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Reappearing Moro Leads Biel

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Moro we missed you! After absenting himself from classical chess since Corus, Russia's mercurial Alexander Morozevich showed no rust in starting off with 2/2 in Biel. He outdueled countryman Alekseev in a typically insane Moro game in the first, finishing off with a lovely offensive king march. In the second round he was pressuring Gelfand in an endgame when the Israeli blundered a piece, abruptly ending the game. Those were also the only two decisive games in the first two rounds. Morozevich drew with black against Vachier-Lagrave in the third while Ivanchuk beat Caruana to move into clear second place.

In the Oldies But Goodies Dept. it was interesting to see two of the wins coming in archaic king's pawn openings, though they can't exactly be credited for the full points. Morozevich couldn't stand to see Gelfand's Petroff and went with 2.Bc4. Ivanchuk tested Caruana in a Four Knights that's older than its appearance in Tarrasch-Marshall. Caruana sacrificed a pawn but got into trouble with White's quick play on the g-file.


Moro was great in his opening game. I love the final Rh7! which he would have had to see several moves in advance. Lets see what he does in this tournament. So far 2.5/3.

Amazing how little interest this Biel tournament is generating.

Regardless what Moro does, it means talk about Biel being weak. Still it's much stronger than Dortmund was last year, and in 2006 he won 1.5 ahead of Radjabov and Carlsen. If he could play as well in other cities than Biel he could soon be World Champion.

Moro's Bishops Opening was nice to see, and he could have gotten more out of it than he did. Gelfand equalized but promply hung a piece.

"Amazing how little interest this Biel tournament is generating."

Chess fans also require a rest day from time to time :)

Well said, mishanp. I just checked the 2009 archives of this blog: on top of the 'usual diet' (Corus, Linares, MTel, Amber, Dortmund) we had the following major events: Kamsky-Topalov, FIDE GP Nalchik, US Championship [arguably this belongs in the list only for Americans], new strong tournaments Bazna and San Sebastian. Is it just my impression that this is an unusual 'overkill' - if not for some players (Ivanchuk!!?) then for fans?

Another aspect of Biel is that it didn't have major surprises that far: Morozevich hasn't crushed the event yet, despite his strong start. And the 'newcomers' or 'rare birds at this level' (Alekseev, Caruana, Vachier-Lagrave) have performed roughly as expected. Maybe things would be different if Caruana had lost his game against Gelfand and was now 'solidly' on the bottom of the table with 0.5/3?

Final aspect: After his preview, Mig apparently had limited time to cover the event - so there are no 'funny Mig quotes' to comment on ,:).

With Kamsky, Nakamura, Onischuk, Shulman, Benjamin and Christiansen how COULD ANYONE say it is for Americans only? Particularly with how good the live coverage was from GM Emil Sutovsky.

It was a stronger event than alot of the ones we see getting coverage.

I wrote 'arguably' and 'belongs in THIS list'. All I meant to say is that it was, altogether, weaker than the other events I mentioned, and several ones I didn't mention (Poikovsky, Aeroflot Open) - also the European championship had a higher density of players rated 2600-2700 (FIDE, not USCF).
On the other hand, I do not deny that the quality of venue and Internet coverage 'compensated' for the weaker field and made the event interesting also for non-Americans.

Thomas, you need to be more accurate when quoting yourself and other people:

In your last post you said: I wrote 'arguably' and 'belongs in THIS list'.

However, what you actually said was "...arguably this belongs in the list only for Americans..."

Do you agree that is what you actually said? If you agree, do you notice the difference? What you said you wrote and what you actually wrote are not the same thing. Different words, different placement of those words, different use of capitalization.

You could have trouble in the future trying to persuade people to take you seriously if they can't rely on the accuracy of your quoted words.

I hope you don't attack me for pointing this out.

You are formally correct, Luke, but I still consider this nitpicking. Better might have been if I had written 'belongs in the [THIS] list', but I guess it is, in any case, clear what I want(ed) to say ... .

Thomas -

I understand what you were attempting to say when you misquoted yourself.

The reason I mentioned it is because I don't have the time to go back and check every quote you or someone else posts to see if the text inside the quotation marks matches up with the original text. I tend to take you at your word, but if your quoted text is not accurately copied, it becomes difficult to do that.

That is not nitpicking, Thomas.

The Mig rating issue again! The Dirt has successfully invented perpetual motion.

Thomas has a lot of gall, accusing other people of nitpicking. He's the king of negativity and nitpicking on this blog!

Much more interesting (and on-topic) than Mig's rating: Does anyone understand what's going on in Caruana-Morozevich (presently move 48)? To me it looks like "amazingly creative self-destruction" by Moro, but of course I could miss something.

Can somebody kindly post the pgn moves of Caruana vs Moro?

Thnx in advance

Caruna's 48.Bg4! was really nice. All of his pieces are hitting Black's pawn on f5. I predict that Morozevich will lose quickly.

[Event "42nd Int'l Chess Festiva"]
[Site "Biel/Switzerland"]
[Date "2009.07.23"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Fabiano Caruana"]
[Black "Alexander Morozevich"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO "D87"]
[Annotator "Robot 3"]
[PlyCount "96"]
[EventDate "2009.??.??"]
[TimeControl "40/7200:20/3600:1800"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Bc4 c5 8.
Ne2 O-O 9. O-O Nc6 10. Be3 Qc7 11. Rc1 Rd8 12. Bf4 Be5 13. Bg3 Bxg3 14. fxg3
Rf8 15. h3 Na5 16. Bd3 e5 17. Qd2 Qe7 18. g4 Bd7 19. d5 c4 20. Bc2 f6 21. Ng3
b6 22. Bd1 Nb7 23. Be2 Nd6 24. Rf2 Rac8 25. Rcf1 Kg7 26. Qe3 h6 27. Rb1 Rc5 28.
Bd1 Ra5 29. Qd2 Be8 30. Be2 Qc7 31. Rbf1 Rf7 32. h4 Qe7 33. Qc2 b5 34. Qb1 Qd8
35. Bd1 Qb6 36. Kh2 Qc5 37. Qc1 Ra6 38. Qd2 Rb6 39. Bc2 Rbb7 40. Qc1 a5 41. a3
Rb8 42. Bd1 Bd7 43. Be2 Rh8 44. Qa1 h5 45. gxh5 f5 46. exf5 gxf5 47. Qb1 Qe3
48. Bg4 Qd3 *

Moro probably should have played 47...Rhf8 instead of handing the game over to Caruana with 47...Qe3?

Fabulous fabiano just took out Moro in a nice game.

Such things happen when you overpress, great game by Moro up until the blunder. Caruana would have been happy with a draw but finished nicely when given the chance.

