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Magic Moro Wins Pamplona

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Forget running the bulls, there are brain-damaged yaks who predicted a big Morozevich victory in Pamplona, but they probably didn't get to Vegas in time to place their bets. Stupid yaks! Alexander Morozevich has a long history of putting up amazing scores in sub-super events and this was no exception. The top seed scored 6/7 for a performance rating of around 2950. His five wins included a victory over second-seeded Alexei Shirov that lived up to the expectations of a fire vs fire battle between the game's two premier exotic tacticians.

Moro's win would have been even more impressive had he won Q vs R against Jakovenko in round five. Oops. Had Morozevich finished in second by a half-point because of this he'd be getting a lot of grief about it. He lost this to Shirov a few years ago in Amber. This is won, or lost, depending on how you look at it, over 80% of the time at the GM level. 87.Ke7 would have closed the door. Jako defended very accurately, but it really appeared Morozevich didn't know how to win it. Study your endgames, kids!

Russian vice-champ Jakovenko finished a point behind Morozevich with an undefeated +3 score. His win over Wojtaszek is a fun two-fisted battle and his sacrificial win over Illescas is a gem. As always Shirov entertained the fans as he played six decisive games for third place. He fell to a negative score after losing a wild Sveshnikov to Wojtaszek and the loss to Moro but then won 3/4 to actually gain a few points. His last-round win over Illescas is another fun one. The peripatetic Korneev bombed out with five losses. I'm sure he'll soon make up the points bashing 2400s in league play.


I meant so say, and fantastic performance by Morozevich. It's odd that it can be such a huge difference between his results against say, top-10 players and those against "lesser" ones...

In which single American state will the world's population soon be living? I nominate Wyoming, which would then be entitled to about 415 Congressmen, but still only two senators.

Greg, it has to be Wyoming. The rest of the world won't fit in any other state because of all the Mexicans.

Mig, got any dirt on why Morozevich dropped out of Wijk aan Zee? It couldn't be due to illness and obviously it wasn't to study Nunn's Secrets of Pawnless Endings.

J.A. Topfke

Moro is going to participate in the ACP World rapid cup.


its now about a month ago, that moro could not win a knight+bishop against naked king endgame in a 3 0 game on ICC, and it really appeared also Morozevich didn't know how to win it.

so he should look at Q vs R and K+B endgames too.

For anyone that's interested, the last-round game Shirov vs. Ilescas Cordoba is a fantastically wild, fun game. Try playing it "solitaire chess" and predicting both side's moves.

Once on ICC I saw Short win a Bishop and Knight vs. King ending in about 30 seconds. It was impressive. Maybe not all world-class GMs have those kind of chops?

I saw similar from Polugaevsky at the Leeds Rapid Play the year he won it. Just amazing he had virtually no time left but just did it. He didn't even want to play the event. I also saw Short win the event, probably in its first year.

Morozevich's performance was amazing at Pamplona, one can only conclude that his withdrawal from Wijk was because of his continued protest against Topalov and his alleged cheating in San Luis (which I don't believe he did).

This kind of rubbish is going to be a poison at the heart of the game. Its a shame because an in form Morozevich adds so much to an event.

Fireman, Shirov-Illescas is a masterpiece indeed.

But I would be curious to know how much (how deep) of it was Alexey's home prep. and how much OTB.

Completely not on topic, but Mig, didn't you mention you'd have an entry on David Bronstein at some point? Did I miss that?

Ovidiu, I hardly knew the position after Bd7 and I thought g4 was a logical answer, from there on there was no preparation involved.

Thanks for the reply, Alexei.

Mark Crowther: Morozevich's performance was amazing at Pamplona, one can only conclude that his withdrawal from Wijk was because of his continued protest against Topalov and his alleged cheating in San Luis (which I don't believe he did).

Mark, has that been stated somewhere, or even implied? Or this is entirely your supposition? It seems crazy farfetched to me. There are plenty of other reasons why one may wish not to play an event. He would not be playing Topalov only, right?


Very farfetched, especially since Morozevich hasn't also withdrawn from Morelia-Linares.

Perhaps you're right. There has been no explanation. Wijk ann Zee is certainly the tournament you'd want to play and he's playing all these other events around it. Its extremely odd. Has it been absolutely confirmed its Morozevich at Linares?

He might just have taken a break. He has no realistic chance of winning at Wijk aan Zee anyway. In tournaments of this calibre, he usually finishes last. So, he withdrew from Russian Superfinal and WAZ to concentrate on Pamplona and ACP Rapid world cup.

Maybe, he just doesn't want to throw rating points down the toilet. Maybe, he too has found a pretty French girl.

