SIMPLECHESS

Aronian wins the final Melody Amber

Levon Aronian did enough to stay a full point clear of Magnus Carlsen, while Viswanathan Anand came home in third place. An exciting event over the last twenty years, the chess world will miss the Melody Amber, as an era comes to a close.

Three Black wins in the last round of the Blindfold settled the tournament. Levon Aronian had the tournament sown-up before the 11th round rapids.

Round 11: Blindfold

Magnus Carlsen Norway 2815 0-1 Boris Gelfand Israel 2733
Vugar Gashimov Azerbaijan 2746 ½-½ Alexander Grischuk Russia 2747
Anish Giri Netherlands 2690 0-1 Viswanathan Anand India 2817
Vassily Ivanchuk Ukraine 2779 ½-½ Veselin Topalov Bulgaria 2775
Hikaru Nakamura USA 2774 0-1 Vladimir Kramnik Russia 2785
Levon Aronian Armenia 2808 ½-½ Sergey Karjakin Russia 2776

Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura fought back to equalize their matches. Anand's 2-0 over Giri condemned the young Dutchman to last place.

Round 11: Rapidplay

Boris Gelfand Israel 2733 0-1 Magnus Carlsen Norway 2815
Alexander Grischuk Russia 2747 ½-½ Vugar Gashimov Azerbaijan 2746
Viswanathan Anand India 2817 1-0 Anish Giri Netherlands 2690
Veselin Topalov Bulgaria 2775 1-0 Vassily Ivanchuk Ukraine 2779
Vladimir Kramnik Russia 2785 0-1 Hikaru Nakamura USA 2774
Sergey Karjakin Russia 2776 ½-½ Levon Aronian Armenia 2808

The top three in the world occupy the podium, but the World No.4, Vladimir Kramnik, will be the most disappointed of all the players.

The final table:

Seed Name (World Rank) Country Rating Age Blindfold Rapidplay Total Points
3 Levon Aronian (3) Armenia 2808 28 7 15½
2 Magnus Carlsen (2) Norway 2815 20 5 14½
1 Viswanathan Anand (1) India 2817 41 7 6 13
5 Vassily Ivanchuk (5) Ukraine 2779 41 5 6 11
9 Alexander Grischuk (10) Russia 2747 27 6 5 11
7 Veselin Topalov (7) Bulgaria 2775 36 6 10½
8 Hikaru Nakamura (8) USA 2774 23 5 10½
10 Vugar Gashimov (11) Russia 2747 24 6 10½
11 Boris Gelfand (16) Israel 2733 42 6 10½
6 Sergey Karjakin (6) Russia 2776 21 10
4 Vladimir Kramnik (4) Russia 2785 35 4 4 8
12 Anish Giri (43) Netherlands 2690 16 7

On the final day, Viswanthan Anand consolidated his third place in the overall event. In the middle, 4th-10th involved seven players separated by only one point.

Magnus Carlsen's 9½/11 must have been one of the highest-ever performances in a rapid tournament.

The previous rounds:

Round 1: Blindfold

Hikaru Nakamura USA 2774 ½-½ Magnus Carlsen Norway 2815
Levon Aronian Armenia 2808 1-0 Anish Giri Netherlands 2690
Vassily Ivanchuk Ukraine 2779 0-1 Vugar Gashimov Azerbaijan 2746
Sergey Karjakin Russia 2776 0-1 Boris Gelfand Israel 2733
Alexander Grischuk Russia 2747 1-0 Vladimir Kramnik Russia 2785
Viswanathan Anand India 2817 1-0 Veselin Topalov Bulgaria 2775

Round 1: Rapidplay

Magnus Carlsen Norway 2815 1-0 Hikaru Nakamura USA 2774
Anish Giri Netherlands 2690 0-1 Levon Aronian Armenia 2808
Vugar Gashimov Azerbaijan 2746 1-0 Vassily Ivanchuk Ukraine 2779
Boris Gelfand Israel 2733 1-0 Sergey Karjakin Russia 2776
Vladimir Kramnik Russia 2785 0-1 Alexander Grischuk Russia 2747
Veselin Topalov Bulgaria 2775 ½-½ Viswanathan Anand India 2817

