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Corus 08 r12: Snakes and Ladders

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The final rounds are upon us. Will Aronian hold on to win clear first? Will Carlsen fend off Kramnik after a tough loss to Anand? Will Anand play to win against van Wely with black? We'll see what Chucky does, but I'm skeptical Aronian will take any big risks to win today if the position is normal. Same goes for Radjabov against Leko. Carlsen got through Kramnik's Catalan in fine style last time, at the Tal Memorial in November.

Round 12: van Wely-Anand, Kramnik-Carlsen, Radjabov-Leko, Aronian-Ivanchuk, Mamedyarov-Gelfand, Eljanov-Topalov, Adams-Polgar.


van Wely being Kramnik's second, Anand may be unwilling to play key lines; for that reason alone it might get interesting. Otherwise, if van Wely has an ounce of self-preservation, he should shut everything down and offer draw on move 20. Then again, with his tournament ruined, he may opt for that ticket to glory.

Eljanov-Topalov should be wild as Topalov's surge and Eljanov's new found confidence after the win will clash.

Kramnik-Carlsen will be a long grind which I expect Kramnik to win; after that horrible loss, he would be keen to get back on top of things.

Everything else will be a draw.

Greetings! It is weekend and I can enjoy Corus again.

http://www.coruschess.com live games

http://www.chessdom.com live commentary

http://www.chessvibes.com video

http://www.susanpolgar.blogspot.com reports

http://www.chesspro.ru in Russian

Carlsen, Aronian? Aronian Carlsen? Or Kramnik! It is still open battle

Well, what about Anand and Radjabov?

If Kramnik wins Carlsen (not obvious) and Anand fails to win Van Wely (likely but not definite), then Kramnik will have same points with Anand, and the black pieces against him...

So, I would say that Anand is much more likely to win the title than Kramnik...

I think its unlikely that Anand will show his hand against Kramnik, what with the match, so a quick draw. Anand winning against van Wely is the best chance for a point.

I question how one can put a leach on those Topalov sacrifices. Check out what he's doing against Eljanov!

As expected van Wely has shut down everything, blocking the q-side. Lets see if the game continues.

jaideepblue, all I said was that if 2 things in favor of Kramnik happen (wins Carlsen and Anand doesn't win vs Van Wely), then he is still black with Anand and therefore has worse chances than Anand.

True, most likely Anand-Kramnik will be draw. But, bare in mind that Kramnik also would like to hide his good novelties from Anand, so he may not play the optimum way to equalise, and thus give some more chances for decisive result.

(btw, what piece sacrifice did Topalov played? Could it be sound? In any case it is fun:-))

Whoa! Anand seems to have blundered against van Wely in a peculiar position. Now looks he has to fight very hard for a draw. Kramnik looks to be in a tight spot against the pressing Carlsen.

Who am I to say, but it seems that Topalov's sacrifice didn't achieve much. Eljanov's king seems pretty well protected.


Ok, the "fribbitzers" were getting carried away, Anand seems ok.

It looks to me that when Topalov played 12...Nd7 he forgot for a moment that his Bishop had no squares.

so is anand-van wely a draw for sure??

Rybka says Kramnik may be lost. That'd be incredible.

Kramnik seems to be in trouble against Carlsen...

Van Wely - Anand a draw. Anand didn't want to risk it with an early d3 instead when he played Ke7. He could have had a lot more counter play with d3...

The Kid is taking down the giant!

Polgar beat Adams; Eljanov beat Topalov. Carlsen has a menacing passed pawn on the K-side supported by 2 rooks.

Topalov may get arrested for illegal gambling...


P.S. Was that some kind of experimental Chess ot Texas Hol'Em that he was playing today? That stuff belongs to Vegas.

Kramnik just resigned. This is a huge proof of confidence by Carlsen. A future world champion maybe?

The King is Naked.

The kid undressed him and hid his clothes... Wow, what a game...



exactly. Topalov is like that guy who check-raises any board in a HU-match. Pretty lol after a while.

Wow. Carlsen out-Kramniked Kramnik. It looks like Kramnik's problems all started after 29. Qxa6, and Carlsen's rooks were able to get active, and it was all downhill from there.

