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🏆 Linares (2009)

  PARTICIPANTS (sorted by highest achieved rating; click on name to see player's games)
Magnus Carlsen, Levon Aronian, Viswanathan Anand, Alexander Grischuk, Teimour Radjabov, Vassily Ivanchuk, Leinier Dominguez Perez, Wang Yue Chess Event Description
Linares (2009)

The 26th Torneo Intercontinental de Ajedrez Ciudad de Linares was again staged only in Spain. In the previous three years, the first half of the tournament was in Morelia, Mexico (hence the "Intercontinental"). It was rumored that next year the first half would probably be in the Arab Emirates. The participants were: World Champion Viswanathan Anand (Elo ranked #2 in the world), Vassily Ivanchuk (#3), Magnus Carlsen (#4), Teimour Radjabov (#6), Levon Aronian (#11), Wang Yue (#13), Alexander Grischuk (#14), and Leinier Dominguez Perez (#23). Grischuk replaced Veselin Topalov (#1) who had to withdraw because of a new schedule for the Topalov - Kamsky Candidates Final (2009). Games started at 4 pm in Teatro Cervantes. Grischuk won on tiebreak (more wins) ahead of Ivanchuk.

Linares, Spain, 19 February - 7 March 2009

Age Elo 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 1 Grischuk 25 2733 ** ½½ ½0 ½½ 1½ 1½ 1½ ½½ 8 2 Ivanchuk 39 2779 ½½ ** ½½ ½½ ½½ ½½ 11 ½½ 8 3 Carlsen 18 2776 ½1 ½½ ** 1½ ½½ ½0 ½0 ½1 7½ 4 Anand 39 2791 ½½ ½½ 0½ ** 1½ 1½ 0½ ½½ 7 5 Radjabov 21 2761 0½ ½½ ½½ 0½ ** ½½ ½1 ½½ 6½ 6 Wang Yue 21 2739 0½ ½½ ½1 0½ ½½ ** ½½ ½½ 6½ 7 Aronian 26 2750 0½ 00 ½1 1½ ½0 ½½ ** 1½ 6½ 8 Domínguez 25 2717 ½½ ½½ ½0 ½½ ½½ ½½ 0½ ** 6

Category: XXI (2756). Arbiters: Juan Vargas and Faik Gasanov.

Video Round 10: Video Round 14:


ChessBase, 3/7/2009 (
ChessBase, 2/19/2009 (
FIDE rating list January 2009 (
Mark Crowther in TWIC 748 (
Spanish ChessBase, 19/02/2009 (
Daaim Shabazz in The Chess Drum, 20 Feb - 7 March 2009 (
Ian Rogers in Peón de Rey, No. 80 (May-June 2009), pp. 8-18 (

Previous edition: Morelia-Linares (2008). Next (and last): Linares (2010)

Round dates: February 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 28, March 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 (from TWIC and ChessBase).

