Saturday, 29 September 2007

It's all happening at the MCG

The Mexican Chess Games that is. A few days ago it seemed that Anand was the guaranteed winner of the World Championship tournament, holding a 1.5 lead with 3 rounds to go. But Boris Gelfand closed the gap to 1 point after a crushing win over Aronian in Round 12 (Anand drew) and as I write this Anand is trying to hold a Rook and Pawn ending a pawn down against Grischuk. If Anand loses then he only leads by 0.5 over Gelfand with 1 round to play.
After the relative snoozefest in the early part of the tournament the last few rounds have seen a lot more action. Due to a relatively favourable timezone, chess fans in eastern Australia can usually catch an hour or so of the games before having to go to work/school etc.

Aronian,L (2750) - Gelfand,B (2733) [D43]
WCh Mexico City MEX (12), 27.09.2007

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bxf6 Qxf6 7.e3 Nd7 8.Bd3 dxc4 9.Bxc4 g6 10.0-0 Bg7 11.Rc1 0-0 12.Ne4 Qe7 13.Bb3 Rd8 14.Qc2 e5 15.Rfe1 Kh8 16.g4!? A gold star for bravery! Usually the follow up to such a plan is Kh1-Rg1 with a kingside attack. Aronian never gets around to it. 16...Rf8 17.g5 f5 18.gxf6 Bxf6 19.Kg2 Bg7 20.h4 Nb6! 21.dxe5(D)
21. ... Bg4
[ 21...Rxf3! was the move suggested by most computer programs (Rybka, Fritz etc) 22.Kxf3 Bf5 23.Kg2 Qxh4! 24.f4 and if Black can then find 24...Nd7! he has a decisive advantage.] 22.Ned2 Nd7! 23.e6 Ne5 24.Nh2 [ 24.Nxe5 Rxf2+!! 25.Kxf2 Qxh4+ 26.Kg2 Bxe5 wins] 24...Qxh4 25.f4 Bf5 26.Ne4 Qh3+ 27.Kg1 Nf3+ Although he had a choice of wins Gelfand decides to liquidate into a simpler position. 28.Nxf3 Qxf3 29.Ng5 hxg5 30.Qh2+ Qh5 31.Qxh5+ gxh5 32.e7 Rfe8 33.Rc5 Bg4 34.Rxg5 Rxe7 35.Kg2 Bf6 36.Rg6 Rf8 37.e4 Bf5 38.Rh6+ Kg7 39.Rxh5 Bxe4+ 40.Kh2 Bd5 0-1

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