Morozevich's h5/f5 attack looked strong. Probably he missed Caruana's highly tactical defense. Qb1 was cool enough, and Bg4 even topped it. Well done!

Yes, 47.-Rhf8 was certainly better, but still I find it hard to believe that Moro's attack was entirely sound - easy to say in hindsight, but I expressed doubts already during the game ,:). Was he overconfident? Did he underestimate his opponent? Did he forget that a draw is also a legitimate result?
@gg (referring to your first comment in this thread): With all due respect for his creative play, games like this one are probably the reason why Moro isn't world champion, never came really close ... and I guess doesn't care too much anyway.

I wouldn't criticise Morozevich for today's game (except perhaps for the human way in which he made a series of bad moves as soon as Caruana turned the table). He always presses, often even from equal or worse positions - and he did manage to get an edge just before the time control.

Many players would have cracked, but that game demonstrated two of the things mentioned in the Chesspro article:

1) Caruana doesn't let a loss (here, against Ivanchuk) get him down.

2) his incredible powers of concentration. He could easily have just lost the plot when he realised there were no active moves that didn't worsen his position - but he just kept everything together and waited. And then pounced.

It reminded me of the first game where he really impressed me - with black against Adams (who I was rooting for) at the Olympiad: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1521070

Adams was pressing and had his usual positional bind, but Caruana just waited calmly and then came up with a perfectly calculated counter attack. Adams did nothing wrong from that point but had no chance.

Carslen and Caruana - the two C's - to become the next two great rivals for the World Championship? :)

For a particular example of Caruana's sang-froid, I would have been very tempted to lash out with the Rook sacrifice 43.Rxf6!?? Rxf6 44.Rxf6 Kxf6 45.Qxh6, intending 46.g5+, 47/8. Qxg6, and a later Nf5. Is it rubbish?---I haven't put an engine to it.

"games like this one are probably the reason why Moro isn't world champion"

Yes, and apart from that he would maybe also be seen as a better player if he had a style that made him draw eight games and win two in Biel rather than win seven and blunder away two losses as the last time he won. But such extreme things happen rarely anyway.

Gosh, what an interesting game by Caruana and Moro. Moro played his usual amazingly innovative brand of chess, but just seemed to overlook a couple of crucial tactical blows towards the end. He seems to get tired towards the end of a game more so than his age would lead one to expect. Really well held and played by Caruana. Not many people can play like Moro does and expect not to lose the odd game (after all, there can only be one Tal!). However when he is in form, he is a treat to watch.

Yes, it's probably rubbish: 43.Rxf6!?? Rxf6 44.Rxf6 Kxf6 45.Qxh6 Qxa3 46.g5+ Ke7 47.Qxg6 Kd8 48.Qf6+ Kc7 49.Qxe5 Qc1 50.Bf3 b4 51.cxb4 axb4 52.Nf5 Bxf5 53.exf5 Re8 54.Qg7+ Kd8 55.Qf6+ Kd7 56.Qg7+ Re7 which looks winning for Black.

With +7-2, Moro would have been second at the San Luis WCh tournament, and first in Mexico ... . But as you said, he doesn't have such an extreme result in every tournament.

Two more remarks:
1) At Biel 2006, Moro's two losses were [also] against a (then) 16-year old promising talent, a certain Magnus Carlsen. Coincidence?
2) As your remark on the +2=8 player might refer to Kramnik, Vlad's loss against Morozevich in Mexico basically deprived him of his chances to win the tournament. Coincidence?

And BTW, before I am (again) accused of negativity: IMO, there is nothing at all wrong with a player who is not quite strong enough (or rather: not consistent enough) to become world champion. Even Tal held the title just for one year ... which doesn't affect his legacy.

Please Thomas, spare at least Tal from your meaningless and inane meanderings.


Thomas -

Do you know what a non sequitur is? Here is the definition:


And here is an actual example from your last posting:

"IMO, there is nothing at all wrong with a player who is not quite strong enough (or rather: not consistent enough) to become world champion. Even Tal held the title just for one year ... which doesn't affect his legacy."

Your first sentence is about a player who isn't strong enough or consistent enough to be World Champion.

Your second sentence then uses a World Champion as an example ("Even Tal...")

Do you see the non sequitur? If not, you must be very tired and need to go to sleep.

Fabiano Caruana played a beautiful game against Moro. He's getting stronger every day. :)

[Event "42nd Int'l Chess Festiva"]
[Site "Biel/Switzerland"]
[Date "2009.07.23"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Fabiano Caruana"]
[Black "Alexander Morozevich"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D87"]
[Annotator "Robot 3"]
[PlyCount "117"]
[EventDate "2009.??.??"]
[TimeControl "40/7200:20/3600:1800"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Bc4 c5 8.
Ne2 O-O 9. O-O Nc6 10. Be3 Qc7 11. Rc1 Rd8 12. Bf4 Be5 13. Bg3 Bxg3 14. fxg3
Rf8 15. h3 Na5 16. Bd3 e5 17. Qd2 Qe7 18. g4 Bd7 19. d5 c4 20. Bc2 f6 21. Ng3
b6 22. Bd1 Nb7 23. Be2 Nd6 24. Rf2 Rac8 25. Rcf1 Kg7 26. Qe3 h6 27. Rb1 Rc5 28.
Bd1 Ra5 29. Qd2 Be8 30. Be2 Qc7 31. Rbf1 Rf7 32. h4 Qe7 33. Qc2 b5 34. Qb1 Qd8
35. Bd1 Qb6 36. Kh2 Qc5 37. Qc1 Ra6 38. Qd2 Rb6 39. Bc2 Rbb7 40. Qc1 a5 41. a3
Rb8 42. Bd1 Bd7 43. Be2 Rh8 44. Qa1 h5 45. gxh5 f5 46. exf5 gxf5 47. Qb1 Qe3
48. Bg4 Qd3 49. Qe1 Re8 50. Rf3 Qxd5 51. Bxf5 e4 52. Bxe4 Qe5 53. h6+ Kf8 54.
Rxf7+ Nxf7 55. Qf2 Re7 56. Bg6 Be8 57. Qf6 Qxf6 58. Rxf6 Kg8 59. Nf5 1-0

Kind of slow Inky. We've been discussing this game for hours and now you belatedly show up talking like you've got something new for us to see.

Nice game that one against Adams , mishamp, apparently being young and having a lot of patience is the trend with this wonder kids.

Something weird is happening. I'm agreeing with Luke.
It must be a portent. Abandon hope.

Why all this dumping on Thomas for his example (i.e. Tal)?

I don't see anything wrong with pointing to players (Tal, Euwe, Smyslov, Ponomariov, Kazimzhinov, Khalifman) who held the world title briefly using them as examples of erratic players "on the bubble" who have streaks of good results but not the same type of aura as Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Botvinnik, Fischer or Karpov.

