Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Grischuk Retains Lead at Linares; Wang Goes Hunting

Alexander Grischuk preserved his lead at the Linares tournament in Mexico heading into the final three rounds of the tournament. Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine was a full point behind in second place while Viswanathan Anand of India, the world champion, Magnus Carlsen of Norway and Levon Aronian of Armenia were another half point back, tied for third. The Web site of the tournament, which is in Spanish, has additional information about the players and live broadcasts of the games.

All the games in Round 11 were draws, but that does not mean they were uneventful. Leinier Dominguez Perez of Cuba engaged in a slugfest with Aronian. Aronian had the upper hand throughout, but Dominguez found a way to force a drawish rook-and-pawn ending and then force a stalemate in one of those motifs that sometimes arise in such endings.

Carlsen seemed poised to make a move up in the standings after beating Dominguez in Round 9, but he was upended in Round 10 by Wang Yue of China in a rather spectacular game featuring a king hunt by Black. Carlsen’s king slithered away after Wang, who was Black, misplayed the attack, but it did not matter as the resulting endgame was winning for Wang.

King hunts at the top level are not that common because of the defensive prowess of the best players. But when they do occur, they are exciting as they are the essence of chess. Although they may not be complete, there are not
one, but two, collections of king hunts on
They include some classics, such as Edward Lasker’s win against George Alan Thomas from 1912, Joseph Henry Blackburne’s victory over H. W. Birkmyre Gifford from 1874, and Jose Raul Capablanca’s textbook win over Herman Steiner from 1933. -Gambit

No comments:

Post a Comment