Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Corus 2007 r3

| Permalink | 86 comments

Preview: Two of the games are between leaders: Navara-Svidler and the top Elo matchup of the day, Anand-Aronian. van Wely will try to get off the schneid against Motylev. Several heavyweights have black against relative outsiders, a mixture that often leads to short draws as it did in the first round. As in every round except for #8, I'm back on Chess.fm doing live commentary at 7:30, this time back with GM Joel "the Jersey Mauler" Benjamin.

UPDATE: Another very rich round of chess at Corus despite a few fizzles. You know it's a good round when even the 32-move draw that was 19 moves of theory ends with a double piece sacrifice for perpetual check! That was our lead game of the day between Anand and Aronian, a Marshall Gambit that saw the Indian attempt to improve on Shirov's play against Aronian at the Tal Memorial in November. (You'll remember that game for the astounding endgame device the Armenian used to win.) Anand was deeply prepared, of course, and was building some momentum with clever play, but the Marshall is a clever beast too. Aronian found the shot all the computer watchers were shouting out: 30..Bxg3! 31.Kxg3 Re8! and White has to allow the repetition immediately or with 32.Qxe8 as played or after 32.Qf2 Qh1. Sweet!

Radjabov won the day's game prize with his second King's Indian win, this one over Shirov in the same line he played against van Wely in round one. Shirov improved in the opening but couldn't contain Black's kingside play and Radjabov broke through spectacularly. Joel and I agreed that the no-risk endgame with 34..Nxh5 (as recommended by a spectating Nakamura) was the logical choice instead of the overhwhelming but very tricky 34..Qh3! 35.Bxd5+ Rf7 36.Rg6 f2 37.Rg2 Qd3!! Even if you see that stunning move - the only winning move there - you don't risk making a mistake if you also have a clear forced line to a winning endgame on the menu. Great stuff from my boy Radja, the clear leader with 2.5/3!

Ponomariov pummelled Carlsen to give the young Norwegian a time out in the cellar with van Wely. Carlsen was barely out of the opening before he had to give up a decisive material advantage after 16.Nc8! (17..Ra8 18.Nxd6 Qxd6 19.Bb4 Oops.) Unlucky Loek was winning against Motylev but let it slip away in mutual time trouble. Karjakin-Topalov was a tremendous save from the world #1 after his risky Najdorf play earned him a losing position. Joel and I were both shocked at how quickly Karjakin banged out 42.Rc4 instead of spending some time on the attacking continuation 42.Qh5! Trying to react quickly and confidently after being hit with a shot like 41..Bd2! is a symptom of immaturity. So instead of a very good queen and pawn endgame with chances for more, Karjakin got only a rook endgame that was very drawish. He probably should have played on for a while risk free but his dejection at letting the big Bulgarian fish get away got to him.

Fizzle #1 was Tiviakov's tepid play against Kramnik's Petroff, virtually guaranteeing a tame draw that lasted only a courtesy hour. #2 was Svidler's unexpected draw offer against Navara in a very interesting and open position. Disappointing pragmatism, to use the polite euphemism, from a favorite in a favorable (certainly not unfavorable) position. Ban the draw offer. At least we got a lesson from El Svid on how to handle the anti-Grunfeld line Kramnik used to take out Shirov yesterday. Unfortunately, Svidler has white against Kramnik in round 9 so we won't see this argument continue.

After all draws yesterday the B Group had it's own Corus chainsaw massacre today with 6/7 decisive. So did the C Group! Bu Xiangzhi and Smeets lead the B Group. 12-year-old Hou Yifan of China won again in the C, dusting off Dutch relic John van der Wiel in a sharp encounter. Negi, Bosboom, and [ctrl+c, ctrl+v] Nepomniachtchi share the lead.

Many of the heavyweights have white tomorrow and it looks like the even rounds are the ones you don't want to miss. Anand has black but might try to take another bite out of Carlsen, who is looking like a weak member of the herd after two straight losses. Topalov-Shirov is the highlight on paper. I'm back on the air again tomorrow at 7:30am, this time with J-Fed himself, John Fedorowicz. (And, I assume, his interpreter.)


Navara-Svidler a replay of a rather crushing 1-0 at the Olympiad, I think? I bet Svidler gives the QGA a rest today.

