Morelia/Linares 2007, Round 10: Anand beats Carlsen in a majestic strategic game

Anand wins a masterful strategic game against Carlsen. Ivanchuk sacrifices a piece which is good enough to force a draw. Leko and Topalov emerge equal in a hard-fought draw.

Anand – Carlsen

Carlsen adopts the Chigorin Closed Ruy Lopez, and Anand plays the position perfectly. Carlsen runs into a little trouble on the c-file, forcing his knight into an awkward retreat to the corner. Just when Carlsen has the queenside under control, Anand switches to a kingside attack, throwing Carlsen off balance. With a weakened kingside, Carlsen can’t prevent Anand installing a knight on e6, dominating Black’s position. Anand builds his kingside attack by feinting a threat to occupy the c-file, and Carlsen is forced to concede a protected passed pawn in the centre, and after a few more deft moves by Anand, Carlsen surrenders.

Aronian – Morozevich

Aronian employs the aggressive 7… g4 against Morozevich’s Semi-Slav and creates a complicated position. After a flurry of tactics and exchanges, the position simplifies into a four piece ending, which neither side has a strong enough advantage to achieve more than a draw.

Ivanchuk – Svidler

Ivanchuk gives the 8. h3 anti-Marshall a spin and builds a solid quiet position. This gives Svidler time to recombine his pieces and gains some play sacrificing a pawn with a thematic … d5 thrust. Ivanchuk surprises his opponent by sacrificing a piece for an attack. The piece is good enough for a draw, but Ivanchuk presses on since he has potential winning chances. After a clever manoeuvre, Ivanchuk forces the win of a piece, and this allows Svidler a perpetual check.

Leko – Topalov

Leko’s pet 7. Nf3 system is again tested against Topalov’s Najdorf. Topalov plays a strange 11… Rc8?!, but gains some initiative on the kingside. Leko engineers a queenside pawn advance, which threatens to break through. Topalov gains an edge in the race of wing attacks, but Leko neutralises the advantage in a double rook and minor piece endgame, producing a hard-fought draw.

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