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Jermuk GP r1-2

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Two rounds and fourteen games into the fifth grand prix tournament, in Jermuk, Armenia, there is a trio of leaders on +1. Cheparinov beat Jakovenko to start things off, though the Russian bounced back and beat Kamsky on day two. Leko beat Inarkiev in the first round and should have beaten Eljanov in the second. Aronian, winner of the last GP, joined the early leaders by beating Alekseev in a long queen and pawn endgame.

Leko came within a last-round loss to Aronian of winning the Nalchik GP and looks in good shape here so far. But if there's one move that symbolizes much of the criticism Leko gets, even from himself, it's his 34.Ne1 against Eljanov today. The retreat breaks the pin on the Rc4, but Rb7 isn't much of a threat yet. Then the other knight comes back to the first rank only to get shoved back. Eljanov responded to all this maneuvering with aggressive play in the center and equalized nicely. (The exchange sac 44.Rxc4!? would have been an interesting try to play for a win.) Now look at the position before 34.Ne1 again. With Black's queen and knight so far offsides, most will at least glance at a way to make a knight sac on f5 work. (g4 is quickly ruled out because the h-file is there for a black rook.) 34.Nh4 is a natural move, with a crushing threat of Nf5+.

So why did Leko reject it? He calculates as well as anyone in the world, but his knack for seeing ghosts makes you wonder if he's coached by Shaggy and Scooby. 34..Kh7 is the only move, but after 35.Nef5! -- a good example of an "anyway move" -- 35..gxf5 (Many options, none suffice.) 36.Bxh6 Rec8 (Sad, but nothing better. ..fxe4 Qe3) 37.Nxf5 and 1-0. My only guess, besides time trouble, is Leko saw something incredibly subtle for Black like 35..Bf8!?, after which Black really is threatening to take the knight. But both Qf3! and Qe3 destroy that plan. Okay, this has gone on far too long, but my basic point was that just about any strong player would play Nh4. It takes special 2750 talent to find something to worry about in that position and also to instead move the same knight back to the first rank!

Inarkiev continues to grasp obscurity from the jaws of victory against top opponents. He occasionally plays fantastic games but man, he just seems to be missing something. Today that something was forced win against Ivanchuk in a knight endgame with a single pawn. Ivanchuk grabbed at the last possible tactic in the position to force the draw. These positions are tricky, of course, and it takes total precision to find the right moves to wrong-hoof the defending knight. Still, a tough half-point to have to swallow for white.

Two of the leaders meet tomorrow in Cheparinov-Aronian. Ivanchuk played the Giuoco Piano against Aronian in the first round. It will be interesting to see what he'll try against Leko. Live here.


Kamsky had a horrendous game against Jakovenko. Without comp analysis, I feel like he was busted by move 14 in some not very critical Slav. Hope he can pull it together again.

I thought the same thing when I first saw it on their live page. It looks horrible, a sort of pseudo-Grunfeld, really, with ..e6 being met by the strong e4 and Black's space is always a huge problem. But when I looked at it again tonight it looks like Kamsky had his chances in the complications and didn't make the most of them. Nice trap in the end by Jakovenko. That and I thought you always needed to play ..b6 against those binds as soon as you could, and he didn't.

About Kamsky, he obviously no longer has it. Never got it all back.

He can now go back to lawyering and die on his deathbed without any regrets. With any luck we'll read about Kamsky the $500/hour corporate lawyer in five years.

Just because he lost a very sharp game against world no. 5 you dismiss him like... completely?


Kamsky's now 35 and downhill rating-wise.

He said he'd temporarily return from Law to make a run (presumably at crown), but can't even reenter the Top 10.

It's time for him to join Dlugy, Rhode, Wolf, Wilder, et alia and sell out to Corporate America... (hey, the money's good... Kamsky really could earn a ton... just show up for the Olympiads until Naroditsky or Robson can take your place, thanks.)

Ivanchuk is like 40 and downhill rating-wise. Should we let him play or should he go graze sheep somewhere?

Kamsky was just a hair away from equalizing the score against Topalov with only one game, with White, to go. Now he is in the Candidates again, and I'd give him small but realistic chances to qualify. Just because he is losing rating points doesn't mean that he can't be a factor.

What to make of today's draw between Cheparinov and Aronian? It was (or looks) spectacular - but the players used only 14 vs. 18 minutes for their 28 moves. Was it home preparation by both, or has this actually been played before?

