Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Corus 2007 r5

| Permalink | 46 comments

PREVIEW: Let's get it on! Your internet radio, that is. I'm doing live coverage along with GM Gregory "KFC" Kaidanov on Chess.fm. Can Radjabov keep up the pace? The leader has black against Navara today. Anand-Svidler is the heavyweight battle of the round. Does Vishy want to take another poke at the Marshall? I'm doing trivia contests near the end of the show around noon. Yesteday we had a winner of a pack of Ninja newsletters by frentz (?). Then our own markgravitygood won a Great Predecessors book personalized and signed by Garry Kasparov yesterday. Nifty.

UPDATE: Another round marred by inexplicably short draws, three of them this time. Carlsen equalized against Aronian's favorite pawn sac in the QID. White could play for f4 but decided to call it a day. Ponomariov is clearly not up to his standards and offered an early draw to Kramnik. Karjakin and Motylev declined to play out an unbalanced ending. Lame. Speaking of lame, Svidler went blind and forgot his Bb7 was hanging against Anand. He resigned in 21 moves. Horrible.

Radjabov needed considerably more time to win his game against Navara. Again with black, again the King's Indian! But this time it was an unusual line and Radjabov was getting much the worse of it out of the opening. It looks like Navara got a little anxious and started pushing things instead of playing a4 and waiting a while to open up the center. Black won a piece and then blew White off the board with sharp tactics in Navara's time trouble. A nasty piece of work, but a point's a point and Radja continues to roll.

Shirov lost horribly to van Wely after again spending tons of time in a known position. After all that he embarked on an unsound piece sac that van Wely cooly rebuffed. Shirov has lost four in a row and is deep in last place. Let's get that Ninja mojo working for the man! It was a strange round in Wijk aan Zee today. Perhaps the players were affected by the record storm that has been lashing the Netherlands. Winds over 100kph caused great damage all over the country. Maybe some of the players wanted to finish their games and get away to safety? How else to explain the brief efforts in Ponomariov-Kramnik (19 moves), Aronian-Carlsen (20), and Karjakin-Motylev (21)? Some of these young stars are barely making more moves than their age.

There was another game that lasted only 21 moves, but it was anything but peaceful. Even a hurricane wouldn't have made Peter Svidler play like this as he lost to Vishy Anand after a horrible blunder. According to someone on the scene, he allowed the shot 19.Nxh6+ because thought he was getting good play after 19..Qxh6 20.Qxd7 Red8 21.Qxc7 Rbc8 22.Qe5 Rxd2. What he didn't notice was that his bishop on b7 is hanging in midair. This nasty spell of chess blindness led him to resign after 21.Qxc7, giving Anand an easy pass to +2 and into a tie for second place. That's because Sergei Tiviakov used the white pieces to hold Veselin Topalov to a draw. Topalov is now equal with Anand at 3.5/5.

They are a full point behind the leader, the streaking Teimour Radjabov. (We mean that as in "winning a lot" and not as in "not wearing any clothes." To our knowledge he is fully dressed. Which is good, considering the weather.) David Navara got an excellent position against another Radjbov King's Indian, the same defense he used to win his first two games with black against van Wely and Shirov. Navara tried the relatively offbeat 5.Bg5 (instead of the standard 5.e4) and Radjabov responded aggressively with Benko/Volga Gambit-like play with 5..c5 6.d5 b5!? This has been tried before without great success and was analyzed by Avrukh in the MegaBase as being inferior for Black. Radjabov was soon a pawn down without the usual queenside counterplay Black gets in the Benko Gambit.

It was all looking quite miserable for the tournament leader but instead of winning the exchange and coming under a heavy attack with 14..Bxb2 15.Nc4 Bxa1 16.Qxa1 he found the interesting idea of 14..a5 and 16..Ba6 to get counterplay. When Navara failed to concrete his Nb5 with a4, Radjabov grabbed his chance and got in ..a4 himself, leading to tactical opportunities. After further inaccuracies exposed his position, White was losing a piece and scrambling for compensation, which he got in the form of three pawns for the lost knight. That might have been enough for an endgame, but there was still a middlegame to play and Navara's nerves had cost him a lot of time. The poor 29.Re3? lost material to the fork 29..Nc4! because the weak back rank after 30.Rxe8 Qxe8 with the threat of ..Rf1+. With little time on his clock Navara was swept away by Hurricane Teimour after 30.Rxd3 Re1+ 31.Bf1 Qh3 and mate is unstoppable after a few checks.

