Mig 
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Corus 2006 r3

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Chukky, Chukky, Chukky, what to do with Ivanchuk? A good opening against Anand turned into a desperate and futile struggle for survival after he pinched a poisoned pawn. As Kasparov put it to me, "typical Ivanchuk, two great wins with black and then he grabs the a-pawn like an old computer." He was also harsh on Kamsky again, perhaps not noticing that his two ugly losses with black sandwich a strong win with white against Gelfand. But it's true he was beaten by Karjakin with little fanfare, eventually losing on time.

Anand now leads, both his wins coming with black. Bacrot played a few horrible endgame moves to lose to Topalov, who, as always, deserves credit for playing hard. Adams also lost weakly, to Gelfand, perhaps after celebrating too much after his spectacular win against Topalov in round two. Or perhaps just to put the lie to my comments the other day about the level of defense being so much better in the A Group. The final rounds are set for excitement. Topalov-Anand and Leko-Topalov finish things off.

Official site. ChessBase reports. Various discussion threads in the message boards.

22 Comments

I'm rooting hard for Kamsky, but have to agree with Kasparov's harsh assessment. The Round 4 game with White against Aronian has been beyond ugly. I hope Kamsky can pull things together and avoid catastrophe in the tournament.

topa topa !!

Sakaev's commentary (e3e5.com) rocks! Here are some pearls on drawmeister Leko:

"richie": "any idea about leko-ivanchuk? why after all is leko so drawish? he should be prepared to face a tough challenge."
Sakaev: "To richie: in my opinion, Leko's inclination to making draws roots in his character. He is rather coward...
[Much later, wrapping up:] We'll return on Thursday with the game Anand-Leko. Yes, Leko. I'm afraid we'll have no other chance to show an interesting game of the classical vice-champion if we miss his "Black" encounter with Anand. Don't worry, we'll turn to something else in case of a short draw. See you soon!"

good lawd... is anyone familiar enough with what topalov did today to do a brief summary. How far into the game was yeah...yeah ...ok ... sure... that makes sense... righto... yep..i'd of done that?

from a wood pusher pov, that seemed like one serious free jazz bepopping he gave van wely today.

Major smackdown. That was theory, or at least known GM praxis, all through the exchange sac. But van Wely went original with 13.Ke2 instead of Nd2. Brave, but probably too much so. Not unusual for Loek! Speaking of Sakaev, he had white in game with this sac by black, played by a V. Karasev. First played back in 1969 by Pomar but not widely imitated, apparently for no great reason. But this is an offbeat line anyway. ..h6 is usually considered a waste of time as opposed to the usual ..Nbd7.

20..e5! is the star move. Always nice when textbook play works. Enemy king in center, open center. 24.g3 was rather fatalistic, ..Nxd4 the obvious reply. 24.Rg1 isn't a bundle of laughs, but at least Black can go wrong. Topalov continues to show he can get complicated positions and then outplay people again and again. Impressive.

Wow, Topalov is just playing amazing chess lately.

Kamsky has to be struggling psychologically at this point after his game with Aronian. The fight still looks to be there, but 8-9 years off at this level is a long, long time. I hope Sonas's statisics prove wrong regarding Kamsky's finish. On the other hand someone has to finish last.

I take it that Sakaev calls himself a coward too considering the large amount of short draws HE plays. Or maybe when he does it it's something different altogether. It's usually that way.

Anyway, another great game from Topalov vs van Wely. Probably the highlight of today's round.

It seems that Topalov doesn't mind playing a rook down when he has black.

Remember his game gainst Kharlov in Tripoli 2004?

It seems that Topalov doesn't mind playing a rook down when he has black.

Remember his game against Kharlov in Tripoli 2004?

I am very disappointed to read Jeff Sonas analysis with Kamsky at the bottom. I came here to cheer for Kamsky.

I think Gata is playing just fine. it is the little things that have caused the losses. he only needs to get some practice on a few little things and he will be winning much much more.

it is the Candidates that is more important right now. and Gata needs this for his practice and warm up for the Candidates.

Tommy

I am very disappointed to read Jeff Sonas analysis with Kamsky at the bottom. I came here to cheer for Kamsky.

I think Gata is playing just fine. it is the little things that have caused the losses. he only needs to get some practice on a few little things and he will be winning much much more.

it is the Candidates that is more important right now. and Gata needs this for his practice and warm up for the Candidates.