Please remember the # 1 debating principle -- charity. Charity requires that respondents interpret posts in the most favorable light to the poster, not nit-pick.

I knew that, Luke...I just wanted to announce for all the world to see that my guy, Fabiano is wonderful and will be World Champion one day.

I'm allowed to brag. I've known him since he was a little kid. Now he's a big kid. :)

And, the entire game score had not been posted before. Unlike Mig, I read all the comments.

Ponomariov, Kazimzhinov, and Khalifman do not at all belong with Tal, Euwe, and Smyslov.

Let me rephrase my last closing sentences (indeed it was already late in my time zone when I posted. Two options:
1) Second-last sentence should read: "... not quite strong enough (or rather: not consistent enough) to become world champion [then adding] and stay at the absolute top for many years", or
2) last sentence: And Tal did win the title, but lost it (in the rematch) after just one year.

"Legacy" is, at least to some extent, a different story. Here Tal may well score higher than Petrosian (WCh 1963-1969), at least more of his games are likely to be remembered. He is certainly ahead of Ponomariov, Kazimdzhanov and Khalifman.

Ponomariov, Kazimdzhanov and Khalifman , with all due respect , can't be compared at all to Tal or other World Champions of the old times ..
When FIDE started to organize World Championships in Circus Barnum -Style some aberrations like the 3 mentioned above named " World Champions " happened...

The sequence should be ( last ones ):

Karpov-Kasparov -Kramink ( who beated Garry ) - Anand( who beated Kramnik )

Today Morozevich didn't take excessive risks, neither did Ivanchuk.

However, when stuff like that happens, the onus is squarely on whoever played white.

They've taken an extra day- off...

I'm really not certain the point which you are trying to make, except that we should somehow use Moro as a kind of barometer... Are you suggesting that Caruana is the next Carlsen just because Moro lost to him at Biel 2009 as he did to Carlsen at Biel 2006? I would attribute this to coincidence rather than something mystical which is what you appear to be suggesting.

Correct. While Kazimdzhanov, Khalifman, and Ponomariov are all outstanding GMs, to acknowledge them as world champions is a real stretch, despite their ability and, yes, luck in winning their respective FIDE circus. The true lineage of World Chess Champions is: Steinitz - Lasker - Capablanca - Alekhine - Euwe - Alekhine - Botvinnik - Smyslov - Botvinnik - Tal - Botvinnik - Petrosian - Spassky - Fischer - Karpov - Kasparov - Kramnik - Anand

I agree and my guess is that most people would. It's interesting to me how Topa's San Luis win has lost so much lustre because of his defeat by Kramnik in Elista.

I deliberately left things open, so anyone can form and give his own opinion or assessment ... . I see three possibilities:

1) Indeed it is just coincidence.
2) As you suggested, Moro is a barometer, and Caruana will soon enter at least the top 10.
3) Moro tends to be overly confident against young prodigies and underestimates their defensive and counter-attacking abilities and resources. Conversely, "C&C" just remain cool under pressure.

I am personally leaning towards option 3) - which wouldn't rule out 2). Of course, three games is not a large sample. And I didn't have a thorough look at Moro's losses against Carlsen (both games have more than 20 pages comments on chessgames.com) to see if there are other parallels.

BTW, it would be mystical indeed to suggest that K (Korchnoi, Karpov, Kasparov, Kramnik) will be replaced by C (Carlsen, Caruana, Cheparinov?).

"It's interesting to me how Topa's San Luis win has lost so much lustre because of his defeat by Kramnik in Elista."

You may have just woken up Manu with that statement. You know, Topalov got cheated by Kramnik and his toilet.

Karjakin will have to be involved! It's well over a hundred years since we've had a World Championship match when neither participant had a 'K' in their name :-) Note Anand v Topa wont happen for the same reason !!!

HiKaru NaKamura will fit the K-bill nicely.

Yep, Anand should play Kamsky after all, and Kasim's and Khalif's title gain credibility. But one has to look carefully to find the right letter in Spassky vs. Fischer ... .

Now the serious part: I also wondered where to put Topalov in relation to Harry's and Jim's lists - both seem to be strictly attached to the match tradition. "As everyone knows", I am not a fan of Topalov, but at the very least I would put him ahead of various knockout champions - because unlike those players, he also had major successes at other top occasions.
And where would Anand be if he hadn't "confirmed" his first knockout title? Can a 'wrong system' (I would agree on this point) suddenly be right because the 'right' player wins? Anand was "right" for the same reason as Topalov!?

San Luis 2005 can never be regarded as legitimate WC because Kramnik was not in participation.

Personally, I don't regard tournaments as legitimate determiners of WC's. Maybe the Hague in 1948 could be legit, because of Alekhine's death and the fact that it was a multi-round round-robin (series of mini-matches). I believe in the traditional "lineage" of matches. So, to me Kramnik was WC from 2000-2008 and Anand 2008-? I still think Kramnik is a coward for refusing a return match to Garry Kimovich.

With respect, noyb, every sentence of that post has been debated to death here.

Caruana found 46... Qf1!

According my PGM he has drawing chances...

What a stupid person you are.

Manu it You who are Stupid if you actually believe Kramnik cheated in Elistra. Your man got beaten - end of story. Topalov and Danailov tried every dirty trick in the book and still lost.

Manu, you are like a puppet on strings, so predictable and controllable. All anyone has to do is just say "toilet" and you come running. Be nice now.

What a stupid person you are.

Gotta be fair to Tal and Smyslov. They were both victims of that BS rematch clause. To hold the title they had to win 2 matches with Botvinnik with only around a year to relish their initial wins. Kasparov himself has acknowledged the pyschological difficulty it takes to overcome this. I wonder how Botvinnik sold this one to FIDE? After he lost to Smyslov it shoulda been back to the Candidates matches for him. If not for this outrageous clause Tal and Smyslov would have had at least 3 years at the top. Botvinnik credo = Beat me once shame on you, beat me twice shame on me.

Desperately need the anti draw rule in all major tournaments that Moro Ivanchuk draw was sickening

Actually what is sickening is that both Alekseev and Moro, both very strong players, are so much afraid of Chucky that they try to draw with white right from the start by exchanging everything in sight.

I doubt that anti-draw rule would help much in both cases, it would've only added 20 or so meaningless moves. The position that both games reached is just too dry to play for a win.

Hey Chessbase!

If you are reading this, how about updating the Biel report on your English page? Your Spanish page has a round 4 report, your German page has a report on round 5, but the poor old English page is still stuck at round 3.

Are you angry at the English speaking world?

I rest my case.

