31
Jan 2014
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Zurich First round saw Carlsen & Aronian wins

The first round of Zurich Chess Challenge saw two continuous wins with Magnus Carlsen’s victory   against Boris Gelfand in an unbelievably strategic queenless middlegame, and the win of Levon Aronian who played against Vishy Anand after 73 moves in an ending with a knight against two pawns.

On the other hand Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana drew a Grünfeld game after 67 moves.

The World Champion, Magnus Carlsen who played after almost two months was looked a bit out of practice. He commented after winning a fine game against Boris Gelfand. “It showed that I hadn't played for a long time. I couldn't make decisions. After a few moves I remembered how to play chess again,”

 

In a Fianchetto Grünfeld Gelfand chose the solid move 4...c6, and finally Carlsen kept away from most of the theory with his queen sortie two moves later.  Soon after, the game became extremely interesting despite an early queen trade. Thereby with 15.g4 Carlsen started a long series of tactics that eventually gave him a winning advantage.

 

In contrast Levon Aronian thought that the game was heading towards a draw, but then, on move 41, he got time to dive into the position and thus found a way to make progress.

Both Carlsen and Aronian expressed that the matches were really just a very fun game. Lots of planned and positional stuff and it was all tactics on every move and which made the game all the more interesting.

 

In an English Opening with Catalan inclination, former world champion Vishwanathan  Anand made a blunder  on move 17 which was based on a estimating error. Then, to steer clear of getting into a cramped position, he took a good practical decision and gave up a piece for two pawns. This gave Anand some chances to go for a draw the game just before the time control.

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