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Corus 08 r8: Anand Rising

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And Topalov falling, again. The heavyweight matchup of the round was Anand-Topalov, but the world champ made Topalov look like a lightweight in this one. Anand locked things up on the queenside against the Najdorf and then went to work smashing through on the kingside. This should looks nicer than the crazed positions we're used to with both sides throwing their pawns forward. And it's more active than the positional lines white has been trying lately with kingside castling. It certainly looked easy, whatever it was. Topalov had no counterplay at all, which is really saying something. So not only is Anand finally at a plus score, but he's playing well, too. Topalov drops back to -1, although it's fair to mention that he may have been a little distracted by the shenanigans going on with his second and his manager during the round. (Please keep those comments to the dedicated thread. Thanks.)

That was the only decisive game of the day in the A Group. Polgar found a way to escape Kramnik's death ray. She simplified while still keeping active play for her heavy pieces. Then she bailed into a drawn rook endgame down a pawn. Not pretty, but considering Kramnik's record in these Catalan lines any draw is a good draw. Carlsen-Gelfand was the last game to finish. The leader tried a little extra in a pawn-up endgame against the tail-ender but there wasn't much there. Mamedyarov-Aronian built up and then fizzled. Ivanchuk played another very provocative line with black against Radjabov. It looks diseased, as do so many other Caro-Kann positions. But if Karpov played it, you know it can't be unsound. Radjabov heaved some pieces around but decided a repetition was best policy. Eljanov-Adams went just 20 moves. Leko hunted down van Wely's bishop pair and they drew on move 27. Carlsen still leads by a half point ahead of Kramnik and Aronian with five rounds to play. Tomorrow is an off day.

It was a great day for Brooklyn, as both Caruana and Krush won. Irina's win was a spectacular sacrificial stomp of Carlsson, who seems be something of a sac magnet. Caruana's win came against C Group co-leader Braun, so he moves into clear first again. Hou Yifan held on to draw in a wild game against Nepomniachtchi.


Anand rising, Topalov falling and Carlsen still at the leading position. Very impressive for such a young player.

Another remarkable event took place in the B group:
Ivan Cheparinov lost his game against Nigel Short for refusing to shake the Brit’s hand.

After 8 rounds, Negi is the only player from all three groups to not have even a single draw. He is +5-3 and on 3rd place!

I don't get why Kramnik waited for the black K to go to g6 before threatening black's a pawn. Shouldn't he play Ra3 directly in response to black's ...Rd2?

"B Group co-leader Braun"

It's actually C Group.

It just wasn't Topalov getting distracted - Anand in the commentary mentions that he got "disoriented" by the fracas and played a safe move (12.0-0-0) so that he could go and have a look himself!

..."wild game" against Negpmniachtchi? That goes without saying.

Heh. I nominate "sac magnet" for most amusing phrase of the day.

A great game by Anand and fitting revenge for his loss in Corus last year when he resigned, perhaps a bit prematurely, in a completely passive position.

Hope he exacts revenge against Kramnik too who squeezed him in an exquisite game in Corus 2007.

Yes, seems like it was a great game by Anand. Too bad it's only his first convincing win -- I hope we'll see more soon.

Do any of the chess sites offer move playthrough with light comments?

Interesting to see which players have been able to actually get some wins on the board:

3 wins
Carlsen, Aronian

2 wins
Kramnik, Anand, Radjabov, Topalov

1 Win
Mamedyrov, Van Wely, Polgar

Couldn't Magnus have gone on playing, letting Gelfand loose on time, considering that Boris had 2 minutes left on the clock and Magnus 65 minutes?
Or would that have been showing bad sportsmanship?

Gelfand had 32 minutes.

According to http://coruschess.com/livegames.php
Gelfand had 2 minutes. Have I missed something?

Yep. A silly bug in the software.


chessdom.com has selected games each round annotated by GMs

this tournament has shown good triumphing over evil: first aronian beats radjabov, then anand beats topalov... now short looks much better agains cheparinov. although hard to judge that last one (re: good vs evil) - cheparinov refusing to shake hands was unethical, but it's not like short accusing topalov of cheating was cool either.

It's nothing short of amazing how often in her career Polgar has managed to wiggle her way out at the very last moment, when pushed against the ropes in her games against Kramnik.

Nice bit of home preparation by Topalov. In fact, perhaps the game of the tournament so far. Kramnik was overwhelmed by the White initiative.

On balance, I'm sure that Danailov is happy with the results of his "Handshake Gambit", but in the end, this was about Topalov playing a strong game of chess. Will the position after White's move 12 be a new Tabiya for the 2700s to debate at length?

Mig the line played by Radjabov in the caro has been known to give white zilch for quite a time - for white to play it at this level is virtually an invitation to draw

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on January 20, 2008 12:40 PM.

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