Chess Classic: Aronian Dominates In Chess


Chessbase News
July 28 2009

29.07.2009 – It is a form of chess, originally proposed by Bobby
Fischer, in which the position of the pieces – not the pawns – is
shuffled randomly before the start of each game. This eliminates deep
opening preparation and fosters a new form of creativity. Armenia’s
top GM appears to have plenty of that. After the first day he leads
with 3.0/3 – after a 40-board simultaneous display. Illustrated report.

Chess Classic Mainz 2009 The 2009 Chess Classic will take place from
July 27 to August 2 in the Rheingoldhalle of the Congress Centre,
Hilton Hotel in Mainz, Germany. The event includes tournaments and
Opens in traditional and Random Chess, with stars like the current
World Champion Vishy Anand, Levon Aronian of Armenia, strong
Russian junior GM Ian Nepomniachtchi and top German GM Arkadij
Naiditsch. Schedule below.

After the traditional opening press conference on Monday there was a
simul with Levon Aronian. The top Armenian GM took his 40 opponents
to task, winning 37:3.

Aronian did not lose a single game and conceded only six draws. Fred
Böttcher, Manfred Herbold (Schachhaus Ludwigshafen), Dr. Matthias
Kribben (Zitadelle Spandau), Ulrich Gass (SC Eppingen) Timo Spiess
(Bochumer SV 02) and Bernd Grill (SV Ebersbach) managed to take half
a point away from the grandmaster.

The day ended with some fine wining and dining at the Champions
Dinner. For the gourmets: sliced baliksalmon with caviar was served,
followed by lamb with lavender jus with quiche of pointed cabbage. The
strawberry salsa with white chocolate mousse was a great dessert.

The next day, when 71 young talents in the third Mini-ORDIX Open came
to the Rheingoldhalle with their parents and trainers, they could
meet the world champion and some of the best players in the world in
the popular first signing session of the week.

In the above picture we see Ian Nepomniachtchi, Sergei Movsesian,
Levon Aronian, Victor Bologan, Arkadij Naiditsch and Viswanathan Anand
ready to sign pictures, T-shirts, posters and books and anything
else for the excited youngsters. Hikaru Nakamura had to cope with
the time difference and did not make it on time. However, in Mainz
grandmasters are approachable and it is not difficult to snatch an
autograph from a top player.

In the evening four stars took part in an event that featured
random chess – where the starting position – one of 960 possible
configurations – is revealed to the players just before the game

6th Chess960 Rapid World Championship – 28-30 July 2009 Rapid chess,
20min/game + 5s/move. Course of events: Tue 28 July: first set of
rounds 1, 2 and 3; Wed, 29 July: second set of rounds 4, 5 and 6,
possible tiebreak; Thu, 30 July: four-game matches, big and small
final, possible tiebreak, award ceremony. Start time of rounds:
18:30h, 19:30h, 20:30h, final additionally: 21:30h. Participants:

Player Nation Rating Title WRank Levon Aronian Armenia 2754 GM 6
Sergei Movsesian Slovakia 2734 GM 16 Hikaru Nakamura USA 2699 GM 32
Victor Bologan Moldavia 2687 GM 43

First day: Tactics Rule

By Johannes Fischer Tactics rule. As Viktor Bologan explained in
yesterday’s press conference, in Chess960 the random position of the
pieces simply forces you to think of everything. In interviews Levon
Aronian also stressed how important tactics are in Chess960. The first
three rounds of the Chess960 Rapid World Championship confirmed this
view. The games featured quite a number of unusual tactical situations
– and it was Levon Aronian who handled them best.

Right from the start he showed how good he coped with them. In his
first round game against Nakamura he gave his queen for two rooks
after just a couple of moves and afterwards he simply brought his
pieces to strong squares. Nakamura came under pressure and had to
give an exchange but then Aronian used his material plus to mate the
enemy king with rook and two knights.

The game between Sergei Movsesian and Viktor Bologan was also
characterized by tactics. Tactical tricks gave Bologan an advantage,
and a tactical trick allowed Movsesian to extricate himself from a
difficult position. However, he could not solve all of his problems
and Black still had some pressure. This in turn provoked an inaccuracy
from Movsesian which Bologan used to secure a winning position and
soon after the point.

However, after this promising start followed a sobering second round,
in which Bologan miscalculated and fell victim to a violent mating
attack from Aronian.

Levon Aronian – Viktor Bologan Chess960 Rapid World Championship
Chess Classic Mainz 2009 (2.1)

1.e4 e5 2.d4 d6 3.f3 Ng6 4.Bc4 c6 5.Bb3 Nc7 6.Ng3 exd4 7.Bxd4 Ne6 8.Bc3
Nc5 9.Nf5 Nxb3 10.axb3 f6 11.Qe3 Qc7 12.Nd3 Ne5 13.Be1 g6 14.Nd4 Bf7
15.Bf2 Bg7

Now White played 16.Rxa7 Rxa7 17.Nb5 cxb5 18.Qxa7+ Kc8 19.Nxe5 fxe5
20.Bb6 Qe7 21.Qa8+ Kd7 22.Bxd8 and Black resigned: 1-0.

With two out of two Aronian showed why he was considered to be the
favorite to win this tournament. The secret favorite Hikaru Nakamura
fared much worse. After his first round loss against Aronian things
also went wrong against Movsesian. The American played with White,
built up pressure in the opening, avoided a repetition and a draw –
only to lose his way and the game later on. "After ten moves I was
almost winning, but then I got careless," he remarked during the
press conference after the game.

However, he managed to pull himself together in the third round and
won with Black against Bologan. Both players were fond of the enemy
pawns, but Nakamura managed to snatch one more pawn than his opponent,
which gave him a clear endgame advantage that he finally converted
to a full point.

The game between Movsesian and Aronian quickly developed into a sharp
encounter. Both players wanted to gain the initiative and did not shy
away from material sacrifices. At first it seemed as if Movsesian,
who played with White, set the pace, but the tide turned after a
strong counter by Aronian.

Sergei Movsesian – Levon Aronian Chess960 Rapid World Championship
Chess Classic Mainz 2009 (3.1)

1.b4 Nf6 2.Ng3 e6 3.e4 b6 4.Bf3 Ng6 5.h4 d6 6.d4 d5 7.h5 dxe4 8.Be2
Nf8 9.h6 Rg8 10.c4 c5 11.bxc5 bxc5 12.Rxb8 Qxb8 13.d5

Suddenly White’s position was critical and Movsesian’s search for
counterplay only accelerated his end. There followed: 13…e3 14.Bd1
exf2+ 15.Kxf2 gxh6 16.N1e2 Ng4+ 17.Kg1 Bg5 18.Ba4+ Ke7 19.Qc2 Be3+
20.Kf1 Bf4 21.Nf5+ exf5 22.Rh3 Be5 23.Nc3 Kf6 24.Qd3 Rg5 25.d6 Kg7
26.d7 Nxd7 27.Bxd7 Ld4 28.Ke2 Nf2 0-1.

This round led to an amusing situation: three players with one out
of three share places two to four and will fight hard to qualify for
the final tomorrow. At the same time Aronian scored 3.0/3 and is the
sole and dominant leader and more than ever favorite to successfully
defend his title of Chess960 World Champion.

"All games were hard and tough fights," Aronian said during the
press conference. Maybe – but he still seemed to play all of them
with effortless and playful ease. Often a sign of real great skill.

All pictures by Christian Bossert for Chess Tigers/Chess Clas