Reports | March 26, 2009 3:07

Aronian a point clear with one round to go

Levon AronianBeating Wang Yue 1¬?-¬? today, Levon Aronian is back in sole lead at the Amber tournament with just one more round to go, tomorrow at 12.30. Anand blundered a queen today against Morozevich in the blindfold while Carlsen lost 1¬?-¬? to Kramnik after playing far below his normal level in the first game.

The 18th Amber Blindfold and Rapid tournament, organized by the Association Max Euwe in Monaco, takes place from March 14 (first round) to March 26 (last round) at the five-star hotel Palais de la Mediterran?©e, splendidly located on the famous Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France. The total prize-fund is ‚Ǩ 216,000 and this year‚Äôs field is stronger than ever with all the world‚Äôs best players taking part.

Round 10
Blindfold games: Rapid games:

Kramnik scores an easy win against Carlsen

This Wednesday started most disappointingly for the many fans of Magnus Carlsen, and no less for the current world's number four himself. He had played very strongly thus far in the blindfold tournament, but in his game against Vladimir Kramnik he was just not himself, and he lost like a child (now that Magnus has reached the mature age, we can safely use this expression). "He was completely out today", Kramnik said. "I just got a present."

9.d5 was already surprise for the Russian and he said that after 10...exd5 White surely has to take back with the e-pawn. Then after 12...Qh4 13.Qf4 Qf5 Kramnik explained that 14. Qg3 is the only move. "I really don't understand why he went 14.exf5 because 14...Bxf5 is the most natural move after which White can resign."

For a while it was unclear what was happening in the other games, since the computer that is sending through the moves suddenly decided that it badly needed a reboot, and this meant that for the rest of the session, only the arbiter's laptop screen was showing the moves, and nobody else in the world had a clue what was going on. As it turned out, Leko had blundered against Karjakin on move 46, allowing 46...Bc3!, and Ivanchuk also left the playing hall as a winner. The Ukrainian wasn't sure about his plan with 19.c5. He tought 27...Nc4 to be wrong. A few moves later he won a pawn and then finished it off flawlessly.


Anand blundering terribly against Morozevich

Also in the next blindfold session there was not a single draw. It started with what might turn out to be a very expensive blunder by the World Champion: Anand had a huge oversight and took with the queen on d5. Soon afterwards Kamsky also blundered, and so we were remembered again of the downside of this tournament.

The ending in Aronian-Wang Yue was probably drawn, but as Ivanchuk correctly predicted around move 45: "It's probably winning because of the time", where Wang Yue had about half a minute left against Aronian five. However, after the game Ljubojevic tried to convince a bunch of reasonable chess players (such as Kramnik, Radjabov, Topalov, Leko and Wang Yue himself) that Black was winning after 52...Ne7 as he'd be catching the bishop on g7. Most of the kibitzers didn't want to agree with him, but were short of an argument.

The rapid tournament started with two not very interesting draws in Karjakin-Leko and Radjabov-Ivanchuk and so Kramnik-Carlsen was clearly the game that got all attention. The Russian had a small plus all the time thanks to his nice centralization, but the accurate 43...Qf7! held everything together.


Topalov-Kamsky: a highly entertaining win for Black

Wang Yue-Aronian and Morozevich-Anand then also ended in a draw; the latter was clearly preparation by Anand for most of the game, as he barely used any time. Morozevich had to be careful and he was, rightly forcing the draw when the position asked for it. Kamsky then won a crazy game with "the beautiful 27...Nf3!" as he said himself. "I wanted to show that I can also play Sicilians, instead of some Spanish torturing manoeuvring bullshit." :-)

And so last year's winner Levon Aronian has excellent chances to repeat his success, going into the last round a point clear of Anand and Carlsen. The chief arbiter changed the pairings so that tomorrow Anand, Aronian and Carlsen will play in the second session. It's Wang Yue-Anand, Topalov-Aronian and Radjabov-Carlsen in the blindfold, at 14:00 CET, because the first session will start at 12:30 CET.

