YOUNG Norwegian Magnus Carlsen was unstoppable at the second Pearl Spring tournament in Nanjing, China, a category 16 six-player round robin.
Scoring six wins and four draws, he finished 2.5 points clear of the field.
Carlsen’s performance rating was an astounding 3002. He supplants India’s Vishy Anand as No. 2, below Bulgaria’s Veselin Topalov, in the progressive world rankings.
In the final round, Russia’s Dmitry Jakovenko had the temerity to venture into territory explored by Carlsen’s mentor, Garry Kasparov, in his recent exhibition match against Anatoly Karpov in Valencia.
White: Carlsen. Black: Jakovenko. Opening: Queen’s Gambit Declined. 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Be7 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bf4 c6 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.Bxd6 Qxd6 8.e3 Ne7 9.Bd3 b6 10.Nf3 Ba6 11.0-0 Bxd3 12.Qxd3 Nd7 (apparently a new move) 13.e4! (a well-timed central advance) 13 . . . 0-0 14.e5 Qe6 15.Rae1 Rfe8 16.Nh4 Ng6 17.Nxg6 Qxg6 18.Qd2 Nf8 19.f4 Qf5 (19f5 would blockade the position more effectively) 20.Nd1 f6 21.Ne3 Qd7 22.Qd3 fxe5 23.dxe5 Ne6 24.f5 Nc5 25.Qd4 Ne4 (diagram one) 26.Nxd5 (accepting the pawn offer) 26 . . . Qxd5 (black shies away from the complications arising from 26Nc5!? 27.f6) 27.Qxe4 Rad8 28.e6 Qxe4 29.Rxe4 Rd6 30.g4 Kf8 31.g5 Ke7 32.Kg2 Rd5 33.Kg3 Kd6 34.h4 c5 35.f6 (white’s pawn mass ensures victory) 35gxf6 36.gxf6 Rd3+ 37.Kh2 Rd2+ 38.Kh1 1-0.
Having lost to his young rival in the second round, Topalov tries to turn the tables in the seventh. White: Topalov. Black: Carlsen. Opening: Sicilian Defence. 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 Diagram 1: Carlsen v Jakovenko before 26.Nxd5 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.c3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.Nd5 Bg7 11.Bd3 Ne7 12.Nxe7 Qxe7 13.O-O O-O 14.c4 f5 15.Qh5 (the players are following the game Shirov v Carlsen, M-Tel Masters 2009) 15 . . . Rb8 16.exf5 e4 17.Rae1 Bb7 18.Qg4 Rfe8 19.cxb5 d5 20.bxa6 Bc6 21.Rc1 (Shirov had played 21.b3) 21 . . . exd3 22.Rxc6 Qe2 23.h3 Rxb2 24.f6 Qxg4 25.hxg4 Rxa2 (both sides are playing quickly and confidently) 26.Nb1 Bf8 27.Rc3 Rxa6 28.Rxd3 Rxf6 29.Rxd5 (white stands slightly better) 29.Bb4 (pins down the white knight at b1) 30.g3 Re2 31.Kg2 Be1 (now white has to defend his f-pawn) 32.Rf5 Rxf5 33.gxf5 Bb4 34.Rc1 h5 35.Rc4 Rb2 36.Nc3 Bxc3 37.Rxc3 Rb5 38.Rf3 Kg7 39.Kh3 Kh6 40.Kh4 Rb1 41.Kh3 Rb5 42.Kh4 Rb1 43.Kh3 (white sees nothing better than acquiesce to a repetition of moves).
Final standings: Carlsen 8, Topalov 5.5, Wang Yue (China) 4.5, Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan), Peter Leko (Hungary) and Jakovenko each 4.
Next year’s Sydney International Open and Challengers tournament in Parramatta will go ahead as planned. Further support has been forthcoming from New Zealand grandmaster Murray Chandler, the NSW Chess Association and others. More: www.chessaustralia.com.au. Last week’s solutions: (1) 1.g7 Bc5+ 2.Kg8 Bd4! 3.gxh8=N! (not 3.gxh8=Q?, when black wins with Bd5+) 3 . . . Bd5+ 4.Nf7+ Kg6 5.h8=N+! (again, black wins after h8=Q? Bxf7+) and white draws. (2) Key 1.Qb7, threat 2.Qe7#. If 1 . . . Qf4 2.c7#, or 1 . . . f4 2. Nd6#, or 1 . . . Nf4 2.Re5#. Phil Viner