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Candidates 07 R2 Day 3

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We had lots of action the last time these guys had white, so will they try to slam the door or will they play it safe with the lead? Bareev and Shirov suffered unjust fates last time around. They'll have to watch the clock. I'm very curious as to what Kamsky will try to get something going against Gelfand. He got nowhere with his offbeat try against the Najdorf in game one. Note that the official site has game notes and analysis all over the place now.


I'm watching the computer match now. What a strange game! White is playing a game only a computer would play. The idea that the c8 bishop would be stuck on that square is hard to picture in advance.

Interesting that Kamsky is playing the d4, Bf4 set up. I think it is a good strategy for Kamsky to avoid allthe opening knowledge of Gelfand and just try to outplay him after the opening.

Gata playing London system against Gelf. He is featured with a win as white in "Win with the London System". Very interesting that he is trying it at this level

I think that being white forces you to play for a win. If eg. Leko gets a 2-0 lead, then, it's a huge advantage for this class of players.

By the way, the official site is good!

I want to ask sth : in your opinion, why Carlsen was thrown out ? He was out of form, not mature yet, or just a bit unlucky in the end ?

I admire Gelfand! He's a real tough player, well prepared. Especially when time runs out, he stands his ground! I'm always routing for the older guy!

Why didn't Shirov play 24...Ra3 ?!; e.g., 25 Nc5, Rxa5; 26 Rd8+ [bxa5?, Rxb1+ -+], Rxd8; 27 bxa5 looks better for Black (well, to me, anyway) than what he did play.

"Why didn't Shirov play 24...Ra3 ?!; e.g., 25 Nc5, Rxa5; 26 Rd8+ [bxa5?, Rxb1+ -+], Rxd8; 27 bxa5 looks better for Black (well, to me, anyway) than what he did play."

Because of 26. Re2+, maybe?

Something to learn in Aronian vs. Shirov. The white knight on c5 is stronger than the blck bishop though White's light squares are weak. But it should be draw since Black is a pawn up.

Is Kamsky really down to 25 moves in 10 minutes? Ouch!

Kamsky is in some ridiculous time trouble, and there is no reason for such a thing to happen to a man when he is playing white. Clearly, the decision to play the London was a poor one, if only for the reason that he was already in deep thought on move 4!



Insane chess by Kamsky.

For no reason at all, Kamsky has thrown himself into outrageous time pressure, in which he has now proceeded to drop two clear pawns. I can honestly say that never have I seen a world-class GM sabotage himself so with a long think in an uncritical position on move 5! It is a worthy beating that he took today with the white pieces, for if move 5 was too new a situation for him to decide upon the simple question of whether Bb5 or not Bb5 in a more reasonable timeframe, then his preparation was sorely lacking and he should not have attempted this opening in the first place. I am rooting for Gata, but am very displeased with how he performed today.



Leko 1-0

Kamsky is redefining the whole concept of 'time pressure'.

Imagine how Bacrot feels right about now? It's as if a completely different Kamsky showed up against Gelfand. Bacrot would have done better to do nothing, save strive to avoid Zeitnot.

Gata should run another 50 minutes off his clock and then make his 41st move ..

I'm not really impressed by Kamsky's play today.

In my club, the London is only played by little girls and old men.

It's the same Kamsky, I think...different Bacrot.

I'm wondering how Bareev could win against Judith. She would have given Leko a much better fight. The Caro-Kann line Bareev plays (with Kf8) seems to be questionable to me since Leko's b2-bishop always creates pressure on the diagonal a1/h8 where black's king on g7 seems to be rather misplaced.

In earlier days Aronian vs. Shirov would have won the Informator endgame price. Really interesting stuff. Is Aronian pulling a Carlsen? ;)

Bareev played better against Polgár and Lékó is better than Polgár. I think Bareev is tired, it looked a bit that way in the two last games of the Polgár match already.

Leko played very good today: subtle maneuvering (look at those Queen moves), provoking weaknesses (black g-pawns moves) and finishing the oponentoff in his time trouble.
Bareev is a victim of his opening repertoire.
He does not have an black opening against e4 where he can play for a win without taking too much risks.
The main line in the classical Caro-Kan with Bf5 does not give black any chances for a win. The Nd7 line is more double-edged but it is also very risky


"I want to ask sth : in your opinion, why Carlsen was thrown out ? He was out of form, not mature yet, or just a bit unlucky in the end ?"

In my opinion, simply still Aronian in top form is better than Carlsen in top form (but Carlsen showed promising things that could consolidate in the near future); in the match, they both showed weaknesses, but in most games, was Aronian the one who threw away the advantage (or even lost likely drawn games), so I believe that match didn't finish sooner because of certain unstability from Aronian. The merit of Carlsen was to make this match much tougher for Aronian than what everybody was expecting.