The Amber videos are now also available as an iTunes video podcast! (Link launches iTunes, if installed) You can share the Amber videos on your own web site or blog too. Just click the “Email and embed this video” button next to the volume control in the player.



Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


karel odink's picture


Er viel me iets leuks op: zowel Topalov als Kamsky offerden wederzijds een stuk op f3 in de laatste ronde en sloegen kort daarvoor met de loper op a6!

(Both Topalov and Kamsky sacificed on f3 in their games against each other in the last round)


Jarvis's picture

On the "Ljubo lesson", Wang Yue's expression in the end says it all...

Thomas's picture

Kamsky's "b-word" was public already anyway (on audio coverage). IMO, rather than discussing whether that particular word should be quoted, we should like, appreciate or admire Kamsky's self-irony - normally he is a specialist in Spanish torturing-manoeuvring games .... .
So the insult (against the opening, not against his opponent or, after a bad game, himself :) ) was wholly in jest ... .

Alexander's picture

The succession of Bishop maneuvres Kramnik makes between 14th and 17th is awesome. Great report, BTW.

Buri's picture

@John A: Hmm, so being normal entails swearing? Not in my book.

Ok's picture

"And so last year’s winner Levon Aronian has excellent changes"
chances not changes

not to harp on a normal typo cause you do such a great job here. I just figure you liked people pointing out these minor errors so you can achieve perfection.

chessplanet's picture

Carlsen-Kramnik 9 d5? clearly wrong as pointed out above. Normal variation might have been 9 Be3 Ng4 10 h3 Ne3 11 fe3 Qg5 12 Rf3 where White holds.

I like 8 a3 with the hope to play b4 and c5 later on, as opposed to 8-0-0? which invites Black to attack like in the game.

An interesting variation was 12 h3? Ne5 13 Bb1 Bh3! and White cannot play 14 gh3 because of Nf3+?

14 Qg3 was absolutely damage control, as 14..Qg3 15 Ng3 fe4 is just very comfortable for Black, no clear win in sight.

Finally, for weaker players like me, 20 Nce2 was the logical move ( as opposed to the cheap 20Bh7+?, hoping for 20..Kh7?? 21 Qh4+). Black would have played
20..Bg1 21 Ng1 Rg1+! 22 Kg1 Qe1 Checkmate, which is another neat variation.

Short game, but I'd call it a Kramnik Blindfold Masterpiece, as he did not err at all in this blindfold game.
Carlsen had a day off as noted in the excellent report above, but let's not forget that he created his own brilliancy with Black against Anand in a Sicilian ( round 3), also a blindfold game !

A very entertaining tournament until the very end tomorrow.

A demain !

Buri's picture

Kamsky needs to get his mouth washed with soup and don't you guys think swear words should be censored on here?

John A.'s picture

I like the fact that he uses words like that... it shows that he's a normal person at least! It gives him character and a personality which gives chess fans more of an incentive to watch his interviews.

Have you heard some of the other top GMs talk? Many of them sound anything but normal (practically robotic and emotionless)... at least Kamsky isn't like that :)

If we want chess to become more widely played and followed by spectators, it needs to be less robotic and more exciting like a real sport... at least that's my opinion.

Buri's picture

@extra: You have a poor understanding of what is idiotic and weak.

Macauley's picture

Speaking of typos, @Buri, washing Gata's mouth out with soup (sic) might well make it dirtier!


Buri's picture

LOL I thought it sounded weird, but for some reason I didn't see what I was missing lol

Peter Doggers's picture

@ Ok thx, corrected.

xtra's picture

it is idiotic to censor curse words. if you dont quote what a person said (exactly what he said, and circumstances and context) dont quote at all. if people use curse words then quote them using curse words. censorship is weak.

Thomas's picture

It is already remarkable (though not unheard of) that Topalov and Kamsky played virtually the same opening twice with colors reversed. The difference was that Topalov delayed Nc3 to get c2-c4 in first - but that didn't really change the subsequent character of the play.

Peter Doggers's picture

yes karel, that was a nice similarity indeed!

