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Linares 2007 r5

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Two decisive games today, doubling our usual daily ration. There were turnarounds in both cases. Morozevich slowly unwound against Anand's Lopez and was ready to play for a serious advantage but missed his chances and eventually lost all his queenside pawns. It looked like Moro could have busted things open to his advantage with ..f5 at several points, on move 28 or 29. Black could have made his life much easier by hacking a knight with ..Bh6 as well. 37.Nb4! is a star move not at all easy to see. Morozevich is showing his usual supertournament inability to play a strong game from beginning to end. He puts together magnificent sequences only to falter, or gets into trouble and plays brilliantly to save. At the moment he's in the cellar on -2 and Anand is the clear leader on +2.

We remind that the local Morelia paper predicted a win for Vishy. They also got his comments after the game, although they don't get some of the moves right. "I thought I was going to be able to play Nh6 and Ng4 and when that didn't work I really couldn't find anything else. I thought 23.Nd5 Rd8 24.Qg3 was working for me, but when it didn't his bishops started to impose themselves and I think he was better. I don't know if Morozevich missed a chance to win, but he was much better and then made several mistakes. 31..Qh4 when he could have played 31..Bh6."

Ivanchuk was looking good against Carlsen out of a novel opening. You don't often see unique positions by move 7 in super-GM play, although if you do it's probably an Ivanchuk game. After exchanges it looked like White had enough small plusses to at least torture Carlsen for a while, but it turned out quite differently. Carlsen made a series of excellent positional moves to counter actively -- My Chess.FM co-host Larry Christiansen called them Karpovian -- and when Ivanchuk avoided a repetition and then played just a slight inaccuracy he was suddenly in a very difficult endgame. Black won confidently against White's desperate defense. A tremendous achievement from Carlsen to battle back in such fashion against a player of Ivanchuk's caliber. It wasn't clear at the time how uncoordinated White's position was going to be after 34.Ne2?, but in hindsight 34.Ng2 was much better. Then 34..Ne5 can be met by 35.Qf2.

In the miserable R+B vs R+N endgame, it may be possible to dump the d-pawn with 53.Re2!? Rd3 54.Re5 Rd2+ 55.Re2 Rxd4 56.Ke3. If the rooks come off the white a-pawn becomes a danger. It might be wiser for Black to ignore it and just bring up his king. It's also possible for White to play g4 and go after the e-pawn with Re5, again hoping to get the rooks off the board and chase the a-pawn with his king and give up his bishop for the black f-pawn. Regardless, just about anything was better than 53.Rb5. Carlsen's father Henrik is blogging from the event.

Leko was doing well out of the Catalan against Aronian, but the Armenian's remarkable ability to provoke complications again served him well. He could easily be on minus two in Morelia but he might be playing his way back into shape. Here he provoked Leko into a dangerous-looking exchange sac that fizzles out into a superior game for Black. Thanks to the indefatigable John Henderson grabbing him, we spoke on the air with Aronian after the game and he said he simply thought the B vs R endgame was winning for him. Otherwise, he said, he would have hung on to his f-pawn. Leko's knowledge of practical theoretical endgames has few equals in the chess world, it's worth noting. I asked Aronian about his lucky escape against Moro in round three, specifically if he had seen the spectacular mate Morozevich missed. He said "no, of course not, or as a gentleman I would have resigned immediately!" I called him a liar and he cracked up. Nice try, Levon! He's hilarious. He promised to come back on when he wins a game.

Topalov-Svidler was a classic example of the Grunfeld breed. White gets lots of space and Black scrambles with very sharp play to hold the balance all over the board. Then, as if by magic, White's threats evaporate and Black's active pieces give enough, or more than enough, play for a draw. But man these things look horrible for Black for a long time.

ChessBase has some nice photos and is running regular analysis from GM Marin. He's under time pressure but consistently churns out great stuff. To nitpick, his report on round one misses that Ivanchuk still had a forced win over Leko, not just a perpetual. Kasparov pointed out 22.Be4!, which wins very nicely after 22..f5 23.Bxc6! bxc6 24.g5. Chessvibes has a few cool post-mortem videos.

I'm off to Seattle today, so Jen Shahade will be hosting with Larry Christiansen today on ICC Chess.FM. It's Svidler-Leko, Carlsen-Topalov, Morozevich-Ivanchuk, Aronian-Anand.