I just woke up and went to see what's happening in Corus.
I'm not sure whether I'm still asleep or it's the hang over from last night's wine party.
Could you confirm this for me:
Carlsen beat Kramnik's Catalan with black????

Beating someone like Kramnik for the first time is a HUGE deal. For me, that's far more impressive than beating Anand for the first time - the only thing that comes close might be beating Kasparov for the first time, but I'd still take beating Kramnik because Kramnik is just hard to beat.

No matter what happens and no matter who wins the tournament (though I'm hoping Ivanchuk can hold on for the draw), Carlsen is the story of the tournament.

Laj, I too have the feeling that this will be remembered as Carlsen's Corus even if Aronian wins.

"Ok, the "fribbitzers" were getting carried away, Anand seems ok."
-Posted by: jaideepblue at January 26, 2008 11:09

Haha, well done.

But how did he do it? Was there any justification for starting his attack? He moved his king's pawns up like Topalov used to. And he won, it seems, by sheer willpower.

Surely yesterday's attack against Anand looked a lot better justified.

Great tournament!

The King is Naked.

The kid undressed him and hid his clothes... Wow, what a game...

Posted by: Dimi at January 26, 2008 12:33 ________________________________________________

No. In spite of his loss to a supremely talented player today, Kramnik still wears raiment worthy of one of the finest chess players of his generation.

The only person who can stop Carlsen becoming the youngest World Champion ever is Ilyumzhinov.

The King is Naked.

The kid undressed him and hid his clothes... Wow, what a game...

Posted by: Dimi at January 26, 2008 12:33

No. In spite of his loss to a supremely talented player today, Kramnik still wears raiment worthy of one of the finest chess players of his generation.

Wow. Ivanchuk held on by his fingernails and looked to be in time trouble to boot. That should make for some excitement with Aronian and Carlsen tied for first going into the final round.

What is the method of tiebreak used to determine a tournament winner?

Chris B., I agree -- the first message of 2008 is that by the time the
elaborately crafted string of WCC matches ends the results may already
be irrelevant...

Today Carlson popped the balloon in a spectacular manner and I can
hear the loud hissing sound of deflation all above Kramnik-land. One
can observe an unusual phenomenon too -- the forums look empty when
the Kramnik-bots hide away to regain their thoughts... :-)

Last year there was quite much mockery directed at Carlsen after his
Corus performance. Oh, there is one more lesson in jinx-theory -- some
guys were counting Kramnik's ELO points a week ago and extolling at
their might -- that's a very bad style to count the chips while
sitting at the table. You never know how the tables will turn...

Anyway, It's been a fun tournament. My comments should be taken


What a performance by the KID!

I like Kramnik .. and am a lil sad that, for the second time, he reaches the very top of the rating list, but is not able to get clear #1. It is the only thing missing from his resume and he was oh.. so close especially after Anand's awful start.

Now he has to pray for a bad performance from Anand at Linares. He has only a small window left - the kids are coming - Carlsen, Radja, Karjakin etc. can only be kept at bay for so long.

2009 Jan 1 rating list prediction

1. Carlsen
2. Anand
3. Kramnik

He's a monster I tell you!...A monster!

Tomorrows game against Radjabov has some psychological value for the future, especially if Temour plays the Kings Indian. I'm thinking that Radjabov has already realized that to be World Champion someday, he'll have to most likely defeat Carlsen to do so. Not a pleasant thought, knowing that he is going to be around as long or longer than you are. In my mind, if Carlsen plays 1. d4 and Radjabov replies with the K.I. these two are already sending messages about what's in store for the future, not to mention the final results of this strong tournament. Not to be missed people.

I agree with chesstraveler that the Radjabov-Carlsen matchup is as exciting as the Anand-Kramnik clash and may actually be the more interesting game especially if the latter is a short Petroff.

Me too, I can hear that continuous loud hissing of Kramnik deflation :)). Well, the guy has what he deserves, he is so used to draw and now that he wants wants to win from kid Carlsen his brain is simply so empty, and then again the kid resulted to be more talented that him.
Take that Kramnik! And congrats to Carlsen, whatever happens tomorrow this has been his tournament!

