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Aerosvit 2007 preview

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A Cuban news report announces that Lenier Dominguez will be one of the participants of this year's Aerosvit tournament in Yalta, Ukraine. It gives the dates as June 17-30. The article lists other invitees as well: Radjabov, Svidler, Rublevsky, Shirov, Nisipeanu, van Wely, and Karjakin. Dominguez wasn't aware of the other players in the 12-player field. Rublevsky won last year. So far this edition sounds like it will be even stronger than last year's category 18. Last year they had Ivanchuk, Ponomariov, Grischuk, and Mamedyarov. It's a little tricky because it begins just a few days after the second round of candidates matches end (June 14).


It's alright I think Shirov will be available!

Mark good comment :))))

Shirov might just surprise everyone.

If you think Shirov is such a pushover in matches, just ask Kramnik (no wins, two losses) and Judit Polgar (no wins, five losses) what happened to them when they played matches against Shirov.

What's a candidate match? ;)

Against Kramnik, Shirov managed to turn one really crazy game that he was dead lost in and has been trumpeting that for 10 years. I wouldn't bet against him, but he definitely doesn't appear to have the same motivation as he used to.

gmnotyet, once I ask them that, do you mind if I also ask them what year that was in and when was the last time Shirov did well in super-GM competition this milennium?

Shirov is very active, so I doubt there is anything wrong with his motivation. I think he will drop just below 2700 on the April list, but he has over 20 points 'in the bank' for the July list, having so far scored 7.5/8 in the Bundesliga.

@Yuri: yes, it has been a while but Shirov and Kamsky were both tremendous match players back in the 90's and that experience is not something you lose over time.

Besides, I expect Shirov to be highly motivated because he knows that he is running out of time.

@zakki: Exactly. Shirov may not be the tournament player that he used to be, but in league play he is strong and he still has all of that big-game match experience that many of the other players lack (Carlsen, Aronian, etc).

Shirov's style fits Aronian very well. No one can out-calculate Aronian, and he has better endgame technique than Shirov. Shirov plays 1.e4 most of the time, and as far as I know only Chucky manages to win against Aronian with 1.e4. On the other hand Shirov can play 1.d4 also, probably that's not a problem for him. Ihmo Aronian is the favourite in his bracket.

Guys, Adams has much more recent 'match experience' than Shirov. He's more stable emotionally too- one recent devoted wife for example. Adams is at least a 60-40 favourite.

Experience helps, but I would take Aronian over Smyslov. All this talk about match vs league vs tournament is really misleading. Some players style are more suited to tournaments but the experience that matters is facing top-level GMs over the course of consecutive days. Kamsky's experience in big name matches did not help him in his comeback initially, but playing Corus probably helped him at MTel. Shirov's match experience did not help him in Dortmund playoffs or in any of the FIDE ladders. His bracket is ridiculous too...I would call Aronian, Adams and Carlsen three out of five strongest players in this round-robin.

Alexei has been getting hammered by super-GMs on a regular basis in every recent tournament. People who think match experience is something unique not obtainable elsewhere, let me see you state exactly what you think it grants? Experience in performing under pressure? Already obtainable in high-level tournaments. Psychological warfare? Not Shirov's style. Mid-match tuneups for specific style? Unlikely in a six-gamer.

So I will ask again, what is the edge that Shirov has because he won a couple of 8-game matches over 7 years ago? Shirov and Kamsky were tremendous CHESS players, not match players in the 90's but while Kamsky showed that ability again last May, Alexei's best years seem to be behind him. Nonetheless I am happy with the active role he takes in chess world as far as WCC idea discussions--wish more GMs would speak out.

I consider Carlsen the clear favourite for that section of the candidate matches, despite the match experience of Adams and Shirov and the class of Aronian. Especially, because of his huge opening preparation and the stamina typical of a teenager.