GuidedByVoices's picture

I can't see the point of this rubbish tournament. What's the point of wasting so much money to organise it, just to see strong players dropping pieces by playing idiotic blunders?

I'm really fed up with so much coverage of this 18th Amber's non-sense "chess" ...

Remco's picture

@Buri: are you from a part of the world where they consider some words harmful to whoever hears them?

Castro's picture

And Kamsky said that refering to one of his most beloved openings!
Let's not hear what he has to say about, say, a Pirc :-)

Coco Loco's picture

I think it's a fun tournament for the players - playing blindfold, living like a rich person, etc. Why it's getting so much *press coverage* is beyond me. At least I think it would be more appropriate, for once, to not focus on the actual games played, at least not those on the blindfold.

Ricardo's picture

"[...] don’t you guys think swear words should be censored on here?"

Of course! And since we're on the mood let's also moderate the forums by default, just in case someone says "the f word", add a signup form so that Peter can track offenders and... I don't know, maybe create a ChessVibes Youth Movement so we can recruit hitmen to remove the threats.

Oh! And maybe we could start juggling with the "Preventive War" concept. God Bless ChessVibes!

Castro's picture

I understand and parcialy agree. I'm not that radical here, but sure: Too much importance given to a less chess-important event. But that is marketing, and I asure you that there are people not realy "wasting" their money or time, but instead making their from the others wasting ours, sometimes.

Thomas's picture

Buri, I respect your opinion ... but personally still don't understand all the fuzz, the swear word didn't even have a religious connotation.
And - at least in certain cultures - I think it IS a common day-to-day word ... I have been living in France for a while where many people use similar words 10-20 times a day on average. As far as children are concerned, they hear (and see) worse things on TV ... .

Castro's picture

Buri is right. If those kinds of limits are not set, which limits were there? Even if they can be used otherwise, in certain (advertised or restricted) circles, using or allowing swear words can be a simple lack of respect (even in some non-children environments they can be).
And, somewhat like the wife of Cesar..., if they can, they are.
Tolerance should be OK, specially if for all, but I agree with Buri (Both Kamsky and who quotes him are not right here).

Buri's picture

@Thomas: I don't think it has much to do with whether it had already been made public or not, but it's just not proper to use such language in a professional setting. And much less have it published in a chess article where people of all ages come to read about chess. Let us not forget that people of more "stricter" cultures may find such words more offensive than others.

@Remco: I'm not sure to what extent it may be harmful, but I do know it is very unprofessional of Kamsky. We're all from different places, but I'd hope that we would not want to have a child hearing/reading such epithets as if they were common day-to-day words. And so in this respect, I believe Chess Vibes is doing a poor job for having published Kamsky's words.

Buri's picture

@Thomas: "And if any rules apply to this website, it would be those of the Netherlands"

I see what you mean, but I know of some countries where racist jokes are highly acceptable and common. Now would it be OK for this country to publish racist jokes simply because the country tolerates it? No. Obviously not because the internet is worldwide and not confined to a single country. So in an attempt to reach "common good" its just best to avoid such situations.

What can they do if players swear live? Absolutely nothing. However, they could ask players to avoid such language since it may not be received the same way by everyone.

To me it would be very ridiculous to place a warning for a couple of swear words and that's why I would say censorship is the best option here. I participate on many forums and some of them (the ones that are more professional in nature) censor inappropriate words automatically and I think that would be something Chess Vibes should look into.

Personally, I don't find it awkward to hear swear words, but reading them I do. Because if you think of it, you 'say' them as you read, but not when you hear them. And if Chess Vibes continues on publishing swear words in their articles, then soon I'm going to be unsensitized. Now I wonder if thats going to be a good thing...

Buri's picture

Sorry if I'm starting to rant haha

Ricardo's picture

"Exactly! That’s necessarily why his point was flawed since it is completely irrelevant to the situation. We’re not given a warning, its just placed in front of our eyes as we read, unlike on TV."