Unless Mark is privy to some information which we are not , I don't think we should construe Moro's withdrawal to be due to Topalov's supposed cheating.

I think he'd have a realistic chance of doing well at Wijk, not winning it perhaps, he gets tremendous support over there, look at his record of winning the game of the day prizes voted for by the audience.

Why accept the invitation and then withdraw? He could have just not entered. If you were to toss an invite out then Linares looks the most sensible (with Amber to follow). These Wijk invitations are like hen's teeth and very much wanted. Given the fuss that he made about Topalov I probably did make 2+2=5 but the lack of any other explanation it has to be something unusual. When I heard from Svidler that someone (unknown) had withdrawn, I just knew it would be Morozevich. It will probably mean his chances of playing in future years has been reduced.

Hasn't Morozevich been known for (late) withdrawals before?

But the ACP rapid was announced just recently. He might have accepted the Wijk invite before the ACP rapid was announced. Considering his last place finish in the Tal memorial, he might not have wanted to throw anymore rating points down the toilet. I don't know , I am just speculating but still my speculation looks a lot more reasonable.

Can somebody provide more info on:

1. Moro alleging Topalov cheated at San Luis (I would take that a lot more seriously from him than from any other GM--Moro is not as competitive and has amore laid back, creative attitude towards these things)
2. Moro playing Linares (he usually skips it and neither Mark nor Mig seem to say that he is playing)

Usually skips? Moro has, remarkably enough, never played Linares.


Moro's votes for the 2005 Chess Oscar: 1. Rybka, 2. Hydra, 3. Danailov. I think that's the closest he has come to making a public accusation.

And Mig, while I'm already posting: please add a # to each post. Would make it a lot easier to follow those huuge threads, and should be little effort on your part.

My guess that a certain Navarra had a decent year...

Wrong thread

Shirov vs Illescas is a gem indeed. I love 18 Na4! Shirov is an artist. Hope he gets back in the top 10 soon and figures in the top tourneys.


Thanks a lot. I did not remember Moro ever playing Linares, but I didn't want to make a blunt statement like that or rifle through pages of history when the generality was sufficient.

So, Moro is playing Lina and so is Topalov. Corus therefore is definitely not being ignored by him for that reason.

Shirov is about Top 10 strength, but he is a bit more willing to follow his muse, and play into positions simply because they intrigue him. Occasionally, he seems to subordinate results (and thereby, the gain of rating points) to the aim of creating an artistic gem. In that sense, he is not fully "Professional" in attitude, and that perhaps was the element that Kasparov was alluding to when he made the "Chess Tourist" remark.

Given Morozevich's career results, it would be expected that he'd finish at close to 50% in both Corus and Linares. Given that Corus tends to have at least a few Pamplona caliber players (i.e. whom Moro would be expected to score well against), it might have made more sense to opt to play at Corus, if he wasdetermined to skip one of the events. On the other hand, perhaps only Ivanchuk could hope to play at both Super tournaments, and not expect to suffer a dip in results due to staleness and burnout.

Didn't Moro withdraw from the Russian Superfinal too, like dirtbag said. Hmm, who's playing both there and in Corus, but not in Linares? Morozevich must be avoiding....Svidler?! No, he's in Linares too. No idea then.

DOug, Shirov on his day is I believe top 3. I certainly think Shirov's match victory over Kramnik was indicative of their relative playing strengths for example. I meant that I hope he gets back into the top 10 rating list, as choice invitations on a regular basis seem incumbent upon membership of this club.

‘On his day top 3’ makes no sense. The top 3 are the top three at least in large part because they have more ‘days’ than others do.

rdh everything you say makes no sense, and I told you, tutoring you will cost you. My hourly charges are high.


Some folks are so skilled at debate and so knowledgeable about chess that's it's just a waste of time trying to argue with them.


physician heal thysef

Morozevich wrote a book on Chigorin defense! If you can read Russian, check out the introduction to this book here http://www.e3e5.com/petersburg/theory/article.html?676

He even quotes his game with Raffael on Playchess in the Introduction!

I need to buy this book. Andrey, as I unfortunately dont read Russian to my eternal regret, could you please tell me if you know of an English translation of the book?

d, Chessbase are doing a Morozevich CD on the opening. No doubt that will contain much of the same material.

That’ll be fifty guineas, please.

The book of Morozevich will also be published by New In Chess. In English, I presume.

hehe, rdh touche.
Oscar many thanks.

The Chigorin Defence According to Morozevich, by Alexander Morozevich, Vladimir Barsky

It is available already at the web shop of New In Chess.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on December 30, 2006 5:01 PM.

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