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Mtel 2005 r5

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After the first half of the tournament Adams and Kramnik are tied for the lead at +1. As expected, it's an extremely tight and drawish crosstable. Half of the four decisive games came today. Ponomariov beat Topalov in a beautiful effort. The combination that led to a remarkable bind came when Pono was already up the exchange, but it was still quite a sight. (Report at ChessBase.com)

On the other boards it was favorite client day at the office, but only one held true to form. Despite draws in their most recent encounters, Polgar has a truly miserable record against Kramnik. Her kingside attack never got anywhere and she landed in a pawn-down endgame that Kramnik won with impressive speed. The knight wheel started by Kramnik on move 50 might remind aficionados of Capablanca-Yates, NY 1924.

Just as Kramnik did a few days ago, Anand played a pretty sacrifice against Adams in a balanced position. It was only enough to net a pawn, which he had to give back, and the endgame was drawn. Fun combination though, similar in several ways to Kramnik's against the Englishman. Either Adams is seeing everything or he's leading a charmed life!


Mig, why did you expect a drawish crosstable even with the new rules in place?

Because at this level, draws are the most usual result, and the new rules are meant to prevent short draws, not draws as one of the possible results, since it is as respectable a conclussion to a chess game as any other.

That pretty much sums it up. But one of the other reasons turns out to have been as wrong as can be. Usually adding Kramnik to the field cuts the number of decisive games down. Not just his own, but I think conservatism can strike other contenders when they know a loss can practically puts them out of the running since Kramnik can usually be expected to not lose and to score +1 or +2. But here he has played in 3/4 of the decisive games and Anand has all draws, so go figure.

It's just a very even field, that's all. These guys don't lose often. Nobody has collapsed, which is the only thing I thought might necessitate +3 to win. It could still happen even with only 15 games left because they players might start to tire, as Kasparov predicted.

If someone is to collapse, maybe Topalov would be a good bet. He has not impressed at all and, in "his" tournament, he is under more pressure than the other players, more obliged to please the fans, not abuse the draw rules, etc.

acirce I should add that Topalov has no rest day! Tomorrow he will play a simul I think.

I am also surprised that its Kramnik who is involved in the decisive games. I think Anand tried boldly for wins but couldn't make it and was never under threat to loose either. I expect the seccond half of this Cat XX tournament will be more decisive.

-- Ashik

Wouldn't be surprised to see Adams fall to an even score or below, either. He's done this a lot in supertournaments: get on top of the scoreboard, then start to fade.

Dear chess-loving friends,

The Ponomariov-Topalov game was pretty amazing, I cannot believe that Topalov erred in the opening with the premature 11...Nc6 when 11...Bb7 12.Ne5 Nd7 should be definitely safe for Black, although White will have a slight plus in the form of space, but Black is solid and can carry out exchanges. Eventually, Topalov gave up all hope with 37...f6-f5??, allowing the White King's march to g5 when 37...g6-g5 could have made the game last longer by 20-30 moves and the win more of a grind for White. A draw may be even possible if White is careless. I think Topalov will definitely notice that 37...g5 offer him the best chance, although minor, of a probable draw, in his post game analysis.

As for the Kramnik-Polgar game, Judit played her Nimzo-Indian that's strikingly similar to the Ilyin-Zhenevsky system or Fluid setup of the Dutch Defence, both in the pawn structure and the attacking method. Judit lost due to lack of protection of her queenside due to her persistence of the Kingside attack and Kramnik defended soundly by mobilising his queen's rook to the defence of his king by Ra1-a2, f2-f4 and then Ra2-Rg3, grabbing the a7 pawn only after completing his development and exchanging his queen on the 28th move at the nick of time, a prophylactic and patient approach that is typical of both him and Karpov. The Knight checks in the endgame, ultimately bringing the White Knight to the central outpost of d4 is especailly interesting and won the game convincingly for Kramnik in the end.

Finally, in view of the Anand-Adams game, Anand played well overall and the knight sacrifice leading to a mass exchange of pieces was fascinating, all except that he forgot his knight cannot do much on b7 and thus was compelled to give back his extra pawn by c4-c5. The only doubt I have is that if Adams allowed the Knight sacrifice on purpose, having outcalculated Anand.