Anand-Aronian should be a good game.

Topalov plays two Sicilians in a row :) That is a good sign. No more boring slavs.
And while Topalov is playing Danailov is protesting.


Looks to me like Topalov could have opted for 22...c3 (with Bc1 as the likely response), more active than ...Nf6 as played, no?!

Anyone know if Danailov is at the venue? Or if Kramnik and Topalov shook hands?

Topalov on his way down against the super-kid ??

And talking about super-kids it starts seeming clear, that Karjakin has had a lot more positional cod-liver oil than our Scandinavian hope Carlsen...

Tactical, rather than positional, surely? Anyone can lose to a shot like 11 Bb5, and of course he was winning against Navara too. Wonder what the theory is - is Bb5 a known trap, or what?

Kramnik and Topalov haven't played yet and why on earth wouldn't they shake hands; they did in Elista after all, and Kramnik's not the type to act like a child.

Shirov just made a move (Rxe6!!) that makes me want to play chess again (I've been retired for over a year)!

I just read about Danailov's open letter to FIDE, I know it's off-topic, but is this again just to get into Kramnik's mind while he is playing a tournament?

Dany needs to find a hobby, maybe he should try checkers or something, what a guy..

I think this time FIDE messed things up. Can a bank be an excuse?
and no matter what Danailov says, Kramnik will make draw after draw

"Shirov just made a move (Rxe6!!) that makes me want to play chess again (I've been retired for over a year)!"

He must really find that move beautiful since he set it up in Round 2 as well. :)

Beautiful moves have no affect on the cold calculating Beast from Baku, as he simply goes into a winning a won ending.

Dont confuse kasparov with radjabov. The two are not the same.. yet.... Shirov may yet pull something out of this.

he pulls a lost ending. Good show by Radjabov +2 and both wins with King's Indian... Guess what's not dead?

i think shirov was seduced by the Tal like quality of the move Rxe6!!?? Sadly, he didnt play like Tal for the rest of the game.. Still, I be he bounces back!

Looking at the last open letter from Danailov, I can not really decide whether by "minister of interior affairs" he means minister of internal, or intestinal affairs. For this ongoing charade the latter seems more appropriate.

Wasn't the Shirov game won before he blundered Rxe6? Didn't understand this move at all. He had a lot of time yet.

Karjakin does perpetual with a pawn up. Couldn't happen to Topa.

You do wonder why Danailov's bothering. It can't be doing his relations with his sponsors much good, you'd think, messing them about putting up guarantees for a match that obviously isn't going to happen. Either he's deluded or he's playing for his adoring Bulgarian public, I suppose.

speaking of topalov, I was extremely impressed by his post game presentation of round 2. Very knowledgeable and assured. Also pulled a draw out of the hat after looking worse almost the entire game with some typical "Topalovian" moves. There is a quaint kind of similarity in his 41.. Bd2! and Aronian's 23.. Bb1! Obvious when you're a super GM I guess, but cute.

Or Karjakin didn't see 41.- Bd2. A nice move though.

"Looking at the last open letter from Danailov, I can not really decide whether by "minister of interior affairs" he means minister of internal, or intestinal affairs. For this ongoing charade the latter seems more appropriate."

Might also be 'inferior affairs' or 'infernal affairs'.

"Shocking end to the game! There is no way I would take a draw here. This shows me that Karjakin does need more experience on a big stage." --Susan

Congrats to Karjakin nonetheless, seventeen years and three days old.

I would have thought Karjakin already HAD more experience on the big stage than la Polgar. What was the last time she played anyone over 2700?!

I notice she doesn't give any moves she reckons Karjakin ought to have played - probably very wise, I dare say.

@rdh with a pawn up you can at least TRY. No danger he loses this one.

I don't know. Say he'd played 52 Rxd5 as I dare say you or I might have done; he'd certainly have lost then after 52....e3. Given that Black's next move is ...Rxf5 defending d5 and that there's no way to prevent it, it's a bit misleading to speak of White being a pawn up, because the minute he stops giving check he won't be. The question is rather whether there's any sensible move which keeps White better and keeps play in the position; if Susie P has one she ain't telling.

