Reports | September 30, 2009 21:20

Three draws in third round Nanjing

Nanjing r3Three combative games ended in a draw in today's third round of the Pearl Spring Grand Slam tournament in Nanjing. Carlsen keeps his one-point lead ahead of Jakovenko, Radjabov and Wang Yue.

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 3

Especially Wang Yue-Carlsen was a great game in today's round, and we're not sure whether it's still the Valencia vibes or not, but it reminded of a typical Karpov-Kasparov encounter, where Black sacrifices a pawn in a Grünfeld to open up diagonals, and White defends by keeping a positionally healthy position, using all the tactics available. The star move was 13...e5! - did you even put a pawn on that square where it is attacked by pawns on both d4 and f4?

Nanjing r3

It was a logical response to White's remarkable strategy of giving up the black-squared bishop for a knight on b8, followed by f2-f4, trying to cement the center - a theme known from many modern (Chebaneko) Slav games. Just when he seemed to get into big trouble, Wang Yue came up with a plan that suited his clumsy-looking piece set-up: running with the h-pawn. Continuing with active defence, the Chinese GM wonderfully held his own. Carlsen's best chance for more seems to be 27...Bf5.

Nanjing r3

Radjabov continues his attempts to gain an advantage in the Scotch ending-with-doubled-pawns-on-both-sides which has really become is personal speciality (all of his games so far in this line have been included in the viewer). Most of the time Black doesn't seem to be facing too many problems and taking his successes in the King's Indian into account, it surprises us that the Azeri grandmaster still enjoys this kind of position. Admittedly, he did seem to have a slight edge against Jakovenko today, but it wasn't much.

Nanjing r3

Another small endgame advantage was enjoyed by Veselin Topalov today, in his White game against Peter Leko. The critical position was reached on move 22, where the Bulgarian had to decide to continue adding pressure with 22.Nb4 or immediately go for an ending with a pawn up, but where Black's remaining pieces would be very active. He chose the latter, but Leko indeed held the ending relatively easily.

Games round 3

Game viewer by ChessTempo

2nd Pearl Spring (Nanjing) 2009 | Round 3 Standings
2nd Pearl Spring (Nanjing) 2009

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


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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.


Call Zorbin's picture

Superb battle that of Wang Yue - Carlsen!. They had already played some nice fought games before. Carlsen was aggressive but Wang saved the day after all. Thanks for your game summary and notes. It is very objective after viewing the game live with some many confusing kibitzer comments!.

Michael Schwerteck's picture

A fascinating game indeed. Wang defended well, but I would be surprised if there wasn't some way for Black to keep a big advantage. Perhaps he should have played 37...Rff8, after which the Re8 is defended and Qd7 is no double attack. There is also the computer suggestion 36...d4!? 37.Nxe4 d3 instead of the flashy 36...Rxf4. Can White stop this avalanche of pawns? I doubt it.

JustBe's picture

Carlsen is the no.1 at the moment if live ratings would be updated today.

Remco G's picture

Uhm, no, they were just updated today and he's still #3.

Rob Brown's picture

32 ..... a5! , intending a4 followed by Nc3 and Bf5, sure looks to be winning for white. After playing playing so forcefully and creatively , Carlsen let the win slip through his fingers. What a shame.

nattown's picture

great annotations, chessvibes! thanks

vooruitgang's picture

Excellent games today...and thank you Peter for the excellent report.

Librarian's picture

Are rounds 4 & 5 switched around? Wonder why Carlsen would get two blacks in a row.

me's picture

Well, he got two whites in a row, so it is logically that he must get two blacks in row too ;)

sergio's picture

NIce games. I usaully don't like draws, but they where all nice fought games. I really like the game of Carlsen. I wonder if he missed a win somewhere. But even if he did miss it, it was still a good game.

JM's picture

Michael Schwerteck makes an excellent point... I really don't understand why so far all annotators of the Wang Yue - Carlsen game appoint an exclamation mark to 36...Rxf4 . When I was watching the games live, it was my preferred option - thinking as a human, I thought I'd just be a piece up after the pawn gets to d3.

To be fair, completely missed Rxf4 while watching the games, so that may well be part of the reason I preferred the move 36...d4 :-P

guncha's picture

It would have been an act of brilliance by Carlsen if it were normal time control. I still don't understand why the organizers don't want to let the players to do the job.

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