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Mamedyarov Replaces Kramnik at Corus

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The Corus Wijk aan Zee website reports that world junior champion (two-time!) Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan has replaced Vladimir Kramnik in Group A. The 20-year-old just leapt up to the #15 spot on the rating list (2709), surpassing his more famous countryman Teimour Radjabov. He's clearly on the way up, but he doesn't have much experience against the elite. He's only played a handful of games against 2700+ competition and as far as I can tell, didn't win any of them.

Mamedyarov is known for his blitz skills and is regularly near the top of the blitz rating list at Playchess.com. (Other names are rumors only, my lawyer suggests I add!) Last November he beat Kasimdzhanov, himself a formidable quick-chess player, 5-3 in a blitz match in Baku. He finished =2-3 in last year's B Group at Corus, a point behind Karjakin. The KO format doesn't seem quite as agreeable for him. He lost to Nakamura in Lausanne and to Najer in the second round (in sudden death) in Khanty-Mansiysk.


Why not Ivanchuk?

Because he is already invited maybe .

You know those Ivanchuk fans; they want him invited TWICE, playing two games per round.

Hey, I want Chucky invited AT LEAST twice! Two games a round? No sweat! If Kasparov could could play entire Olypiad teams by himself, I'm certain Chucky could take on Corus two at a time.


Yeah, I believe the kid is over his head in this one. I can't see him getting past the experience and chess maturity of GM Gelfand. Although with his rating of 2709, what the heck do I know?

My sincere apologies for my previous erroneous post. One should never comment on anything before finishing at least 1 cup of coffee.

Kramnik has always an alibi not to play. He is afraid to show another 6-7th place or probably he improved a little now, he could get 8th or last place in Corus 2006.

I guessed, he developed a pschological sickness. Before, he avoided a rematch against Kasparov because of the tremendous possibility that Kasparov could regain his title. He even not join as much as possible a tournament where participated by Kasparov. He cant even beat his challeger who is 7th in rank, the best he could do is tie at 7-7 and he is very satisfied on that result. He even mentioned that he has proven it already to himself and does not need to prove to anybody.

He cannot afford to lose the title that no one respects now and would like to hold it 'til death.

You are right, Kramchiken. Who in chess hasn't heard the old saying "Ive never beaten a player who wasn't ill or drunk or both"? He's made a career out of this evolving imaginary ailment. I think he reached a theatrical zenith when he won the first game in the match against Leko... he really looked drained and depressed... Oscar-level performance!

I was hoping for Mamedyarov personally. He and Aronian seem to be the top of the "next" generation" to me. I hope he does very well.

It seems the highest rated opponent Mamedyarov has beaten is Nakamura at 2660. With only a week for preparation, he might be in for a small 'rating correction' here.

I like the idea of inviting Mamedyarov, in my opinion it was an excellent choice. This tournament in particular has several young promising players with little or no experience in super tournaments as Aronian, Mamedyarov, Karjakin, Tiviakov - the latter is the case of little (and by the way, unsuccessful in Corus 2001) and some players like Gelfand who have been invited less times than they actually deserve.

So this will be an excellent opportunity to see how different is the chess level among these groups. My guess is that the only essential difference is experience and the groups are closer than we can expect.

I have the impression (which might be wrong) that Mamedyarov gained a lot of points beating up on 2500s. It will be interesting to see how he handles the 2700s at Corus.

Thats about right, Mamedyarov hasn't played that much with 2700s. I predict that he will hold his own at Corus, but will hardly dominate.

Not really on topic, but since there's no suitable place to comment on it -- how about Shirov's disastrous performance at the Keres Memorial Tournament? True, it was only active chess, but even so, 0.5/9 has got to be one of the worst performances ever by a 2700+, if not the worst. I remember a similarly woeful performance by Adams (who was then ~2650) sometime in the mid-90's, but other than that, this is the worst performance by a top-notch player in recent memory.

As someone who suffers from time to time with arthritis, I sincerely hope that Coward and alphonse_halimi will suffer from this condition in due course.Perhaps only then will they stop writing such drivel. If Kramnik has been suffering with this condition and has tried to play chess while coping with the extreme pain that this condition can cause he deserves our admiration and respect as well as our best wishes.

I too struggle with an arthritic condition and that's why I'm familiar with painkiller's and how easily they can become addictive. No matter what a person may write or believe, I would not wish this condition on anyone. Ignorance or even an uncaring nature does not justify such ill-intent. Superchess, if what you say about your condition is true, I would think you would know better.

Superchess, having to hear the desperate, desolate, cries from the house of wounded feelings is punishment enough for me. Anyway, the main point is that Kramnik's act became one of the biggest embarrassments in the history of chess and it will take years for its effects to wash away.

what i want to know is, why not Moro???? could have turned this already mouthwatering tourney into a real classic...

I thought it might be interesting for you to know that Silvio Danailov announced to the bulgarian newspapers that Kamsky will participate in M-Tel 2006. The other 4 who have confirmed are Topalov, Anand, Svidler and Bacrot. The 6th invited, who has not confirmed yet is Aronian.

Thanks, svilen. Email is fine, please don't spam the threads. Do you have a link in any language? Where did you see this news?

I wonder why Ruslan Ponomariov is not participating even though Ponomariov's site lists Danailov as his manager.

Sorry, the only links I can provide are in Bulgarian, which will not help much.
I guess it is not oficial yet anyway. I know that Ivanchuk and Kasparov were invited initially. For Kasparov not playing it is not a surprise, but what happened to Ivanchuk's invitation? The newspapers are not elaborating.

As for why Ponomariov is not there, but Kamsky, I would speculate that last year's MTel Tournament helped Ponomariov's rating and gave him a boost of action. Probably this time Danailov is hoping for similar effect on Kamsky (After all Topalov was his second in the match against Karpov).