 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 56  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Wang Yue vs Ivanchuk ½-½312009LinaresE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
2. Aronian vs Carlsen ½-½372009LinaresE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
3. L Dominguez vs Grischuk ½-½302009LinaresC18 French, Winawer
4. Anand vs Radjabov 1-0612009LinaresB33 Sicilian
5. Radjabov vs Ivanchuk ½-½422009LinaresE94 King's Indian, Orthodox
6. Carlsen vs L Dominguez ½-½182009LinaresA33 English, Symmetrical
7. Anand vs Aronian 0-1532009LinaresD47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
8. Grischuk vs Wang Yue 1-0572009LinaresD17 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
9. Aronian vs Radjabov ½-½422009LinaresE61 King's Indian
10. L Dominguez vs Anand ½-½422009LinaresB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
11. Wang Yue vs Carlsen ½-½572009LinaresD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
12. Ivanchuk vs Grischuk ½-½652009LinaresE20 Nimzo-Indian
13. Aronian vs L Dominguez 1-0922009LinaresD27 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
14. Anand vs Wang Yue 1-0332009LinaresD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
15. Carlsen vs Ivanchuk ½-½342009LinaresD81 Grunfeld, Russian Variation
16. Radjabov vs Grischuk 0-1412009LinaresE17 Queen's Indian
17. Ivanchuk vs Anand ½-½652009LinaresD19 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch
18. Wang Yue vs Aronian ½-½262009LinaresD12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
19. L Dominguez vs Radjabov ½-½622009LinaresB77 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack
20. Grischuk vs Carlsen ½-½342009LinaresB33 Sicilian
21. Wang Yue vs Radjabov  ½-½432009LinaresE92 King's Indian
22. Ivanchuk vs L Dominguez ½-½472009LinaresA04 Reti Opening
23. Grischuk vs Aronian 1-0592009LinaresD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
24. Carlsen vs Anand 1-0772009LinaresD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
25. L Dominguez vs Wang Yue ½-½572009LinaresC42 Petrov Defense
 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 56  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 191 OF 192 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-14-09  frogbert: alexmagnus, but question 1 doesn't really depend on how elo did it, does it? instead of me repeating the same question over and over again, maybe it's a better idea that you take me through your reasoning, step by step, explaining the connection between elo's calculation of a 2450 rating for some player in 1911 (?) and the strengthening of your 0-inflation hypothesis for the fide rating system 1970 to present. i don't get it, but maybe i'm simply slow.

plang, fide has never had the kind of rating floors that are used in the uscf rating system. in fide you have always <fallen through> the single, lower rating floor and <out of the list> - you simply became unrated again.

it could be argued that referring to the lower rating limit in fide as "rating floor" has been misleading for americans that are used to the uscf system. hitting the rating "floor" hard in fide is kind of lethal (if you can't maintain a rating at the minmum rating or above, you're evicted until you can), while in the uscf system you are kept artificially "alive" at that rating level, effectively injecting rating points into the system when people beat you (or lower rated people draw you).

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <frogbert> My reasoning was that in case Elo's method didnt' principally differ from FIDE's <and> there was no visible inflation from 1911 till 2009 then there either

a)never was any inflation


b)the inflation/deflation nihilized itself over time since 1911.

Of course, one cannot judge anything by ratng of one player. But I never said Süchting's 2450 <proves> anything. I said only it <supports> the 0-inflation assumption. That is, it's an (not very meaningful, but still...) evidence but not a proof.

Mar-14-09  frogbert: <no visible inflation from 1911 till 2009>

how would we observe that? (i thought nunn described this fellow's errors as 2100 stuff, btw)

< But I never said Süchting's 2450 <proves> anything. I said only it <supports> the 0-inflation assumption.>

and that's the part i don't understand - how does this support your 0-inflation assumption? because 2450 is a number between 2000 and 2800? because it's similar to what süchting "would've had" now? (how do we know?)

i simply see no connection.

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Because 2450 is way higher than 2100. Nunn's 2100 estimate was based on his games of some random tournament (not only his mistakes, which partly were below 2000 level). Assuming Süchting was simply in a bad shape in Karlsbad 1911 we get his rating in a normal shape of surely not higher than 2450 (I've never seen someone playing performances differing from his rating by more than 350 pts... Not in events with a classical or longer time control at least (in rapid Shirov once underperformed by 600 points)). So, Süchting was no way better than his 2450 rating in modern terms (assuming Nunn's 2100 estimate is correct). Now, if we assume other players of that time have similar relations between their historical rating and their actual level of play, then we can conclude that the rating didn't inflate or even massively deflated (if the "2100 level games" were his usual).

Of course, as I say, these are only pieces of evidence. To prove something, one would need much more data...

Mar-15-09  percyblakeney: It’s often said that if Morphy was given some time to learn modern openings he would beat most of today’s top players, Fischer himself meant that Morphy would beat everyone. I think the knowledge of modern players is underestimated, just look at how they can blitz out complicated middlegames and endgames while blindfolded. It’s not as if they just have memorised opening lines and exchanged creativity with following computer lines.