Worth remembering that the tide has been flowing very much against Karjakin in this game lately (he was clearly winning earlier) and that last time he played Topalov he turned down a repetition unjustifiably and went on to lose. I'd say on the contrary that Karjakin showed his maturity and the benefit of his experience here. He is after all far stronger than Ms P and has thought about the position far more. It is possible that if he thinks White has no better than a draw he is right and she is wrong.


Many good points. But Ms. P generally has a computer at her side during her on-line analyses so you'd have to give her the edge over a computerless Karjakin.

I agree, rdh (not that my small voice matters, of course). Karjakin may well have been annoyed at himself for having missed a more promising continuation earlier and did not want to jeopardise the half-point still available. That is a decision I certainly cannot fault.

Maybe 50.b4 was required.

Your "Ms. P" is generally quite good at predicting moves ... and she does not use a computer while blogging, or at least she said at some point a while ago that she didn't.

Brilliant game between Shirov and Radjabov. Too bad they both can't get a point for that one. Beast from Baku 2.0 isn't up to the original's level yet, but in that game he certainly played like a genius.

I think Karjakin might have missed a very good chance at winning on move 28 after analyzing it with Fritz for a bit (it seemed like there had to be a win in there somewhere, so I wanted to check it).

The main line goes 28.Qg4 Rb8 29.Red1 Qb7 30.b3 cxb3 31.axb3 Kf8 32.Qg6! when Fritz has white +2.5 or so, with the next few moves it gives going 32..Rg8 33.Qh6+ Ke8 34.Qh5+ Kf8 (Kd8 35.Qf7 is +7 or so) 35.Rxd6! Qe4 36.R6d3 and white is up +5 or so.

It's very possible that Karjakin and Topalov saw deeper than fritz in this one, but according to every rule of positional chess we've been taught from Capablanca on down, white had to be significantly better somewhere, and the silicone oracle agrees.

The position was clearly won, Andrew, no doubt. But not all players are as cool as Kramnik and pull it out.

I agree with rdh that Krajakin showed maturity in this game by taking a draw. He chickend out.

Aristotle wrote (in an amazing work which you can find on net) that the single most noticeable difference between the young and the old is that old people have lost courage. It is noticeable even optically in the body movements ("hot blooded" vs. "chilly").

" They have lived many years; they have often been taken in, and often made mistakes; and life on the whole is a bad business. The result is that they are sure about nothing and under-do everything"

"They are cowardly, and are always anticipating danger; unlike that of the young, who are warm-blooded, their temperament is chilly; old age has paved the way for cowardice; fear is, in fact, a form of chill."

Kramnik played too differently when he was younger (anyone here who recalls Kramnik-Nunn at Kramnik's first Olympiad ? he was 17 or so).

Susan Polgar commenting on Elista Game Nine:

"Many of you asked do I use Fritz to come up with my suggestions. Once in a while but most of my suggestions came from my head looking at the screen."

The official site gives the amazing 42 Qh5! for Karjakin, after Topalov's not less amazing 41...Bd2. Of course something like this is very difficult to find when the player is in a shock from the opponent's move.

Good to see mostly exciting games again from the A group. I'm impressed with Radjabov so far - maybe this will be his breakthrough tournament?!

This 42Qh5 looks far more wicked than the passive Rc4. I think Topalov saved his skin today, but against Radjabov this position might have ended differently.


On a dutch website, http://www.utrechtschaak.nl/,
it was mentioned that the bank that was supposed to have given the guarantee in support of the Topalov challenge, the D Commerce Bank,
http://www.dbank.bg/?dispatch=fperson, is a very small bank, that recently changed owners for the equivalent of a couple of million dollars. If you have a serious challenge, you might be expected to use a serious bank for the guarantee.

guido imbens

The final position is Karjakin-Topalov is still winning for Karjakin (or very close to it according to Shipov. His mainline is 52.b4! e3 53.Kd3 Ke8 54.Rd6 Rxf5 55.Kxe3 Ke7 56.Rb6 Rh5 57.Kd4 Rxh4+ 58.Kxd5 Rh5+ 59.Ke4 Rh4+ 60.Kd3 Rh3+ 61.Kc4 Rh2 62.c3 f5 63. Rg6

Disappointed in Karjakin, missing Qh5 in time trouble is fine, but the endgame is not particularly tricky, and he clearly has no losing chances after 55. Kxe3


I thought it might be your Bulgarian heritage(?) that misled you into becoming a Topalov fan, but now I see that it was your misreading of Aristotle.