Actually the German coverage by Chessbase contains just a bit of introductory text, plus games and crosstable.
So some introductory German: "games" = "Partien", "download" = "download", that's it ,:)

At a Frank Sinatra concert would you stand up and sing "My Way?"
At a Rolling Stones concert would you sing "Satisfaction?"
At a McCartney concert..."Yesterday?"

"Kramnik-toilet" is manu's calling card and you were extremely inconsiderate and rude to preempt his performance. You are indeed a stupid person.

Chessbase -

Thank you for updating the Biel report on your English page.


And here comes the help the retarded was asking for ...,greg koster!
Another idiot trying to pick up a fight against someone who is not even interested (or talking!) in the ongoing discussion .

Didn't I ask you to be nice? But no, you continue to spew, calling people names. Maybe you can't be nice.

Manu, I have a proposition for you that actually may make a lot of people happy. There are people who don't like me, and there are people who don't like you. So here's the deal:

I won't ever post again on this site if you don't post again either? Ok? Of course, you can have one more post to reply to (and hopefully accept) this challenge, but after that, if you continue to post your spew, then the deal is off. And if I post first before you, then it will be me who deserves to be considered a piece of crap. I hope Mig can screen out any fakes that try to post using your name or my name.

How about it? I won't miss you; you won't miss me, and nobody will miss either one of us.

I agree and propose that the deal is sealed with blood , if you mail me greg´s head and one of your hands in a nice box i may consider your offer .

I'm going to make a trip to Biel today, watch the stars. I hope they feel like playing chess.

"I still think Kramnik is a coward for refusing a return match to Garry Kimovich."

Agreed. Many excuses can be argued but at the end Kramnik didn't play a rematch with Kasparov. Sad, sad, sad. Now's all in history.

@Luke, hey I don't dislike you, but watch out, Manu is a fundamental part of this blog dude!
He has el dribbling sudamericano.

Bowles, he has the dribbling and the killer instinct. What about calming down a bit, guys?

It's true it's hard to say Topalov isn't on the Champions lineage. But he didn't won a match, and we all know it's not the same thing to win a tournament. Even Anand was relieved when he beat Kramnik in their match. For the players it also seems to mean a lot. But it's not Topalov's fault, and in any case (should he lose to Anand) he will still be remembered as a very strong player. If he isn't in the champions', he is in the Keres-Kortchnoi lineage, not something to be ashamed of.Anyway, if Fide wasn't such an incompetent mess, none of this problems would ever had happened.

Yes, Chessbase (English site) has an updated report, and maybe they are following this blog!? They 'copied' both one of my earlier comments [on Moro-Caruana] and Jim's interpretation:

"Nicely played in the finishing phase by Fabiano Caruana. One is reminded of 15-year-old Magnus Carlsen's double victory over Morozevich in the 2006 Biel tournament (which in spite of this the Russian won). Will "Fabulous Fabiano" tred in the footsteps of the Norwegian super-talent?"

But of course they could also come up with the same independently ... .

How about a separate "Hashed-to-Death" thread for topics about which no new thought has been uttered in years, including:

1. Kramnik never qualified/Shirov got screwed
2. Kasparov and Kramnik: who's the "coward"?
3. Topalov cheater
4. The World Championship lineage
5. Short draws: bad or not so bad?
6. to 999. (which topics am I forgetting?)

...and....even though we might miss out on the fresh, terribly witty posts offered almost daily on this topic:

1000. Kramnik-toilet

You forgot Mig's rating and, arguably, relative merits of the Petroff opening. I say 'arguably' because Kramnik's games in Dortmund may have provoked some new thoughts on this topic (it is not merely a subtopic of #5 on your list).

kramnik cheats in elista he has been cheating for seven years when hes sick and need help from computers to not lose points ask grandmaster around they tell you about kramnik buying electronics transmission he hires a team to help him when he wants to win for he plays the russian defence for easy controling the way partie develops he not plays risky has no control with computer all things too complex for this is in his laptops preparation before he played diferent style style was legitimate was play he plays now diferent because computer is helping him the cables from elista are real.

You've been talking with Manu? Careful, you can't believe a word he says.

If Kramnik cheats, then why did he lost at Bonn? And why isn't he the number one in the rankings?

Well, they didn't say he was "good" at cheating.


"Gotta be fair to Tal and Smyslov. They were both victims of that BS rematch clause. To hold the title they had to win 2 matches with Botvinnik with only around a year to relish their initial wins."

I also think it is BS when a challenger draws a match with the World Champion and has to start from scratch, as happened to Bronstein and Smyslov. If the challenger shows himself to be equal to the WC, then the WC keeps his title but is obliged to play against the same challenger. That is the only automatic rematch that should take place in the WC cycle.

To Manu's little brother,

Despite the broken English, your flawless logic prevails. Just one small point - isn't a well known fact that chess engines do better in complex, tactical positions? You know, the kind that Kramnik avoids.

It's curious that in those days, those players were regarded as "moral winners" and that they were so close, but they didn't prevail indeed. Botvinnik was extremely good at taking advantage of the rules. He blowed Tal in their rematch (true, the genius or Riga wasn't in good health). Yet historically, those rematchs were unfair but accepted, since FIDE could provide a WC that everyone accepted. They could try to make changes (indeed, they managed to do so) from inside the structure. The problem now is that FIDE is so rotten they don't even bother trying to change it, but chose not to participate. Were FIDE more organized (for example, not changing the qualifying process once it has started) players not playing wouldn't have a chance on the public opinion, but as it is, i guess the marasmus will only get worse

Does our luke strike you as someone who has studied math and philosophy at Oxford?
You'd better retract your "luke is Luke McShane" theory before one of them sues you for libel. The best explanation for the ongoing manu-luke dust-up is that the former is about 15 and the latter is 11 or 12.

Let's assume a two-year cycle. Makes sense that the two can play a rematch during the off-year. But what happens if the second match is also drawn?

Topalov sensibly explained that the reason it took the computer-cheating-Kramnik until the fourth game of rapids-playoff to win was that the FSB-agents who ran his computers were chess-retarded. Doesn't it speak poorly for Russian chess that two years later they still couldn't find decent chess-players to run Vlad's Anand-match computers?

Hehehe! Hard to conclude that there's no cheating in pro chess. It could be done by anyone with the will/resources. It's wildly done in the net, 24/7. There's cheating in every sport, nothing new with this.

But top chess players would find it difficult. There's a lot of media following them at any given event. Maybe lower-rated guys at 'inferior' competitions. I guess top players have simply too much to lose.

@Greg Koster: I never implied that Luke _is_ Luke McShane. All I suggested is that if, and only if, he _was_ McShane, he would have a certain right to criticize top GM's for making 'stupid' moves. But at least he stopped posting that type of comments, possibly due to the collective feedback he had ... .

