"Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you." - Arnold Palmer

Monday, 25 March 2013

London Candidates - Svidler vs Grischuk - An Amazing Firework of Tactics

Round 9 in London brought an exciting chess between Peter Svidler and Alexander Grischuk
Svidler, playing White, opened 1.d4 and Grischuk defended himself by King's Indian Defence. A fraction later we got on the board a typical tabiya of mainline of the Sämisch Attack. Several moves later, Grischuk came up with with an amazing novelty, when in the main line of this very well studied opening he sacrificed the Knight on c4 and then he continued in attack with b5. 


All this stuff was undoubtedly the piece of a solid home preparation - many hours of work with computer. The position became extremely sharp. Surprisingly, Peter Svidler having his King rather unsafe in the middle, finally decided to return some material and "counterpunched" with Queen sacrifice! Let's have look at this amazing position!

Svidler vs Grischuk; position after 19...h3

What a game and what a result. 
Some of commentators (Nigel Short, Lawrence Trent and Matthew Sadler) were of opinion that Svidler should have played further. Alexander Grischuk admitted that Black's position was quite unpleasant and that was the reason why he had offered a draw.

Behind the Svidler's decision was perhaps the fact he had had enough of the game where he had to sort plenty of problems including the time troubles which made him bit reluctant to carry on.
And if you are curious to know how many moves Grischuk analysed during his home preparation then the answer is: "Up to the Queen sac!"

Kramnik drew with Carlsen! 

Catalan was played (not much a surprise when Kramnik is White) and Kramnik prepared certain offbeat line which was a surprise for Carlsen. 
Magnus Carlsen had worse position (as it has happened many times during this tournament), however; he managed again to get out of soup.

Kramnik was too close to win, alas he admitted during press conference he had not seen how to win this game.

Boris Gelfand prepared quite nasty surprise for Levon Aronian, who shared the lead with Carlsen, when he beat him! Perhaps the biggest surprise of the round 9.
Levon, perhaps knowing well, that Boris Gelfand doesn't play very well against "stone-wall-like-pawn-structure", bamboozled him a bit. The opening started as a Bf4 variation of QGD but then Levon played f5 getting stone wall kind of pawn structure. So far so good; however, ...
Aronian did not play the position with the great precision and if had not been for time trouble on both sides he would have lost perhaps before time control. After the time control Gelfand played a technical rook ending and he played very well.

Vassily Ivanchuk finally found out the way how manage time and beat Teimour Radjabov after long battle in the Lasker variation of QGD. He achieved a small positional advantage and then very long rook endgame followed where he had three connected passed pawns on the king-side.

Tomorrow is another day off and after round 9 it is Magnus Carlsen who grabbed the lead with 6 points, Aronian is a runner-up with point followed by Kramnik with 5 point.

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