Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Corus 08 r7: Full of Fight

| Permalink | 26 comments

Could it have been thoughts of the unparalleled fighting spirit of Bobby Fischer that kept all the Corus players at their boards for so long today? It was a brutal and exciting round of uncompromising battles on every single board. After three hours all 14 players were still slugging it out. Not every game was fascinating but they all had points of interest.

Aronian bounced back with an excellent game to swap places with Radjabov in the standings. Radjabov went with the Benoni directly, the third we've seen in this event, surprisingly. The marvelously loopy move 13..Bd3 wasn't enough to shake White's advantage. The conventional wisdom is that the problem with the Benoni at the top level is that White doesn't have to do anything special to get a sizable plus. Black has to perform near miracles to gain his essential counterplay. Radjabov failed to part the waters in this one and Aronian finished cleanly with a lot of tactical subtext. Some may also find joy in Radjabov getting stuffed by an Armenian after he made scurrilous comments about beating the Armenian "enemies" at the Euro teams. (Not the first time he said such things to the press, I hear. Radjabov's response to his comments being relayed to the chess press didn't exactly deny that he made them.) Many of the top players watching the game on the ICC expressed satisfaction with Aronian's win for exactly this reason.

Judit Polgar did everything right against Vishy Anand's Sicilian except win the game. She built up a solid advantage by move 26. With 27.Ra1 the black a-pawn is falling and Anand's position would be in serious trouble. Instead Polgar lost the thread completely. She "won" two rooks for the queen but apparently misevaluated the resulting position. Anand used the reprieve to give a demonstration of the well-known attacking power of queen and knight. A tragic missed opportunity for Polgar. For Anand it shows you need a little luck when you're not in good form. Will this be enough to get him rolling now that he's back on an even score?

The other five games were drawn. Carlsen fended off Topalov in a full-bodied Ruy Lopez struggle. Topalov pushed to the bitter end as he always does and he threatened some very pretty attacking tricks in an endgame that had looked rather sterile. The computers went ping at move 40, with some afritzionados saying Carlsen had "blundered" with 40..Nd2 instead of 40..Nf6. Meh. 41.Bd5 was the touted reply, and that would definitely have made things much tougher for Black than 41.b3. Topalov kept trying, tossing his a-pawn and looking for mating chances with his king, but it just wasn't there. So Carlsen is still in clear first place with Aronian and Kramnik lurking a half-point back. Radjabov is the only other player on a plus score.

Ivanchuk got enough against Kramnik's Petroff to warrant playing on for a while, but Black never looked in real trouble. At least Kramnik made it look like he was working instead of making it look routine, like most of his Petroff draws. Ivanchuk continues to play into his opponents' strengths. This line was analyzed deeply after game one of the 2004 Kramnik-Leko WCh match. Adams-Mamedyarov was a topsy-turvy affair that confused just about every kibitzer. Black would have had a strong initiative with 38..d5 but couldn't resist the tempting 38..f3 39.Rg1 Rg4!? Great stuff, especially in time trouble, but not enough to win. Suddenly White had pressure on the g-file himself and the battle raged on back and forth for another 20 moves before they drew with bare kings. Great chess.

After recovering from a poor opening Gelfand nursed an edge against Leko for a long time but couldn't find a win in a blocked position. Eljanov and van Wely also wore out there seats today. The Ukrainian tail-ender mangled a balanced endgame in time trouble and should have lost. Then we had our second big theoretical rook endgame, the unusual a and h pawns, which I compared on Chess.FM to a 7-10 split in bowling. This is one of those endgames in which tablebases make fools of humans. Did you know that van Wely's natural 52..Kf7 is a draw while 52..Kf8 53.Rxb6 is a win? Go figure. Eljanov defended flawlessly, making quite a few only moves to save his bacon. Very impressive. I had thought that the early g4 lunge had been played in just about every variation of the Semi-Slav but apparently it was new here. Eljanov seems fond of it in just about every opening though.