@Bowles: In other sports, doping is considered cheating _at any time_, including out of competition - and punished whenever someone gets caught (and doesn't have good lawyers to get him out of that mess?).
In chess, use of computers is banned only during games. What would happen if rules from other sports applied, i.e. no computers either for opening preparation, post-game analyses, etc. ? Of course, for various reasons this could never be controlled or enforced ... I still consider it an interesting idea.

Only you, thomas, only you could possibly consider that to be interesting. While I do not contest your right to post, may I ask you to consider the following suggestion seriously, though it may doubtless annoy you.

Please imagine that you have a limit on the number of words you can post everyday, you can set this limit yourself. Perhaps count the no. of words you write on a single day, averaged over a week or month, and set the limit at half the value. Then try to limit yourself to this no. This will force you to actually think about what you write, instead of knee jerk ill considered reactions to pretty much every post other than yours, and sometimes your own as well. The reason I ask is you swamp this blog, along with 1 or 2 others, and its becoming increasingly tedious to weed out the mindless drivel.

I feel it will also be a very fruitful exercise for you, and you may just discover the wonderful quality of brevity and increase the value of your posts immensely. What do you say? Please?

Well said d-tal.

Thomas' post is interesting in that it places the "computerless era" in the impossible future rather than the real past.

There was something both exciting and quaint about, for example, WCC games adjourned overnight, that kids coming of (chess) age in this millenium will never know.

d-tal -

You've put me into an awkward position, a conundrum. I have to disagree with you. I think Thomas should post as much as he wants to. You too.

Yes, some of what he says is drivel and crap, just like you sometimes, just like me, just like the pussy cat, or the headless Koster, and always like Manu.

But, admit it Mikhail, you like it, otherwise you would go away for good and never be heard from again.

Yes, maybe I am nostalgic ... . As an amateur, I am still largely stuck in the "computerless era", though I am obviously using the Internet ,:). Of course top-level chess is a different story. A related issue: How useful is it to cite engine analysis when commenting on live games?

Otherwise, @d_tal, HardyBerger and anyone agreeing with them: Isn't it possible to simply ignore posts which are, in anyone's personal opinion, too long and/or written by the wrong person? To make life easier for one of them, I will try to avoid mentioning Tal's name ,:).

Thomas I appreciate your good humor in not taking complete umbrage at my suggestion. I do try to ignore various posters, but the sheer volume overwhelms me. Just try what I say, and I bet your posts will be valued MUCH more.

D_tal, at the risk of falling in the same fault as you, i may say, don't tell others what to do, and your posts will be valued MUCH more.

While adjournements had its charm, i think missing them is like missing the old cycling days, without full manager control via hearing devices, without doping tests and so on... We have what we have, sadly. My biggest wish would be to get candidates matches again. The little bit we got with Elista was too brief. As regards greg koster's nostalgy, maybe nowadays players should give more value to their comments (as they gave in the past by telling how they got an idea in an adjournement) by telling how they got this or that idea. They do sometimes, and it's interesting to see how their work has changed. We need a modern Polugaievsky telling all his secrets in a book.

I should think that for many players computers are a curse, whatever about their benefits. It must be very dull drudgery having to comb thousands of variations with computers, and knowing all your competitors are doing the same. Like Kasparov said, modern chess is a full-time job in front of a computer. I imagine that the comments about their ideas (if you mean opening ideas) might well be pretty dull, along the lines of, I left Rybka running in x position and it found y.

I'm not so sure about that. Sometimes it's like that, but many times they point out how they guided the comp in a certain position. They could say why they put Rybka on in a determinate position instead another. But that's quite a personal info, and I understand many of them wouldn't want to make it public.

7. Petroff sucks vs. not sucks
8. what's Mig's real chess strength?
9. Americans are/are not obsessed with Nakamura (a relatively new topic sure to provide endless fodder if Naka sticks around the top for a while)

"7. Petroff sucks vs. not sucks
8. what's Mig's real chess strength?" (regondi)

Wake up and look at yesterday's 11:05 AM post from Thomas.

As I got some feedback on my computer post ,:): One way to approach Alez's question is looking at "Advanced Chess" where players may consult computers during the game - yet, as the clock keeps ticking, they cannot do so for every single move. When and how do they use engines? Presumably there are some similarities with their home use of computer analyses.

The book 'How To Use Computers to Improve Your Chess'by Christian Kongsted is an interesting read and shows why, despite the obvious strengths of computers, human direction and intuition still counts for a lot in developing chess ideas.

Computers are just tools that can be used well or misused and are not about to make carbon-chipped chessplayers obsolete just yet.

In Kasparov's "My Great Predecessors" books, he readily acknowledges using computer analysis and gives them respectful credit, occasionally even sounding like he is in awe of their power.

Meanwhile, millions of weakies claim that they don't rely on dumb computers. As they puff themselves up, they spout "computers just can't see beyond the horizon like us brilliant human beings" Puff, puff, puff.

Listen to Kasparov and learn.

Oops. At least it shows Thomas and I are on the same page with this one.

That's ok.

Ah Alez, it was a gentle suggestion which Thomas took in good humour. You don't need to worry about it, this is a conversation between Thomas and me. As for posts being valued, I don't post innumerately and swamp the blog. Just count the no. of posts on average.

"How useful is it to cite engine analysis when commenting on live games?"

This has been an endless source of debate on chessgames.com, the most vocal group being very much against mentioning engines. I think that if you follow a game and wait for a move, and know that 38. Ne6+ is evaluated as +7 and winning, 38. Nf5 leads to a repetition draw with best play, while 38. Kg2 could lose to an insanely complicated combination, this just makes it more fun to follow the game.

It's also fun to know the evaluation of players on my own level, sometimes "white is winning!", "0-1" or "obvious draw" in the same position. Of course engines can sometimes also be wrong, but that just makes it more interesting, and they shouldn't be relied on to the extreme in every position. Many want to separate the forums so that engine users have their own "playground" but I don't like this idea. It would be boring if an engine evaluation now and then couldn't co-exist with interesting human comments.

To me the entertainment value increases if I know that Rybka sees a mate in ten in a position. I would never see it myself and most refined ideas would just pass me by while following the games. It doesn't have to mean that using an engine is the same thing as not thinking by yourself. One can try out different lines and see where they might end up, and what benefits various strategies can have in a position. The difference is that a post reporting that Rybka sees a mate in ten usually is more reliable than a post from an engine free player of my own level saying that white is winning, if one wants to back up the truth of the statement it is easy to refer to the line that Rybka gives.

After 23 moves of a Spanish Berlin variation, Vachier-Lagrave’s position looks winnable against Caruana. The other two games are even.

