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Corus 2007 r1

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Well, Corus did bore us today, I'm afraid. At least the A Group didn't bring their A game. I was doing live coverage on Chess.fm with GM Joel Benjamin and we had to scramble as game as game ended before the third hour of play. After less than three hours we were down to one, van Wely - Radjabov. The Dutchman is a well-known King's Indian basher and Timmaay sticks to it like glue, so we were expecting a duel. Someone kibitzed that van Wely had been online during the ACP rapid watching Radjabov and saying "the King's Indian is dead." Perhaps its status should now be upgraded to undead since you just can't kill the thing.

This King's Indian turned into a fabulously hideous position with four, count'em, four pawns on the e-file. Black had the only decent breaks in the position and his c-file invasion was decisive as van Wely got into serious time trouble and went down in flames. Speaking of flames, Radjabov is now the clear leader and Joel suggested he should set fire to the venue to stop the event while he's ahead. I will take this opportunity, short-lived as it will be, to point out that yesterday I picked Radjabov for a big result here. And he's winning! I called it! Burn down the building!

We poked around in the B and C groups for a while and found a few fun games. Negi, the world's youngest GM, got off to a good start in the C with a pretty sacrificial mating attack. Kosintseva the Younger, the lowest-rated player in the B, held the top seeded Jakovenko to a draw. Her sister is higher rated and a year older but is in the C group, go figure. She lost to 12-year-old Hou Yifan, the youngest player in the show. In the A the top also met the bottom when Topalov was held by Motylev. 1.d4?! No Najdorf?! Apparently Topalov wanted to see more of Kramnik's Slav preparation – Motylev was one of Kramnik's analysts in Elista. Georgiev missed a cute trick and lost to Eljanov in a painful final position.

Let's hope things liven up tomorrow. I'll be on live again, this time with Spanish GM Miguel Illescas. Can you handle two Migs? Mig and Miggy in the Morning? We'll be talking a lot of Kramnik since he has worked with the world champion for years and was in Elista for the duration. If you have questions for him, post'em. Kramnik has white against Shirov, usually an exciting pairing.


In group A a lot of games lasted less than 30 moves.
Are they kidding ?
Is this the way to bring spectators back ?

What a contrast to the recent ACP event! And it goes without saying that that is not in Corus' favour...

Can someone tell me why draw offers are allowed in chess?

Short games in the A group, but few premature draws IMO. Ponomariov - Anand perhaps a game worth of criticising for taking the draw to early, but it is nice to start the tournament with a draw, a warm up.

Nice to see both Radjabov and Bologan winning against the kings indian bajonet attack with 9 b4. KID strikes back.

A question for Illescas. Does he think Kramnik will have chance to stay as a top player if Sofia rule is accepted in all competitions?
Well, with the Grand Slam coming I can see him coming down

Mig: "1.d4?! No Najdorf?! Apparently Topalov wanted to see more of Kramnik's Slav preparation"

Mig, you're talking as if Toplaov was with black pieces :) He played d4 and not e4 to avoid boring Russian "draw" game... Motylev is expert in this opening, how could you forget this?! :)

I don't see the Sofia rules effecting Kramnik: normally he doesn't offer draws is complex positions, he just keeps the balance, trades off everything and finishes with a threefold repetition. No rules can stop him from doing that.

I think a more serious concern about Kramnik is him getting older and losing his height, so he'll be unable to reach up and remove bathroom ceiling tiles.

Sorry, effect => affect.

Can someone post the statring time in the US, PST or EST? Thanks.

Team Kramnik appeared pathetically inept at dealing with Topnailov's off-the-board manuevering. I'd ask Miguel if they have any plans to put some lawyers on retainer for future emergencies of this sort.

"... remove bathroom ceiling tiles."


CET [France, Germany etc.] = 13:30
Greece, Bulgaria etc. = 14:30
London, Ireland = 12:30

For other zones look at
www.greenwichmeantime.com (sorry) ...


The games start at 7:30 AM Eastern time and 4:30 AM Pacific time. The last round is an exception, they start earlier (by an hour or so).

Motylev was on Kramnik's team in Elista, so this was already a half victory. Would it be hard for Topalov to play against him for this reason?

Thanks George & Daniel

Photos and videos of the 1st round are up at ChessVista and Chessvibes.


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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on January 13, 2007 12:23 PM.

    Corus Wijk aan Zee 2007 was the previous entry in this blog.

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