Today it looks like Kamsky's strategy of using offbeat opening lines to avoid Gelfand's preparation (and then playing a better middlegame and endgame) is going against him ... only his fighting spirit can make him play in this uncomfortable position (I am looking right now at move 50) with three pawns down.


It looks like Aronian- Shirov game is going to be a draw (looking at move 53), despite the fact Aronian is one pawn down. I hope Shirov does not get into time trouble and blunder at this point because of that.

I played Caro-Kann for several years but only use it now against stronger players. If c6 is meant to protect the d5 pawn this is not much. 1.- c5 is more promising if looking for counter play.

Very interesting the endgame in Aronian-Shirov. I didn't imagine Aronian could win this one, but I am starting to think differently (after Aronian 50.Rd1!). The good thing for us as spectators, is that we are watching two of the best endgame players in the world ... this is way ahead us.

Amazing, I think Aronian is winning (despite being two pawns down)!!
50. Rd1! was very strong (maybe previous move from Shirov to move the rook to b8 was a blunder?) I am not seeing good defense for that...

Now Shirov is in terrible time trouble (and now both have two pawns), there is a strong chance he may blunder... although Aronian is playing really fast, I don't know if that is the best idea .

Looks like Grischuk has thrown away a won position with Qb3. Or am I wrong?

Now the position is a tablebase draw after move 62 according to


I believe Aronian had the victory in his hands, but now it is dead draw, and now they passed the time control, so I don't think it should be a problem to agree draw here.

What a shame, Aronian was constructing a perfect endgame!! That happens for playing too fast in a better position and without time trouble

Huh. Shirov managed to draw this thing. It could have gone another way ... huh. Luck is also needed in those games ;)

What a shame, Aronian blundered by playing too fast the last moves (even when he was not in time trouble) and threw away waht could have been an extraordinary victory in an endgame. Why Aronian?, Why?

All this happened just after they passed the time control. With Aronian's 61. f6??, after the exchange of pieces the theoretical (tablebase) draw was clear.

(Source of tablebases: http://www.k4it.de/index.php?topic=egtb&lang=en)

As has been shown many times, even at top level is quite difficult to remember that and probably impossible to recognize all patterns shown in 5-piece tablebases.

Watching Aronian-Shirov live on the Skype with Garry now. He was quite impressed with Aronian and the whole Rd1-d4 thing. Around move 50 Garry reeled off the entire winning line that Aronian then followed. When Shirov played 59..Rc5 he immediately said it was a blunder and that Kd6-Kc6 was an easy win. But then Aronian played 61.f6 and all that respect went away pretty quickly! He couldn't believe his eyes. "Typical Aronian!" Great game, great fight, and then rushes when he has plenty of time and blows a win in the endgame. He's done this at least three times this year I can think of. Including against Shirov at Corus! Incredible.

Yep, just drawn. Garry said Aronian must have missed 67..Ra6. Fast and flawless technical play by Shirov to draw once he got his chance. Another wild game in this match. Fantastic fighting chess, despite the cruel flaws and time trouble.

"Watching Aronian-Shirov live on the Skype with Garry now. He was quite impressed with Aronian and the whole Rd1-d4 thing."

Yes, this was quiete impressing. It was also impressing to me that Shirov nevertheless played Rxb4 though he knew after Rd4 both of his pieces were not able to move anymore. He didn't show fear in this moment. This is match play!

@Mig: Thanks for the insight from Garry.

So once again, Aronian blows a winning endgame by moving too quickly when he doesn't have to. Maybe this game will finally teach him to stop doing this if it ends up costing him a trip to Mexico City. Aronian should be up 2-0 right now and just about have his ticket punched for that WC tournament.

Good stuff, Mig. If Shirov was playing white, he would probably not let black escape. It seems Aronian gets lazy too often in the endgame.

Formidable Shirov's nerves and resistance in next to lost positions..quite a guy.

No longer able to bring "fire on board" without himself getting burnt he has instead specialized in "it's not over until it's over" kind of games.

Bravo !

The curious thing is that I think if Aronian would be in the situation like Shirov today, he would be able to get the draw after the blunders as Shirov did. Aronian, as well as Anand and Shirov is specialist in defending likely lost positions with speed and accuracy, but as well as Anand, he often makes mistakes or superficial moves for playing too fast when there is no pressure for doing that (or for applying pressure to the opponent by moving fast).

It looks like the ending in Aronian-Shirov was drawn all along but Aronian created winning chances 49 ..Rb8 turned out to be ?? if he keeps the rook on the d file with 49..Rd4/d6+ or whatever so he can hassle the f pawn he can hold. Its just as well that it holds otherwise black would be busted in this whole line begining with 6..Be6. (unless 9..a5 is better but it looks unpleasant) James Rizzitano could then rename his book how to lose against d4 as 6..Be6 is his repertoire move! Still if he wants to play this QGA he could try 6...a6 or better still take a leaf out of Rublevskys book and play 5..Bb4+

Sandorchess thx !

