Reports | September 29, 2009 20:39

Nanjing R2: Carlsen beats Topalov, increases lead

CarlsenWhen announcing his cooperation with Garry Kasparov, Magnus Carlsen made his goal clear: to become the world's number one in the near future. In Nanjing the Norwegian is "still on schedule" with a second victory, this time over the current number one, Veselin Topalov.

The 2nd Pearl Spring tournament takes place September 27th - October 9th in Pukou, Nanjing, China. Again it's a six-player, double round-robin with this year Veselin Topalov (2813), Magnus Carlsen (2772), Peter Leko (2762), Teimour Radjabov (2757), Dmitry Jakovenko (2742) and Wang Yue (2736) playing for a € 250,000 prize fund. The rate of play is 40 moves in 90 minutes plus 1 hour.

Round 2

Fully profiting from his lot number 1, which always gives two white games at the start of a round-robin, Magnus Carlsen increased his lead to a full point with another smooth win, against Veselin Topalov. The Bulgarian sacrificed a pawn for which he never really saw true compensation and in an attempt to find counterplay over the f-file, his kingside was weakened too much. Carlsen has become a very effective and accurate player in positions where he's strategically winning, leaving his opponent not a single chance to get back into the game.

The other two games were drawn; Leko's positional approach wasn't dangerous against Radjabov's Dragon while Jakovenko-Wang Yue started very promising with the topical 5.Nbd2 line of the Petroff, but soon petered out into a drawish ending.


The spacious stage in Nanjing

Games round 2

Game viewer by ChessTempo

2nd Pearl Spring (Nanjing) 2009 | Round 2 Standings

2nd Pearl Spring (Nanjing) 2009

2nd Pearl Spring (Nanjing) 2009 | Schedule & results

2nd Pearl Spring (Nanjing) 2009

Magnus Carlsen at the post-game press conference


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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.


Talala's picture

What are you talking about? Those clothes are beautiful.

Castro's picture

(Carl) Sand in the Veselin :-)

ChessVibes's picture

Wow, these two wins are pretty impresive! This might actually get scary, how exciting!

Tom's picture

Topalov frequently loses a game early on in tournaments. It's too early to say he's rusty.

Buri's picture

Round 2 and Round 3 have the same date on the schedule chart???

Petr's picture

Wow! Great start to the tournament! How many points Carlsparov (I just like it :)) gain? 8 of 10?

Peter Doggers's picture

Thx, corrected.

CAL|Daniel's picture

No those clothes are really really bad.

Monkeyboy's picture

Regarding clothing.... I think if Topalov had showed up in his pink and yellow shirt, I think he might have had the upper hand in this game.

(Interview with Magnus. Pink and yellow shirt at 1:50.)

unknown's picture

Go Carlsparov!

Patrick Rasenberg's picture

Are the players actually contractually obliged to wear these ridiculous clothes?

mohammad's picture

Topa is getting rusty

newage's picture

I liked the chinese suits of the last year event. Those look like female dresses.

Jay's picture

Carlsen is very impressive and his play reminds me of a cross between the mature Petrosian and Fischer. Neither Leko nor Topalov could get any counterplay in these first 2 games. It'll be interesting to see if Topa can storm back in the next 8 rounds; I certainly wouldn't count him out. If Magnus maintains this level we may see the development of "Magnus fear" among the world's elite, but Kasparov's got to help Magnus develop an effective glare!

If only Aronian and Kramnik were here - that would be a hell of a tournament.

Remco G's picture

I like the clothes. I do wonder why they gave Magnus a bright red one and the rest a more boring colour though; got to give him some tiny advantage :-)

Thomas's picture

"This time we probably shouldn't credit Kasparov for Carlsen's opening play ...".

Why not? Kasparov has extensive experience with the KID, so he may well have tips on which (side)line is potentially annoying for black. And even if "C&K" know how black should react, the other player (out of preparation) still has to find the correct moves or plan over the board. Then the game may end with a draw - a normal and acceptable result, even the best opening preparation cannot guarantee victory.
It is unlikely, though, that today's game was specific preparation for Topalov (who doesn't play the KID that frequently). But it may have been preparation for Radjabov.

pat j's picture

go carlsen!!
but topalov is like tal: losses at the beginning only to come back in crushing style at the end!
i hope maggie wins it all!

Felix Kling's picture

Nice to see commented games again, besides videos one of the best things of chessvibes :)

chess fan's picture

h3 is quite a nice move with a lot of positional principles too it, the only GM i know who regularly plays it is Krasenkow.

lesek's picture

Carlsen is hot!!

Falstaff's picture

Replace Wang Yue with Kramnik and you have a real tournament. Carlsen + Kasparov wouldn't have it so easy with BIg Vlad in there.

trm's picture

Jezus christ, what's with the monkey suits? This is China's idea of cultural imperialism?

bernd's picture

Cool to see the Nf3 + h3 variation in the KID played. Pity, now all my opponents will be much better prepared for it :-)

Coco Loco's picture

"monkey suits" and "ridiculous clothes"? leave your villages for a day or two and embrace monkeyness in all its glory.

Thomas's picture

@Jay: Regarding Aronian and Kramnik (and Carlsen) - as I said before, wait for the Tal Memorial.
With respect to Kramnik, there was a discussion on Dailydirt a while ago that he was/is maybe the only top player that is not afraid or show _excessive_ respect for Kasparov. Maybe part of the reason that he did not only win their match, but also kept an even overall career score against GK. And Garry was not at all amused that Carlsen lost one game in Dortmund against, of all players, Kramnik ... .

Bert de Bruut's picture

Carlsparov? It's more like Carlspov. Magnus would not hurt himself remembering that checkmate is a viable option to finish off opponents too...

Jagdish Dube.'s picture

Round 3,All the 3 games ended in draws.

Ebomuche Cardinal I's picture

Carlsen missed some great winning positions. But taken as a whole, a Fine game from both grandmasters.

sergio's picture

Never thought cloths would be an important subject on a chesssite.

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