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Kramnik Wins, Karjakin Survives

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Dortmund 2007 really hit the autobahn today with two decisive games! That brings the total up to 5/16. The world's two top-ranked players wiped out two of the lower seeds with what could be described as Teutonic efficiency if they weren't a Russian and an Indian. In round four Magnus Carlsen was nothing more than a tasty strudel for world champion Vladimir Kramnik. A horrible positional blunder by the young Norwegian against Kramnik's usual Catalan and the game was all but over. On ICC Chess.FM GM Jon Speelman immediately pointed out the winning Nb3-Na5 plan and Kramnik wasn't far behind him in playing it. It's hard to imagine 16..Nd5 was preparation and we certainly won't be seeing it again. That moved Kramnik into clear first on +2 with three rounds to play.

Anand moved up in the pack with a steady win over Naiditsch. The nice move 23.Be4! punished Black for his premature ..d5 break. 23..Bxe4 24.Qxe4 Qc5 keeps the pawn but Black's light squares are going to be swiss cheese. Or some German cheese with holes. Naiditsch did a fair job of hanging on while Anand, as he often does, preferred to keep attacking rather than swap into a purely technical endgame. He was rewarded when a nice mating net caught a piece. Hard to say if Black could have drawn by grabbing the c-pawn, but 39..Be4+ definitely looked like a waste of several tempi. 39..Rc2 looks much tougher to beat. In the game, 40..Bd5 41.Nd4! would have typically clever Vishy tactics.

Alekseev tried to out-Leko Leko in a known instant-endgame line that doesn't seem much in keeping with the Russian champ's attacking style. The draw left Alekseev on +1 with Anand and Leko on even with four straight draws. Gelfand-Mamedyarov was an interesting boxing match in which nobody managed to land a punch. Thursday is a rest day in Dortmund.

Meanwhile, things only looked boring at the Aerosvit tournament in Ukraine. Both leaders played wild games, both badly marred by the absurd single-control time control I whined about before the event started. Even the world's best cannot play competently when they are essentially in a time scramble for 30+ moves. Horrible. Karjakin outplayed Sasikiran but then blundered badly and had to scramble back on defense. (33.Nf6! is the threat Black Karjakin missed.) Poor Sasikiran then proceeded to miss a half-dozen wins while playing only on the 30-second increment. It eventually ended in a draw on move 93.

That wasn't the longest game of the day, however. Ivanchuk played a remarkable queen sac against Bruzon out of a difficult position. The Ukrainian wizard then tried for ages to work out a win with R+N vs Q but couldn't do it against the Cuban's accurate defense. Chukky finally had to give up on move 136. I think that since Ivanchuk usually has so much trouble with his clock when he gets an increment from the start he just likes to drag things out to enjoy it. That left Ivanchuk and Karjakin tied on 6/9 with two rounds to play.

Shirov won the only decisive game of the day, taking down Jakovenko on the black side of a Sveshnikov. 45..Qxc3+! isn't the sort of shot we get to see every day. The win moved Shirov to a half-point behind the leaders.


"Ivanchuk played a remarkable queen sac against Bruzon out of a difficult position."

Ivanchuk played a Cuban all right, but not exactly Bruzon. That was Dominguez.

Dear readers of The Daily Dirt Chess Blog,
I have a off topic question, but I think it might be okay to write here.

I have heard of a book about an American school chess team. The book follows the team and their members over a year or so.

Was it a intresting book?
What is the name of this book, and where can I buy it?

Thanks in Advance!

Kramnik is winning games without even wasting opening novelties. By just playing standard stuff he can win against the less experienced players.

The Kings of New York: A Year Among the Geeks, Oddballs, and Genuises Who Make Up America's Top HighSchool Chess Team by Michael Weinreb

I went through it shortly in the Borders bookstore, but can't comment on it.

I followed live (using the mandatory software) some of today's games in Aerosvit and the victory of Ivanchuk was very nice. Once Shirov put his knight in h2, Ivanchuk's sac 26..Nxd4! was very nice to take advantage of that ugly position. I believe also 26.. b4 could make the same job in a lesser "flashy" way, and I believe Shirov's problem could start after Ivanchuk's 23 .. h5.