Maybe Gelfand-Morozevich is (dynamically) 'even' after move 19, but - to me - it certainly looks unbalanced. How serious are white's threats on the kingside? Of course, IF Moro manages to defend his queenside pawn majority will be an (endgame) asset.

Moro's kingside looks rather vulnerable

Caruana would be 'dead for sure' if queens were still on the board - but even without them it will/would be a miracle if he escapes into an (inferior) endgame.

No miracles ... .

Looks like Moro is going down again. I am one of his biggest fans, but the problems he sets with his unorthodox and very original approach do not appear to trouble the very best players, as Gelfand undoubtedly is. To flog one of my favourite hobby horses, makes you appreciate somebody like Tal even more :-)

Hold your horses!!!! What happened there?? Did Gelfand blunder with 34. Bd2 or was the pin on the rook give an unbreakable bind?? Sorry, either way I take what I wrote above back, about Moro being unable to trouble the very best :-)

Thomas (not Rybka ,:) suggests that 34.Qc2 would have been better - but Gelfand was in extreme time trouble (less than a minute for his last 8 moves or so). Still it is not, or no longer clear what Gelfand's rook is doing on h5 if there is no mate around. Sort of amusing (though not for Gelfand) that his rook got stranded on the h-file for the second time in this tournament, and again against Moro.

It is kind of amusing! This is a really complex game, even now I am not sure what's happening. Does Moro have to settle for a draw?

No, he found a way around the corner to protect g7, and now it's 0-1. In any case, (while we disagree on other things) I guess we agree that Luke's assessment 'even' was - at the very least - a bit simplistic.

Thank you, Thomas. Useless.

Chucky's king is coming through the back door :)

Nice game from Maximus VL :)

Moro posed enough problems after some initial strife to bring it home... Can't believe that Gelfand wasn't won at some point though. Moro was like a bad rash, just would not go away..

In the meantime, Dennis Monokroussos on Chessmind and Peter Doggers on Chessvibes published analyses of Gelfand-Moro.
Both mention the predecessor game Kramnik-Morozevich, Mexico WCh 2007. Kramnik had won quickly with a knight sacrifice, but apparently an antidote has been found afterwards (Gelfand was the first one to deviate).
Both suggest Gelfand would have kept a 'clear advantage' with 33.h3. The short-term objective is to keep the black queen away from g4; the nxt idea is to follow up with g4 to break the pin on the rook. It still looks a bit messy, but white seems to keep an extra pawn. But a quiet move as 33.h3 is probably hard to spot in time trouble.

Ah thank you. I actually spotted a comment on the game page at Chessgames which also mentioned the stem game. Am a bit suprised that it isn't a bit more clear cut for White, as Moro just looked lost around move 30. Nicely played. He moves back into a share of the lead.

Ahem, forgive my ignorance of Sicilian theory and lack of an engine or database. Isn't Moro offering a piece on move 13 now in his game against Vachier Lagrave? Is this theory? Is 13... e5 answered by 14. Ne6 ?

Alekseev-Gelfand drawn in 11 moves. Argument no. 10,000 for the Sofia Rules. To be fair, Gelfand can't be faulted, of course.
But at least the other games are exciting stuff. I wonder how Ivanchuck chooses his openings, it must be hell trying to prepare for him! The Pirc.. and Moro chooses aggressive stuff again, gotta appreciate the guy!

"Is 13... e5 answered by 14. Ne6 ?" (d_tal)

Perhaps. But Black can just win a pawn for nothing with the simplistic 13...de4. That's what I would do.

"Alekseev-Gelfand drawn in 11 moves." (chesshire cat)

Are there any photographs to prove that these people actually showed up to make these moves?

Its not a pawn for nothing, White gets a significant initiative. Vachier Lagrave apparently thought the same and went for the principled continuation! Lets see Moro's idea here. Or is it theory? This is why I never played the Sicilian, too muchj theory!

As Moro repeated this line, despite its dubious look and despite his drastic loss against Kramnik, it may not be quite as bad as it seems. At least it's not losing by force, at least in Moro's opinion (on his planet?).

Gelfand often gets into time trouble and, under such circumstances, seems to be not quite as cool as some other top players (Ivanchuk, Dominguez, Grischuk) - I cannot come up with specific examples, but I think yesterday wasn't the first time he cracked under (time) pressure. Ah wait, maybe his first-round game against Caruana is an example (sort of).
Yet it wouldn't be a good idea to play on this weakness of Gelfand starting at move 1!? ,:)

To contribute with my (finite ,:) ) knowledge of Sicilian theory: I think 11.Nce2 was already unusual [though it has been played before], the hottest/most popular lines feature 11.Na4 (11.-Qa5 12.b3 Nc5 and so on). So maybe Moro's knight sacrifice - if not theory - was a home-cooked surprise? He could expect the Najdorf from his opponent.

Moro spent some time on his clock already, but that could also be trying to remember his prep, or bluffing.

"Its not a pawn for nothing, White gets a significant initiative." (d_tal)

I don't think so. 14.Nfxe6 fe6 15.Nxe6 Qc6 I like Black. Or, 14.fe4 Nxe4 I like Black.

Anyway, like I said, that's what I would have done.

In your second line, I prefer White.

After move 17 (by white) Moro's compensation for the piece seems obvious: lead in development, monster knight on e6, dominance over the white squares - if only black could play h6-h7 his defensive task would be much easier ,:).

By comparison, the black queen on a2 looks threatening, but also feels rather lonesome ... .

I think you are right. Black has bumbled. He should have taken the pawn on move 13.

When are people going to start criticizing us for commenting on GM games in progress?

This almost looks like 1-0! After 17 moves in a Najdorf.. Man, I love watching Moro.

Nobody will, as long as you do not start calling them "idiots" etc.

"When are people going to start criticizing us for commenting on GM games in progress?"

Nothing wrong with that per se, trying to understand what's going on (and, by commmenting in public, asking other people to help), as long as comments are
a) respectful towards the GM's, not calling them 'stupid' or anything alike (read: not forgetting that they play there for a reason, while we were not invited)
b) meaningful, i.e. going beyond mentioning which opening was played ... .

By the way, I think white would play something else on 13.-de4: than what you mentioned. Maybe 14.Rg1 or 14.Bh3, both striving for g4-g5-(g6).

I think Black should be O.K. against Moro roughly equal after move 17. e.g. 17....e4 18Qd4 Bd6

I think 17....e4 18.Qd4 Bd6 19.Ng7+ and Black is on thin ice. Also possible with 18.exd4 instead, when d4 is available for the Black squared White B.

"This almost looks like 1-0! After 17 moves ..."

What to say about Caruana-Ivanchuk after 12 moves, including the 'surprising' 11.Bb5+ Kd8 ? Can white now avoid losing material, either the bishop on b5 or (after 13.b3, the only "defense" I see) the knight on c3?