In Book II, of the Rhetoric (where you got your quote), Aristotle is NOT praising the youthful outlook (Topalov? the young Kramnik?) at the expense of the elderly.

In Chapters 12, 13, and 14, Aristotle divides mankind into the Youthful Type, the Elderly Men, and Men in their Prime.

The Youthful have many good qualities, but are changeable and fickle, quick-tempered, and apt to give way to their anger, love too much and hate too much, think they know everything and they overdo everything, they are brave, but intemperate.

The Elderly men are temperate, but cowardly.

Men in their Prime are free from extremes, they judge people correctly, they have the benefits of youth and age but not the detriments, they are brave AND temperate.

Re Kramnik's fine game against Nunn, note that a) Kramnik swapped off the queens at move eight and, b) not that many folks play the KID against him anymore.

well I just now used fritz to continue the game from 52 h4 and it does become even or a draw. So I wanted to see the draw played out and it turned into a win for white.

Polgar did not say there was a win for white. She said this is a sporting contest and every time the football game is tied score, they dont decide on a draw. They continue to play football.

Maybe this is the big problem with chess. The chess players do not understand or want to play for a win. They seem to want to take no risk and win. In a true sporting contest you play until there is a winner and a loser. Chess players do not seem to understand that simple idea.

As many of you know, I am in favor of changing the rules so there are no draws possible. Of course no one agrees with me.

But then every time I have a problem I do not run home to mommy and have her save my little bippy from the problem I got myself into. I accept responsibility for my problem and try to play chess to get out of the problem. I am of course talking about an attitude toward a sporting contest. Chess misses the mark. Chess with draws is for mommy baby whimps. The Roman gladiators understood it. They got out there with a sword and fought to the death. No fooling around. No whimps those gladiators. They would chop your head off in a second. They would die laughing at the chess players today.

Polgar is correct. The game ended too soon. Play should have continued.

If you want chess to become really popular then get rid of the stupid draw.

Just one or two comments after a quick glance at the lower groups - not yet 13-year-old Hou Yifan tactically humiliating Van der Wiel in group C, and in group B a fairly spectacular piece sacrifice by current leader Smeets exploiting the unnatural position of Atalik's pieces. I'm always happy when an unimaginative opening such as 1. d4 d5 2. Bf4 gets thrashed (although of course in the hands of a GM it can have more punch than in those of your everyday 1800 player)!

Frank H

"As many of you know, I am in favor of changing the rules so there are no draws possible. Of course no one agrees with me."

That's not true, tommy would agree with you...you know?

"The Roman gladiators understood it. They got out there with a sword and fought to the death. No fooling around. No whimps those gladiators. They would chop your head off in a second. They would die laughing at the chess players today."

There is so much wrong with this statement, I dont know where to begin.

You do know gladiators were forced to compete under threat of death... Do you think the same should apply for chess players?

Frank H.,

The Karjakin-Topalov result is symptomatic of a general malaise in chess. In the old days fans would spend hours analyzing games. Nowadays we sit around like dopes, plugging positions into our computers.

Frank H., don't be a wimp, don't run home to mommy. Show the chess world your gladiator spirit. Stay up all night, if necessary, but tomorrow morning post for us a complete analysis of the Karjakin-Topalov ending. Get chess started back on the right path!

Well, Hou was under pressure the whole game until van der Wiel, purportedly a 2500 level GM, decided to blunder a piece. So I think he tactically humiliated himself.

Krasenkow also made a losing mistake in a previous round against her, although in that case she did not take advantage of it.

Seems like a good anti-GM technique - lull them into complacency and wait until they make a mistake. Also a good anti-1500 technique.


Can you imagine the reaction if they repeated moves with Bc5 and Bh6...

"You do know gladiators were forced to compete under threat of death... Do you think the same should apply for chess players?"

Perhaps, as a lesser threat, they should be made to drink eight glasses of water before the game and then forbidden to use the bathroom.

Mig: Did Naka drop out of college? You kind of made it sound like that today in the broadcast.

By the way, very nice coverage with GM Joel. Good job!