That being said, I do think Nunn exaggerates a bit when he states that a player like Süchting at his very best, when things were really going his way, still never reached higher than 2100. In the discussed tournament in Karlsbad 1911 he did make some terrible blunders, but he also drew Rubinstein, Nimzowitsch and Spielmann, and won against Burn and Duras. This is the rather nice win against Burn, who wasn’t that young anymore but still won against Alekhine and the tournament winner Teichmann:

H Suechting vs Burn, 1911

Mar-15-09  KingG: <keypusher> <what examples of Lasker endgame blunders does Nunn give?> He doesn't give any since Lasker didn't play in Karsblad 1911, and that was the only tournament analysed by Nunn. It think it is Watson who claimed he found some endgames where Lasker made some horrible mistakes, but he doesn't say which games he is referring to.
Mar-15-09  frogbert: <Because 2450 is way higher than 2100.>

ok, so it was based on nunn's "finger in the air" estimate of 2100.

well, then the deduction is logical - but i think the premises are pretty weak, to say the least. fortunately you have produced much better arguments for your hypothesis on previous occasions, alexmagnus. or better counter-arguments for those who think 2-3 extreme examples are proof for this or that. :o)

you know that my stand is a little less "extreme" than yours:

1) ratings that are more than 8-10 years apart shouldn't be compared, not due to "inflation" per se, but because there are typically too many changes in the player pool over such a period (and this tendency has been accelerated after fide started to lower the minimum rating limit steadily).

a given rating number has only got a specific meaning at one specific point in time, the time of creation of the rating list in which the rating number appeared. it describes the player's results compared to the other (active) players' results in the same list. and differences up to roughly 20-30 points in one such list shouldn't be taken too seriously, in the sense of being proof that the higher rated player is "stronger" than the lower rated player - the results have been slightly better, true, but there's always an element of "chance" in the latest string of results. i do think that "small rating differences" in general are more significant close to the "end of the relative scale" than in the thick of it.

2) as an independent exercise, i consider it ineresting to analyse the "rating economy", in particular for what i consider the "relevant" group(s) of players - that of the "active" ones (fide has their definition - other definitions are possible and probably useful). also within the group of "active players" it's interesting to consider sub-pools, like that of the "strong players".

in chess as in many other areas, it's the people that are good at it that tend to play the highest number of fide (internationally) rated games. hence, i consider the rating changes within this group as the most interesting. but the lower rating groups are still important in order as part of the explanation for what we see in other higher rating groups.

3) the rating system considered as "an economy" seem to have experienced some inflation at times (but people draw all kinds of <wrong conclusions> on that basis, forgetting the rating system's <relative nature>). however, the popular belief that inflation has become particularly bad lately, as in the latest 5-8 years, is one that isn't built on facts and a scientific approach.

instead of treating inflation as a yes/no-question, i want to describe how the amount of inflation has varied over time, hopefully being able to explain and link the observable changes to

a) rule changes and other modifications

b) changes in the influx/outflux of the rating pool

c) behavioural changes among the players (number of events/games played per year, etc.)

some people point to that the calculational formulas used by fide cause inflation by definition. well, i'd like to show that this is negligible compared to the 3 factors mentioned above - if we ignore the part of a) that partly overlaps with this argument.

Mar-16-09  frogbert: <the terrible rating deflation!>

regarding "adjusting for inflation", which some people think is a one-way thing - that you always adjust down - this might be "interesting".

if we would use fide's rating numbers and sonas' (chessmetrics) technique for adjusting two adjacent rating lists, then this would've been the result for the january 2009 and the april 2009 lists.

we're starting out with the january 2009 list. the top 20 ratings in that list were these:


based on the rating data currently present on the fide site, it seems like the top 20 ratings on the april list will be these:


sonas' method is simply to take the average of number #3 to #20 in the previous and the new list, and then adjust <every rating number> in the latest list up or down according to the diff in average.

