- 4.5 Anand
- 4.0 Topalov and Shirov
- 3.5 Aronian and Carlsen
- 3.0 Ivanchuk and Radjabov
- 2.5 Leko
The story of the tournament has been the high percentage of fighting chess games. In many top level chess competitions, the number of draws varies between 2/3 or even 3/4 of the games. Not so in Morelia! A stunning 15 of 28 games so far have been decisive, and even many of the draws were filled with plenty of drama. Every player has both won a game and lost a game! Nearly 40% of the games featured the Sicilian defense, one of the most aggressive openings known. Simply said, the tournament has been a spectator's delight.
The best player, without a doubt, has been Anand. He leads at "+2" or 4.5 out of 7. He overcame a loss to Aronian with victories against Shirov, Leko and Carlsen. Two other players who can be happy with their result to date are the veteran Shirov and the youngster Carlsen. The one who is probably the most disappointed is Leko. It has to be an omen when the well-known drawmaster Leko has less peaceful results than Mr. "Fire On Board" Shirov himself!
Here are my favorite five games, with links to the Chess Publisher game viewer. I highly recommend checking out these games to all serious students of the royal game, especially to my own students rated over 1800 USCF (hint, hint). You can also find all of the games in "liblist Linares08" online at ICC.
- Shirov 0-1 Anand (1) -- Shirov's king perishes by move 30 after a Rxc3 sacrifice
- Anand 0-1 Aronian (2) -- Anand gets checkmated facing the Marshall attack
- Shirov 1-0 Topalov (4) -- excellent use of the king to fight in the endgame
- Leko 0-1 Anand (5) -- Anand's technique prevails in a wild opposite wing pawn race
- Topalov 0-1 Carlsen (5) -- Carlsen essays the Alekhine's defense to stun Topalov
- Carlsen 1-0 Aronian (7) -- Ruy Lopez becomes a wild battle with both kings in danger
Stay tuned beginning on Thursday to see who will prevail in the second half of the tournament. Will World Champion Anand defend his #1 FIDE rating or can someone else finish in first place? Check out the official website or visit ChessBase website for news and detailed Grandmaster analysis. The Internet Chess Club also has daily coverage on ChessFM; type "finger Linares08" for more information when you're logged in.