P.S. All the games began with 1.d4, I wonder if the players planned all this in advance.

so far i think for the most part anand has played beautifully, extremely solid, and very high class play. Has also encountered high class defense hence the rather surprising zero wins. Kramnik has been a revelation. The man sure is trying, and that's all you can ask for. Why didnt we see this WC for ages??

Wonderful tournament, very true, especially Kramnik has started to shine since Kasparov retired. i'm just disappointed at Polgar's performance, expected more from her (though, let's not forget that Kramnik certainly has her number statistically, so it's no wonder Kramnik beat her; it's like Kasparov-Shirov, no battle).

i didnt get a response to this on the ninja boards(... where is saguni?) so I am posting it here too. can someone with / without Fritz help me out?

please tell me why Adams didnt go for 27 ...rd8 rd8+ kh7 ng5+ kh6 nf7+ perpetual draw? Looks like he went to a lot of trouble with 27 .. Qe7. Maybe Anand has more than a perpetual here but I dont see it (of course I am a patzer ...)

"I'm just disappointed at Polgar's performance, expected more from her."

What's to be disappointed about? In a tournament where all but one of the players are rated above her, she's at -1. After five rounds, nobody is better than +1. She happens to be at the bottom of the crosstable right now, but one win separates the top from the bottom.

I'm sure she'd like to do better, but this is not a poor performance.

I am surprised about Kramnik. Has he changed his style?

A bit, over the latest years. But not drastically here. He plays pretty much like he did in Corus. He could have had more decisive games there and there could have been fewer here.

Mig (and chessplayer),

When you say drawish I thought you meant "greater rate of draws then average," not "consistent with the current high draw percentage".

But do I have this right? (percentage of draws at the big 3 for the past two years:

Linares 2004


Linares 2005


Corus 2005


Corus 2004


Dortmund 2004


Dortmund 2003



After kh7, anand has NxQ!! and Adams will have to resign :-)

I no longer post on the CN message boards because I don't believe the forum is civil enough. Moderators like Rondino (whom I like a lot) watches for uncivil language against fellow Ninjas, but its open season on top-GMs (such as calling Anand a fide-puppet and Kasparov as a backstabbing b**t**d). I just no longer enjoy having to sift through such messages.

I vaguely recall mig editing a posting by Penguin-with-visor last year when he called Kasparov an a**h***e or something to that effect. I'm mildly surprised that nothing of that sort happened with the above comment. I just happen to think that freedom of speech comes with certain responsibilities.

I really enjoy posting analytical comments on games, but those seem to be far less these days and most of the postings are related to chess politics...

Dear gansy, Saguni and all friends,

In the Anand-Adams game, Mickey's response of 27...Qc5-e7 is practically forced and naturally the best response. I consider another continuation in the form of 27...fxe6?! 28.Rd8xe8+ Kg8-h7 29.Re8xb8 whereby Black retains his e6 pawn and has to use his queen to fight against White's 2 rooks. However, I later gave up this variation as simply too complicated and too difficult for Black to equalize since the the d-file is tightly in White's control and there's nothing useful Black can do about his double pawns on the e-file, eventually the backward e-pawn will be lost in order for Black to gain some activity and White will definitely be better. Therefore, Mickey's choice of 27...Qe7 is the best move, not fearing the loss of a pawn since the mobility of Black's dark-squared bishop following the White Knight's capture on d8 from g7-f6-e7 ultimately trapped White's Knight and this forced Anand to return his c-pawn.

In view of Saguni's observation of the vulgar verbal abuse of the Kaparov and Anand, I strongly detest such behaviour and it's really an expression of a lack of civics. Chess really is a sport played by gentlemen and intellectuals and I considered it an insult to chess whenever one calls the top players names. What's chess going to become without the effort of Kasparov and Anand? These guys have had done so much for chess and we ought to be grateful towards them.

