Ivanchuk ends Anand’s domination in Leon

Ivanchuk is new Ciudad de León champion

Ukrainian Vassily Ivanchuk defeated world champion Viswanathan Anand in the final of the XXI Ciudad de León chess tournament by 2½ – 1½ .

In the first game Ivanchuk got a nice position after the opening and took the initiative in the Queen’s side. Some inaccuracies by Anand led to certain problems, where a wrong sacrifice, 38.Nxf6? was refuted by 40…Qxb2!

Leon 17

The Leon city government chancellor, Ibán García del Blanco made the first move of the Final match

In the second game it was Anand’s turn to obtain a good position after the opening, white’s 13.f4 looked risky, and after a few moves Anand got a promising advantage, then converting the material gain into full point.

In the third game both players repeated the variation of the first game, until Anand varied with 17.Nd1. After a complex middle game they arrived to an complicated rook ending which finished in a draw, Ivanchuk called it (always in fluent Spanish), “a comedy of errors”, but added that the several mistakes committed by both players enriched the game.

Leon 15

In the last game there was an abrupt finish when world champion Vishy Anand made a transposition of moves which led him to a lost position, Ivanchuk remarked that a similar mistake was made by Petrosian against Polugaevsky.

In the press conference Ivanchuk commented the games giving a lot of interesting variations, and Anand said that he did not play at the same level with Ivanchuk.

This is the first time that Anand does not win playing in this KO system in León.

Leon 16

Alexei Shirov and Paco Vallejo Pons, both eliminated earlier in the semifinals, were involved in promotional session with local young talents. Tournament winner Vassily Ivanchuk is scheduled to host a 25-boards simul exhibition on Monday.

Leon 19

Jaime Santos and Alexei Shirov

Leon 20

Jaime Santos and Paco Vallejo

Leon 18

Group photo

Report by GM Zenón Franco Ocampos

First semifinal Anand-Vallejo

Second semifinal Ivanchuk-Shirov

All about Leon Chess 2007

Tournament website

The main sponsors of the tournament are: Ayuntamiento de León, Junta de Castilla y León, Diputación de León, Universidad de León, Caja Duero, ALSA, Editorial MIC, and SP Technology.

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