But, if they are idiots and make stupid, bonehead moves, is it ok to say so? What about "bumbled"? Does that meet your approval, or was I too harsh?

Thomas, I was about to say 13. f4, but I see Caruana played 13. h3, intending 13... a6 14. f4

"Nothing wrong with that per se.." (Thomas)

Ok Boss. I'll give them all the respect they deserve.

OK, now in Moro I predict 19. Nd8+ Ke8 (to avoid giving the piece back) 20. Nc6 Ne7 (to avoid 21. Qg6#!) 21. Nb5. :-)

I predict a draw by perpetual.

Two crazy games going on simultaneously - let's hope Moro and Ivanchuk will also play a real game (rather than a 12-move draw) when they meet each other again.

Caruana-Ivanchuk is surely out of theory ,:). Yes, 13.h3 seems to defend (I think he would have gotten his queen into some trouble after 13.f4 Neg4).

And there seems to be a typo in d_tal's line for Moro's game, as 21.Nb5 would be an illegal move. Anyway, Moro instead chose 19.Bh3 which also looks good.

BTW, I did some research on chessgames.com (I do not have another database nor detailed search functions available). 11.Nce2 seems to be much rarer than 11.Na4. The only high-level game I found, Karjakin-Ivanchuk (European Club Cup 2008), also continued 11.-Qc7 12.h4 d5 and then 13.Bh3.

Sorry, meant to say 21. Nb4.

After 20 moves on both sides it should be resignable for Vachier Lagrave against Moro.

22. Be6!

22.g6+ Kf6? 23. Qd6+!! would be a nice finish. Too bad black can play 22.-Kg8 when his queen on a2 saves him, at least for a few more moves.

And now (after black's 24th move) how to get rid of the bishop on c5? Ne7mate would be soooo cute.

Well, I said I would give the players all the respect they deserve, and Morozevich deserves no respect at all for missing 26.Rxf8+ and the game is over. No respect at all. I didn't call him stupid or bonehead or an idiot. I just gave him the respect he deserves.


Variations please ... . And I don't think he spoiled anything the way the game continued (the move pair 27.h5 Rh7 indicates that there is still 'something wrong' with the black position).

why not pawn takes rook check ?

What a beautiful bind on the white squares White has! Surely 1-0. Beautifully played by Moro.

The soulless computer went from +12 for Rxf8+, to +2 for Rxa8 and downhill in jumps until black is apparently now ahead (+.02 or something). A crazy position, though, so who knows. Moro has less time which is a handicap despite his love of madness...

Make that -1.4 with Morozevich's last move before the time control (he was down to seconds).

omigawd. what happened there????

Moro just reached the time control with three seconds left on the clock, but all of a sudden black has a dangerous passed a-pawn (and control on the _dark_ squares).

And can anyone post the variations after 26.Rf8:+ ? I do not see (all of) them, and I don't have a soulless computer to help me out.

Why? The black king looks suspicious, but I can't see anything concrete. And he has three options to take back. Probably 26..Kxf8 is the first candidate, for it avoids the knight check. Do I miss something obvious (as usual)?

I can't help with the variations - I was just having a look at chessok.com

From what I've seen of Vachier-Lagrave he likes to play Morozevich-like chess, which must have helped - I don't think too many players would have survived/won that game (even if Moro did miss a lot of chances).

In the meantime Ivanchuk won, did anyone notice? With rounds like today we can afford _one_ short draw ... .

Is the playing hall on fire or something!? Moro and Vachier-Lagrave just can't stop blitzing out moves despite being 10 moves past the time control...

Seems like a fantastic positional draw now.

(At move 54:) Can Vachier-Lagrave win this? The rook always has to keep an eye on the h-pawn - and the opposite-colored bishops seem to guarantee that this won't ever change.

It seems that Vachier's other options to sacrifice his knight (on g6 or d7) would have lead to the same result, a positional draw - the king cannot escape, so the rook also remains inactive.

24..g5! was a stunner, prepared by 22..Thg8. Fine manoeuvre to exploit White's exposed queen and vulnerable king in one go.

I think he had 49..Nxg6 50.hxg6 h5!

Just about to post the same, acirce. The Frenchman had all the time in the world so he should really have been looking for every opportunity to avoid the positional draw. But maybe he thought encouraging Moro to play fast would lead to blunders!? Crazy game all round.

Can Black play for mate or zugzwang with king, bishop and a baseline-bound rook?

Maybe indeed Black can create a zugzwang so that White has to move his bishop and ..Rxh7. White's king is not exactly ideally placed.

I can't find it, but it might well be possible. It's close, at any rate.

He keeps trying. But as soon as the rook leaves h8, white probably plays Bf7 - threatening Bg8 and forcing the rook back into the corner. If Sofia rules applied, would they have to go for such a move repetition to draw a drawn game?

@acirce+mishanp: You are (most) probably right. Makes me wonder if Vachier even _considered_ the possibility of a positional draw, are endgame studies part of his training diet?

And: What is Rybka's current evaluation? Do computers know the concept of a positional draw?

Oops, forget (part of) my previous comment - on Bf7, black has of course g7-g5 and his bishop takes over the task of the rook.

Well I really am suspecting that it is a win after all. Just can't figure out exactly how.

As for Rybka, no, not of any help. Gives the same -3.something giving lines where no progress at all is being made.

"on Bf7, black has of course g7-g5 and his bishop takes over the task of the rook."

Yes, was just about to suggest that :) Indeed he played ..Rd8. But Moro just made another king move as if saying "so what?"

There we have our zugzwang :)

Website says that Vachier Lagrave won.

I wonder if it was indeed always winning, from, say, ..Kf7! (instead of 53..Rxh7?? with an instant draw because of 54.Bg6 followed by Ke6-d7-e6-d7 forever) - then it probably always was after the time control.

Maybe f4 and/or f5 wasn't necessary? Even then, could White have tried moving his king towards the lower half of the board instead (like 64.Ke4)? Probably would be the same somehow.

"Maybe f4 and/or f5 wasn't necessary?" (airce)

56.f5?? was a blunder. 56.b4 draws.

Hi Thomas -

Sorry for taking so long to get back to you. Luke had something to do.

You must be smart enough to see that Black loses no matter how he recaptures:

26...Rxf8 27.Qxe5
26...Bxf8 27.Qxe5
26...Kxf8 27.Qf5+

If Luke saw this at the time, (even though you think Luke is simplistic) surely you can see it now. Bye.

Why? What's the difference? Black collects the white pawns, and brings his bishop to the long diagonal. From that point on White mustn't move his bishop because of g5. Then Black tries to close in on the white king, just as in the game.