A Magnus win over Topalov today would be satisfying on many levels.

It is interesting to hear that Aronian plays tennis between his games. I am also a fan of tennis.

Also, it was very nice to see that GMs such as Aronian have a great sense of humor!

Please, can any one tell me: is it all possible any where to follow the games live?

It was interesting to find out that Aronian plays tennis between his games at Morelia. I am also a fan of tennis.

Also, it was very nice to see that GMs such as Aronian have a great sense of humor with his comment on the radio yesterday.

jens, you could always watch the games live on one of the chess servers. I am following the games on the chess-live server (www.chess-live.com)

And if you are an anti-commercialist you can even watch them at FICS.

If you can stay awake :) Judging from your name, you are in a timezone where it is more pleasant watching the Linares part than the Morelia part.

John G, Bang on. I'd love to see a Carlsen win but it's unlikely methinks

MAtt, The great Boris Spasski used to play tennis as physical training for Chess matches and I recall seeing photo of KArpov playing tennis during/preping for a match with Garry

'instead of' training for chess matches, some thought.

I only vaguely recall reading anything about Spassky having a reputation for laziness back in the day (i.e. when in his prime).

However, one tennis/Spassky reference I recall clearly was from the 1992 "match" in Yugoslavia (the one that ended up putting a price on Fischer's head).

Rust notwithstanding, some excellent chess was played early in that match; but its later stages felt like the players' hearts were no longer in it -- Spassky especially. In one late-round game, after Boris had just followed up a dubious sac with a flat-out unsound rook sac, an American GM who was annotating the game uncharitably wrote of Spassky's motivation behind the move, "It's past noon, and the clay courts beckon."

Till now I'm missing the really good moves in this tournament. A lot of players seem to be tired (jet lag?) and make mistakes you wouldn't expect.

Let's see, Mig's wife is on a "business trip" and Mig is "off to Seattle today." I wonder where his wife's business trip has taken her. Hey, a guy can only go so long...without seeing his wife that is.

*rolling eyes*

masturbation might be a solution

although a few days or even weeks shouldn't hurt too much

ChessBase photo of -- "Pilar Molina, press officer from Spain": Ouch, isn't that quite a sunburn?


You must be single.


You must be single."

Actually, he must be a virgin...

Back to the games...

Svidler looks like he is in a proper mess against Leko. How does Svidler stop his King-side getting blasted open? If 20.g4 then Ne3 looks good to me.

Topalov is playing a -masterful- game against Carlsen. He has all four of Magnus' pieces tied down to defending the weak White d4-pawn, which is backwards on the open d-file.

To my amateur eyes, Magnus has absolutely no counterplay/compensation for this glaring pawn weakness.

Topalov is playing a -masterful- game against Carlsen. He has all four of Magnus' pieces tied down to defending the weak White d4-pawn, which is backwards on the open d-file.

To my amateur eyes, Magnus has absolutely no counterplay/compensation for this glaring pawn weakness.

Can anybody provide updates to the games? What's happening?

2 draws already: Moro-Chuky & Svidler-Leko.

Svidler-Leko draw. White wasn' in trouble after all...


It appears that Aronian is playing a very nice game against Anand and is on the verge of victory. He sacrificed two pieces for a rook and a pawn, and now has two very dangerous passed pawns (move 37).

Carlsen and Topalov have been moving pieces around with the same pawn structure for many moves. Topalov was pushing, but perhaps Carlsen missed a chance at move 40.

Thanks mcb and Robert! I can't really watch the games here at work but I do like to get updates. =)

Aronian has defeated Anand today. Excellent game, very ambitious... it seems that he is getting back in shape. Although soon he is going to meet Topalov was going to win easily, but it seems that after the opening advantage he has trouble when the opponent continues and it is not the first time that this happens. Maybe Carlsen can score another win (?) ... the strategy of continuing has worked excellently for him, by looking his games against Moro and Ivanchuk yesterday.

I just realize that something happened with my last post, I missed, "Although soon he (Aronian) is going to meet his nemesis Ivanchuk, who defeated him in the Bundesliga a few weeks ago". Then, I started talking about Topalov...

Anand proves again he is an idiot. Sorry, he poves again de doesn't take the time to think about a position that can be drawn

Magnificent play by Aronian! My favorite game so far in this tourney.