Thanks. No, I said, or at least meant to say, he started playing again at the end of the semester. I don't know his current or future plans about college, but he's definitely playing quite a bit of chess in coming months so it's a hiatus at the very least.

Why doesn't Nakamura get invited to these big tournaments? Not just rapids..Didn't he decisively beat Karjakin in a match? He wins almost every tournament he plays in in the U.S., and he's young. What more do they want him to do?

Rating, rating, rating. By the time you are over 18 the prodigy magic has worn off and you have to have both good contacts with organizers in Europe and a hefty Elo. Living in the US is a massive handicap in both departments. Few strong tournaments to gain critical experience (and points) and no way to build those important relationships with organizers.

Is anybody else disappointed with Corus Chess's round reviews? Rather than post brief meaningless tidbits of analysis on move or two (45. Kg3--very challenging to black!) for each game, how about analyzing one or two games, please?

Forgot to post my predictions, but I got to go with Kramnik, Radjabov, Ponomariov, Navara and Anand, for men who will do well--with the first two better than the latter three.

I can see some people actually quote analysis of GM Sergei Shipov here. For those who are interested - Shipov does daily on-line live commentary of the Corus 2007 games on his website: www.crestbook.com

I love Shipov's commentaries. He's so full of enthusiasm and love for the game. It's actually entertaining reading through even if the chess theory is tricky to grasp. I'm not sure if it has been translated somewhere.


>Negi, Bosboom, and [ctrl+c, ctrl+v] Nepomniachtchi share the lead.

The best geek joke of the year!

(But Nepomniashchi is a simpler spelling.)

Kramnik - Radjabov, Rd 11

Will Kramnik allow a KID?

If there's one opening Kramnik isn't afraid of, it's the KID.

Remember the pre-Kramnik days? About half the elite played the KID regularly, including the great Kasparov.

Post-Kramnik? They're all QID, Nimzo, and Slav players.

haha.. As if... Gary giving up the KID had nothing to do with Kramnik. He said he couldnt play both the Najdorf and KID because it involved too much study. Simply not getting bashed required tremendous effort in both openings, and he wasnt about to let go of his beloved Najdorf. He said ultimately the KID was not worth it. I can find 7 classical games on chessgames.com with Gary playing the KID against Kramnik, he drew 1, won 3 and lost 3. Hardly definitive.

Is there a way to translate Shipov's site from russian to english?

Also Anand-Aronian was a good game!

And! 42. Qh5! in Karjakin-Topalov would be very hard to play over the board! The difference between Karjakin and Radjabov is that probably Radjabov would have played it!

A top GM like Karjakin must have played 42.Rh5 (it was after the time control). The motive of the move was very clear (also to me). It just needed some calculation.

I must admit that it does look as though Karjakin still had good chances after 52 b4, at least objectively. But it's foolish to criticise a decision whose motives you don't know (Frank H in particular sets records in this department).

Kramnik-Radjabov will be an interesting first couple of minutes, that's for sure.

I've never bought that line of Kasparov's. The Grunfeld's more work than the KID, and he went on playing that after 1997. In fact I always thought his playing the Grunfeld was a mistake - he did terribly with it against Karpov and then lost another critical game against Kramnik in 2000. He'd never admit Kramnik drove him away from the KID, but maybe it's just a coincidence that his last game with it was a crushing defeat by Kramnik.

"Gary giving up the KID had nothing to do with Kramnik."

Wishful thinking. It hadn't ONLY to do with Kramnik, but it's fairly obvious he was a big part of it.

oh well.. as obvious as the brutality of the police state that is Sweden?

Nice points, rdh.


Looking over a few sites, is the King's Indian loss we are talking about the 5 minute blitz from 1998?

Ah, there we go, it helps when the database gives you dates in the right order, 97, Novgorod?

Indeed, Novgorod 97. Nc7!! The game Kramnik played badly in, as Kasparov sportingly pointed out in the papers, although even this was good enough, as Kramnik rejoined. And one must say that if a lesser player had played ... Bxf3 one would have regarded it as evidence that the fellow would never make it.

I actually didn't realise that Gazza played the KID even in blitz after that; I thought he gave it up cold turkey. But if you have a database then I stand corrected.