That moved Radjabov to a 4.5/5 score his fellow Baku product Garry Kasparov would be proud of, especially since three of the wins came with black in the King's Indian! We doubt he'll be eager to repeat today's opening, however, as it looked like Navara could have solidified his material advantage in several ways with more patient play.

At the other end of the crosstable, the deep end, we find Spain's Alexei Shirov. He crashed to his fourth consecutive defeat, losing with white to hometown hero Loek van Wely. This Najdorf line became famous last year at Corus when Vishy Anand unleashed an amazing double piece sacrifice to demolish Sergey Karjakin, but several others have tried it since. It was even played in last year's computer championship in Turin! This amazingly sharp line should be right up Alexei "Fire on Board" Shirov's alley, but he burnt his own fingers in this one. Despite the recent fame of this line, he used oceans of time and was left an hour behind van Wely on the clock just as he decided to sacrifice a piece for attack with 27.h5 Ne6 28.g6. This bishop sac is hard to refute over the board, but van Wely had well over an hour for defense while Shirov was under fifteen minutes. The Dutchman played very accurately and Shirov's attack quickly dissipated into a completely lost endgame. The tricky 32.Bc4!? was probably his last chance to keep hope alive, but even then things look dim. Perhaps we'll see a return to his old Latvian countryman Shabalov's 23.h3 or the wild 27.Bc4 played in last year's Indian championship.

Kramnik-Anand is the star attraction of tomorrow's sixth round. Leader Radjabov has white against Ponomariov. Topalov will look to win over Navara. Let's hope the only hurricanes are on the board.

In the B Group leader Smeets was short-lived in that role and was brought down by Bologan. There is now a four-way tie for first that involves most of the favorites. Nepomniachtchi continues to dominate the C Group, which is looking like the wrong section for the young Russian. It's hard to call a 16-year-old a late bloomer, but while his peers Carlsen and Karjakin are already well known it looks like Nepomniachtchi might be the name on everyone's tongue in 2007, at least if it will fit. Luckily his first name is just three letters long: Ian. He won again to move to 4.5/5 and a full-point lead.

During my Chess.fm broadcast with GM Gregory Kaidanov we were getting a lot of weather reports from Dutchies. There was a massive storm that also seemed to KO communications with the playing hall for a while. It took a long time before it was confirmed that the last game to finish, Tiviakov-Topalov, had ended in a draw. Here are some of the storm pics people were linking to. The sober Kaidanov startled us all with his sterling impression of a besieged weatherman in a heavy storm. You had to be there. I'll be back on with Greg tomorrow for round six.

Speaking of, I've been holding impromptu trivia contests during the broadcast and we're making it into a tradition. After giving away some Ninja newsletters during round four I was stumped by the next winner, our own markgravitygood, already having a subscription. Ya gots to take care of the homies so he got a Great Predecessors book signed to him by Garry Kasparov, who is still in town. Today we gave out some one-month ICC account extensions and another book for the final and toughest question. Mark was the first to correctly answer "In one Corus A group in the past decade, four of the final top five places were held by Russians, including the winner. Who was the only non-Russian in the top five?" Today Flaneur (a chess trivia Yoda among Jedi) quickly answered "Two American players tied for first in the Wijk aan Zee A group and the next year they tied for first in the US Championship. Name them." He also gets a Garry-signed book. See, and you all thought that all the chess info you have in your head was worthless! Hey, you should do a radio show...

Russianbear translates some bare Russian notes on the event in the message boards. Good stuff. Videos and more from the site on ChessVibes. The inimitable Shipov is analyzing at his site here. Russian only, I believe.


Kaidanov's accent is hilarious

Kaidanov rocks as a commentator.

I signed up for the 7-day trial at ICC during the Tal Memorial. Brian Wall didn't get away with any dubious statements, chess-related or not Kaidanov pinned him everytime, including when Wall suggested that Kaidanov was ranked #5 in the US, which seemed to annoy Kaidanov in an amusing way.

Very entertaining and great explanations of ideas in variations. More chess, less talk.

Kramnik and Anand first to finish again.

What on earth was Svidler doing? I could have played better than that drunk.

And what happened in Shirov-Van W ?!

poor shirov is free falling :-( Spent too long in a theory variation, perhaps he was unprepared.

what happened to Topalov's game?

Have they stopped transmitting the moves?

Radjabov won again!

At what point is the young Navara lost? He seems to continue for a few moves after resistance is futile, even when only a completely obvious blunder would save him.