Anand should give serious consideration to the main line of the Four Knights.

Hey Mig....your mate Naka just lost to Zhao in Gibraltar.


Hey Dimi, King of chess forums,

I prefer not to follow the advice of silly people, so i don't take your comments lightly.
Surely there can be no reason to hide away from your ridiculous comments, or because of Kramnik's poor performance.
It seems, judging from the prematureness of your words, that you're as lousy a gambler as Kramnik fans, counting the Elo (not ELO) points (gain) of their idol.
Nobody escapes ups and downs, not in chess, not in other sports, not in life.
Kramnik's losses have quite some positive consequences :

+ it should stop Kramnik from becoming overconfident, and make him work harder or play differently
+ it makes chess more exciting
+ it makes Topalov and Danailov happy
+ it makes a lot of other people happy
+ it gives lesser creatures the opportunity to gloat on the internet over things in which they have no merit, and which they do not even fully understand.

So why don't you show some gratitude towards Kramnik, it can't be that difficult.

Voltaic : your comment only proves that besides not being able to write correctly, you're not even able to think properly.

Wow, can anyone spell "hyperbole"? So Kramnik lost a game, and suddenly his career's finished and he's been "overrated" all this time? Absurd. Kramnik's proved year after year for a long time that he belongs at the very top of the chess echelons. Carlsen has tremendous talent and is a wonderful prospect: we should be excited about him. But please, to write Kramnik off -- as if a bubble has burst -- is just silly, and suggests that people have lost all sense of perspective.

Mamedyarov has been the most anonymous contestant this year. One disappointment in an excellent event.

Heeey steven, wiseguy, don't be so upset man ;), courage. Kramnik lost and that's all, tomorrow he will wi.. er draw, I was to say win, but in Kramnik's case the most probably is a draw isn't?
Well that's chess, you win one day, you lose next, you draw, simple as that.
But heck, seems Carlsen delightful win was really painful for some angry guys :)
I prefer to be merry for the consolidation of the talented young chess generation, and the passing of the draw-masters!

No Voltaic :

Carlsen's victory is not painful for me, my comment has nothing to do with Carlsen.
But in fact Kramnik-bashers have a strange kind of logic : on the one hand, thet do not think highly of Kramnik as a chess player ; on the other hand, when someone succeeds to beat that same Kramnik, they applaud it as the beginning of a new era, they become delirious, they start screaming "Hurrah,Hurrah, a new King is born", ...
Such a reasoning is completely devoid of any good and logical sense, it cannot be that difficult to understand this.

Carlsen's victory over Kramnik was a positional masterpiece. True, White's Queen play on the a-file was ill-conceived but positionally he was already in trouble. It seemed to me he was trying to mix it up on the queenside because he was doomed on the light squares. Carlsen's control of e4 and f3 was total. The knight that landed on e3 could be seen approaching a mile away. The game may have been positionally lost as early as 19...g4. Remarkable acheivement by Carlsen beating a great champion at his own game.

Kramnik is definitely not finished, though. He's been declared dead before.

...the knight that landed on f3 of course...

Most kibitzers understand the games neither while they are in progress nor after they are concluded, and then attempt to compensate for this by writing hilariously contrived commentary about the players which they fantasize shakes the earth.

Much of the commentary is directed at their same kind whom they engage in wars of cleverness and profundity.

Anyone can be a trend-caller, because with enough rolls of the dice you will get lucky.

The internet = 99% dice-rolling trolls playing Nostradamus, 1% genuine thought

It is easy to count Kramnik's losses playing white in long time-control games:
2007: 0
2006: 1 (Topalov [WC match])
2005: 3 (Topalov [MTel], Topalov [Corus], Bareev)
2004: 1 (Leko [WC match])
2003: 0
2002: 0
2001: 1 (Morozevich [Corus])
2000: 0
1999: 0
1998: 2 (Leko [Tilburg], Shirov [WC cand])

Eight losses in a decade. Two and half years between losses in Jan. 2001 and July 2004.