Kasparov with black, KID:

1994: +9-4=6 (+1-2 against Vlad)
1995: +3-1=5 (+2 against Vlad)
1996: +3=3 (did not play Grunfeld against Vlad with black)
1997: -2=2 (-1 against Vlad)

I find it hard to believe that what amounts to one loss against Vlad would be the reason for Kasparov to drastically abandon one of his favorite openings. First of all, that does not sound like Garry who has obstinately stuck with and worked on openings that have failed him in the past, like Grunfeld against Karpov. Second, Garry was fairly successful with that opening around the era and to rework your entire repertoire for the sake of one game, with one opponent is gross overreaction. Maybe you would do it with Karpov in 88 or Kramnik in 2001 but not with Kramnik in 1997. Third, you have the loss against Ivanchuk with the same opening earlier that year--surely two losses with the same opening is at least as strong a reason as one loss to a specific opponent?

It is hard to argue that Kasparov ran away from KID because of Kramnik based on more than psychological conjectures, our loosely founded and personally biased impression of what's in a Super-GM's head--and you know how we hate doing that on this board...

Was he being successful, I wonder? Seven losses in 38; pushing 20%, while winning 16. How would that compare to the Najdorf, say? But you're right, of course, it's never just one thing.

Man, you dont see it but I'm bowing to Yuriy K. Not only for his impeachable argument, but also for having the energy to argue this point..

Always got the energy for a snide one, though, eh, d?

If it was just work was stopping him you'd think he'd have played the opening in 2000 - after all he couldn't have felt he needed to work on the Najdorf that much for the match, and he had plenty of opportunity to work on it. Instead, what do we get - outprepared miserably in the Grunfeld, playing the Nimzo like a child and losing again, very nearly losing a couple of times in the QGA, and generally a big problem against 1 d4. Something went wrong for him there, and I suspect losing a bit of faith in the opening must have played a role.

I would say +15-7=16 is pretty darn good for any chess opening--even if you don't compare it to others he was using at the time.

The fact that Kasparov wasn't having much luck with any opening in that match perhaps speaks more of the level of his play at the time and frustration than any drastic opening change--I doubt he showed up for the match unprepared to play anything against 1.d4

May 8, 2001:

Q: My question relates to the King’s Indian Defense. For some time you have not played this defense. Is this primarily due to Kramnik’s results with 9.b4 (in general and against you) or the fact that you have been happy with the Grunfeld or Nimzo as alternatives? -- Tim E. Runting

Garry Kasparov: It’s a difficult opening, positionally it’s very difficult. It’s not fresh anymore. The KID is one of those openings where you have to play only the King’s Indian just to defend the position in different lines. For example, I play the Najdorf. It’s tough, but I spend all my time analyzing it and I’m confident that I can play it with white or black with excellent results. But it’s hard to play anything else.

I could play other openings against 1.e4, but if you play the Najdorf you have to concentrate on it, and when you play the KID you have to concentrate on that. On a practical level it’s a very tough call. I did it in the early 90s, playing both the Najdorf and the KID, but I have more faith in the Najdorf. It creates more counter-chances for black. In the King’s Indian these days white has already established the right patterns. Whatever they play, b4 or other lines, you just can’t win. Basically, what’s the point of having so much trouble when white can play the first twenty moves without risk?

Years ago I had great scores with the King’s Indian, but now there’s little danger for white. Now I can play the Queen’s Gambit and get a reasonable position. Even if it’s a draw, like with Piket and Van Wely in Corus this year, I can push for a win and I don’t have to suffer so much in the opening.

Could this be a partial explanation for the London 2000 result? Year after year Kasparov devoted time and energy to preparing for (and against) the Najdorf. In the match with Kramnik, however, all those years of Najdorf preparation was simply time "wasted".


That's an oversimplification but both Garry's comments, those of his team and the results support that theory. However, one never prepares exclusively for 1.e4 or just one version of continuation after 1.d4--such strategy is suicidal nonsense. Nor are Kasparov's good results with black through the years limited to Najdorf.

Hence the words, "partial explanation."

Partial explanation to me is omitting "Plus other things happened like Kramnik executed better at the board, or Kasparov got frustrated, and overreached rather than waited."