It was a nice game, but Anand just blundered. He pulled a Toppy.

Meanwhile Carlsen has mixed it up on move 43 with a risky pawn advance - he thought for a long time before playing this move. Playing for three results as they say.

Nevertheless I think Think Topa will win this position.

This kid Carlsen is for real. He's not only holding well against Topalov right now, but showing aggression that may bring him a good result. This D4 pawn is still around while Topalov's King side looks weak. Let's see...


Does anybody have the moves after move 42? I managed to find them up to that point at TWIC, but no updates since!

Chesspro continues and Notkin has not gone to bed...Carlsen-Topalov is very nice...did Magnus just reject a draw offer from world's #1 ranked player on move 59?

How satisfying.

Did Topalov just resign in a drawn position?

Has Topalov resigned this position?? Or lost in time? Or there is something wrong with the live transmission?

not Danailov here??

Yeah, Topalov missed 49... Qd5+ 50. f3 e5! and the Black queen can drop back to g8. Carlsen would still have winning chances as Black is very much tied up.

Topalov was probably only considering 50... Qd2+ 51. Kh3 with White winning.

The kid is the man!!!
Vesko can belive that if player is 50 ELO poins below, he is from another league, but resigning in a drawn position to a player who is 100 ELO points below him? The ELO No.1 is in league of his own :-)

How is that a drawn position? I don't see a perpetual after Qd5+ Kh2 Qe5+ Kh3 Qc3+ f3 after which white threatens Qf7+ Kh8 Qf8#?

Wait a minute. I have a theory. Topalov blundered in a previous game and here fails to see a move that a computer sees immediately. Is he trying to make it clear he's never cheated.
Just wonder.

49...Qd5 and 50...e5 let's the queen to go to g8.

Qd5 Kh2 e5 Nh7. Then?

Oh Qf7 I suppose, never mind.

Congrats to Carlsen. Currently clear in first place, with Topa joining Moro in the cellar.

bs: "Qd5 Kh2 e5 Nh7. Then?"

Then Black can simply move his queen. Nf6+ is not much of a threat as Topalov can go Kf8.

I have another theory. What if we had another burglary there, and somebody broke into Topalov's room and stole those high-tech walkie-talkie they use to trasmitt moves? Or stole a printed reference on a dactyl alphabet? They could not report this to police for obvious reasons, and this also explains well why Danailov is not showing in the playing hall yet...
Just kidding :-)

you are on the right track, it was Danailov who broke into Radja's place, but he only got the porno DVDs

And is so busy watching it? I do not think so. May be, he enjoys something for real in Rio?

I hear he has a fetish for touching his cheek with his index finger.

There is something unclear about this final position -- why did he resign actually?

Congratulations to Carlsen!


On a more serious note, I ran the little report on the front page of the official site through Babelfish, and it confirms unmistakeably: "Surprising win of Carlsen over Topalov ..." LOL

Yeahh, the save was Qd5+, then e5... But he didn't see it. Well, that's life. Can't win every tournament...


And Magnus actually missed a clear win with 55 Nd2!!, while instead of 64 Qg6 (which by accident won, due to a double oversight - I guess both players missed e5! and Qg8), there was Kh3! which gives white an edge in a knight and pawns ending.

No matter what - I think the game was fabulous entertainment!

Will the real Veselin Topalov please stand up?

Hate to fuel the controversy but I am really curious about the MO to be able to use Fritz in OTB by the cheaters. Saying that they use bluetooth devices is not the end but the start of the mystery for me...

If you go to the Indian website http://www.chess-mate.com/ (which is not exactly chessbase so you still have old news items showing on the homepage) you can find the following in the right hand column:

"Diwakar Prasad Singh, 30, won the Hirabai Salgaocar Memorial Open at Goa from Aug 6-12 with a 9.5/11 score ahead of favourite GM Sandipan Chanda 9 and Umakant Sharma 9."

(Along with a string of other impressive wins by DPS...)

If you remember, Umakant Sharma is the guy who was caught red handed and DPS is the one who got away (his results in recent tournaments have started reflecting his actual chess strength since the suspicions were made public which in itself is proof enough for me)...

