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Linares 09 r3: 4 / 2

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Four draws in Linares today, leaving Grischuk and Aronian in the lead and Wang Yue and Radjabov in the cellar with everyone else on even. It was endgame day, with all four games reaching technical positions. Aronian made consistent progress against Radjabov after an unusual opening twist on the Fianchetto vs the King's Indian. It looked like Aronian was getting everything he could want for a superior endgame, but somehow Black's formation seems nearly impossible to break. The knight on c8 holds the b6 pawn and there aren't enough open lines for White's superior forces to do any damage. Chess is hard.

Dominguez tried his luck at beating Anand in nearly the exact same endgame from a Najdorf that Anand should have lost to Peter Leko in Linares last year. As astutely pointed out by Joel Benjamin on Chess.FM, other than the interpolation of ..h5 and Kb1 the position after 18..Nc6 is identical to that game. Leko took his B vs N and 3 vs 2 on the queenside and reached a winning position before falling apart and losing to Anand's sudden runner in the center. Anand decided he now knew it well enough to defend it and/or he didn't credit Dominguez with Leko's endgame proficiency. Whatever his point, he proved it capably with the 45-move draw. Dominguez may have decided an endgame he could play with a tiny plus wasn't a bad choice in a Najdorf against a world champ smarting after a loss.

Wang Yue came close to repeating his Corus win against Carlsen of a month ago when the Norwegian teen blundered a pawn right before the first time control. 40.Rc5+ is just the sort of "stop short" line move that is easy to miss. (Line pieces rarely move toward one another without reaching pawn protection, especially not with a check fork as here.) Black had to capture and lose his a-pawn. Oops. The defensive power of the bishop and the powerfully placed black king gave Carlsen good drawing chances and he made the most of them. GM Benjamin, by then hitting his 7th hour of analysis, found a few close calls, but it looks like Black can always liquidate all the pawns. 50..Kf4! even makes it fairly easy. King power.

Ivanchuk-Grischuk caused bemusement and consternation at the start when Grischuk sank into thought in one of the best-known positions from 2008. The one game Kramnik won against Anand in their world championship match, a queenside demolition job out of the Nimzo-Indian, was followed up to move 19. But it took Grischuk nearly an hour to do it, including an epic think before repeating Anand's 18..c5. We started to wonder if the Linares website had gone down. Ivanchuk, naturally, gave almost all that time back before the first time control. He'd won a pawn but Grischuk exacted compensation in the form of simplification. We didn't think Ivanchuk had many real chances in the Q+R and then the R endgame, but Ivanchuk pressed on to the bitter end, as he does on occasion. It's always nice to see this from a commentator/spectator point of view.

Round 4: Radjabov-Grischuk, Carlsen-Ivanchuk, Anand-Wang Yue, Aronian-Dominguez. This is Wang Yue's first game against Anand. Dominguez beat Aronian at Corus this year.


I'm using IE7 and sometimes the advertisements to the left of the latest entry (or something over there) protrudes a little over the text and blocks some of the leftmost words. A workaround is to click on comments and then whatever it is no longer stretches over that far. Anyway, it's no big deal, and probably you either know about it already or there's just something goofy with my computer, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.

I really enjoy your blog and read every entry.

same problem here

Make that three. It's annoying, but at least there's a workaround.

I think it was Dominguez's first game against Anand too. Interesting that the only chance new players have to play against the WC is in Linares! Is it an indication of how stratified the chess world has become?

Same problem here, the problem seems to be the 'Recent comments' column. If there's a very long word (such as a link to a website) the column is stretched to the right and placed above the main text. Maybe you could somehow force that column to split long words if it is necessary in order to keep the desired column width.

As a test, here's a veryveryveryveryveryveryveryveryveryveryveryveryveryveryveryveryveryveryveryvery long word.

Sorry, the veryveryveryveryveryveryveryveryveryveryveryveryveryveryveryvery
long has to be in the beginning of the post, of course.

Yes, it's one of the unlimited number of things IE doesn't do right. It's partly the column CSS, but it's supposed to force cutoff at the column border, which it does in Firefox and other compliant browsers. Even then it goes outside the background a little all the way to the fixed column width when there's overflow, but at least that's expected behavior and it doesn't run into the main column. I hate testing for IE but I'll take a look. It should parse the 'hidden' and limit to 200 from what I recall.

Okay, I think it's fixedfixedfixedfixedfixedfixedfixedfixedfixedfixed.

hilarious. just hilarious. thanks, mig. We IE users hang our heads in shame -- lol!!!

