Mig 
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World Cup 2005 r7.1

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The finals are here and in just two more days it will be all over. Ponomariov and Aronian played a sharp, interesting draw today. It is great to see Super-Mariov back on track, playing powerful, risky chess again. Aronian was up to the challenge, though it's a shame they didn't play out one of the pretty fireworks lines that lead to dead equality from the final position. It looks like Grischuk and Bacrot have decided to play rapids for the few thousand dollars that separate the 3rd and 4th places. In the last round all four short draws in the first game were matched by equally short draws in the second. Tacky.

In the other match that (probably) matters, Malakhov outplayed Vallejo Pons in a wild one. Turn off Fritzy and enjoy trying to figure out these lines, very sharp stuff. The winner of this match will finish 11th, which should be good enough for a spot in the candidates matches, unless FIDE changes its qualification rules or unless either Kramnik or Kasparov shock the world and play. (Again: K and K are in by rating. If they don't play, Shirov and Bacrot are in by rating. Bacrot is also a World Cup qualifier. He goes in by rating, creating an extra spot from the World Cup, lucky number 11.)

Kamsky's tremendous defensive effort was on the verge of ruining a spectacular attacking game by Carlsen, but the American blundered a piece and, as Alekhine would say, "the game arrived to its most logical conclusion." (36..Bc3 37.Rxd6+ Kc5 and Black should hold.) White's stereotypical sacrifices against the Sicilian were still fun to watch. The kid is dangerous and he's not getting tired! Isn't it past his bed-time? Gata may have been a little winded after yesterday's stress blender against Vallejo Pons.

There are quite a few more interesting if abysmally translated interviews on the official site. Also some fun, if also technically terrible, photos in today's photo report instead of just the usual boring at-the-board shots. The correct score of van Wely-Dreev is almost certainly 44.Qxg8+ Ka7 45.Qg5.

22 Comments

36... Bc3 37. Re1e4!? and white seems better!

Yes, nice photo report. The picture at the bottom shows Gata with his thumb up in the air. That was before the game ... :) Yet another scalp for Magnus.

Susan Polgar has analysed the game at her site.

It's interesting to note that there is a strong incentive for Aronian to actually NOT win the World Cup. The winner is seeded into the candidate matches as #1 and plays #16, while all the rest are seeded by rating.

If Aronian wins the WC, he has to face Carlsen in round 1 of the candidates; if the loses in the WC finals, he's seeded by rating probably as #3 (behind the winner Ponomariov and the higher-rated Leko), and plays #14, probably Gurevich or Rublevsky. It seems to me that either of the two is an easier opponent than Carlsen.

I wonder if Levon is thinking about dropping the finals just to get an easier ride in the Candidates?

Anyone care to explain what happened in Van Wely-Dreev? 44. Qg5?? Rg7??

Some insane tactic that I can't see? Faulty sensory board? Blindfold chess? :-P

I think he will find that Gurevich and Rublevsky are still far superior to the fifteen year old.

Anyway, Carlsen should have played 35.Rf6. Letting the bishop out must have been a mistake.

I don't think Gurevich and Rublevsky are necessarily "far" superior than Carlsen, at least not in a year's time when the candidates matches are supposed to be played. But there's no reason for anyone to lose on purpose of course.

Yah, in another year Carlsen may well be rated similarly to them anyway. And there is no way Aronian is going to care enough about potential pairings to throw away $25,000 by losing on purpose.

The correct move sequence to van Wely - Dreev is 44.Qxg8+ Ka7 45.Qg5. These moves were played instantly and only Qg5 was seen, then they had to figure out how to get the online game score back to the correct position so live coverage could continue. So they interpolated the silly moves. They should try to correct it, but sometimes they forget and/or the games get to TWIC and other sites before they fix it.

The chances of Magnus beating Pono/Aronian in a six games match are slim. Seven years more experience must count. Nine months preparations will uncover ways of utilizing his weaknesses and avoid his strengths.

The chances of Magnus beating Pono/Aronian in a six games match are slim. Seven years more experience must count. Nine months preparations will uncover ways of utilizing his weaknesses and avoid his strengths.

Just wondering, curious: what will Magnus do during those 9 months? Rest quietly in his mother's womb? Or maybe, just maybe, he will use the time to work on improving his chess?

His rating was improving steadily for the past year (not without some minor setbacks), and in 9 months, if he's in the high 2600s, I won't be at all surprised.

Anyway, the thing about losing on purpose was of course semi-tongue-in-cheek, but I still think a system that allows one to pick and choose his next opponent is inherently flawed. So how about this instead:

The players are divided into 5 groups by rating (WC winner still auto-seeded as #1):
A: 1-3
B: 4-6
C: 7-10
D: 11-13
E: 14-16

Group A are paired randomly against Group E, Group B are paired against Group D, and Group C are paired among themselves.

