Chess holiday is over. With two draws in the final round Vladimir Kramnik became the absolute and sole winner of the 16th Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament, held in Monte Carlo. This is the sixth title for the world champion in this competition: he had already won it in 1996, 1998 (shared with Shirov), 1999, 2001 (shared with Topalov) and 2004 (shared with Morozevich). Kramnik’s performance in the blindfold tourney was the basis of his success. He scored 9 points out of 11, half a point short of the record that Morozevich set last year. The rapid tourney was dominated by Vishy Anand, who finished with 8.5/11 and placed second in the combined standings.
The last round of the event saw seven draws, four wins for Black and only one for White. The shortest game was the blind one between Peter Svidler and Alexander Morozevich: Moro played a sharp French defence and took the initiative with 13...g5, then Svidler blundered with 17.Ne3 (better was 17.Nf2), 18.exf6 (18.Ng4) and the horrible 19.f7 (19.Qh4), after which Moro decided the game in his favour with the simple and brilliant 19...Rxg2+.
The competition, as usual, was a mix of big blunders, nice combinations and interesting innovations in the openings. You can download all games from my italian site www.messaggeroscacchi.it (the page of "Amber" tourney is www.messaggeroscacchi.it/mondo/amber07.html); you can also find on it an on-line viewer and full results.
The next big event in the international chess calendar will be Mtel Masters in Sofia (May 9th-20th, official site: www.mtelmasters.com/en), followed by Candidates Matches for the 2007 World Championship in Elista (27 May-13 June, official site to be announced).
And now here is the above mentioned game Svidler-Morozevich from Melody Amber.
Svidler,P (2728)-Morozevich,A (2741) [C11], Melody Amber (Blindfold) 17.03.2007
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be3 a6 8. Qd2 b5 9. a3 Bb7 10. Bd3 Qc7 11. O-O O-O-O 12. Nd1 cxd4 13. Nxd4 g5 14. Nxc6 Qxc6 15. Bd4 gxf4 16. Qxf4 Rg8 17. Ne3 f6 18. exf6 e5 19. f7 Rxg2+ 0-1