This is a huge win for Magnus.

Nice statistics, Dan. Thanks!

Hey Steven,

c'mon, I know some of you guys are quite prickly today, but please use
a little bit of imagination and appreciate the beauty you're witnessing.
There is this kid, who is not coming from any established Chess school
-- i.e. nobody explained to him the virtues of the short draw, for
example... The kid is having fun, can't stop playing and like all kids
learns quickly because he is not afraid to fall. One day a stupid
blunder, next day some luck, yesterday swung at and nearly missed
Anand, today caught Vlad on the chin. Nobody explained to him in Chess
school that it is a bad idea to challenge the wise guys and tear off
the balls of Mr. Squeeze himself. This is a piece of history we're
seeing. So, enjoy and don't get too bitter.

Of course, it is very obvious that Kramnik is far from finished and
who ever said that?? He is my generation, so I hope they continue
kicking for some time more.


Kramnik loses & here come the Kramnik haters. It is interesting to observe the differences in reaction between oh let's say Topo fans and Kramnik fans. Or maybe that's just my imagination. ;) (& if it's not Topo fans, not sure what the beef is with Kramnik. He's not World Champion anymore btw, lest onyone forgot.)

>>"In my mind, if Carlsen plays 1. d4 and Radjabov replies with the K.I. these two are already sending messages about what's in store for the future, not to mention the final results of this strong tournament. Not to be missed people."

Usually these anticipated battles then end in short draws, especially since it will be the last round. Posting this to jinx that prediction. :D

I'm an Anand fan and I have to agree that there's a bit of overreaction going on here regarding Kramnik's loss. Was there a similar level of Anand-bashing when he lost his 1st game to Rajdabov? I don't know (I have to go back and see that thread.)

Kramnik seems to lack energy in long tournaments and apparently was also a bit under the weather. 9 White losses in 10 years is nothing to sneeze at.

I found it interesting that he offered a draw after playing Qb5 thinking the kid will (might) take it :-) Carlsen promptly declined because he thought his position was better.

I also think Kramnik could have resisted stronger with 34. Bxe5 instead of Nxe5. His bishop was a liability by that time compared to his active Knight. It was intuitive to take with the Bishop first. I believe he could have put tough resistance with Bxe5 and keep shuttling the C-Rook back and forth for a while...

Thanks Dale!...yes World Champs don't lose many with the White pieces. Fischer:

1972: 1 (Game 11, 1972 match)>>Spassky
1971: 0
1970: 2 ( Rovinj/Zagreb)>>Kovacevic, (Palma de Mallorca)>>Larsen
1969: 0
1968: 0
1967: 2 ( Monte Carlo and Skopje)>>Geller
1966: 1 (Santa Monica)>>Larsen
1965: 3 ( Capablanca Memorial)>>Kholmov & Ivkov. ( US Championship)>>R.Bryne.
1964: 0
1963: 0

So Bobby, had 9 losses with White in his last 10 years. This is the way champs have to play.

Speaking off, have to say I find Carlsen's performance to be fenomenal.
Considering this guy is still (supposed to be?) learning & developing...
A win tomorrow & winning the tournament & they can add his name to the history books. (Or am I getting carried away?) Every all-time great had some (breakout) tournament where everybody else realizs "uh oh, we're in trouble." Maybe this'll be the one for Carlsen?

To trm, Well it would be extraordinary and fitting. With the passing of Bobby, a big tourney win here at Corus for Magnus, sort of passes the torch;-)...recall reading a quote a couple years back probably summer of 2006, Bobby was supposed to have stated, "Magnus knows more about chess, than I did, at his age"...or something to that effect....if he wins this tourney and eventually goes on to be World Champion in 3 years or so.....this month in January will be remembered, for 2 big events!

It is easy to count Kramnik's losses playing white in long time-control games:
2007: 0
2006: 1 (Topalov [WC match])
2005: 3 (Topalov [MTel], Topalov [Corus], Bareev)
2004: 1 (Leko [WC match])
2003: 0
2002: 0
2001: 1 (Morozevich [Corus])
2000: 0
1999: 0
1998: 2 (Leko [Tilburg], Shirov [WC cand])

Eight losses in a decade. Two and half years between losses in Jan. 2001 and July 2004.