Thus, there is still a significant advantage to being higher-rated (and winning the WC), but they don't have to play the 'pick your opponent' game.

Ok, maybe he will look at the chessboard a couple of times :-)

My point is only that it's not possible to become a complete player like Ponomariov in nine months. Pono is now ready to become a real challenge for Anand, Leko etc. Magnus is not. Look at Fischer, Kasparov, Karpov etc. They all had to wait until early twenties before becoming a threat to the champ.

But the question that spurred this discussion was not "is Carlsen as good as Ponomariov". The question was "who is the easier opponent, Rublevsky/Gurevich or Carlsen".

I still maintain that (in 9 months) Carlsen will be clearly superior to those two. Anyway, I obviously cannot prove this point, and you cannot disprove it, so all is left for us is speculate and wait...

Where does it actually say that its the rating as of the 2005 FIDE Cup that decides the seeding of the candidates matches?

If the ratings as of the summer of 2006 will be used, then the seeding order might look different...

I don't know what the unofficial rating of Mikhail Gurevich was before this tournament, but the official site quotes his rating as 2652 before the tournament. He now seems destined for 7th or 8th place (qualified for candidates matches) with a performance which will actually deduct 10 ELOs from his rating.

If that leaves his rating at ~2642 and Magnus now unofficially at ~2629, then I wouldn't be surprised to see Magnus surpassing him next summer.

simsan,

It's all here: http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=2791

The seeding uses the January 2006 rating list (which will not include the World Cup, since only November-or-earlier tournaments are included).
Carlsen will only be ~2600, still the lowest of all candidates. Gurevich is expected to stay at about 2650 (3rd-lowest?), Rublevsky drop to about 2640 (2nd-lowest?), Aronian up to about 2735 (2nd highest behind Leko).

Of course those are all speculations based on back-of-the-envelope scribbles. And no, I am not really suggesting that Aronian should lose...

btw. I couldn't agree more with Mig's comment about the linguistic skills on display at the official site.

More than 50% of the stuff that's written there is almost incomprehensible.

More speculation: Progress in chess in not linear. I guess Magnus will have some (hopefully small) setbacks during 2006. The other supergrandmasters will now study him seriously and to a certain extent "solve" him for a while.

Anyway, I hope I am gloriously wrong!

It is even possible that Magnus will continue to show results around 2700 and better - as now in the World Cup, and as at Gausdal in october.
Magnus performed 2650+ in 5 tournaments in his enormous leap forward when he was just 13 - from Corus in janury 04 through Aeroflot, Dubai, Sigeman and Norwegian Championship in july 04. Since then he have had several setbacks, but has worked hard. As said: Progress in chess is not linear, and Magnus has always played risky, some times too risky. Perhaps he has reached a higher, and more stable level now?

i dunno 'bout u guys, but i was (virtually) cheering Magnus all the way thorugh the game. I'm not sufficiently upto scratch on theory to know whether his sacrifices are "stereotypical" in the Sicillian as Mig suggests, but they looked awesome to me. The first in particular looked like a blunder at first, before I looked at a few lines. This kid is going places, I love his play. Kamsky by contrast has looked tired and uninspired. His play as White against the Sicilian has looked distinctly underwhelming; seems to be going for very obvious, optically pleasing attacking ideas which dont appear to have any depth and are easily refuted. Compare and contrast Carlsen's approach!

Pono also has looked awesome. I'm really curious to see how Aronian manages against him. Aronian so far has been great, but I somehow get the impression that he wasnt greatly tested. Great final lineup.

Kamsky just equalised by thrashing Carlen's Sicilian in great style. Major improvement over his prev efforts here.d

Malakhov holds Vallejo to a draw, and we have our final list of 16 candidates:
Leko, Polgar, Adams, Shirov, Bacrot, Kasimjanov, Aronian, Ponomariov, Grischuk, Gelfand, Bareev, Rublevsky, Gurevich, Carlsen, Kamsky, Malakhov.
Vallejo is first alternate.
In the unlikely case that either Kasparov or Kramnik decide to show up, Malakhov is out. In the even unlikelier case that both Kasparov and Kramnik decide to show up, Shirov is also out.
Seeding is: WC winner at #1, rest according to January 2006 rating.

man did Pono hold on by the skin of his teeth or what.. great game.

A fine list of candidates you got there, Alex.

The fine chess country Spain did not get their man Vallejo Pons in the candidates, in a way a little pity, but Shirov is a spanish citizen. Come to think of it, Topalov is living in Spain, and is this not the case with Anand also (?), but I guess that do not count.

Russia still the leading chess country.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on December 15, 2005 10:02 AM.

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