Can someone help me understand how you can use a bluetooth device and get moves from Fritz while sitting right in front of everyone? Would someone be whispering the moves to you in a microscopic device in your ear (how would the accomplice see the position? wouldn't it be audible to the others as well?) or would you have to visit the toilet after every move (something these guys did not need to do)?

PS: No. I am not planning to make any use of such means myself :)

Even though Corus was a disappointment for him, I think I'll stick with the prediction I made sometime back and argue that Carlsen will be crowned the youngest WC ever at 20. Defeating MOROZEVICH, IVANCHUK AND TOPOLOV in the first 5 rounds of this tourney at AGE 16 is only a precursor of the great things to come. If Radjabov is going to be a WC, he had better start making a serious bid or time will pass him by. Sounds strange, considering he will only be 20 on the 12th of March, but that's how it is now in chess.

So Topalov resigned in a drawn position? Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy....

Chesstraveler may very well be right about Carlsen. I hope so, in fact -- not least for the future of chess.

It is striking, however, how inflated some of the comments about Carlsen have been recently, in both directions. One minute he is over-hyped, not developing any longer, is "outplayed", and shouldn't be in Morelia/Linares. Next, he is the greatest thing in chess ever.

The first category commentators are eating humble pie on a daily basis nowadays. The other category may be right, but more probably wrong.

The thing is, we don't know one iota about Magnus' development in the coming years. Why don't we just enjoy the greatest talent in a generation (that I think is true), continue to be fascinated, don't complain when he overreaches from time to time (which is inevitable) and gratefully wish him a happy life with or without the ultimate crown?

We could do that Henrik, but it would be boring!

I'm struck by the variable level of play of Topalov. He can only prove his innocence by scoring a brilliant win, without anyone of his team in the neighbourhood. For the moment, he hasn't proved anything yet.

Everyone is talking about Carlsen or Radjabov being the new WC, but for the moment it is Aronian who is the number one. He has won nearly everything what was to be won in the last two years. If there is something like 'justice' then he will win the next world championship.

If there is something like 'justice' then [Aronian] will win the next world championship.

There isn't but he may still.

A pity that Aronian and Carlsen are matched in the qualifiers - and doubly bitter for Aronian who because of the postponing the qualifiers will be meeting a much more experienced opponent.
Yes, Aronian is improving, too, and will still be the favourite, but there is no question that he would have had a much easier path to the WC if the qualifiers were played as scheduled last fall rather than this summer.

Well, how about that. Carlsen really got a nice grip over Topalovs balls and he resigned immediately. Perhaps Topalov was more afraid of losing by force to a 16-year old boy than by losing by resignation... so much of his "I can stand losing rather well" -comments.

Carlsen may still have a bit of an advantage from his young age, I still think they are underestimating his playing strenght and it gives an edge.

There are other players who as almost as good as Carlsen but predicting that Carlsen will be best among them is safe, becuse he has the access to the best tournaments already.


you've got a point there . . .

That's the weekness most of us have. We'd rather hype or diss somebody than have a boring life!

Svidler resigned a drawn position to Kramnik once! lol

Well, at least I'll agree that it is in human nature to speculate about what happends next, same mechanism that makes us stay up at night to watch the games.

Btw. the news has just reached Norwegian mainstream media, who I believe have not written about chess since Khanty-Mansiysk (except for Elista, but that had little to do with actual chess...)

So the papers are writing about Magnus in the middle of the Skiing world championship, and pigs are flying about outside my office.


The safe in Topa's position is not easy to see since the position is extraordinaire. Nevertheless a 2700 player should see it.

I bet when Topalov resigned Carlsen had a moment when he thought, hang on, I didn't offer a draw, did I?

Of course both Kramnik and Topalov are getting to an age where players do blunder more, but I wonder whether Elista hasn't taken more of a toll than either realises.

All right, the final position was a draw if Topalov finds the correct defense. This time, however, he couldn't do it, so for him, the position was, in fact, lost.

I think it was really impressive how Carlsen managed to turn a position that looked completely drawn, into a winning one (albeit with som help from his friend across the board). Do not forget that with 55. Nd2! (instead of Rh6, we would not be having this discussion at all.

It took a lot of courage to enter the line starting with 43. g4!?, knowing that he had a safe draw in hand against the highest rated player in the world.

Since nobody else will mention it, I will: It looks like the Round 5 game between Svidler and Leko has "Petered Out" to a draw. ;-)
That makes Svidler and Leko the only players who have yet to play a decisive game in this event--each has started off with 5 straight draws.