Round 2: Blindfold

Veselin Topalov Bulgaria 2775 ½-½ Sergey Karjakin Russia 2776
Vladimir Kramnik Russia 2785 ½-½ Viswanathan Anand India 2817
Boris Gelfand Israel 2733 0-1 Alexander Grischuk Russia 2747
Magnus Carlsen Norway 2815 1-0 Vugar Gashimov Azerbaijan 2746
Anish Giri Netherlands 2690 ½-½ Vassily Ivanchuk Ukraine 2779
Hikaru Nakamura USA 2774 0-1 Levon Aronian Armenia 2808

Round 2: Rapidplay

Sergey Karjakin Russia 2776 ½-½ Veselin Topalov Bulgaria 2775
Viswanathan Anand India 2817 ½-½ Vladimir Kramnik Russia 2785
Alexander Grischuk Russia 2747 ½-½ Boris Gelfand Israel 2733
Vugar Gashimov Azerbaijan 2746 0-1 Magnus Carlsen Norway 2815
Vassily Ivanchuk Ukraine 2779 ½-½ Anish Giri Netherlands 2690
Levon Aronian Armenia 2808 ½-½ Hikaru Nakamura USA 2774

Round 3: Blindfold

Levon Aronian Armenia 2808 ½-½ Magnus Carlsen Norway 2815
Vassily Ivanchuk Ukraine 2779 0-1 Hikaru Nakamura USA 2774
Vugar Gashimov Azerbaijan 2746 1-0 Anish Giri Netherlands 2690
Alexander Grischuk Russia 2747 ½-½ Sergey Karjakin Russia 2776
Viswanathan Anand India 2817 ½-½ Boris Gelfand Israel 2733
Vladimir Kramnik Russia 2785 1-0 Veselin Topalov Bulgaria 2775

Round 3: Rapidplay

Magnus Carlsen Norway 2815 ½-½ Levon Aronian Armenia 2808
Hikaru Nakamura USA 2774 ½-½ Vassily Ivanchuk Ukraine 2779
Anish Giri Netherlands 2690 ½-½ Vugar Gashimov Azerbaijan 2746
Sergey Karjakin Russia 2776 1-0 Alexander Grischuk Russia 2747
Boris Gelfand Israel 2733 0-1 Viswanathan Anand India 2817
Veselin Topalov Bulgaria 2775 1-0 Vladimir Kramnik Russia 2785

Round 4: Blindfold

Sergey Karjakin Russia 2776 1-0 Vladimir Kramnik Russia 2785
Boris Gelfand Israel 2733 ½-½ Veselin Topalov Bulgaria 2775
Alexander Grischuk Russia 2747 ½-½ Viswanathan Anand India 2817
Magnus Carlsen Norway 2815 ½-½ Anish Giri Netherlands 2690
Hikaru Nakamura USA 2774 ½-½ Vugar Gashimov Azerbaijan 2746
Levon Aronian Armenia 2808 ½-½ Vassily Ivanchuk Ukraine 2779

Round 4: Rapidplay

Vladimir Kramnik Russia 2785 ½-½ Sergey Karjakin Russia 2776
Veselin Topalov Bulgaria 2775 1-0 Boris Gelfand Israel 2733
Viswanathan Anand India 2817 1-0 Alexander Grischuk Russia 2747
Anish Giri Netherlands 2690 0-1 Magnus Carlsen Norway 2815
Vugar Gashimov Azerbaijan 2746 0-1 Hikaru Nakamura USA 2774
Vassily Ivanchuk Ukraine 2779 0-1 Levon Aronian Armenia 2808