Aronian showed in Amber he is completely exhausted and I doubt he can recover his energies and preparing for Carlsen, in only one month (and he has scheduled a rapid match against Kramnik at the beginnings of May). Just look the last games against Radjabov!

And against the winner of the pairing Adams-Shirov, Carlsen would "out-energize" Adams by pushing in some games; against Shirov, Carlsen can look for complications, considering the fact Shirov has a tendency of blundering in critical positions very recently.

It is a shame this section of the candidate matches contains in average the most interesting set of players, but only one will advance.

Well, if a completely exhausted Aronian still scores 1,5 point more in Monaco than the energetic teenager Carlsen, I guess the Armenian fans do not have to worry about the outcome of this match.

Aronian is the most underestimated player on the planet. He'll win.

I think Aronian is the clear favourite to win this group. One month is enought for him to rest and prepare a couple of things for young Carlsen and then beat the winner of Adams-Shirov. Aronian's play is very steady, Carlsen's is full of ups and downs. Adams-Shirov is hard to predict, a brilliant strategist vs a brilliant tactician. We will see.

Actually the candidates begin only on May 26 so Aronian has lots of time to rest and prepare. I realize he has a rapid chess match against Kramnik in early May but this will take only a couple of days and should not cause any fatigue or stress. His focus must be the candidates.

Aronian is quoted as saying after his dreadful blunder on move 6 of his rapid game against Radjabov at Amber a few days ago "my brain is melting down after so many tournaments" This indicates some form of exhaustion. The rapid match with Kramnik may not be wise scheduling. The comment that "Aronian is the most underestimated player on the planet" is quite bizarre. He is ranked no 4 in the world if anything this may slightly overestimate his current strenghth - we shall see. The FIDE website has posted the April rating list with Topalov still no 1 - spooky stuff!

Yeah, how is Aronian underestimated? Aren't pretty much everyone in agreement that he is one of the best players in the world? Is the implication that he is really as good as, or better than, Topalov, Anand and Kramnik?

Aronian is indeed the nr. 4 in the world, and he is almost 2 years in the top 10 now. However, still many people do not see him as a favorite when a tournament starts, and put their money on other players. For instance on Carlsen, who has played exactly 1 good tournament, whereas Aronian has already won tournament like Linares and Corus (shared first). Or on Shirov, whose results cannot be compared at all to that of Aronian.

I stand by my claim that Aronian is the most underestimated player in the world (by the general public).

Don't take Kamsky out of it just yet.

He has been tough in the past and I expect him to make ALOT of noise in the Candidates. I fully expect him to qualify for Mexico.

I think Kamsky is going to win against Bacrot. Then he will have to beat the winner of Gelfand-Kasim to qualify for Mexico. This is going to be his real test.

Shirov will do fine. With the exception of Kasparov and Anand (maybe Chucky too) he has a positive score against most of the rest of the top 10, including Topolov, Adams, Kramnik, Svidler, Leko.

And the person who thinks that Aronian can out calculate Shirov, please pass the crack.

maybe aronian is playing up his fatigue to pysche out his upcoming opposition.

Mango, there is a slight difference in claims "Shirov cannot out-calculate Aronian" and "Aronian can out-calculate Shirov". I am sure that if Shirov overpresses even slightly then will punish him immidiately. By the way, what is Shirov's score against Aronian?

As far as I know, in classical games Aronian has +1 -0 against Carlsen, +1 -0 against Shirov and +0 -0 against Adams. However, if we look more carefully, that +1 against Carlsen and Shirov (because of victories in last year's Tal Memorial) was caused in atypical games.

Objectively, in almost all games Aronian and Carlsen have played against each other, Carlsen has had much better chances out of the opening, but Aronian has been able to defend his position. I doubt (but I wish) an exhausted Aronian can do the same thing in May against his younger and more energetic opponent, especially if the latter is better prepared in the openings' department.

The question is whether one month is enough time for Aronian to get some rest and do training.