This is a huge win for Magnus.

Posted by: Dan Dalthorp at January 26, 2008 19:06

This statistics is BS. Kramnik had 4 losses in 2005 Mtel masters itself- 1 each against Topalov, Anand, Adams, and Ponomariov.

Lovely, Dan is talking about Kramnik losses with White. He's extremely difficult to beat with Black.

Considering both white & Black, he had a long streak of over 80 games without a single loss in the early part of this decade, finally broken by Adams...

As Dan writes - those is stats for losses with _white_. The losses to Anand, Adams and Ponomariov in 2005 Mtel was with black.

I just found out that the final round has started an hour earlier, and Aronian is already at move 27. A long Marshall line leading to an endgame. Difficult to assess - strong knight or strong bishop? - do White's kingside structural weaknesses play a role? Most probably a quick draw.

Has Vishy got anything for the pawn ?

DaneDude: I doubt it.

Polgar-Aronian: No, it isn't a quick draw. They play on, and I still don't get who is better: The bishop or the knight, White's outside passed pawn or Black's intact kingside structure.

It seems Topalov was the first to offer a draw, at move 23. He must feel pretty low.

Vishy has a safer King compared to Kramnik. Also, Kramnik's Queen is not active. Vishy's rooks also have open lines to Kramnik's king.

I think Vishy has enough compensation for the pawn.

Plus, Kramnik has a cold.

But it looks like he can manage to break the grip of the powerful bishop g5 by means of Kh7, Bh6 or similar. And if he can coordinate his rooks, in the long run, Anand's isolated h pawn should become a weakness.

White Sunday!

The Vishmaster is back!

Didn't Black have 49...Rxd2 with at least a draw by perpetual or a win of the R by a Q check?! Or does White have some winning continuation, e.g., starting w. a Q check of his own...?

On move 50 Anand could've played Qa8+ & then Qxa7+ to prevent ...Qf2, no?!

What the hell, Anand?? Just gave away the piece?

> Didn't Black have 49...Rxd2

Then 50.Qa8+ Kg7 51.Qa7 Kf8 52.Kd2 Qf4 53.Qe3. On the other hand, 50.Re1 was a surprise. 50.Qa8 Kg7 51.Qa7 and 52.Qg1 looked like a try. Now I'm not sure what he has...

Whatever happens (or should've happened), it's a fittingly fighting game worthy of these 2 great players, I think we can agree; and one to whet our appetites for next year's match!

>What the hell, Anand?? Just gave away the piece?

>Posted by: RR at January 27, 2008 12:06

Guess he missed the hard to see

51 Td1 Lf4 52. Db4

Anand has some nerve attacking like this. We saw his cool when defending against Carlsen, and now this....

now the position is 61.b4..so is anand losing this match against kramnik now?is there a website where I can get live commentary for this match?

It's drawn. But Susan Polgar was commenting on her blog for the last half hour or so. I guess we have to wait for the presser to find out why Anand didn't play steenslag's line.

its a draw..i wish anand could have played more for a win with his 4 pawns..

Amazing Vishy didn't win that. But of course there were always tricks. As for Kb1??, he missed ..Qg2, of course. Not that hard to do, and it would have been brilliant otherwise :-)

Still a bad tournament for Kramnik and actually not much better for Anand either despite his +2 score.

Polgar's comment on the final position, before the draw was agreed: "Basically, only White has a shot to win here. It is enough to convert though." Not sure why Anand didn't play on.

she obviously meant "NOT" enough to convert

I got that... I mean if only white has a shot to win, he should have played on.

Great and deserved 1-st place for Carlsen and Aronian!!

How does Bilbao work in the Gran Slam scheme when there are shared
first? Do they invite all players?


RR, I agree but in reality that was practically dead drawn. Dimi, very good question. Last time Wijk aan Zee had no tiebreaks at all if I recall correctly. Seems like they ought to have this year when it is part of the Grand Slam.