Wow, that was quick! Thanks a lot :-)

Round 4: Anand did it again ... 1-0 against the (formerly) unbeatable Wang Yue. Maybe Grischuk's black win against Radjabov was even more impressive, given that he was already in time trouble soon after the opening.

Overall, Grischuk is pretty impressive in this tournament. I would love to see him win it.

Grischuk last played in Linares 8 years ago as a 17-year old and finished 2nd! (behind Kasparov) So definitely good to see him here again.

Amazing game from Anand - in what seemed a mild position (to me) there came b5 and suddenly mating threats what not before the poor bishop on c8 brough the farm. Great stuff.

1.e4 Anand rolls out the red carpet for 1.d4 Anand who rocks! 1.e4 + 1.d4 Anand = Rock 'n' Roll!! (rofl!)

What is all this Mamedyarov-Kurnosov nonsense which is filling ICC? that is all the chess world needed now, another stupid computer cheating scandal.

Scandal? Sniff sniff! Tell me more! Quick!

Kurnosov rolled over Shak in a pretty bad way, I would say.

Shak thought so too that is why he accused Kurnosov of using a comp. (so say rumour mills of ICC).

details, jerry, details! what computer cheating allegations? can you please tell us more?

DCP23: This is what I got from one of the Aeroflot participants:
Mamedyarov did actually accuse Kurnosov of cheating. His arguments, basically, are these:

1. enormous strength of play
2. several instances of Kurnosov going out for a smoke.

The arbiters seized and searched Kurnosov's jacket, finding only a pack of cigarettes and a lighter.

I'll post more details when they become available.>
copy of a comment on chessgames.com

To me it seems that Mamedyarov's risky play in a sharp line (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5) horribly backfired. If my memory doesn't betray me, it was theory at least until move 12 - and game over for white at move 21. [the game is presently on at TWIC].
Concerning the scandal, I only saw a post by 'Bjarne' at Susan Polgar's site: "wow, according to some GM kibitzers Mamedyarov accused his opponent of cheating and had left the tourney.".
Chesshire cat, don't (or do) worry - I am pretty sure we will soon read more about it ... a way to put the Aeroflot Open into the spotlight (it is in the shadow of two other events ...) but not what the organizers or anyone else was hoping or waiting for!??

Imo, players who accuse others of cheating without
any proof should be punished.
Very often, it is an act of frustration.

Undetectable cheating? Technology is improving. You'll never know.

The world chess federation should mandate tournament organizers to take some measures so as to bring in confidence in players who can play without the fear of getting cheated.

Following should be addressed.
1. relay (delay)
2. check frequent trips away from board
3. extended absense from board
4. talking with fellow players
5. scan players??

Once you take concrete steps towards this, then you can act against players who accuse wrongly or accuse without evidence. Without that if you punish the accusers, that is not good. It will be like rewarding cheaters and the cheaters will enjoy this type of creating doubts and escaping!

The game as a whole was spectacular (black winning in 21 moves between two strong GM's doesn't happen every day). Yet it didn't contain a single move [maybe excluding the last one] where I (rated 1930) thought "wow, this is incredible ... and hard to find without computer assistance".
So I agree with Steven that Mamedyarov's accusations may well be mostly frustration after losing an important game. Recently, someone else had outed his frustrations by kicking innocent concrete pillars and missing/refusing a doping test in a comparable situation ... .
I am a bit surprised that the arbiters even started an investigation - of course it was wise from Kurnosov to comply as he had (apparently) nothing to hide. But could he be forced to do so?

According to the official page, Mamedyarov is listed as "absent" for the next round, so I guess he was incredibly frustrated or was sanctioned for his unsportsmanlike behavior (if the player doesn't have any proof and hasn't analyzed carefully the game in the aftermath, it does harm the game to accuse a colleague of cheating inmediately after losing).

I saw the game and nothing on it suggests me anything like "cheating"; of course, even if is not common to see Kursunov performing so well (if we consider him as an "underdog"). Coincidentially, this is a year we are not seeing Mamedyarov in the strongest tournaments as the last couple of years, so I guess he is accumulating some rage after all :)

Mamedyarov withdrawn from Aeroflot because opponents cheated!!

unless you have proof, shut the hell up!!!

aronian finally wins! good grief, dominguez though this was the bay of pigs invasion or what? he sure is tough as fidel sans the beard.