Regarding chess analysis, I am strongly interested as I considered myself more of a analyst rather than a player, I've done some analysis with the aid of Hiarcs 9 plus annotations for the Mtel Masters from round three upwards. If anyone of you guys out there are interested, I would be glad to share my work with you! :-)

Lastly, I want to mention that I made a mistake on my last post by saying that ALL the games opened with 1.d4 when it's actually only 2. Sorry about that! Maybe all the games of the 6th round will open with 1.d4, but I don't think it's really likely though.



saguni - of course nxq! thanks. after this post I went and looked at your last post and found the reason for your hibernation. I hope things change enough to make you come back.

JZY, sure please feel free to pm me any analysis you may have ... i am a very patzerish, so I doubt I can contribute, but would like to play over your analysis and learn some.

Saguni's reasoning to quit is right.It is unwise to continue in a message board when even moderators(some atleast) don't take any offence and infact praise the person who uses such words with relentless vigor.

His reasoning is right for him, that's always the way it is with anyone. I just read the thread and agree with Rondino, for what it's worth. If you don't like being disagreed with, having your opinions criticized, or having your chess idol criticized, you should definitely stay away from message boards.

Russianbear, like many others, myself included at times, has trouble expressing himself without being rude. Just consider crude language the first resort of the inarticulate and get on with your life, posting your opinions. You don't have to lower yourself to his level but you can't expect everyone to be at your level either. There is a minimum of politeness required that the mods try to enforce. If you think a line has been crossed, PM a mod or me. If a pattern of behavior is established, there will be warnings and then a ban. That's the way a community works. You don't just censor first and ask questions later, or run away right off. Give the system time to work and be part of it.

Things certainly aren't going to be better here. I don't moderate much and no registration is required to post.

Incredible round 6 ended just seconds ago! All games are won by White. Now Ponomariov [who according to Kasparov had lost his touch] is leading with 3.5/6.

"Nobody has collapsed, which is the only thing I thought might necessitate +3 to win. It could still happen even with only 15 games left because they players might start to tire, as Kasparov predicted."

Heh yes, but this round all the results went the other way! Strange at it may seem, it's not out of the question that even +1 could be enough now.

Its early days yet, but I think this tourney illustrates perfectly that there is no obvious top dog now that Kaspy has retired, least of all Kramnik, who's finding out that when you come to play you can lose. All kudos to him for trying of course. I still think Anand has been a tad unfortunate, doesnt deserve to be bottom. Today he was the recipient of the best novelty in years maybe?

I think that the tournament is already an unqualified success. And I wonder how Kasparov feels about his comments on Pono being overmatched right now.

Anand, time to get to work!


Thanks for the reply. In my "opinion", its a pattern of behavior with RB in terms of generalizing anti-Kramnik rants with "Anand fans". When I posted my last post, it was the third time (once pointed out by HK and twice by me).

I just decided to get on with my life without posting on the message boards. Its like eating a pizza but you have no control over the toppings. I just think I got one too many black olives.

P.S. Personally, I think RB is extremely articulate and writes very well in English. I have enjoyed many of his postings. I just don't believe his "rudeness" is anything to do with being inarticulate.

One more point - its not my chess idol being criticized. Its question of being respectful and not ascribing motives to others' arguments.

For example, it would be uncivil for me to say that mig is supporting RB's posts because RB is a paying member (Black belt or whatever) and I'm not. That would be rude and clearly crossing a line.

I use the same logic to argue against using the expression "Anand fans" to refer to people who criticize Kramnik (regardless of what qualifier is used, such as "certain". Its mildly insulting to be told that one is against Kramnik because one if for Anand. It just doesn't sit very well with me.

Maybe I have been no much conditioned/sensitized because I heard some of my friends/critics say "I'm against President Bush" because I'm not an American.

"The Ponomariov-Topalov game was pretty amazing, JZY wrote: "I cannot believe that Topalov erred in the opening with the premature 11...Nc6 when 11...Bb7 12.Ne5 Nd7 should be definitely safe for Black..."

...And I do not understand the moves 12 thru 15 for both sides...why not 12...NxN, 13. RxB, NxB!

After 11. Nc6, the game plays through like a 5 minute speed game.

Someone enlighten me on the peculiar queen sacs.



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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 16, 2005 3:41 PM.

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