It's not placed in front fo your eyes, you're not forced to watch it. There's a list of videos and you decide whether you want to see it or not. The alternatives (having two sets of videos, for instance) is not an option in my opinion, because the amount of work it takes doesn't pay off.

On the other side, what you find acceptable might not be for someone else. Censoring something on the grounds that it's not acceptable is pretty dangerous. Next thing you know, someone will try to censor someone else because they said "idiot". Or they called someone silly. Or their words were offensive for FIDE. Or, as it did happen to me once, because using the word "accident" reminds them of some personal disaster that occured years ago.

Thomas's picture

I don't know which "warning rules" apply to TV programs, this may well differ between countries ... but I don't think a single bad word is enough to warn children (of which age?). And if any rules apply to this website, it would be those of the Netherlands - overall a relatively tolerant country, though some people dislike swears with religious connotations (their proper choice and right).

As I wrote before, I first heard Kamsky's sentence on What should THEY have done? If it was live, nothing they can do about it (but ban Kamsky from interviews in the future??). If it was delayed, should they have put a "Bip" to mask the bad word??

Buri's picture

@Ricardo: "We’re not talking here about some piece of TV show you are watching on TV."

Exactly! That's necessarily why his point was flawed since it is completely irrelevant to the situation. We're not given a warning, its just placed in front of our eyes as we read, unlike on TV.

I resort to censorship of words because its would be highly unpractical to offer two versions of the same thing (movies do provide such options). And I would hope that no-one would feel robbed of there freedom for not being able to fully see/hear swear words. Nonetheless, even if they do, then well on the grounds that children come on here also, then I would appreciate not to see/hear the these types of words. Besides, its just common courtesy not use foul language in professional settings which clearly Kamsky doesn't seem to understand and neither does Chess Vibes at this point.

Ricardo's picture

"[...] giving people the right to choose what they see and read, and that is the basic requirement for freedom of information."

I'm not sure how censoring Kamsky's words gives anyone the right to choose. Are you going to upload two files, one of them censored and the other one uncensored? Because it looks more like the idea is exactly the opposite: censoring his words and denying everyone else's rights to hear what he has to say, in case there's someone out there who never heard it before (hard to believe).

In any case, Thomas' point is perfectly valid, if you don't mind. We're not talking here about some piece of TV show you are watching on TV. This is a video recorded by Peter himself and uploaded later for everyone's benefit (thank you again, Peter).

Buri's picture

@Thomas: Hmm I had a feeling someone was going to bring that up, but it's a completely flawed way of thinking about things and I suppose "day-to-day" wasn't probably the best word, but rather "appropriate". Nonetheless if you haven't noticed, TV shows with inappropriate content in them always have a warning before, so if they choose to watch it anyways, then nothing can be done since it's their right to see/hear whatever information they want. And that's why your reasoning is flawed since I'm sure you'll understand all about giving people the right to choose what they see and read, and that is the basic requirement for freedom of information.

Castro's picture

If Kamsky got naked in front of the cameras, or worse, if he insulted badly someone (he's not such a person, of course), maybe in a more civilized society every media could show that. But... does anyone here REALY think it was normal (nowadays, at least) to put it here?

Castro's picture

(Again, "difficulties" in posting here...)

Arne Moll's picture

Hi Buri, before you start mentioning definitions, you might like to get a more informed point of view about cursing and profanity, for instance this article in The New Republic by Steven Pinker. Enjoy!

Thomas's picture

A surprisingly long-lived topic .... . Nice link, Arne - though I wasn't patient enough to read till the end ,:) . But, as it starts by quoting U2 frontman Bono: maybe generally it doesn't hurt the reputation of chess THAT much if top players, at least some (one?) of them act or behave like rockstars - rather than like 'boring' politicians or scientists (I am a scientist myself).
And, back to what Buri wrote on March 27:
"if Chess Vibes continues on publishing swear words in their articles, then soon I’m going to be unsensitized. Now I wonder if thats going to be a good thing…"
You hesitate!? Maybe you would have a point (in hesitating), maybe it doesn't really hurt to learn accepting the world as it is ... . I concede that this is a double-edged statement when applied to other issues such as violence (on TV).