Tommy

Before criticizing Ivanchuk too harshly for 15.Bxa7, I'd recommend reading Shipov's annotations at http://www.chesspro.ru/events2/wijk06-3.shtml (not sure if English translation is available). Shipov annotates the move as 15.Bxa7! claiming it is objectively the best move and works with correct play, but that it was of course dangerous and Ivanchuk lost the thread later.

I'm not blaming Kamsky's 1-3 on Kamsky; I'm blaming Kamsky's score on the United States. What is it with Chess in this country, anyway? Is it the water?
I was going to say this after round one's Center-counter. Really, how often does one see this rinky-dink defense at the very highest levels of play? Maybe there's a reason.
Yet we see the Center-counter all over the place in US swisses, quads, clubs, etc.
I'm thinking - would ANY of the top US players be doing any better than Kamsky now against this field? Yermo? Shabalov? Nakamura? And look at the history of world class players who drop in strength after emmigrating to the U.S. (Kamsky, Gulko, Albert, Belavskaya, etc.)
Maybe it is the water, the food, the drugs, the politics - I'm starting to believe Kevin Trudeau!
(By the way - I've been rooting for Gata since his comeback; delighted with his South America result last year.)

The center counter didn't cause his defeat, he was ok till the early middle game. Its popular because its easy to learn and the 2..Nf6 lines are very trappy against club level players. Its not popular at the higher levels but the same can be said for the majority of ECO ....Anand played the center counter(2..QxP)against Kasparov in their match and I think Shirov experimented with the Portugese variation. Nakamura has done fine with the center counter as well.

Speaking of Nakamura...maybe Mig or the man himself can answer...how does Hikaru feel about Kamskys invite? Surely Nakamura could make an argument that he is more qualified to play Corus and his aggressive play certainly would be attractive to organizers. Getting looked over for a player dormant for so many years must push him even closer to giving up playing the game at the highest levels. I like Gata alot as a player, but if I was Hikaru, I would definitely feel slighted by lack of invites to elite events. His KO performance can hardly be the reason. I thought his match with Karjakan along with the US title and last years KO would net him at least one appearance at an elite tourney. Maybe I'm missing something....any thoughts?

Nakamura was rated 2660 in the last rating list (2640 in the present one). He would be an OK candidate, but Kamsky is probably a more interesting choice for most people, if only to see how a former world championship challenger would do after a nine-year supertourney layoff. Besides, Corus already has the wunderkind niche filled by Karjakin, who's both younger and higher-rated. As soon as Nakamura gets his rating up to 2680-2690, he will probably start seeing more supertourney invites.

I agree with Tommy. It's easy for a Kasparov to criticize Kamsky for his losses but I would rather see him struggle to get his game ready for the big boys by fighting through the rust than playing like Leko! If Sakaev is right in calling Leko a coward the same can't be said for Kamsky and in 8 or 9 years when he comes back perhaps Kasparov will appreciate Kamsky's efforts and obstacles.

Perhaps Adams - Hydra was good for human chess, because it showed that even top GM's can be beaten in tactical positions with perfect play! Nevertheless, I like this direction.

As Kasparov stated, opening preparation is very important in these tourney's. Kamsky's openings seem just about 8-9 years old. I think if he can sharpen his openings and catch up on theory, he will do great, as he has the "talent". Kamsky said on ICC that he has not been studying all that much. But lesser talent's (sorry) have! And that makes a hugh difference.
In the up coming match versus Bacrot, this level of opening preparation will prove the difference, as I believe Bacrot is doing the work!

Round 4:

The Corus report states that in van Wely - Topalov
22Bd2! was better than 22fxe3 as after 23. exf4 Bxf3 24. Bxf3 Qxd4+ 25. Ke2 Nc1+ and wins.

Strange.
Bd2 is not winning.
White has both 25.Kf1 and Be2 and Black has no follow up. (=)
Who is analysing on the Corus site?

Yah, I saw that on their site after I did my game notes for the ChessBase report. I don't get it either. 25.Kf1 and white is defending. Black can force a draw of course.

The Bd2 idea is there in the line with 24.Rg1 instead of g3.

Quick on-site reports, of which I'm a veteran, are often based on comments from the players themselves and published without adequate time to check every line.

25.Ra8+ is one of the last good defensive tries in that one.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on January 17, 2006 6:31 AM.

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