Over in the B Group Movsesian beat Stellwagen to join Bacrot in the lead with 5/7. Stellwagen was just holding his defense together when he hung his rook to a two-mover. Ouch. Koneru beat Krasenkow in a nice game but Harikrishna failed to win B+R vs R against Nepomniachtchi. A win would have meant a 4/4 day for India since Negi beat Krush in the C. Hou Yifan took another scalp, beating Smeets with black in the French, an opening that has been MIA for a while at the top level. Her exchange sac was followed up with some pretty knight moves and then capable technique to reel in the full point. The final move will end up in a beginning tactics book in the "skewer" chapter. Negi's 30.Rf6 had a nice Fischer-Benko '63 flavor to it, another incidental tribute. This is the second Corus game Irina has been bludgeoned by kingside sacrifices. Caruan and Braun are tied for first in the C Group after Grivas hammered Braun flat in a fun game to play through -- if you aren't named Arik Braun.

The "Honorary" Group started play today with former Wijk winners Korchnoi, Timman, Ljubojevic, and Portisch playing. The veterans showed some fighting spirit as well on this violent day. Korchnoi beat Portisch with a tactical flourish and Timman outplayed Ljubo on the black side of, drumroll please, another Benoni. I wasn't sure I'd ever need a 'Portisch' tag but I'm glad I do!


Well, it was a great day for chess as Mig says. I don't really like to comment on Radja's hostile rants and out of chess board political issues of these two unfortunate countries which is mainly and intentionally created by soviet system, but I can't deny that Aronian's win was something special for Armenian chess. Don't forget that he has another derby tomorrow, but this time against a much nicer player who is Shakh Mamedyarov.
I hope for a great game for both of them.

if you happen to know can you post who the "seconds" are of the group A players. thanks

Negi is still at zero draws after seven rounds - good for him!

I am really surprised at all the bashing Radjabov still receives for his comment about Armenians. I think you Americans are too naïve about the strong feelings a war brings up in people.

Armenia and Azerbaijan has an ongoing war with about 16000 casualties in total. Radjabov grew up with this war. Of course he knows a lot of people that are seriously affected by this war. Is it really so surprising that some harsh comments about the other part emerges? In general the chess players from these countries behave and treat each other with respect.

When I grew up here in Norway it was not unusual to hear hateful comments about Germans. Particularly from older people. Nobody ever lifted an eyebrow to that. It was first in the 90ies that these comments got very rare. That means it took almost 50 years for these wounds to more or less heal! Please don’t get me wrong. I don’t think this behavior should be encouraged, and I also have German friends. My mother was born in 1949. She told me that during the 16 years she lived at home the whole house used to wake up in the middle of the night from the crying and screaming of my grandfather. He participated in the war against Germany, and was plagued for the rest of his life from terrible nightmares. Would I be surprised if I heard hateful comments about Germans from him? I didn’t though, and I respect him for that.

I once met a Chilean man that was tortured under Pinochet. It was terrible to observe the behavior of this guy when he barely touched this subject. He suddenly started shaking and sweating and all his confidence was immediately swept away. Was it surprising when he expressed hateful feelings towards other Chileans that supported Pinochet? Or when he talked bad about the Americans that helped Pinochet take Chile by a military coup?

Do you remember all the rash comments from Americans that were made about Muslims and Islam after the 2001 terror attack?

I don’t think that that this should be encouraged, but please try to understand why these comments were made. Radjabov, Aronian, Akopian and Mamedyarov are very entertaining chessplayers. I am sure they have all seen a lot that nobody here should envy them. Enjoy their chess!


This Armenia-Azeri thing is small change compared to India-Pakistan, especially during a cricket series.

"..a 4/4 day for India since Negi beat Krush in the C"

Make that 5/5 after the Indian cricket team spanked the Aussies inside 4 days at Perth..


So you compare Armenians with nazi-Germans, the regime of Pinochet or muslim terrorists...
which leads to the conclusion that you're an azeri
yourself (or at least a muslim, sympathizing with your coreligionists).
You don't seem to understand that Radja's comments
have at least as much to do with his personal character as with historical circumstances.
You don't seem to understand that general (and GM)
sympathy for Aronian results from the fact that the latter is a much nicer person than mister HyperEgo Radjabov the Conqueror, and not from partiality in the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict (not an ongoing war !).
So it would be even much more logical and understandable (following your logic) if Aronian or another Armenian GM starts ranting and making hateful comments against Turkish chess players, because the Turks slaughtered 800.000 or so Armenians ; or jewish Grandmasters against Germans and so on... ?

