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Corus r12

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Round 12 is underway! No handshake in Topalov-Kramnik... I'm on Chess.fm live with GM Larry Christiansen.

UPDATE: We had some more excitement today to set up an amazing final round pairing tomorrow. Teimour Radjabov scored his third win with his King's Indian (!) to move up to +4 and tie for first with Veselin Topalov. Kramnik suffered as is his wont but he held Topalov in a very tight maneuvering game that will be remembered more for the lack of handshake than anything else. The video at ChessVibes shows that both players were a little late, Topalov arriving first. He was studiously examining his scoresheet when Kramnik arrived and after much shuffling and leaning Topalov played 1.d4.

The last high-profile non-shake was the feud between Shirov and Kasparov (Garry said Shirov called him a cheater in a NIC letter. After a few years Kasparov reached out his hand to Shirov at Linares 2004.) Today there was no way to say who didn't offer to shake first, but clearly neither player made the attempt. (The good old days.) Not a big deal of course, but it's worth remembering that Topalov continues to go on the record saying Kramnik cheated in Elista. They also played on longer than needed to avoid any need to offer a draw. Another video shows the head bob and what looks like Kramnik saying "draw." Anyway, a very strong game. It's not easy to squeeze Big Vlad, but he has practically made a living defending these positions.

Radjabov held the balance with Motylev in another constipated King's Indian until they both had around 20 minutes for a dozen moves. The storm started to open up just when Motylev got into his usual time trouble and it ended in a sudden flurry with Radjabov coming out on top. Long live the King's Indian! It was Radjabov's first win since the fifth round and he's been cruising while Topalov took off. But fate, and Peter Svidler, intervened and now he's tied for first with Topalov with white against him in the final round. There's potential for high drama but sadly I have to predict a draw in, oh, 32 moves.

Aronian missed a golden opportunity to join the leaders when he fell for a nice drawing swindle against Shirov. Call it karma after he saved a half point against van Wely in similar fashion in round ten. My co-host Larry Christiansen was calling for 34..f5 and it's pretty much over. Aronian's usually solid technique failed him and now he's in clear third a half-point back and with white against Tiviakov tomorrow. If the leaders cop out and Tiviakov plays one of his offbeat openings Aronian could still tie for first. (They use system tiebreaks in Corus and I don't usually care much about them unless they decide something like qualification or cash.) Kramnik, Svidler, and Anand are lurking a full point back and since the leaders play they can't do better than second.

van Wely demolished Svidler's Grunfeld in just 22 moves to ruin the big Russian's hopes at reaching first place. The Dutchman has had quite a bit of bad luck in this year's event so it's nice to see him wind up on a high note. It was a brutal wake-up for Svidler after he took out Topalov yesterday. Navara finally bounced back to an even score with a surprisingly smooth win over Ponomariov. Carlsen-Karjakin fizzled into a sharp repetition.


Why is Tiviakov being allowed to play and screw everyone's happiness?? His palpable eagerness for draws is getting on my nerves.

So Mig,

what do you think of the crap your friends at Chesabase are publishing http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=3633

It doesn't sound too different then the statements made by Danailov, which you were so quick to condemn. Let's see if you take the same stance against your German pals...

You are right JaiDeepBlue, he does it each year just to get a few rating points. Sad that simply having a dutch passport does the trick.

Svidler in deep troubles, let's see if he has luck again :)

I suppose that Kramnik has made sure that Topalov has no visual contact with his manager today, from what I have just read on Chessbase I am not surprised that Kramnik didn't shake hands...

Michael http://mikerahal.blogspot.com

Hmm, Chessbase cited the accusations against Kramnik, and now they are citing the accusations against Topalov. Hard to see why the first thing is unproblematic and the second should be condemned.

chessbase debase

No Acirce,

It was Mig who was "condemning" such behaviour by Danailov. Let's see if he condemns Chessbase as well for libel.

By the way, they are the same Chessbase who were claiming they were "neutral" in the FIDE elections and at the same time they were the creators of the Kok website...

They can continue to pretend that they are objective. Only that they are fooling no one but themselves...

Svidler is lost again if Van Wely finds 22. Nh5!


Our records indicate that "Chessbase" merely translated 98.3% of an article that appeared in a major German newspaper. That article was a statement of fact by a witness to Dainalov's behavior. The added speculation was only opinion, but our files show no accusations against anyone to suggest libel, unless the author of the article was lying.

Please adjust your records to reflect the new findings and make sure you look up "libel" in the dictionary.


I wish Danailov was my manager for my upcoming chemistry exam.

Neat 22 move miniature from Van Wely, perfect like a short story by Chehov.

Of course, chessbase is not neutral. They make a living selling Fritz.

I appreciate the Chessbase website very much, and it generally aims for fairness by giving a platform to anyone who wants to present his point of view. But of course stories about how strong and universally applicable chess programs are, are good for business.

Well, Bartleby, all you do is recopy. Is there anything else to your life? Oh Bartleby!

OK, so I guess Danailov was only stating facts about Elista:

that Kramnik was visiting the toilet too often, the percentage of moves made by Kramnik matching Fritz, etc.

Your perspective guys is way too pathetic...

Thanks Bartleby, this cannot be said often enough!