Oversimplification is something more like: "Kasparov focused in preparation on Najdorf" whereas "Kasparov focused in preparation on the wrong openings, types of openings, and midgames" would be more accurate.


I don't see any meaningful difference between your position and mine, so I can't argue with you. Hope you don't mind.

No problem at all--next time I will try to limit my arguments to soundbites instead of trying to provide actual explanations.

Note, I never said that Kasparov lost a ton of games in the KID to Kramnik before choosing to abandon that opening. GK is smart enough to learn from others' mistakes. He saw which way the wind was blowing and decided to cut his losses and run. It's in that sense that Kramnik, with his revival of 9. b4, is largely responsible for driving him away from the KID.

Note, also, that Kasparov can always get a plus score with any halfway-decent opening against the Tiviakovs and Van Welys in supertournaments he plays in, so in that sense his good score with the KID is misleading. Also, the crisis of the KID was much more of an issue in 97 than in 94.

Mig, thanks for the Gazza quote. It seems to me that he is not saying on the one hand ‘The King’s Indian is a great opening but it’s too much work’ (as the opening’s supporters like to say) or on the other ‘Kramnik’s convinced me it’s a crap opening’ (as some like to say) but something in between. Which is probably pretty much the truth – it’s never one thing.

That was one of the most-received questions he got for years. I think all the KID devotees out there felt betrayed. But of course it was always entirely playable at any level under the one where your opponent was likely to be a GM. And now Radjabov is showing it's still feasible if you work your butt off and have a teenager's energy. But I don't see a major revival at the GM level just yet. Those are some really unattractive positions he's winning from. I mean that visually!

I'd say it was more Piket than Kramnik when it came to convincing Garry the KID wasn't worth all the work it took. Losing to Kramnik is one thing, but when he started being tortured by guys rated 100-200 points lower without getting hardly any winning chances he knew it was time for a change. More than anything I feel it's become a *predictable* opening and White makes most of the important choices. Black has to be prepared to the gills in many lines, not just the Bayonette Kramnik popularized. You can lose to the Samisch, g3, Bg5, all sorts of nasty lines in which theory gives a plus to white.

One problem with the KID debate is the "yeah, but you can't play it against 2700+ guys" you hear when you see Smirin or someone else win with the KID. Sure, but you can't play anything against those guys! Fedorowicz, a longtime KID player, talked for a while about his decision to mostly leave it when we were doing radio yesterday. Your results have to move you or you are just being stubborn. That's mostly for pros of course. I never stopped playing the King's Gambit or the Benoni even though I had better results when my opponents were kind enough to play 1..c5 or just about anything other than 1..e5.

You can play the Slav, of course! I find it a bit surprising we didn't see any QGDs in Elista - in fact that it's so unfashionable generally. Maybe it's the Bf4 stuff.

What puzzles me though is GK's decision to go on playing the Grunfeld, of which I would have thought what you say is even more true. The Samisch, for example - you just go 6...c5, don't you? Black's been theoretically fine for years, no? Of course GK never played that - I always supposed that he didn't want to give a draw so easily, but maybe he knows something the rest of us don't.

Perhaps the Grunfeld is simpler to prepare deeply because it's more a matter of computers and moves than of new plans exactly. The KID is a bit different, especially the main line avalanche variations.

Great to see what Radjabov is doing though. And his video at chessvibes.com is just superb. Kramnik-Radjabov really is going to be interesting.

Time for some chess guys?

I recommend Topalov's analyses as currently posted on Chessbase and broadcast on www.chessvibes.com

Two interesting Rybka finds:

22...g5!? seems better than Bd5x; 23.Bxg5 (23.Qf3 Bg6 24.Bd3 Rae8 25.Ng3=) 23...fxg5 24.Qxg5+ Kf8 25.Ng3 Qxb5 26.Qf6 Ke8 =/+

But more amazing is the line 25...Rf7 26.Rxf7 Qxf7 that was discarded by Topalov because of 27.Bd2! Black has the amazing Nc4!! and after 28.Bc3 Kf8 the position is equal

Twitter Updates

    Follow me on Twitter



    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on January 15, 2007 5:21 AM.

    Corus 2007 r2 was the previous entry in this blog.

    Things That Annoy Me, Part 322 is the next entry in this blog.

    Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.