Linares 2010 - First Rest Day Print
Thursday, 18 February 2010 04:34
chess newsThe 2010 Linares chess tournament is a six-player double round robin running from 13th until 24th February. The first rest day was granted after four rounds of intense games. Despite the high fighting spirit, thus far only two games have finished with decisive result, when Veselin Topalov beat Vugar Gashimov and Alexander Grischuk scored against Boris Gelfand in round two. Both were beautiful positional games, you can download them from the official website.

Topalov and the last year winner Grischuk are sharing the lead with 2.5 points each. Topalov has been cautious more than usual, but nevertheless he run into problems in the game against the aggressive Levon Aronian, who is always seeking to crush his opponents with white pieces in hand. With resourceful and imaginative defence, Topalov narrowly escaped the defeat by transposing into an endgame with opposite-coloured Bishops and wrong promoting corner.

Another wild game was the encounter between Boris Gelfand and Francisco Vallejo Pons. The Spaniard gave up the Queen for White Rook, but his minor pieces were dangerously coordinated and pointed towards the enemy King. With not more than 15 minutes on the clock, Gelfand decided to drop calculating complicated lines in the quest of exploiting material advantage, and instead gave the Queen back to reach a safe endgame where he easily held a draw.

The competition continues with round five games on Thursday. Pairings are Topalov-Grischuk in the derby match, Vallejo - Gashimov and Aronian - Gelfand.

Levon Aronian