I also followed Svidler's victory over Jakovenko, which seems to be very tired, judging for the way he has lost his last two games. Interesting, due to the fact a lot of people here has been suggesting Javovenko as someone who should (or could) be in a supertournament very soon, but right now, he is -2 in this tournament.

And finally, it was a shame the way Dominguez couldn't finish off Eljanov and get his first victory in the tournament. The cuban guy fell in deep time trouble (the time controls!) and blew a completely winning position (in my humble opinion). After Eljanov's 53...a3, I believe 54. Bxa3 Kxb6 55. Kg6! would complete the job (and other options does not help black either). But the game continued 54.Kg6 a2 55.Bd4 c5 and went to a draw.

In Shirkov-Chukko 26.- Nxd4 was the winning move. Not that difficult to see. I'm not sure if 23.- h5 was that strong, but it was obviously irritating Shiro. Chuky is making the points today with the black pieces.


You are looking for "The Kings of New York" by Michael Weinreb.

An excellent book, in my opinion.

In Shirkov-Chukko 29.- h4 was the winning move. Not that difficult to see for an engine. I'm sure 26.- Nxd4 was that strong, but it was obviously sexy for Chukko. El Shirkio is dropping the points today with the white pieces.

If 27.cxd4 is forced, then 26.Nxd4 is the winning move since 28.Rb1 and 29.Be3 (or Be1) are also forced. Ergo, Nxd4 is winning.
quod erat demonstrandum

Unbelievable Shirov played the really bad move 26.Nh2?? (instead of the obvious 26.Ne5). His mind must have been other places.

Or just low on time?

In Shirkov-Chukko 26.- Nxd4 was the winning move. Not that difficult to see.
-- Posted by: freitag at June 28, 2007 13:39

Yes, that's why Shirov with his new 2733 rating missed it, because it was so easy to see.

A joke was played on freakflag, not that difficult to see. Unbelievable, he played the really bad post:

Ergo, Nxd4 is winning.
quod erat demonstrandum
Posted by: freitag at June 28, 2007 15:18

(instead of the obvious silence). His mind must have been other places.
De gustibus non est disputandum.

ChessCafe has a review about "The Kings of New York":


clubfoot, meds all right? Supplier gone AWOL?

"Or just low on time?"

He had 30 minutes left. As far as I remember he spend much time before playing Qg6.

31.Qe4 was also a good move for Leko I suppose. He has clearly an edge in this position. Will he beat Kramnik? Not impossible.

Leko decided again to draw the game, instead of becoming a legend.

Leko IS becoming a legend: a drawing legend!

Although, I must say that I highly credit Leko for taking his loss (or actually, his draw) against Kramnik in the WC match with grace. Not many chess players in the recent past have been able to do this.

With the strong knight f5 the endgame is always not lost. So, Leko could/should have played on - the reason he did not is maybe - he is a coward.

Peter Leko, a 2740+ GM is a coward? Good thing we have the arm chair analysts here at chessninja.com to whine an bitch about draws.

Yes, I agree, parsnips. Seriously, it's a thousand times more boring or annoying than any draw ever is.

Even the Chessbase report had this ridiculous thing to say: "A pretty dull day in Dortmund saw all four games drawn in relatively quiet style." "..none of them terribly exciting"

?! Typical knee-jerk anti-draw rubbish... perhaps just cynically intended to appeal to the mainstream bloodthirsty public and their prejudices against draws?

To be fair to chessbase they often comment on draws that are high tension or fighting draws. But recently they certainly do seem to emphasizing how many games are drawn including posting a running percentage of draws. It could very well be they're aiming reports for the vocal anti-draw people [all 6 of them :) if only there were 6]

Good call TM. It wouldn't entirely amaze me if Leko surprised us all in Mexico.

A thought struck me about this todya: curious how football commentators are more mature than chess ones about drawn games; they don't comment on the result but the play. It's common to see teams slated for dull play while winning. I suppose it might be because they don't fear that their game will die because of draws.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on June 28, 2007 1:58 AM.

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