Why can't chess be like this?


The new Australian Open champion and the new world #1

- respect each other

- play for maximum results

- have a sense of proportion

Giannis Logic: Reprinting a report of someone saying there was suspicious behavior is the same as accusing your opponent of cheating. Fascinating. I'm on the radio now, will write later. Anyway, move all this to the new item on the articles, please let's talk chess and Corus here. Much appreciated.


Although there was no handshake, I could have sworn on the ChessVibes video I saw Kramnik reach across the board, rub Topalov's bald spot and say affectionately, "You knucklehead!"

what is Svidler doing???? If yo-yo play is an indication of cheating, Svidler must be the poster boy for it. Its a thankless task being a Svidler fan. :-( What's happened to his razor sharp tactics and keen positional eye that saw him win innumerable russian championships, become a serious WC contender and even enjoy a (brief) period with a plus score against Gary??

I cannot get the games in round 12 frm corus site what is the latest in top v Kram? I have the position after 39 e5 what is the latest move? black looks ok after Nd7 eg 40 Nd6 when black has the tactical Bf3!

Yep, he had to see ..Bf3! in advance - nice shot.

Andy, after 39.e5 there followed 39... Nd7 40.Nd6 Bf3, just as you predicted.

Does anybody have a clue who is better in Negi-Nepomniachtchi? The kid?

@Melville :)

Another kind of no-draw-rule: they do not like each other and therefore do not speak to each other...

Which Kid? Nepo is also 16 :)

The little kid?

Those 3 black pawns look dangerous but I can't see a way for them to break through.

Whereas Negi's d-pawn just has to walk on.

I thought Negi was 13 only.

The Topalov-Kramnik game went so long out of spite I suppose, there was no reason to play the last 15 moves right?

when Topalov made his 46th move I really thought he found out a home cooked way to win with two knights ;-)

Had the position been a bit different it could have been possible to play for a winning K+N+N vs K+p position (by going with the king for the trapped knight). After ..Kc7 it wasn't even possible to try, and of course it wouldn't have worked anyway. But if Black had just made nonsense moves with his king, White wins as soon as he takes on b2...

A *very* remote possibility, I'll give you that...


Ofcourse it was completly drawn BUT:
2 N versus 1P sometimes wins (even though 2N alone do not...)

No Kramnik could not have done this, because otherwise I would have sued him for my trademark helpmates! ;-)

The final round is going to be VERY interesting then. It looks like Aronian if he wins today will have the best shot at the Tournament. Kind of funny if he wins it cause nobody was looking at him sneak by the finish line.

Dunno about Aronian having the best chances...Tiviakov has been a drawmaster so far. Topalov and Radjabov will both have plenty of motivation to play for the win.

"The draw between Topalov and Kramnik arose in a completely bizarre way. After move 44 it was clear the position was dead drawn. What would happen now? Topalov was thinking, Kramnik was walking around. Who would be the first to call it a day? A pair of knights was exchanged. Kramnik looked up for a second. Topalov nodded. Kramnik took his scoresheet and signed it. While the arbiter was putting the kings in the middle of the board, the scoresheets were exchanged."


I believe only Radjabov (and Aronian if he can defeat Shirov) can win this tournament. So far, the reason he has reached his position is not precisely for being in superior position out of the opening; he has even been in danger of lose in games he won. However, he has extraordinary stamina and this concentration is what keeps him winning (I consider Aronian to be a more classy player, but Radjabov has more energy). If Radjabov keeps playing tomorrow against Topalov, he can take advantage of a inaccuracy of the latter; the only way I see Topalov defeating him is if he gets a considerable advantage after the opening, which is more unusual.

Shirov - Aronian is very interesting (in move 47 at the moment this was written), thanks god Corus has an excellent website to see the games live.

Good save by Shirov.

Indeed. Shirov has had a decent second half. Too bad he spent the first half sacrificing a piece per game , for dubious compensation.( Slight exaggeration, of course)
*Why do the electronic chess boards default to Ke4 for draws? Sometimes as in this game it creates a momentary double take.

Tomorrow's most prestigious game is not Topolov-Radjabov, which will be a short draw, but Carlsen-Shirov. Will one "win" last place or will they share the "honors"? Kidding aside, if the top board is a draw, considering the pairing, then it could easily be a 3-way sharing of first place with Aronian included.

Some media files: the video of Kramnik & Topalov _not_ shaking hands. (A show about nothing! ;)

A foto shoot with a much clearer picture:

And a sequense of pictures into witch I can't help but read a certain non-verbal communication. ;)

Damn, where's that edit button?
A foto shoot with a much clearer picture:

Video showing Kramnik and Topalov agreeing to call it a draw:


Wild win by Nakamura over Ramesh in Gibraltar!

zakki: I guess that confirms the Chessvibes report about the "bizarre" draw offer. It was an odd way for Kramnik and Topalov to end the game. Did they even look at each other, even once, at all, from the start of the game to its finish?

Thank you, zakki.
It is very sad.
I have no more to say.

r12 update posted to the main item. Let's pray for a fighting game on board one. Back live on Chess.fm with Larry Christiansen. Remember the last round starts an hour earlier.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on January 27, 2007 7:39 AM.

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