Round 5: Blindfold

Vassily Ivanchuk Ukraine 2779 1-0 Magnus Carlsen Norway 2815
Vugar Gashimov Azerbaijan 2746 0-1 Levon Aronian Armenia 2808
Anish Giri Netherlands 2690 1-0 Hikaru Nakamura USA 2774
Viswanathan Anand India 2817 ½-½ Sergey Karjakin Russia 2776
Veselin Topalov Bulgaria 2775 1-0 Alexander Grischuk Russia 2747
Vladimir Kramnik Russia 2785 0-1 Boris Gelfand Israel 2733

Round 5: Rapidplay

Magnus Carlsen Norway 2815 0-1 Vassily Ivanchuk Ukraine 2779
Levon Aronian Armenia 2808 1-0 Vugar Gashimov Azerbaijan 2746
Hikaru Nakamura USA 2774 ½-½ Anish Giri Netherlands 2690
Sergey Karjakin Russia 2776 ½-½ Viswanathan Anand India 2817
Alexander Grischuk Russia 2747 1-0 Veselin Topalov Bulgaria 2775
Boris Gelfand Israel 2733 0-1 Vladimir Kramnik Russia 2785

Round 6: Blindfold

Boris Gelfand Israel 2733 ½-½ Hikaru Nakamura USA 2774
Alexander Grischuk Russia 2747 ½-½ Levon Aronian Armenia 2808
Viswanathan Anand India 2817 ½-½ Vassily Ivanchuk Ukraine 2779
Veselin Topalov Bulgaria 2775 ½-½ Vugar Gashimov Azerbaijan 2746
Vladimir Kramnik Russia 2785 ½-½ Anish Giri Netherlands 2690
Sergey Karjakin Russia 2776 ½-½ Magnus Carlsen Norway 2815

Round 6: Rapidplay

Hikaru Nakamura USA 2774 0-1 Boris Gelfand Israel 2733
Levon Aronian Armenia 2808 0-1 Alexander Grischuk Russia 2747
Vassily Ivanchuk Ukraine 2779 1-0 Viswanathan Anand India 2817
Vugar Gashimov Azerbaijan 2746 1-0 Veselin Topalov Bulgaria 2775
Anish Giri Netherlands 2690 - Vladimir Kramnik Russia 2785
Magnus Carlsen Norway 2815 1-0 Sergey Karjakin Russia 2776

Round 7: Blindfold

Anish Giri Netherlands 2690 0-1 Veselin Topalov Bulgaria 2775
Magnus Carlsen Norway 2815 1-0 Vladimir Kramnik Russia 2785
Vugar Gashimov Azerbaijan 2746 ½-½ Sergey Karjakin Russia 2776
Levon Aronian Armenia 2808 1-0 Boris Gelfand Israel 2733
Vassily Ivanchuk Ukraine 2779 ½-½ Alexander Grischuk Russia 2747
Hikaru Nakamura USA 2774 ½-½ Viswanathan Anand India 2817

Round 7: Rapidplay

Veselin Topalov Bulgaria 2775 ½-½ Anish Giri Netherlands 2690
Vladimir Kramnik Russia 2785 0-1 Magnus Carlsen Norway 2815
Sergey Karjakin Russia 2776 ½-½ Vugar Gashimov Azerbaijan 2746
Boris Gelfand Israel 2733 ½-½ Levon Aronian Armenia 2808
Alexander Grischuk Russia 2747 0-1 Vassily Ivanchuk Ukraine 2779
Viswanathan Anand India 2817 ½-½ Hikaru Nakamura USA 2774

Round 8: Blindfold

Alexander Grischuk Russia 2747 ½-½ Hikaru Nakamura USA 2774
Viswanathan Anand India 2817 ½-½ Levon Aronian Armenia 2808
Boris Gelfand Israel 2733 ½-½ Vassily Ivanchuk Ukraine 2779
Vladimir Kramnik Russia 2785 ½-½ Vugar Gashimov Azerbaijan 2746
Sergey Karjakin Russia 2776 ½-½ Anish Giri Netherlands 2690
Veselin Topalov Bulgaria 2775 ½-½ Magnus Carlsen Norway 2815

