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Mtel 2005 r2

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A boring Petroff draw between Kramnik and Anand. (Yes, Kramnik won the draw and started with two whites.) They added little of interest to the stem game, so you have to wonder what Kramnik was thinking by playing this. Boo. Ponomariov-Polgar was an interesting game that would have been drawn a little earlier, but was good to see played out.

Adams played an interesting type of delayed Marshall Gambit against Topalov and had plenty of play. (I annotated a Sigeman game with a similar idea by Jonny Hector in Black Belt #124.) They repeated moves starting with move 23, Topalov still with the extra pawn. The first GM draw came early in this event. Again, it's hard to imagine the organization stepping in and telling Topalov or Adams to play another move, but doing just that at some point will be the true test of this concept. Report and analysis will follow at ChessBase.com.

For some reason they're not up at ChessBase, but Garry Kasparov had a few comments to me about this tournament yesterday. 1) Ponomariov has lost his touch and is out of place in this tournament. 2) It won't be won by as little as +2 because they no-draw-offer rule will eventually tire the players out, which should be visible in the second half of the tournament.


Surprisingly Topolov played lowest number of moves(86) of all in 2 games.followed by Anand,Kramnik(92 each),Adams(100),Pono(148),Polgar(150+).It is too early to conclude anything but so far this tournament is pretty much similar to usual Linares.Just One decisive game out of 6.As Mig said,if Kramnik scores his usual quota of +2, he seems walk a with the title.

Topalov couldn't really avoid the repetition today. Adams could have, but to be fair, most of the continuations led to massive swapping. (e.g. 22...Qxe4 liquidates all the pieces almost by force.)

Game lengths become irrelevant under this format because they will be artificially inflated. Playing down to bare kings adds 30 moves to an obviously drawn pawn endgame, and so on. It's more a case of when the players feel comfortable asking for a draw.

I was wondering about the three move repetition. I think the rules allow that it is a draw without having to get approval. I mean It seems, as a practicle matter, too hard to imagine anythign else. What if the repeated moves are the best moves the player sees in the postion? Is the arbitrator going to force a player to play an inferior move? Which player? I think there is no way around the three move repetition draw rule. Even if you require the players to play 40 moves before a draw they will jsut repeat the move thirty times if they have to.

I suppose you could force them to play on until time runs out in a sudden death game. Physical arm speed would become more important than any chess knowledge but it would be more like other sports. I woudln't be surprised if FIDE implements that rule in the future. Maybe they could use this concept for future tiebreaks.

Once we get to that point who is to say which move is better? Also what if a player just doesn't see the other variation but is forced to play on and therefore loses?


I agree. It looks like it's easy for GMs to agree on a draw without saying a word and Ponomariov hasn't been a GM since 2002.

As for what Kramnik was thinking playing a lame line against Anand's Petroff, why give away any useful ideas before a potential World Championship match?

Perhaps Mig knows how to get winning advantage against Petroff? If he indeed does, he should share his knowledge, because people like Kramnik, Leko, Kasparov and Topalov can't beat Petroff.

I didn't say get an advantage, I said play for one. There are many sharper lines against the Petroff than the one Kramnik played, which is why nobody has played it in years. The 14.Bf4 Na5 15.Bxc7 line is practically a forced draw, as was shown today. All of the relevant moves of today's game were already played in 2000, so I don't see any reason to assume Kramnik wanted more than a draw.

13.Re1 (or 14.Re1) is one sharper line that is still in use and produces a fair share of decisive games. Kramnik played it against Anand in 2003 and they played a complex game in which Kramnik had winning chances.

Ha, good one, Terry!

The official site's report says "20..Qd8! Thatís the point - a very-high class novelty! Since Karpovís time itís been usually played here 20..Rcd8 or 20..Rfd8, but without clear equality."

I don't think it can be assumed that Kramnik wasn't prepared for these lines and didn't want to play for a win. Maybe he was just outprepared.

I tell you what, if they want less draws, then what they should do is disallow the Petroff and Berlin.

How to tackle draws with repetition: Some radical ideas.

(i) the arbiter forces the player who spent most thinking time to play another move.

(ii) the player who spent less time is given 3/4 pts while the player with more time 1/4pts.

But the best solution I think is to introduce the concept of 3pts for win, 2pts for black draw, 1pt for white draw and 0pts for loss


Kramnik lost.Both the decisive games so far include Kramnik.Atleast we should blame him for drawing.
Kudos to Adams.For long he has been JUST behind KAK.Leko and Topo overtook him and now he has two more ahead.I wish he wins this and come to limelight.

Duncan, that system wouldn't be very logical, there's no point in giving 5 points for white win and black draw, but 4 for white draw and black win. Both of them are a win and a draw and should get the same number of points.
As for Kramnik's approach against Anand's Petroff, it is obviously difficult to get an advantage against it,but even more if you don't try and choose a line known as easily equalising for black (you only need to see the statistics for Bc7). The opening choice by Anand was quite predictable, so it is not that he surprised Kramnik, thus giving no reason for him not to play another more incisive line.

True chessplayer...you are right.
However the system will attract the players to try and win with white.

Well done Michael! I really hope you get what you deserve .... a good tournament victory.


About Ponomariov... I believe him winning the FIDE championship in 2002 was somewhat of a curse. He has lost his zeal it appears. As I mentioned in the 2.Qh5 thread, I saw him at the Olympiad and he seems unfocused and always in the press. Ukraine did well anyway, but it really surprised me.

The FIDE quagmire had quite an effect on him. I'm not arguing who was right or wrong, but I believe the stripping of his title was a tremendous setback in his confidence.

"Ponomariov hasn't been a GM since 2002."

Remember, thanks to inflated ratings, there are more GM's per capita than ever before. Ponomariov is still playing GM-quality chess, but that doesn't mean much against this quality of opposition. Everyone else in Sofia is top-10, and he is below 20th.

"I believe him winning the FIDE championship in 2002 was somewhat of a curse."

Probably more like good luck. The knockout format produces a high proportion of so-called champions that can't reproduce their success elsewhere.

Beating Ivanchuk in an 8-game match is not just due to "good luck". Neither is a 2nd place in Linares.

Ouch! Now try be nice Mig, I wasn't trying to be funny :).


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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 13, 2005 2:29 PM.

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