the average in january 2009 was 2746,06 while it seems to become 2743,72 in april. hence, sonas would say that there was a <deflation> of a little more than 2,3 points between those two lists. hence he would've adjusted <everyone> in the april list <up 2 points>.

hence, instead of an april list of

1 topalov 2812
2 anand 2783
3 carlsen 2770

a list <corrected for inflation/deflation> would yield

1 topalov 2814
2 anand 2785
3 carlsen 2772

i think this exercise is pretty pointless in the first place. but it <should> be some food for thought for the "the inflation is worse than ever" camp. :o)

Mar-16-09  visayanbraindoctor: <It’s often said that if Morphy was given some time to learn modern openings he would beat most of today’s top players, Fischer himself meant that Morphy would beat everyone. I think the knowledge of modern players is underestimated, just look at how they can blitz out complicated middlegames and endgames while blindfolded.>

I have been watching the Amber blindfold tournament. I learned that in Amber they actually have boards (although empty) to look at. That makes blindfold games much easier by a mile IMO.

Blindfold chess today is mostly for fun. However, I think almost all the top masters of the 19th century until the 1930s depended partially on professional fees from simultaneous blindfold chess exhibitions without sight of board and men. They had to take blindfold chess very seriously as part of their income depended on it. Since it was their livelihood, and they did it regularly, these pre-WW2 masters would probably be super strong in blindfold chess by today's standards. Including Paul Morphy by the way.

If we were to get the strongest blindfold players in history, I would bet on Alekhine; he was regularly playing blindfold chess in a professional capacity until the end of his career, without sight of board and men. His experience in playing blindfold chess was an order of magnitude greater than today's top GMs.

As for openings, it's pretty well-known that blindfold chess and rapid games depend more on a chess player's native skills than on opening knowledge.

Mar-16-09  frogbert: <His experience in playing blindfold chess was an order of magnitude greater than today's top GMs.>

mimicking the way you argue regarding opening theory and all other advances & changes in modern chess, i guess we could give today's top gms 3 months of intensive blindfold training - and they'd match "the strongest blindfold player in history", right? or was that changed to 2-3 years of training in the latest estimates?


ps! lengthy arguments about "historical players" versus modern players are mostly futile, imho. there is no way to reasonably compare them. not even in terms of relative domination, due to the huge increase in professional (or semi-professional) players over the years.

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <visayan> Note, historical masters didn't play blindfold against each other but against <amateurs> (and it were not always simuls!). They didn't have to calculate much, just keep the position in their head and calculate at the "critical" moments (f.x. to announce checkmate in x moves).
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <frogbert> But how do you refute my "continuity of time" argument, connecting the different player pools?
Mar-16-09  visayanbraindoctor: <alexmagnus> Still trolling along? Why don't you try playing simultaneous blindfold chess with 10 people, with no board? A normal chessplayer might get a headache playing a single game without a chess board, but you probably won't as you don't seem to have have enough stuff inside your trollish skull to get a headache. Certainly statements such as this speak for themselves, of just about how much calculative powers their creators have.

<They didn't have to calculate much, just keep the position in their head and calculate at the "critical" moments (f.x. to announce checkmate in x moves). - alexmagnus>

And yes, the pre-WW 2 masters played each other blindfold. They would even play mini-matches with each other. Try visiting the Mieses page for one such blindfold match.

Mar-16-09  visayanbraindoctor: <i guess we could give today's top gms 3 months of intensive blindfold training - and they'd match "the strongest blindfold player in history", right? or was that changed to 2-3 years of training in the latest estimates?>

You are probably being ironic <frogbert>, but if you are asking a serious question, you could well be correct.