Round 8: Rapidplay

Hikaru Nakamura USA 2774 1-0 Alexander Grischuk Russia 2747
Levon Aronian Armenia 2808 1-0 Viswanathan Anand India 2817
Vassily Ivanchuk Ukraine 2779 1-0 Boris Gelfand Israel 2733
Vugar Gashimov Azerbaijan 2746 1-0 Vladimir Kramnik Russia 2785
Anish Giri Netherlands 2690 1-0 Sergey Karjakin Russia 2776
Magnus Carlsen Norway 2815 1-0 Veselin Topalov Bulgaria 2775

Round 9: Blindfold

Vugar Gashimov Azerbaijan 2746 1-0 Boris Gelfand Israel 2733
Anish Giri Netherlands 2690 ½-½ Alexander Grischuk Russia 2747
Magnus Carlsen Norway 2815 0-1 Viswanathan Anand India 2817
Hikaru Nakamura USA 2774 1-0 Veselin Topalov Bulgaria 2775
Levon Aronian Armenia 2808 1-0 Vladimir Kramnik Russia 2785
Vassily Ivanchuk Ukraine 2779 ½-½ Sergey Karjakin Russia 2776

Round 9: Rapidplay

Boris Gelfand Israel 2733 1-0 Vugar Gashimov Azerbaijan 2746
Alexander Grischuk Russia 2747 1-0 Anish Giri Netherlands 2690
Viswanathan Anand India 2817 0-1 Magnus Carlsen Norway 2815
Veselin Topalov Bulgaria 2775 1-0 Hikaru Nakamura USA 2774
Vladimir Kramnik Russia 2785 ½-½ Levon Aronian Armenia 2808
Sergey Karjakin Russia 2776 ½-½ Vassily Ivanchuk Ukraine 2779

Round 10: Blindfold

Veselin Topalov Bulgaria 2775 0-1 Levon Aronian Armenia 2808
Vladimir Kramnik Russia 2785 ½-½ Vassily Ivanchuk Ukraine 2779
Sergey Karjakin Russia 2776 ½-½ Hikaru Nakamura USA 2774
Boris Gelfand Israel 2733 1-0 Anish Giri Netherlands 2690
Alexander Grischuk Russia 2747 ½-½ Magnus Carlsen Norway 2815
Viswanathan Anand India 2817 ½-½ Vugar Gashimov Azerbaijan 2746

Round 10: Rapidplay

Levon Aronian Armenia 2808 ½-½ Veselin Topalov Bulgaria 2775
Vassily Ivanchuk Ukraine 2779 ½-½ Vladimir Kramnik Russia 2785
Hikaru Nakamura USA 2774 ½-½ Sergey Karjakin Russia 2776
Anish Giri Netherlands 2690 ½-½ Boris Gelfand Israel 2733
Magnus Carlsen Norway 2815 1-0 Alexander Grischuk Russia 2747
Vugar Gashimov Azerbaijan 2746 0-1 Viswanathan Anand India 2817

The total prize fund is 227,000 € which explains the presence of so many elite players.

The time control varies slightly between the blindfold and rapidplay:

25 minutes by game in both cases, with an increment of 20 seconds by move at blindfold and just 10 seconds at rapidplay.

There are four sessions during the day. In the final round tomorrow these will begin at the earlier time of 12.30pm (local time) and the final session around 6pm.

The event takes place at the Hotel Monte-Carlo "Bay Hotel & Resort" in Monaco, from the 11th to the 25th of March 2011. The Max Euwe association and the philantrophist Joop van Oosterom have organized the event since 1992, and named it after his daughter Melody Amber.

For more information go to:Official site


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