-Grischuk and Aronian-Anand were G-rated start to very early finish. Radjabov rolled out his Schliemann Ruy Lopez against Ivanchuk and we figured we were in for some action there. But after a promising start Ivanchuk rejected what looked like a very good line with 11.a4 a6 12.Bc4 and White has a serious pull. Instead the Ukrainian humbly castled and didn't have much to do against Black's structural weaknesses. He spent a long time in the opening so he must have seen something we missed. Either that or something that wasn't there, as can happen sometimes. We had a brief thrill when Larry tried to mate White with the amazing 26..Nf5!? 27.Qd3 Nxh4?! but there's a defense with 28.gxh4 Rg6+ 29.Kh2 Rf4 30.Qh3. One of the few days in Linares this year where we didn't get full value on just about every board. It happens.

Grischuk continues to lead by a full point on +3 ahead of Carlsen, Ivanchuk, and Aronian. Anand is on even and the trailing trio on -2. Round 10: Radjabov-Aronian, Anand-Dominguez, Carlsen-Wang Yue, Grischuk-Ivanchuk. Back on with GM Christiansen Monday unless the snow blocks up the intertubes. Official site. ICC Chess.FM.


17...Rb6 is actually the main line of the Chinese Dragon Chapter in the "Anand 11" book.

Anand in the last place and Grischuk leading in Linares. Pretty unexpected.

You probably mean Radjabov, not Anand? Anand has 50% - not exactly his ELO expectation, but not _that_ bad either ... .

Oh yes, right. Sorry :)

Has anybody actually been able to watch live games? the games never seem to laod for me, although the player loads. I am using teh latest version of Firefox.

For me (using Internet Explorer), the live transmission on the tournament homepage worked - at least most of the time.
A backup option, which always worked for me, is the TWIC site.

ah thx, i forgot TWIC

I've had better results with Internet Explorer also.

Another backup option is ChessOK at http://chessok.com/?page_id=139

would really be hard for Anand to defend Linares

would really be hard for Anand to defend Linares.

would really be hard for Anand to defend Linares.

would be hard for Anand to defend Linares.

d_tal, I had the same problem with seeing the games-- my suggestion is to re-install you Java release on your machine. Get the latest.


Here's my idea for an international tournament:

Openings are assigned according to a player's nationality:

Vallejo-Pons plays the Spanish.
Caruna can play the Sicilian and the Italian Game.
Carlsen might be limited to the Scandinavian Defense.
Adams plays the English.
Svidler or someone could play the Leningrad Dutch.

And so on. It's brilliant, I know, thanks.

@r 11:21am... I feel sorry for Ian Rogers and Ehsan Qaem Maqami. What are they going to do?

What is the opening in Adams-Caruna? or Adams-Pons?

Work on it, and let me know the updated format ...

Brilliant idea, but ....
Svidler would have to team up with Van Wely.
What happens if Adams plays against Vallejo Pons, Caruana or Carlsen??

I dont understand Anand's play, but I'm sure all will be revealed soon. :-)

ah ok, I get it :-)

So many rook endings. I wonder why they are so common. Cos rooks are long range pieces and stay out of the battle I guess.

Just came home from work. What the hell is Carlsen's king doing on b5??

Wang Yue is roasting Carlsen's King !!

Hoping that some pieces will be exchanged soon ... white would be fine in the endgame.

I meant to be joking but maybe I am not even completely wrong (though white is left with lots of weak pawns in the Q vs. 2R ending)

Somehow Carlsen survived the onslaught with only seconds left on his clock, Now looks like it's another long drawn out end game with 2Rs + 3Ps vs Q+5Ps

In two rooks vs queen the most important thing is to have a safe place for the king. At least that's what I've been told. Otherwise the queen just has too many ways to create threats. I don't think he can survive this.

yes. Yue will win this game. He just created a passed pawn.

Very nice combination by Yue in this game. It was a treat to see White King marched from g1 to b5 then ended up at right in the middle of the board at d5. Very picturesque when the King is at d5 flanked on three sides with White Q and 2 Rooks.

Sleepy panda kills him!

Yes he has woken up (finally recovered from jetlag?). This game kept everyone's attention, but Grischuk-Ivanchuk wasn't bad either ... a Petroff becoming quite sharp, extreme mutual timetrouble (what's new? both players have a 'track record' ...) and finally a perpetual check.
And Radjabov may also score his first victory today ... in another (double) rook ending.

I'm amazed Carlsen even played that long. Great round. Fun tournament.


Carlsen climbed into the panda's cage. What is with the Grish? When low on time he starts initiating complications and gets away with it! Very calm.

Aren't those books by Khalifman & Anand? The Opening according to..


Are you going to be in Nashville, at the Supernationls?

Anand has actually nothing to do with the books Opening according to Anand. But he used to prefer 1.e4, and that's why they bear his name.

And as r's idea is such brilliant nonsense (I guess he will agree with me, on both words ...) some more comments:
Of course Anand has to play the King's Indian - not part of his repertoire, but being WCh means having some responsibilities (and it would be unfair if he had a much wider opening choice than anyone else).
The Queen's Indian is reserved to any female Indian player.
And now my question: Who has to play the Toilet variation? I am only half kidding, the variation exists (1. f4 c5 2. e4 d5 3. Nc3) .... I coincidentally stumbled across this on the Internet. Of course it could also result from the Sicilian defense, but the quotable source is

Thanks, Thomas.

Leko will not be happy about having to play the Budapest, but them's the rules.

Americans like Nakamura and Kamsky largely will be limited to openings named after small cities in Pennsylvania, such as Wilkes-Barre and Cambridge Springs.

Topalov . . . won't be able to play.

From wikipedia:

Bulgarian Variation of the Ruy Lopez 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a5

Danube Gambit 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.d5 b5 4.cxb5 a6 5.bxa6 c6


Bulgarian Variation of the Ruy Lopez 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a5

Wow, looks like the pawn tried for a6 and tripped

Haha! That's great guys. Thanks. The Bulgarian Defense? Who knew!?!

I guess Kamsky didn't prepare at all for this variation !!??
Another interesting opening is the "Fried liver attack":

No, I don't think that Magnus reads chess books very often but he should. I recommend 'Decision-Making at the Chessboard' by Eingorn (2003). Eingorn and Brodsky reached in 2001 the same endgame as Carlsen and Aronian did in Linares (rook + h pawn against rook + f and g pawns). During his game Eingorn remembers a discussion with GM Vaisser about this endgame. Vaisser told him that with the pawn on h2 or h3 it is a simple draw, with the pawn on h5 it is lost and with the pawn on h4 the outcome is uncertain. It is clear that Carlsen didn't know this but he could have!

Looking similar to the Bulgarian Defense, but actually semi-respectable, is 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Na5 (remember this is a Sicilian, not a Ruy).

Actually I have played against something similar
1.e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Na5 which seems even better here with Nc3 thrown in

Twitter Updates

    Follow me on Twitter



    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on March 1, 2009 11:46 PM.

    Linares r7-8: Up, Down, and Up with Aronian was the previous entry in this blog.

    Linares 09 r10: The Panda Roars is the next entry in this blog.

    Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.