Sorry, my mistake about you being an Azeri (Norway !), but nevertheless your logic doesn't make sense to me.

Those who still doubt whether e4 is a killer, read this: Short-Cheparinov: 1.e4 c5 1-0 according to the corus site...

Chepainov just lost to Short because he didn't want to shake hands twice. Short claimed it and the arbiters ruled 1-0!!

I knew a girl named Suzzy, she used to scream nonstop like you until she got laid, and now she doesn't even talk anymore.

"Chepainov just lost to Short because he didn't want to shake hands twice."

I agree with Cheparinov. Once should be enough.

Cheparinov played the handshake-gambit and lost miserably.

Re Cheparinov's loss against Short: the first new (?) fide rule that actually makes sense.

Time for Danailov to start teaching his puppets to behave normally.

Can someone explain what happened with Short and Cheparinov? Why do they have to shake twice, and why did Chep refuse?

The new Elista!!!! http://www.chessdom.com/corus-chess-2008/short-cheparinov-live

So Short is not right and just making faces. He is short of FODE rules this time

Having read the report on chessbase I - mirabile dictu - agree with Danailov's protest. After the arbiter informed Cheparinov of the relevant rules, Cheparinov was willing to shake hands (cheap principles, ok, but that's not the point) and the game could have been played. As a "calculated insult" what happened isn't big enough a deal to declare the game a loss. It's not like he called him "Nosher".

Strictly speaking, Short did not act according to the Rule book, so there might be issues about the forfeited point, but personally I feel no sympathy to Cheparinov (and Danailov, which is far more to the point!) in this case. It is inconceivable that Danailov, Topalov, or Cheparinov could be unaware of the new FIDE policy on handshakes - so the incident was clearly a deliberate and calculated insult. The "Danailov's team" had their share of hairs split in their favor (e.g., the infamous point in Game 5 in Elista) - let them now taste their own medicine. And we'll see what is going to happen on Tuesday when Kramnik and Topalov face each other in Group A.

I fully agree! Don't start with the nonsense in the first place. Apparently Danailov hasn't learned anything and continues to spoil the atmosphere of professional chess with his childlike behaviour.

It's too bad for Topalov and Cheparionov that they involve themselves with Danailov. I have experienced Topalov myself during a Linares tournament and he is a very amicable and friendly person. But apparently he is unable to detach himself from this man.

Excellent decison to forfeit Cheparinov - although it would not have made any difference to the result of the later Shirov-Kasparov encounters this ruling would have saved a lot of energy! It is pathetic not to shake hands.

Looks like Topalov's gang is having a bad day today, Topalov lost to Anand and Cheparinov lost to Short because he refused to shake hands. I have never saw a grandmaster lose in one move before.

Anyway, I'm glad that Topalov lost because I hate him!

syntax is important for semantics! :o)

"he denied to shake hands twice" is ambigous at best.

"he twice denied to shake hands" expresses what really happened, according to the reports.

I don't even know who to dislike more here: The guy who doesn't want to shake hands until the arbiter tells him to? Or the guy who is famous for generously dishing out insults in his writing, and who studied the rules carefully to makes sure that if someone ever refuses to shake hands with him, he can claim a win?

I'd say Short won this game on better home preparation. It probably annoys him that he spent
a White on it, though.

I'm just very happy I'm not a chess arbiter anymore!

I like the Bulgarian complaint that Short insulted them 'gravelly'.

Shurely they must have meant 'in his usual poncy, squeaky, voice', mustn't they?

Bondegnasker: Well said!

Twitter Updates

    Follow me on Twitter



    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on January 19, 2008 10:02 PM.

    Corus 08 r6: Mighty Magnus was the previous entry in this blog.

    Taking Shorthand is the next entry in this blog.

    Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.