All links are fine. There are often people around willing to do a little translation.

Maybe I can help with a link about Kamsky's participation in M-Tel Sofia tournament (in Bulgarian):

I hope it works. Just information that 5th participant in the tournament is Kamsky. Others are Topalov, Anand, Svidler and Bacrot. Aronian also invited. About Kamsky the information is literally: "he will play" (not source, but this agancy ususally gives reliable information).

Another interesting information from the same agency. FIDE has set the rules for future World Championship match between Topalov and pretender (again, no source).

Briefly: It will be a 12 game match, starting not less than 6 months before the World Championship in 2007. Prize fund is 1 000 000 US$. Pretender can be GM with ELO>2700 or a former World Champion. Maybe hopes for Fischer-Toplaov are still alive :)

Just an addition. About the participants in the Sofia supertournament the information relies on S. Danailov. I think the other information also, though not said explicitlly.

Nice of mig to add this blog. I too hope Kramnik can recover enough to play the best chess in the world like he did in 2000.

Why do list non WC events as proof Kramnik is not World champ anymore? Does topalov need to win Chorus to remain WC or if Leko wins it again will he be the new World champ? Why call San Luis a World championship and not WAZ and Sophia and linares? You have some very odd views.

Finally I beleive the contract between Kramnik and Kasparov did address rematches. I beleive it said neither party could have a rematch and required the loser to play in a qualifier like Dortmund. The winner *had* to play the qualifier winner. Appearently it had a time clause that Kasparov used to release his obligation to play in Dortmund.

Nice move by Cowardlov and Corrupt(fi)de, now they are accepting offers for just a megabuck. HAHAHAHA it seems they fell Mr. Zhukov pressure. Now just lets hope Shirov, Leko or Anand can raise the fund. Anyone of them can beat Cowardlov without any problem in a match.


Before playing against Kasparov in 2000, Kramnik did lose to Shirov, and therefore his world championship match against Kasparov had no legitimacy.

In 2000 this world championship was not official.

In 2004, it took 4 long years to Kramnik to organize some new WC match.

In 2004 Kramnik's title defense against Leko was not convincing.

Then the only events where you could see Kramnik were Sofia, Dortmund, and the russian superfinal. In all those events his play was horible. Kramnik has lost 70 points in the past 3 years (while playing very little games) and his overall performance over 2005 is lower than 2700, close to 2650.

Kramnik claims to be world champion but is not even in the top 2, nor in the top 5, and finished 7th in the last russian championship.

I agree upon the fact that the new fide championship is probably not the formula I like most, I agree upon the fact that beating Kasparov was a huge performance for Kramnik, but now almost nobody would call Kramnik a world champion.

Amongst the top players, the fact that all top players are involved in FIDE world championship (apart from Kasparov and Kramnik) gives enough credibility to FIDE's world title.

That's it. The schism is over, the strongest player is world champion. Furthermore, Topalov is playing fantastic attacking chess. Let's enjoy it and forget about Mr FlipFlopnik, who didn't agree to give a rematch to Kasparov. History will remember "Kramnik WC 2000-2005", and I even believe that he didn't deserve such a long period.

Why not Sofia, Dortmund or Linares? San Luis was a double robin, this formula isn't the best but is not that bad. But if you consider last year's Sofia, Dortmund and Linares, then Topalov is still a clear world champion and Kramnik is just a zombie.

I knew a lot of people around with arthritis and lot of people with kidney problems.
Mikhail Tal had kidney failure and arthritis is nothing compared to kidney desease as Tal had. But Tal continued to play without any fear even at the moment he should really take rest, he joined the tournament and at the end of that game he was confined to Hospital. Fischer even visited him.

These days Tal is remembered as a genius giving very exciting games even at his last moment (not just draws like Kramnik) and really a fighting player regardless of his condition.

If you analyse the sequence, Kramnik had issued a challenge to Topalov on Nov. 2005 (before his announcement that he is ill) when he noticed that people believes more that Topalov is the real world champion. He declared that he is sick after his worst 7th place in Russian Superfinal not mentioning his performance on 2005 and before Corus Tournament. He claimed that he had this ill for years.

The truth is he finally realized that he is no good so he quits the Corus Tournament to avoid another 7-10th place. It is an obvious alibi...

Arthritis is a very difficult illness. Kramnik got this after his match with Kasparov in 2000 I guess. So he hates to give a rematch to Kasparov, it may become even worst. Since he knew that Kasparov could regain his title back easily, he would then lose twice. Lost the title and the arthritis and stress would become worst.

So after 4 years he decided to defend his title against 5th in rank (now 7th) and he was very satisfied with his impressive result with score of 7-7. He told media that he already proved it to himself and does not need to prove it to anyone.


Your question "Why call San Luis a World Championship and why not WAZ, Sophia or Linares?

For your information, these tournaments were set by FIDE way ahead of time before the tournaments started, so the types of tournaments were also declared ahead of time. The participants knows that San Luis will be the FIDE World Championship and whoever won will be declared world champion. If anybody should disagree, they should do it the time it was announced and not after the results. So far, you are the first one I heard asking about it. I am not sure who is really "odd" then?

Schism is over, I believe that the highest rated player is the strongest and current world champion Topalov. Kramnik is at the place where he is really belong, 6-7th best player in Russia and the world, he tied up with Leko (no.7 in FIDE rank)remember.

However I feel sorry to Kramnik, he missed the once in a lifetime opportunity to play again with Kasparov, the strongest chess player of his time because of tremendous fear that Kaspy would regain his title easily.

Mamedyarov has been creative in using the three fold repetition rule so far in this tournament.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on January 6, 2006 1:41 PM.

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