Remember, these 2700+ guys usually blunder after almost 6 hours of heavy calculations! Sometimes, when they stand up after a very tough game, they can't stay strait and reel like a drunk!

But I have to note that for Topalov such blunders in the end became a tradition since San Luis.

Fantastic by Carlsen and I hope he makes it all the way...

Now all he has to do is beat Kramnik. THAT I would like to see. Funny how that seems so much less likely than beating Topalov...

Carlsen reminded me young Tal who could not let any position to became a draw. He usually went for complications with worstening his own position, but won thanks to psychological advantage (Topalov definitely was frightened by threats to his king and missed a win first, and a draw then). Calsen's play vs. Vassily could influence Vaselin, also.

Given that 1 game point is about 10 ELO points, and that in the two tournaments this year Anand has outscored Topalov by 0.5 game points, it would seem that Anand will have gained about 5 ELO points on Topalov - and is thus now world ranked number 1 (by just one point it is true).

At last Anand has made it to the top and we can stop calling Topalov the world number one! Admittedly I am a day late in calling this one, since it happened after round 4.

Topa very often starts poorly...and he played rather poorly in the Morelia half last year too, getting a 2.5/7 (3 losses, 1 win) before rebounding in Linares half with a 5.5/7 (4 wins, no losses) to finish tied for second place.

Read my lips: ELO No.1 does not mean you are the world number one!
But I will be glad when No.1 position in ELO ratings will be taken by a player with less number of mentally unbalanced and loud fans. Anand is a good candidate, IMHO, as Kramnik and Ivanchuk are.

To mefisto:

In Elista he did win a couple of games, the one of which was quite instructive (game 8? the one he was black)

In Elista there was a glass between players and audience, so by your argument he has proven his inocence...

PS: Of course, all conclusions from these type of arguments are flaued (both guilt or inocence). We all know that Topalov is good player and thus can win briliantly one game, and can also lose stupidly one game. If he was to cheat, he would do that to move from number 5 (say) to number 1. (which there is no evidence for this, and I personally believe he does not cheat)

read my lips, Vlad:

you are the best and your idol is the best

Carlsen's performance so far indicates how appropriate it is to add new blood to these elite tournaments. These +2700 guys who get invitations to elite tournaments are so used to play each other that it gets boring to follow their games. Everytime you add a +2600 player in elite tournament he/she performs better than expected by his/her rating.

Topalov fans mentally unbalanced and loud? It seems to me that anytime anybody says anything favourabel of Topalov, a loud and disturbed chorus starts chanting how evil he is, how anyone who supports him is nothing but a troll, and how Kramnik is much better a chess player.

So who is loud and mentally unbalanced?

i have not seen, btw, any comments that are pro-Topalov and loud or unreasonable, which is not to say they don't exist, but to suggest that they are the minority, however, majority of comments pro-Kramnik are nothing but unreasonable hype.

I do not have idols ;-)
And after reading my post I found that it can look somewhat offensive. But believe me, there was nothing personal in my post, and it was not targeted at any specific person.
P.S. Finally I fixed my signature :-D

Vlad, how will we recognize you if you aren't VLad? It would be like DOug posting under the name Doug. It's just wrong! Bring back the upper case 'L'!

Hail Topalov! I am a big fan of Topa but have to recognize that so far his performance has been lousy at Morelia. Topa is very strong in the final sprint, so let's wait and see, I would not writte him off yet.

Why can't these guys all play grandmaster draws like they are supposed to do?
It would be a nice opportunity to complain, and (even more importantly) for me to get to bed before 5 in the morning.

Oh well, only two Mexican rounds left!

By the way, tomorrow Susan Polgar will do live commentary with Mig on ICC!

By the way, tomorrow Susan Polgar will do live commentary with Mig on ICC!
Posted by: Vlad Kosulin at February 23, 2007 15:02


C'mon, Leko, if you don't want to attack--and see your initiative through to a conclusion--why play the Marshall?

Might as well say it again:
The chess rating system is not named after a successful rock group who called themselves the Electric Light Orchestra, abbreviated to ELO, but a person whose last name was Elo.

I am not sure whose contribution to my enjoyment of life was greater.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on February 22, 2007 5:58 AM.

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