The World chess championship in Mexico City is approaching very fast and two of the main favourite were the protagonists of the Mainz Chess Classic, which ended this evening. Immediately after the end of the Ordix Open (762 participants!), won by Czech GM David Navara with 9.5/11, the event finished with another highlight: the match for the Grenke Leasing Rapid Chess World Championship between Vishy Anand and Levon Aronian. Three days ago the same players had played the final of the FiNet Chess960 World Championship: the Armenian super GM had won 3.5-2.5 after a blitz-tiebreak. This time Anand took revenge: after three draws, he won the fourth and decisive game with Black pieces to take first place. Both players looked to have the coming World Championship in mind: the didn't reveal too much of their preparation for Mexico, but the match was tense and exciting anyway. You can find all informations, reports and games on the official site: http://www.chesstigers.de/ccm7.php?lang=1.
In the past week some interesting tournaments took place around the globe: one of them was in my beloved London. Here the 5th Staunton Memorial, held in a very central location at Simpsons in the Strand, saw six Dutch and six English players compete in a single round robin event, supported by the Dutch chess enthusiast Jan Mol. A local player won at last: Michael Adams scored 8.5 points out of 11 and took clear first place by a point from Ivan Sokolov and Loek van Wely. Official site: http://www.howardstaunton.com/hsmt2007/index.shtml. Another notable event, the 5th Gyorgy Marx Memorial, took place in Paks (Hungary): Peter Acs and Pentala Harikrishna finished on 6/10 with Acs taking first place as he scored the most wins. Viktor Korchnoj, who was in sole lead after the first part of the tourney, collapsed with only a half from 4 in the final rounds. Official site: http://www.ase.hu/marxgy/2007/index_eng.html.
And now here is a nice win by young English GM Gawain Jones over the most experienced Dutch GM Loek Van Wely in London.
Jones,G (2526) - Van Wely,L (2680) [B23], London 17.8.2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3
The closed Sicilian. This opening choice doesn't mean that Jones wants to play a closed and positional game...
2...Nc6 3.f4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bb5 Nd4 6.0–0 a6
The main line is 6...Nxb5 7.Nxb5 d6 (7...d5!? 8.e5 a6 9.Nc3 Bg4 10.d4 cxd4 11.Qxd4 e6=) 8.d3 Nf6 9.Qe1 0–0 10.Qh4 Qd7 11.Nc3 Qg4= and Black has nothing to be afraid of.
A rare move and probably not the best. 7...d6 is a much more common alternative: even Anand and Bacrot has opted for it.
8.e5 looks interesting.
8...cxd4 has also been played. After 9.Ne2 Ivan Ivanisevic tried 9...Bb7 and won a blitz game on ICC against Wippermann in 2003.
The game Rumens-Kennedy, Duesseldorf 1997, continued 9...c4 10.Be2 Bb7 11.Bf3 e5?! (11...Qc8) 12.d3 with a slight edge for White.
This looks to be a novelty. 10.Ne2 was played in Wippermann-Bogorads, Duesseldorf 1997, with the continuation 10...Bg7 11.c3 d5 12.e5 e6 13.Qe1 h5 14.Qf2 Bf8 15.Bb1 Nh6 16.d4 Ng4 17.Qg3 Be7=
10...Qc7 was a playable (and more precise) alternative: after 11.Be4 Bxc3 12.Bxb7 Qxb7 13.dxc3 Nh6 the position is completely equal.
11.Be4! Bxc3 12.Bxb7 Bxb2 13.Bxb2 Rxb7 14.f5!
White has lost a pawn, but he can now start a strong attack!
There were not many alternatives...
A bad inaccuracy. After 15...Qc7 16.e6 f6 17.fxg6 hxg6 18.Bxf6 exf6 19.Qxf6 Qxh2+ 20.Kxh2 Ng4+ 21.Kg3 Nxf6 22.Rxf6 White has the iniatiative, but Black has good surviving chances.
16.e6 f6 17.fxg6 hxg6 18.Bxf6!
Simple and (almost) decisive.
18...Rf8 is also hopeless, e.g.: 19.Qg3 Rxf6 (19...Qxe6 20.Qxg6+ Kd8 21.Bxe7+ Qxe7 22.Qxh6 Rxf1+ 23.Rxf1+-) 20.Rxf6 exf6 21.Qxg6+ Ke7 22.Qg7+ Kxe6 23.Rf1 Nf5 24.Qg8+ and White must win.
19.Qxf6 Rg8 20.Rae1 d5
21.Qg5 Re7 22.Qxh6 Qa5?
The last mistake. 22...Qd6 was more stubborn. 22...Rxe6 loses immediately: 23.Qh7+-
23...Qc7 was forced. Now White has a forced mate.
If 24...Rxg6 then 25.Qh8+ Rg8 26.Qxg8#
The last blow: 25.Qxf8+ Kxf8 26.Rf1+ Rf7 27.Rxf7+ Ke8 28.Rg8#.