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Corus 08 r2: Favorites with 1st Move

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Kramnik, Topalov, and Anand will take the white pieces into action in Sunday's second round of the Corus supertournament. The latter two are recovering from losses. Topalov-Ivanchuk is usually a good matchup. van Wely-Polgar promises sharp action. Will Radjabov again risk the King's Indian against Kramnik? He did it here last year and looked to be in a spot of trouble before Kramnik played an inexplicable simplifying line.

Not sure if anyone has mentioned it yet, but Anand-Kramnik takes place in the 13th and final round on Sunday the 27th. (Which, oddly, is the day I arrive in Amsterdam for some work with Garry. Maybe I'll see some of the players at the airport on the way back.) Or, looking at the first-day standings, perhaps the final round matchup of Carlsen-Radjabov will be more important? Nah.

By the way, didn't Anand miss a repetition draw claim against Radjabov in round 1?! The position is identical after black moves 57..Kf6, 59..Kf6, and 63..Ra7 (instead of 63..Ra8). Holy heck. And try out 55.fxg6?!! in Peng Zhaoqin-Caruana, a try for a Halley's Comet endgame of pawn versus two knights. Very tough to win for Black.

Round 2: Anand-Mamedyarov, Kramnik-Radjabov, Topalov-Ivanchuk, Leko-Adams, Gelfand-Aronian, Carlsen-Eljanov, van Wely-Polgar.


Wow, Magnus Carlsen just won his second in a row with a fine squeeze of Eljanov. He's now in the lead with 2/2 along with Aronian, who beat Gelfand with black in attractive style in the Israeli's own pet line of the Semi-Slav. Kasparov is certainly not alone in being very impressed with Carlsen's play so far. "The kid is tough! He outplayed both of his opponents gradually and kept up the pressure." All the other games drawn, assuming Adams doesn't fall asleep against Leko in Q+4p vs Q+3p. Lots of interesting chess today. More tonight.

Well, not much more. As we knew at the time, Gelfand's 29.Rxg6 was a horrible blunder. But he'd already been outplayed out of the opening by Aronian. Kramnik got a tiny plus against Radjabov's King's Indian and parlayed his activity into a worthless extra pawn in R+B vs R+B. He still tortured Radja for a good extra hour though. Speaking of torture, Leko maneuvered around for nearly the full seven hours against Adams trying to make something of his extra pawn in the queen endgame, but it didn't happen.

A Group virgin Eljanov's nerves got the better of him and he traded into a horror show of an endgame against Carlsen. Hard to believe a Grunfeld player would grab with 18..Qxc3 like that. Leko knew better when he was 13 years old, as a 1992 game shows. Still, very nicely done by Carlsen and, to be fair, GM Benjamin evaluated the endgame as "equal" at one point. Ivanchuk played a rare Benoni (rare in elite classical tournaments, at least), and against Topalov no less, one of the few top GMs who has the Benoni in his repertoire for more than desperate occasions. Chucky's odd move order seemed to give White an optimal version but Topalov couldn't prove it.

Anand-Mamedyarov was a similar tale. Black played an unbalanced line but Anand couldn't capitalize. Funny how no matter what Mamedyarov plays with black it always seems to come out looking like a Pirc. Both games were rich and complex draws. That could also be said for van Wely-Polgar, which wasn't the slugfest I expected. White won a pawn and looked in good shape but Polgar is the queen of counterplay. 28..Rf8! was a nice blow to confuse the issue. The Dutchman must have thought victory was in his grasp until 30..Qe2! landed on the board, forcing the draw. Great save.

Down in the C Group, Carlsson-Peng Zhaoqin was an 11-move draw in a book position. Nobody does this sort of thing in the C Group so I wonder illness or something else external was involved. Otherwise, that's a quick way to make sure you aren't invited back. Braun beat Negi with a cute final move. Four players in the C have 2/2 scores. No one in the B does.


Thanks, marca.

Is Topa on way to tournament victory? It always happens when he starts like this.
I think Carlsen may be the star this time.

Aronian has always had a bad record against Gelfand. Actually he lost both his games to him in Mexico last year, but today it was a whole different story...

I always felt Aronian was the true new generation chess player. This is his chance to prove it. Somehow he seems to have a couple of demons deep inside him that surface at times. But this time, he's on song. So far !

"Halley's Comet" - 'goes on for ever'?

Doesn't the 3-move repetition require same position during 3 consecutive moves?

No it doesn't.

Like the other poster said, the 3-move repetition doesn't require that they occur in consecutive moves. Is there a penalty if you ask the arbitrator to check if there was a 3 move repetition and you're wrong?

"Halley's Comet" - 'comes every 90 years'

Who cares what Gasparov thinks about anyways? The guy is too old to play chess and is a total lightweight when it comes to politics. Gassy is history. It's time to forget him and move on folks. It is ironical that he wrote a book called "how life imitates chess" and didn't heed his own advice. Stick to your strengths Gassy, don't make a fool of yourself in Russian politics.

No, Drawcula, there is no penalty. Maybe there should be, but I don't think it's much of an issue anyway. I don't think people often claim repetition when they are not able to do so.

"Halley's Comet" - 'goes on for ever'?

Posted by: g at January 13, 2008 19:20

I suppose Mig meant once in a lifetime as Halley's Comet passes earth every 72 years (assuming I am remebering correctly from my high school astronomy class).

I thought Halley's comet appears every 76 years.

Rarer than Halley's Comet or a pawn-vs.-two-knights endgame is Mig using a supersized font in the Daily Dirt. I hope Carlsen continues to generate colossal Dirt updates.

Because it's once in a lifetime per player. I remember a column referring to 2N vs p as that in an old article in Inside Chess. Accompanied by two examples from the same poor player who failed to win it both times. Argh.

I'm just trying to find a way to avoid posting twice for each round (one discussion, one wrap) or having the discussion for one round stuck in the thread for the previous round. No particular enthusiasm for Magnus implied by the h3 title. That's what the exclam (also rare) was for!

Van Wely could have held on to his advantage if he had played 30.Kb2!

For instance:

30. Kb2! Qg2 31. Rc6+ Kb7 32. Rc7+! Ka6
33. b4! Rxf2+ 34. Kc3 Rc2+ 35. Kd3 e4+ 36. Kd4 Rd2+ 37. Ke5 Qh2+ 38. Qf4 Qh5+
39. Kd6 Qg6+ 40. Kd7 Qh7+ 41. Kc6 Qg6+ 42. Qd6and white wins.

Was Carlsen's game really won when Elianov took on c3? Can't imagine this since he was a pawn down. To me it looked more like a draw.

Eljanov mistake was to play 23...Re4? where the natural 23...Bg7 keeps equality without problems.

There is a penalty for falsly claiming a threefold repetition. The arbiter subtracts 3 minutes from your time, provided you have more than 5 (for this I am not sure) minutes. In the case you have to less time, he adds some minutes to the other player. I suppose this is to avoid the false claiming inorder to calculate when you are in time pressure.

I am not 100% sure about the above exact details, but the idea is that there is some time penalty...

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on January 12, 2008 10:45 PM.

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