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Corus 2006 r4

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A strange round with three wins by black. As we pointed out in the ChessBase report, there have been relatively few draws, 50%, but this has come at the cost of a rather spotty overall level of play. There have been quite a few blunders and a lot of poor defensive efforts. Consistency is what wins these long events, and that has always been Anand's hallmark.

The game of the round was undoubtedly van Wely - Topalov, another notable demonstration of Topalov's wealth of opening innovations. As with Kasparov, the Bulgarian is combining formidable opening prep with mastery of the complications he induces and relentless pressure in every phase of the game. van Wely had a few chances to defend better, not exactly what you want with white. 25.Ra8+ was probably the last best chance.

I feel for Kamsky, who is struggling with his instincts as he tries to recover his game. It may not be possible to do that at this level without serious work on the openings, which Kamsky hasn't had much time for. It's amazing he almost drew against Aronian after hanging a pawn early on. As I pointed out in the report, 54.Bd6 gives excellent drawing chances, though precision is required. But he'll pick up more draws and at least one more win on sheer grit and hierarchy.

Wednesday is a free day, Anand-Leko comes in round five.


Well, it's a kind of question : is it better to have a winner with some blunders around, or having a high-level draw instead ? Depends on the draw !

Topalov's Nc6-a5 was a bit of a surprise. Gut feelings dont quite agree :) Although it gets kind of in the heat of things in 2-3 moves. But I still wonder if the longer tour Nc6-e7-d5-f6-e4 would - quite objectivly -
have made more damage. Even if more timeconsuming...Would it have given White more time to defend? We may never know, unless the line becomes en vogue among the strong players now :)

Kamsky almost drew, but to be honest, I think it was due very bad judgment by Levon (I am, nevertheless, a huge fan). In particular I pointed out this relatively simple line on ICC: 31...Qe2 32.Qe2 (forced) Re2 33.Rf2 Re1 34.Bf4 c6, and with no counterplay, it is doubtful that Kasmksy would have lasted another 10 moves.

Later 42...Bf8-d6 would have put tremendous pressure on d3 in the major piece ending after the B exchange, or allowed significant threats to the Kh3 if white avoided the B exchange, after Bd6 and Re5-e2, for example.

I think he played 31...Qe7 trying to keep it complicated in Kamsky's time trouble, but it seemed clear that Kamsky had enough pressure against f7 to keep Aronian tied down jsut enough. Trading the Q's would have allowed the black rook to really create threats, and/or let the black King get into the game. With all the white pawn weaknesses, he had no hope.

One last point, assuming the moves were coming spaced pretty much as they were played, Aronian seemed to be committing the old mistake of blitzing Kamsky in his time trouble.

Anand-Leko was a nice positional squeeze. But tomorrows match between Kamsky and Anand should be a humdinger if their games from the mid 90s be any pointer.

Anand now leads the tournament by half-a-point. If he can defeat Kamsky, and I rate his chances as excellent, then he will be making a major step toward sealing his overall victory in this tournament.

I doubt it would be reminiscent of Anand-Kamsky from the mid-90s, given the mismatch of form each of them are currently in.

Anand played like a god!! But I am ultimately supporting Mickey Adams. Go the Englishman! Cheers

Kamsky is in the cellar with just a point to his name. Nothing will prevent him from taking risks and throwing the kitchen sink at Anand. So hopefully it will be a high-octane encounter.

Incidentally, 23) Qd2!! which Anand played against Adams in San Luis was originally prepared for Kamsky a decade ago. I wonder how many other tricks he has up his sleeve...

According to Chessgames.com, Anand-Kamsky head to head is 12 to 9 in Anand's favour with 18 draws. Their last game was in the Melody Amber tournament of 1996. The last classical game was in Dos Hermanas 1996, won by Kamsky.
Does anyone have a more accurate record of the head-to-head score?

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on January 18, 2006 7:49 AM.

    Corus 2006 r3 was the previous entry in this blog.

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