With respect to Shirov, I agree with gmnotyet; he could be very motivated knowing that this might be one of his last chances to return to the elite. But the recent performance in Corus shows we don't have any idea what to expect from him.

Kasparov wold be surprised to learn he is still in top 10, while Karpov would be pleased to know that results of games from the nineties would still be a factor in today's match play. That's without even mentioning that a lot of those Shirov wins are rapids and blitzes, in which he has always done better than classical. Even if you include everything, Shirov does not have a positive record against Ivanchuk, Anand, Aronian, Mamedyarov or Radjabov, which is exactly half of today's top ten. And he is not positive against Svidler, either, with all of his wins coming before 2004.

Here is in fact Shirov head to head, in classical games starting with 2003 (last 4 years) against top ten:

Shirov-Kramnik +1-1=4
Shirov-Anand -2=2
Shirov-Topalov -2=3
Shirov-Aronian -1=1
Shirov-Mamedyarov =4
Shirov-Morozevich -1=1
Shirov-Leko -1=3
Shirov-Radjabov +2-3=3
Shirov-Ivanchuk =4
Shirov-Adams +1=1

Shirov and Aronian only played three games total, PlayJunior, with the third being a Mainz draw. The other 2 are reflected above, a Tal Memorial win for Levonchik and a draw in Corus this year.

Thank you very much Yuriy for brining the information to us.
I thought that the whole April + May (until 24 or what) is more than one month and is more than enough for Aronian to have a rest.
Last year I had a short talk with Sargissian, that was exactly after Kirsan had announced that cnadidate matches are cancelled and there is going to be a tournament. Gaby said that Levon was upset a little bit because "he wants to play Carlsen".
I am sure Levon will be well rested and prepared. Then, Carlsen has little chance. Then, the winner of Shirov-Adams has little chance :)

Aronian shouldn't be that tired.
He has almost two months between Amber and the start of matches. I don't think he has anything aside from the Kramnik match and that's not serious stuff--only a couple of days of rapids. Odd timing, but I think candidates will ultimately come down to chess skill. And I think Aronian is in top six in that on the planet right now.

Aronian is a top five player right now, Carlsen is top 20. Also, Aronian has used several different players as seconds since his big score in Khanty-Mansisk, and will probably hire a few to help him prepare, whereas Carlsen will likely just stick with Nielsen.

It's only six games so anything can happen, but Aronian is certainly a big favourite to make it not just past Carlsen, but also past Adams/Shirov.

Shirov is putting in a 3000+ performance in the Bundesliga, though playing board two for the strongest team means he won't have encountered too many super-GMs:


Aronian complained of a hallucination in his game against Luke McShane in February, so he must have been tired then (though it didn't stop him pulling off a devastating swindle).

I remember reading somewhere that Shirov was actually better at calculating ultra-sharp positions than Kasparov, but Kasparov was consistently stronger in every other aspect of the game, which was why he had such a good record in their encounters. (Does anyone know who said it - I'm fairly sure it was a GM?)

I've always postulated that the reason Anand, Shirov, and Polgar - to take the three most obvious examples - have such miserable records against Kasparov because they play a similar active style, one that he was just better at. The guys Kasparov had trouble with were Karpov and Kramnik, who played a totally different style. Of course they are also world champions and incredibly strong. But you would imagine that Anand, Shirov, and Polgar would at least get lucky a few times in such wild games. Of course Vishy beat Garry a few times early on, but it's hard to believe he went 10 years without a classical win after their WCh match, or that Shirov and Polgar never won a classical game against him.

Of course Garry's openings were formidable, but if you actually look at the games he played against Shirov (and the others) you see losses of every size and shape. Poor Alexei found all sorts of ways to lose, often after playing very well.

Shirov is a much more speculative player than Kasparov ever was. Garry's gift was the ability to find hidden initiatives and back them up with brutally accurate calculation. Shirov's best attacking efforts have much more of a Tal-like speculation quotient.

well put Mig.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on March 30, 2007 2:27 AM.

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