Aronian-Shirov wasn't drawn all along. Neither this game busts Be6 line. Shirov could equalize comfortably with either 21...c5 or Rc4. Allowing Aronian to trade the pawn for a bind was a serious mistake. After that Shirov's position was very dangerous. In time trouble Aronian made more inaccuracies and allowed Shirov to escape. Then it was Shirov's turn to err with Rb8. But luckily for Shirov, Aronian made the final mistake.

Overall once again a great fighting game, exciting chess. Kudos to Shirov for fighting all the way in a very unpleasant position and keeping this match alive

When I say "drawn all along " I am referring to the ending after after 18..Qxd1 being equal and a draw with best play which it appears to be. Obviously its not so easy to draw but 21 ..c4 or 21 ..Rc4 as was pointed out would have kept the balance 21 ..Rb8 seemed ok and it was not a time trouble error but its a waste of time after f4. But the black position following 15 Bxg7 still looks uncomfortable after 12..Rg8 and now 13 Qf3 Rxg7 14 Qxe4

When I say "drawn all along " I am referring to the ending after after 18..Qxd1 being equal and a draw with best play which it appears to be. Obviously its not so easy to draw but 21 ..c4 or 21 ..Rc4 as was pointed out would have kept the balance 21 ..Rb8 seemed ok and it was not a time trouble error but its a waste of time after f4. But the black position following 15 Bxg7 still looks uncomfortable after 12..Rg8 and now 13 Qf3 Rxg7 14 Qxe4

I've never been a Leko fan, but I have been hugely impressed with his play so far during these WC candidates matches. He has treated his high-class opponents as though they were amateurs. Bravo.

By drawn all along in Aronian Shirov I meant that the ending after 16 Qxd1 was ok for black and drawn with best play. I dont think there is any bind after 21.. Rab8 22 f4 as black can play 22...c5 now or even 22..Rxg3 when the rook does not end up getting tied to guarding the a pawn. However I see nothing wrong with Shirov's play up to this point his first real error was 24 ..Kf8 which is too passive - blacks king must stay active and allow for the Rbg8 instead he should have played 22 ..Ke7 and black is ok. I agree that 21 ..c5 or Rc4 are more accurate but 21..Rab8 is ok too. However Aronians continuation might cast a shadow on 6..Be6 as after 15 Bxg7 Rg8 and now 16 Qf3! (rather than 16 Be5) Rxg7 17 Qxe4 the position is unpleasant for black who must choose between Kf8 or a future 0-0-0

Is there someplace where we can read about what the players said at the post-game press conferences? There are pictures of the press conference but no mention at all of what the players said.

Ken, I have the same question. It must be interesting to know what they say after the game, but unfortunately none of the major chess sites cover that. Maybe we should look for newspaper online editions. Has anybody discovered where can we check?

Chesspro has a good coverage of post-game comments by players. There might be a bit of a language barrier, but if nothing else, babelfish helps.

Junior's hardware is about twice as powerful (16 processing cores versus 8) as Fritz's. This match makes no sense in every way.

In defense of Aronian, he didn't get the formal soviet training for chess, nor the training of playing 100+ games with Karpov (who is an end-game master).

I don't think Aronian requires any defense at all. As things stand, Kaspy's criticism is just grumbling of an old fart. It's quite easy to point out mistakes from the comfort of you home -- there were plenty of them in Kaspy's own games. Proving your superiority on the board is quite a different matter, and it seems that Kaspy's given up on this.


The question is: why do you keep the Garry commentary all to yourself and don't bring it to the ICC? Or to ChessNinja?

Maybe Garry wouldn't object to recording his thoughts.


During the Aronian-Shirov game, I was wondering why Aronian didn't try 52. Re4!? instead of 52. Nxa6. Then we'd have a comical situation where the rook and bishop have absolutely no moves, and Black has nothing to do but shuffle his king back and forth. Meanwhile the White king can walk over to the queen side.

Any thoughts on this? Looks like a clear win to me.

LarryT: Scherbakov gives 52.Re4!!: after 52...Ra4 simply 53.Ke7 etc.


The only things the white king could do in that case is to exterminate the c-pawns. It can't get near the a-pawn because of the rook, nor can it touch the f-pawn because of the bishop. Also the knight is forced to stay at c5 whenever blacks king is near the rook. White must break the setup to make progress.

Eh... nevermind. :)

Here's the full Scherbakov line (available at the tnmt site):

52.Re4!! Ra4 53.Ke7 Rb4 54.f6 Ra4 55.Rh4 Kg3 56.Rd4 Rb4 57.Nxa6 and White is a couple tempi up over the game....

completely agree osbemder.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on June 8, 2007 1:25 AM.

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