Buri's picture

@Ricardo: Everything you said is wrong.

"It’s not placed in front of your eyes, you’re not forced to watch it."

As you're watching/reading, you do NOT know whats coming, so it IS placed in front of your eyes (i.e. the bad language). Its the same idea with TV, as they can't tell you specifically where in the show/movie the bad parts are, they warn the viewer BEFORE watching. Here on Chess Vibes, since there isn't any warning before the article or video, it is assumed you wouldn't find any inappropriate content. So the bad language IS placed in front of your eyes.

"On the other side, what you find acceptable might not be for someone else. Censoring something on the grounds that it’s not acceptable is pretty dangerous. Next thing you know, someone will try to censor someone else because they said “idiot”. Or they called someone silly. Or their words were offensive for FIDE. Or, as it did happen to me once, because using the word “accident” reminds them of some personal disaster that occurred years ago."

Honestly, I'm surprised anyone would say that. There is so much someone can do, saying that words like "accident" may have people recall bad memories is completely out of Chess Vibes hands to prevent. The swear words placed in the article above are COMPLETELY different to words like 'accident'. If you haven't noticed, they even have a 'special' name to them (SWEAR words) so society has made a distinction between since they are inappropriate words.

You're trying to hard to make a point it seems by 'over exaggerating' the problem here and I'm sorry to say, but your arguments just crumble every time.

jussu's picture

Castro: "But… does anyone here REALY think it was normal (nowadays, at least) to put it here?"


Dear offended friends, do you really think that jumping on one swear-word is the best way to make the world a better place? I mean, there are things that offend you and things that offend other people; this one word was hardly the first of the last one you encountered in your life. Imagine that you happen to step into poo - would you stay standing next to the thing and lecturing other passers-by how utterly disgusting it was?

Arne Moll's picture

Buri, what exactly is your problem with swear words except that society has labeled them inappropriate? Do you always listen to society so closely?

sjoerd's picture

Omg. Buri, some questions are better be ignored ;)

Coco Loco's picture

@Buri: You must not be familiar with the writings of Indian philosophers, Krishnamurti and Osho, in particular.

Buri's picture

@Arne Moll: I don't feel comfortable reading swear words and I think others may not also. And I don't think its very good for children to be especially and I believe it lacks professionalism.

Bartleby's picture

So you suggest we stop saying "omg" ?
Or just censoring the words that meet your very own definition of swearing?

I don't think it's good for children to learn the American double standard that "fuck" and "shit" are common in spoken language, but should be bleeped out on TV.

as's picture


Buri's picture

@Coco Loco: Nope sorry, never even heard of them. Any writings you'd recommend? :)

Buri's picture

@Bartleby: Do you know my definition of swear words? If you don't, look up the word profanity on the internet, then use your head and answer your own question.

rdecredico's picture


Thomas's picture

@Buri: I actually didn't think that you hesitated, but - like you before - put this as a thought-provoking stylistic element in my reply ... . And of course I don't mean to imply that swearing should become commonplace to change the image of chess.
Still, in my opinion Kamsky should be praised rather than condemned for giving a spontaneous interview soon after his game. It may have been a different story if he a) had been swearing at the arbiter, his opponent or himself (rather than at an opening), and/or b) had used a swear word with a sexual or religious connotation [I will not give examples, they would offend you, maybe other people and the spam filter :) ]. Likewise, IMO Macauley Peterson and Peter Doggers should be complimented rather than criticized for making Kamsky's words public.

Some other top players either say "basically nothing" in interviews or come up with tons of game variations, and one of them has rather "nerdy" interviews - which I still enjoy watching, but here I really wonder what the general public would think. "Of course"(?) I mean Ivanchuk - is he just himself at such occasions, or does he also enjoy cultivating his unique image?

Buri's picture
Buri's picture

hmmm I'm trying to post my replies to Thomas and Arne Moll, but they are not appearing. And sorry about my website post, didn't mean to.


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