Here's the game in question:

Mamedyarov,Shakhriyar - Kurnosov,Igor [D70]
Aeroflot Open 2009 Moscow (6), 22.02.2009
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nb6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Be3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.0-0-0 f5 10.h4 fxe4 11.h5 gxh5 12.d5 Ne5 13.Bh6 Nec4 14.Qg5 Rf7 15.Bxc4 Nxc4 16.Rd4 Qd6 17.Bxg7 Rxg7 18.Qxh5 Qf4+ 19.Kb1 Bf5 20.fxe4 Bg4 21.Nge2 Qd2 0-1

that is not a proof, it is just retelling of what may have transpired. proof would be the accused cheater being caught with the device or communicating with a person who may have employed a device, other than that it is but another accusation and circumstantial evidence which actually will not hold water without physical proof. Is it so extraordinary to go out for a smoke with a coat in a cold moscow? moscow in february s not the same thing as baku in february.

Back to Linares, that's what this thread is supposedly about ... . Yep, it took Aronian 92 moves - but today he was better if not winning throughout most of the game, always one or two pawns up from move 24, never a piece down ,:).
Maybe Mig will still write something about the Mamedyarov case (or the Aeroflot Open in general), but I think everything has been said already concerning cheating accusations.

Are all the actions of the accused is video taped? If organizers had done that, they would have silently verified if anything was wrong and Mamed would have probably continued with the tournament. I don't know.

Player's job is to sit and play. Not thinking about who is cheating or going around with a camera to catch a cheater to come up with the proof. Frequent trips away is good enough to suspect possible foul play I think.

Mamedyarov's letter:

To: The organizer of the AEROFLOT-OPEN tournament
Alexander Grigorievich Bakh

From: GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Explanation of my protest

Dear Alexander Grigorievich,

On 22.09.2009 the game between myself and Igor Kurnosov was played.

During the game my opponent went out of the playing hall after each move, took his coat and withdrew himself on the toilet. After suspicion of unfair play on move 14 I offered a draw, he refused. We quickly played 11 moves, on the 12th move I played a move which confused my opponent. The next moves from him were given as first choice by Rybka, which quickly allowed him to win the game.

Due to this series of suspicions, having to do with the unusual behaviour of my opponent, Igor Kurnosov, I hereby lodge a protest and refuse to continue participation in the tournament.

I hope that this kind of situation will not occur in the future.


GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Without going into the merits of this case I would be quite uncomfortable if my opponent kept wandering out of the playing hall between moves (especially in such a complicated position on the board).

M. Mamedyarov,

There is no proof whatsoever in the article your link is sending us to.
You have a very strange idea of the notion "proof".
When Anna Rudolf was falsely accused of cheating by some unknown latvian GM's, the public chess opinion was siding with her.
I'm curious to see what the websites (chessdom, susan polgar) who overtly defended her will do now...

A 2600 gm refusing a draw from mamedyarov as black that early in the game is pretty suspicious.

I'm sure you're a nice guy, Killian, but that statement sure is cretinous.

killian, you probably think the 9/11 was an inside job too. mamedyarov is god or something that a draw proposition must be accepted? his opponent may well be thinking that if his stronger opponent must be asking for a draw then he must have seen that he has got problems to solve at the table and which may have provided him with the added impetus to continue for a win.

Mmmm , not at all , i wouldnt accept the draw on that position either .
Of course i would be outplayed later but for a confident GM it is not an impossible task.
There is always a chance that his oponent did that on purpose to play with Mamedyarovs head , i call that the ¨russian manouver¨, :)
On the other hand when a player that never was part of scandals feels so strongly about something like this , it makes you think .

SORRY i started writing before Mig´s post.

Congrats to Aronian and Grischuk for their victories and being leading the tournament. I am especially pleased to see Grischuk performing so well (hopefully it won't happen like Mexico 2007 when he was fantastic in the first part and collapsed at the end). He is a extremely talented player who hasn't lived up to the expectations he brought years ago ... and my guess is that he is not worried about that. But in terms of raw talent and potential, he is certainly not inferior to higher rated players like Radjabov, Jakovenko, Leko, or even Aronian, for example.

So, it would be nice to see Grischuk contending for first place in a super tournament. He doesn't receive many invitations and the last and only chance I remember he was close to winning a elite event was in Corus more than 6 years ago (the year Bareev won).

"He [Grischuk] is a extremely talented player who hasn't lived up to the expectations he brought years ago ... and my guess is that he is not worried about that."
It may be partly his own fault or choice, because he devoted much time to poker rather than chess - some people state that similar skills are required for both, I cannot comment on that ... . Maybe this is implicit in the last part of Sandorchess's sentence.
And with regard to invitations, it may be a chicken and egg question. Did he switch to poker because he doesn't receive enough chess invitations, or did he receive less invitations because some organizers do not consider him a serious full-time player any more??

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on February 22, 2009 12:07 AM.

    Kamsky-Topalov g3-4: Even at the Half was the previous entry in this blog.

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