Humpy better have an explanation for that or she's an utter disgrace. She had a small plus against Movsesian, and Nigel had got a small plus against Nepomniatchi and then she agrees a draw, when there is the lucrative place for next year's A-Group at stake. No respect for her colleagues.

And another thing. The comments by Carlsen fans / Kramnik haters in this thread show a deep lack of chess understanding. Carlsen didn't out-Kramnik Kramnik, and he didn't play a masterpiece and he wasn't better before Kramnik took on a6. In fact Kramnik had had a small plus all game, and was still somewhat better (and Magnus would tell you this) before he made this simple miscalculation and played Qxa6?? which is nearly a losing move. So Carlsen won most of all because of a Kramnik blunder. It happens now and then, but don't make it into a masterpiece when it wasn't one. Chess is an objective game.

The results of this tournament don't prove anything. Sargissian, from the B-group, used to destroy 2600's for fun when playing for Armenia, and looked a potential 2700+ future star, and he could well end up there eventually, but for some reason he was now off his game.

Topalov will be back despite his 6/13 and this wasn't the worst result of Kramnik's career either.

Let's root for chess. There are different ways to play good chess, and different world class chess players. The variety of styles is a richness. Let's enjoy it.

Alright! Carlsen ties for 1st with some other guy.

Yepperdoddle, we talk about Carlsen and all the usual suspects while Aronian plays extremely well and shares a victory of a very strong tournament. We chess players can be fickle...er ah discriminating at times. =8-)

acirce: In fact Kramnik had had a small plus all game, and was still somewhat better (and Magnus would tell you this) before he made this simple miscalculation and played Qxa6?? which is nearly a losing move. So Carlsen won most of all because of a Kramnik blunder. It happens now and then, but don't make it into a masterpiece when it wasn't one. Chess is an objective game.

Is it possible to win a game if the oponent doesn't play one or more bad moves?

Carlsen also was able to exploit Kramniks errors with a series of very precise moves.

Anonymous seems to be the self-proclaimed expert on 'deep lack of chess understanding'. In fact I think he takes first prize with his insinuation that Humpy is 'an utter disgrace'.

I'd better leave it there before I really express my opinion of his stupid waffle.

qwerty: I didn't post that comment - and "anonymous" didn't even direct it to me specifically, so I don't know why I am mentioned in your post at all.

I fully agree that Kramnik was probably slightly better before he went for that stupid Qb3-a4-a6 tour, and that this blunder was totally uncharacteristic, no matter if it can be blamed on his cold (as Carlsen said) or not. The "normal" result should have been a draw.

How that takes anything away from Carlsen's play though I'm not sure of.

I see now I didn't post _anything_ on Kramnik-Carlsen in this thread... I posted something about "Magnificent Magnus" in another, so I thought you had that in mind, oh well...

btw, Kramnik was probably worse after Qa4? already.

he was actually worse before that. See Mihail Marin's analysis on Chessbase. Kramnik, hard though it is to believe, was positionally outplayed despite his (deservedly) much vaunted mastery of the Nf3 systems. Guess he had a bad day, but Magnus, go man!

Hadn't seen Marin's comments. Interesting, but I don't know if I agree. Carlsen himself thought White was slightly better after 25.Qc3 (but he wasn't sure). See the press conference. Also, his father's blog said "for the first 25+ moves he would happily have accepted a draw offer. But, when it came after 30.Qb5, he decided he was already better due to his more flexible and active pieces and played on." Not that any of that matters for the only relevant point here - Carlsen played a great game, period!

yes indeed, and I also dont think there's huge significance for Kramnik, I mean anybody can have a bad day. It is very refreshing though, that Magnus played so well in one of Kramnik's absolute strengths

Talking about Marin's comments, there's a major bug in his K+P ending analysis posted at ChessBase here: http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=4416 I've got the gap, and a possible Fritz-forensic explanation, in my comments to this item in Susan's blog: http://susanpolgar.blogspot.com/2008/01/strongest-ever.html

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on January 26, 2008 1:17 AM.

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