Take some time and work it out. If you become really desperate, maybe I'll tell you how White draws. But, if you get nasty, I won't.

Crazy game between Maximus and Moro !
Happy for the young lad , he reminds me of Polugaevsky tactically , a good calculator .

He still have to improve his confidence and diversify his opening repertoire , but i wish him the best for his career

If anyone doesn't feel like looking up the live ratings, here they are:

01 Topalov off 2813,0 0 0 0 1975 id-card
02 Anand off 2788,0 0 0 0 1969 id-card
03 Carlsen off 2772,4 +0,4 10 1 1990 id-card
04 Kramnik off 2771,6 +12,6 10 1 1975 id-card
05 Aronian off 2768,0 0 0 0 1982 id-card
06 Jakovenko off 2764,7 +4,7 11 2 1983 id-card
07 Leko off 2759,0 +3 10 1 1979 id-card
08 Radjabov off 2756,6 +0,6 10 1 1987 id-card
09 Morozevich off 2752,7 +1,7 7 1 1977 id-card
10 Gelfand off 2749,8 -5,2 17 2 1968 id-card
11 Svidler off 2741,3 +2,3 9 1 1976 id-card
12 Ponomariov off 2740,9 +13,9 9 1 1983 id-card
13 Gashimov off 2740,0 0 0 0 1986 id-card
14 Wang Yue off 2733,1 -2,9 3 1 1987 id-card
15 Grischuk off 2733,0 0 0 0 1983 id-card
16 Ivanchuk off 2731,7 +28,7 26 3 1969 id-card
17 Nakamura off 2730,0 +20 11 2 1987 id-card

Again, analyses up now at Chessvibes and Chessmind. Both give various wins for Morozevich, but I will focus on Caruana-Ivanchuk - where my comment after move 12 made sense after all: Dennis Monokroussos annotates 12.Ng3? c4 13.h3 a6? [13.-g5! 14.Qg5: a6 -/+].
The point is that white can save the bishop ... at the expense of his queen [15.f4 h6 16.Qh4 Ng6].
Simple once you see it (mentioned). How could we - Thomas, d_tal and Ivanchuk ,:) - miss this? At least one fellow blogger didn't have his engine running on the game, else Chucky "would have gotten the respect he deserves"!!??

Again I was a bit too fast: 15.f4 h6 16.Qg7 is still messy, so make this 15.f4 Ng6 threatening 16.-h6 (and still 16.-ab5:). "The threat is stronger than its execution"!?

Boris Gelfand is a very strong player. He seems to be a gentleman, always very polite. His colleagues appear to like and respect him. He plays frequently and probably has a full schedule of top level tournaments ahead of him. He is not young, but not yet old.

Can someone fill in the blanks?

Kasparov reckoned him to be a championship challenger, until he lost a match to Short. He has a narrow opening repertoire and a classical style of play. He seems to have had something of a resurgence in the last several months.
Is that the sort of thing you are looking for?

That helps. What about his ambition? Do you think he is he happy to just make money being in the middle or lower range of the top 10 for a few more years, and then write some books, start up a chess school, etc.?

Well, any 2700 player will naturally want to be world champ, but time is against him. That said, he is part of the Kramnik-Anand-Ivanchuk-Topalov generation, who are impressing with the retention of their strength as they get older. I still doubt he will manage to challenge for the championship- would think that time is over for him, though I think he was no.3 at some stage (someone correct if wrong pls) - but I should think he will remain a top 10 player for a few years yet. IMO he will more likely be a strong 2nd or third place finisher than win many major tournaments, but maybe he will pull off some surprises. So basically I think he will remain a dangerous competitor and opponent for some years yet, capable of beating anyone, but I doubt he will surge right to the top.

Morozevich and Chuky involved in another cracker! Chuky just sac'd a rook

Again a story of light-squared dominance, but is it enough for Chucky? He is down to 3 1-2 minutes for 13 moves, and his body language on the live cam might suggest that he missed something, maybe Qb6/d8/g8.

Funny how Moro is the one up a rook today.

Exciting stuff. I doubt the correctness of the sac, there seems to be too little material for white to attack with. A rook is a rook!! But still, a dangerous situation, a slight misstep by Moro and he could lose quickly.

Yep, it seems like madness to go for the position he's got now with no time to think. The rook sac was ok, though - he just needed to follow it with e7 instead of Qxf7+, which would have forced perpetual check (e7 preventing Qd8 must be the point - leaving the bishop and queen to threaten mate on the white squares).

I'm still bemoaning Moro's time trouble loss yesterday, he deserved at least a draw. Can somebody please tell me what the point of 34 .. a4 was? What's wrong with 35. bxa?

Concerning Gelfand's play, I can (again) highly recommend his book "My most memorable games" - so he already writes books while still being an active world-top player.

As far as his potential and ambitions are concerned, not that long ago he surprised many people (maybe also himself) first qualifying for the Mexico WCh, then having (at least outsider) chances for the title during most of the tournament. "Obviously" he was asked whether he wanted to win this thing, and his answer was something like "I don't think that far ahead, but take one game at a time". Anyone's interpretation whether this is pragmatic or lack of ambition and killer instinct ... .

"What's wrong with 35. bxa?"

Peter Doggers on Chessvibes gives 36.ba4: Bf2! 37. Re2 Qa4:+ 38.Kd3 Qb5+ = - looks like perpetual check. Probably there was nothing wrong with 36.ba4:, the win might have been gone already (but Moro didn't have enough time on the clock to find out).

Ah ok thanks. This puzzled the hell out of me. I missed Bf2. Nicely played by V. L. This guy is good.

Not to split hairs, mishanp, but White's position was slightly better, so a rook sac that forces a perpetual can't really be called "ok"? :)

Meanwhile Moro won. Lets see if he can take his revenege against Caruana tomorrow and finish on a high. Still in with a chance of winning the tourney.

Yes, but surely getting the chance to sac a rook and entertain the spectators is worth a decimal point or two :) Plus after the zwischenzug e7 Moro could still miss the reply Bg5 (playing Kh8 or something) - and then white's probably winning.

Alekseev does it again! A 14 move draw. Why doesn't he just stay at home? If I were the sponsor I would knock 25% off his fees for every such effort. Like chessvibes say, it's not draws that are the problem, but non-games. Let's hope for more Moro madness to compensate.

Moro has some motivation here I think; can't have been enjoyable to lose the first time around. His game looks quite unbalanced right now, but no madness yet.

Yes, such positions are interesting. White gets an advantage on the queenside but with accurate play Black should generate enough kingside counterplay to compensate. Most likely something crazy will erupt somehow!

Or not. 1/2-1/2.

talk about the devil! They just drew! :-( Even Moro needs a day off I think.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on July 22, 2009 4:05 AM.

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