<lengthy arguments about "historical players" versus modern players are mostly futile, imho.>

There are many like you who think so; and certainly, since time machines are not available, masters from different eras would never meet. It's like comparing Newton and Einstein. However, other chess pundits don't think it's futile. So in this case, it's really a matter of opinion. <amadeus> betting on a disguised moustached Morphy beating Grischuk for example may sound futile to you, but for me, it brought a smile, and thoughts of, hey if <amadeus> is right, GM Grischuk would never know what hit him. (",)

<the huge increase in professional (or semi-professional) players over the years.>

The chess players of the former Soviet Union and its former satellite countries (Eastern European block) were supported by the state (either directly or via state-sponsored tournaments); which in my mind makes them professional players, who could concentrate on chess and nothing else much, without worrying where to get an income to buy their daily bread. And it's probably why Soviet masters began to grow in strength starting in the 1920s very quickly; and have totally dominated the chessworld until the 1990s. In this context, Paul Keres before WW2 would have been a chess professional in the present-day sense; he would play in tournaments for the prize money. Post WW2, Keres remained a chess professional in the sense that he was supported by the Soviet state.

We are still living in the post-Soviet aftermath: we still see chessplayers like Kramnik, Topalov, Morozevich, Leko, Shirov, etc.. who were trained in the Eastern European block chess system. The strongest products of this very professional Soviet - Eastern European system were Kasparov and Karpov; and so were World Champions Botvinnik, Smyslov, Tal, Petrosian, Spassky; and near champions Bronstein and Korchnoi. These players in their prime IMO are a match for any other top player from any era in chess history.

Regarding the capacity of the very top chessplayers to play chess, my views are in my profile.

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <Still trolling along? Why don't you try playing simultaneous blindfold chess with 10 people, with no board? A normal chessplayer might get a headache playing a single game without a chess board, but you probably won't as you don't seem to have have enough stuff inside your trollish skull to get a headache. >

I actually once <played> two blindfold games simultaneously. The opponents were of course extremely weak (I myself am 1500, my opponents were one absolute beginner and one 900). I won both games, but I bet any 1200 would trash me (if he sees the board and I play blind).

So if a 1500 can play 2 games blind, I see nopthing special in a 2600 playing 10 games blind against amateurs who hardly play better than myself...

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: And just for clarification - yes, I have a very good memory (my limit in momentarily number memorization is, depending on the day, between 13 and 15 digits - an average human has 6-7). But far from a photographical one.

So I think is with that masters. They may have an exceptional memory, but I am <sure> it's not photographic. It may be synaesthetic though. Memory is always better with synaesthesia....

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Also, <visayan>, you should read a definition of the troll. Also, you hardly win an argument by attacking me. Remember, I debated competitively in my teens, I know that attacks give you no points.
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: Aaand also, from my owwn experience... I played a semi-blind game (notation allowed for me, completely blind for him) against a 2000 once. It was <much> harder than that blind simul against beginners. And - I lost just as I would lose in a normal game.
Mar-17-09  visayanbraindoctor: The funny thing about you <alexmagnus> is that you are one of the trolls who try to deny they are trolling. You have been trolling my posts since the Kramnik page; and I have warned you already that I troll trolls like you.

By the way, I can help you think of a way to create a system wherein you can be the blindfold Chess World Champion of the world.

I can also give you pointers on trolling if you want to improve your trolling skills to a level as blind as your blindfold skills.

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <visayan> I don't troll. While you yourself say you ARE trolling.

Not everybody whose opinion differs from yours is a troll!

You siply have no arguments to refute me and so say I a troll. Go ahead, look up the definition of a troll.

Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: simply*; I'm*... Sorry, my M and E are sometimes not working ;)
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: * <alxagnus> ayb you should buy a nw kyboard so..ti..s!
Mar-17-09  visayanbraindoctor: Troll = Someone who has 450 cc of brain volume in his skull = <alexmagnus>
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <visayan> LOL. Your attacks start going below the waist line. But before you calculate my brain volume, remember that I studied two grades ahead of my age through the entire secondary school ;)
Mar-17-09  visayanbraindoctor: <alexmagnus> Do trolls have waistlines?

You asked for a definition of a troll did you not? Is increasing the brain volume acceptable to you?

Troll = Someone who has 800 cc of brain volume in his skull = <alexmagnus>

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