Like Nepo in C Group

Wow! Poor Svidler, losing a miniature with the Ruy Lopez is not a good sign of things to come.

On the upbeat: Welcome Mr. Radjabov to the chess elite. I think you will find your stay of considerable time.

Booh draws boooooh.....
I am disappointed.... Well it was obvious that Kramnik does not have the courage to show champion's play. But what is more obvious now is that his games do not deserve the audience to watch them. This is 19 move toilet chess. It smells.

On the other hand, after the terrific chess he has shown in Elista, the very tough battle against Deep Fritz, and coming after honeymoon when he might have not had much time to prepare, I am willing to give Vlad a break especially as we are only five games into the tournament.

So far in this tournament, Radjabov plays like he has broken through to the next level, demonstrating high-level opening preparation, technical mastery, and a risk-taking fighting spirit. His games are much more interesting and entertaining than Kramnik's games in my opinion. The next meeting between Rad and Vladdy will be an interesting test for both players. Kramnik's opening preparation, technique and skill at managing the psychological elements of the individual encounters will be a real test for Radja.

Couldn't Motylev have played for a win against Karjakin instead of accepting a draw, considering White's horrible pawn structure? I don't get it.

As Topnailov has informed us, Kramnik has a secondary cheating resource which he uses when playing rapids, or when he gets tired of standing on the toilet seat and dismantling ceiling tiles. So the whole toilet thing is really irrelevant.

Less hope the KGB fires the chess-retards who were running the cheating system in Elista and brings in some people who know what the hell they're doing.

Radja is resurrecting the KID that Kasparov burried!

Main item updated with round review. More extensive version appearing at ChessBase soonish.

Radjabov has been playing mostly tailenders thus far. Let's see how he does against Kramnik, Anand, and Topalov. (I predict 1/3 at best.)


I thought about that too and it should prove to be a deciding factor to all the early hoopla (mine included). Also, I would include Aronian in that list; but after watching Radjabov's analysis of his third round win against Shirov, I'm in awe. I'm not comparing him to the following person, but the last time I was blown away like that was when I studied a game (analysis) against the late Grandmaster Polguevsky, by a very young player, at the time, by the name of Kasparov.

Polugayevsky! Sorry Polu.

Hi, chesstraveler: Where did you see Radjabov's analysis of hiw win against Shirov? Is it online? Or do you mean you watched in-person at Corus?

Sorry r,

I was going to include that and forgot. It's on video at chessvibes and Youtube. I'd provide a link here if I knew how, but I'm computer challenged.

Thanks, chesstraveler!

That is a neat triva question from Flaneur. At first I thought it might be Yasser and Dzindzi, but now I see it's Yasser and Six-Time US Champion Walter Browne. Back in the day, the man could play some chess.

Radjabov's bad opening looked more like Benoni than King's Indian. But Navara gave him the full point.

I think chesstraveler was talking about this youtube videos:

Corus 2007: press conference Radjabov (part I)

Corus 2007: press conference Radjabov (Part II)

Corus 2007: press conference Radjabov (Part III)

All them provided by (c) 2007, www.chessvibes.com

I have no idea what Shirov is playing. He could have played the obvious 28.Bxe5+ dxe 29.g6

Shirov plays like the guy I lately played against - ELO 950.

Radjabov still has to win some matches to qualify for Mexico. Seems to me they should seed him into Mexico immediately. Seems to me he qualifies more than some of the players already seeded into Mexico. I hope he keeps up the pace and does not do a fade out like Topalov did at San Luis.

I hope some one can post his tournament performance rating. It was over 3000 going into todays game and he won again. amazing.

Yes, chesstraveler is right. Those videos have to be seen. Radjabov is a very impressive guy. According to http://members.aon.at/sfischl/cl2006.txt, he had played 50 games in 2006 with performance rating of 2757, which alone shows he is an elite(top 5) player, as the number of games is large enough to be certain it was not a lucky streak. And now he has 4.5 out of 5 in Wijk, with the only draw being a game which was won for him, according to Khalifman. I don't know if he can be compared to Kasparov just yet, but as far as 19 year olds go, he is definitely up there with 19 year old Kasparov and 19 year old Kramnik.

It was unfortunate that Shirov didn't do his homework today and played 27. h5? because as van Wely explained during his post match presentation (www.chessvibes.com) he had prepared a nice novelty after the theoretical 27. Bc4. Namely not 27... Ne6 as played before but 27... Rxc4! After 28. Nxc4 Qa2+ 29. Kc1 Ne6 30. Bc3 Kg8 31. Qe2 Qa6 32. Bxe5 dxe5 33. Qd3 Be7 black has an excellent game.

Tournament Performance Rating so far 3074.

That makes him eligible for Danailov and Topalov to accuse him of cheating. haha. If Kramnik is cheating and only +1, What must Radjabov be having for breakfast at +4 out of 5 games.

Danailov needs to get to work on the bathrooms. He had the wrong guy in Kramnik.

Some guy in India says Radjabov's rating is going up too fast if he keeps up this pace. if his rating goes up 20 points in 2 weeks that is 10 points per week or 500 points per year.

Keep it up Radj. Doing a nice job. Exciting chess. Great performance.

Wheaties the Breakfast of Champions wants to put Radjabov on the cover of all the Wheaties boxes it sells out in Baku.

I am still loyal to Carlsen. Once a Magnus fan always a Magnus fan.

Does anyone know if the WAZ flu is making the rounds? That might explain some of the lifeless draws and horrible blunders....

Or they're just a bunch of weenies.

Frank H: [Radjabov] That makes him eligible for Danailov and Topalov to accuse him of cheating

Frank, it's Ok to be excitable easily, but c'mon that's silly. After a similar good streak Topalov was accused of cheating by some chess dignitaries, including some adorning this forum. And that was long before Vlad went to the toilet.


freitag, if you are not Kasparov or Fischer - and I bet you are not since you play with players of such a low elo rating - you should show more respect for players of such a level.


Radjabov is making the most of the tournament draw, beating just about all of the players ranked lower than him. True, he faces a major challenge ahead. If he can beat one of the Big Four (Kramnik, Anand, Topalov, and Aronian), he'd come a long way towards clinching the tournament. As it is, he's placing a lot of pressure on. Right now, he is enjoying both good form, and good fortune.

Of course, with a rating at 2729, he is ranked 11th in the world, and seeded 5th at WaZ, already just a tad higher than either Svidler (2728) or Ponomariov

One senses that some of that Azerbaijani Match Challenge money will start being bruited about, once the World Championship Tournament is over.
I doubt that whoever prevails will be savoring the idea of a match against Timour!

However, people will get cracking on their KID preparation, and will see if Radjabov will be able to play it against all comers.

Radjabov plays Pono, Anand, and Aronian in Rounds 6-8. He'll be Black against Anand, and against Kramnik in Round 11.

I doubt Karpov's +9=4 11/13 result will be in jeopardy. But he is well on his way to 2750, and membership in the Top 5 Club.


Participants grandmaster group A
Name Country Rating Position

GM Veselin Topalov BUL 2783 1 Biography

GM Viswanathan Anand IND 2779 2 Biography

GM Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2766 3 Biography

GM Levon Aronian ARM 2744 7 Biography

GM Teymour Radjabov AZE 2729 11 Biography

GM Peter Svidler RUS 2728 12 Biography

GM Ruslan Ponomariov UKR 2723 14 Biography

GM David Navara CZE 2719 15 Biography

GM Alexey Shirov ESP 2715 17 Biography

GM Magnus Carlsen NOR 2690 24 Biography

GM Loek van Wely NED 2683 26 Biography

GM Sergey Tiviakov NED 2682 27 Biography

GM Sergey Karjakin UKR 2678 29 Biography

GM Alexander Motylev RUS 2647 58 Biography

Average rating : 2719
Category : 19

FIDE-ratings of January 2007

You are right, George. I apologize. Nevertheless, I don't understand why 28.Lxe5+ wasn't played.

freitag it's OK man.


On 28.Bxe5+ de 28.g6, 28..fg looks great. After 28..fg 29.Bd3 (29.h5? Qxe4+) Be7, how does White even survive?

So far Radja and Topalov are the only favorites that have shown fighting spirit. Anand, Kramnik and Aronian have taken too many days off. Radja will not be blown away by the big guns - he is a very mature player to be feared by anyone. His 14... Nh5 is a very strong novelty in the KID that will stand the test of time.

It's great that we have another boy from Baku - I hope that Radja will be greater than Kasparov.

Funny to see a little picture of Mig on ICC. I always imagined he looked like Aviv Friedman.

Since there is not round six thread I want to say Kramnik is winning this one against Anand (after move 30).

Don't you understand that this is high time to receive the loan, which would make you dreams real.

Twitter Updates

    Follow me on Twitter



    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on January 18, 2007 7:20 AM.

    Enter Your PIN was the previous entry in this blog.

    Corus 2007 r6 is the next entry in this blog.

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