First 20 moves had been played in Grischuk-Lékó in the last Grand Prix event, in Nalchik. Lékó's 16..c5 was apparently a novelty in that game (so it was said, haven't double-checked), and Grischuk never had anything much. Cheparinov certainly didn't improve on Grischuk's play, and I'm not sure he even tried to.

Thanks. Cheparinov spending 14 minutes on the entire games (on average 30 seconds per move, of course some can be played more quickly) cannot really be called "trying (hard)". From this view, his draw against Aronian had less content, or required less effort than most of the much-criticized Dortmund draws.
Of course the players didn't violate Sofia rules, and a draw was probably an acceptable result for both. One cannot expect Aronian to play for a win with black in every game - and the variation is sharp, but deeply analyzed.

ah comedy.. Mig giving "chess lessons" to a super GM as Leko.

Yes, it's laughable. It wouldn't be considered so ha-ha if someone else did it, but Mig is just being Mig. Leave him alone.

I'm happy that Kamsky is still playing, even though he is not where he used to be. All professional players cannot be champion at the same time, so there is room for less-than-perfect players. Even mere 2700s. I'm glad they play.

Kamsky - Akopian was pretty fluffy on both sides. These guys aren't going anyplace....ever.

"These guys [Kamsky and Akopian] aren't going anyplace....ever."
Both of them went to Jermuk - granted not a big trip for the Armenian guy. Kamsky had gone to Khanty-Mansiysk to play and win the World Cup, to Sofia to play his match against Topalov, plus some other tournaments.
What were your recent tournament invitations, Luke?
BTW, @V (in another thread): Khanty-Mansiysk in November/December was a genuinely cryogenic refrigerator - I think the Norwegians want to hold the Olympiad in Tromso in summer, when there is (plenty of) daylight and temperatures are well above zero.

"What were your recent tournament invitations, Luke?"

Same as yours, touchy Thomas

Think again why I asked that question ... .

Anybody knows what happened with Morozevich in Zurich ?
He seems to have vanished, he's not in the pairings of the 5th round any more ?!

Steven, have a look at the Zurich thread ,:). Morozevich is taking a bye this morning (guaranteed 1/2 point without playing). Strange that this option exists, but it does - until and including round 5.

Aronian seems to be winning against Kamsky.
Leko should win easily against Karjakin.
Inarkiev probably beats Cheparinov.
I don't know about the other games.

All 14 players went some place today, I think the tournament hall.

Today's games are FUN!! The kind of stuff I likes to see.

It's move 28, and Kamsky is just looking like a 6-year old kid against Aronian. Playing on in a hopeless position.

Yeah, chess would be so much better if everyone just gave up really quickly.

He was in his usual time trouble, so he probably didn't have time to resign. But now he did, on move 41 just after reaching the time control with 11 seconds left on the clock.

More interesting: When did this game leave theory? Was 6.a3 already new? Reminiscent of Qa4 in another English opening, allowing -Qf2:+. Don't know on which move, wouldn't know how to find that game back, and only 99% sure that this was also by Aronian ... .

Coming back to a recent thread: What was Alekseev's losing move against Ivanchuk, Na5 or Na6?

Neither. It was 23...Re8? Just pathetic.

Sorry I'm always negative. It's because I'm socially retarded. If I ever had anything positive and constructive to say, I'd probably have friends in the real world.

Apart from blatant highjacking I rarely care (well, notice) what shenanigans are going on in the comments. But anything nearing identity theft is not cool. If you are schizo enough to feel the need to post under a different names it may be tolerated if it doesn't get abusive, but it is bad form at best. Posting as other regulars is not on. Don't reply, thanks.

So, the fake "Luke" poster is actually stendec. He was one of my suspects because he is so weak.

Unfortunately, he'll probably be back again.

it was obviously a joke. sorry daddy got mad.

"Don't reply"? Please, let's not be so melodramatic. I even put a space in front of his name so no one would think it was the actual Luke. Sorry you took the joke so poorly.

"it was obviously a joke. sorry daddy got mad."

Ok, you showed a good move by admitting that, and that's the end of that. I make lots of mistakes too, and so does everyone else. Very few people can actually admit it, including me, so I'll tip my hat to you.

The joke would have still been debatable, but (IMO) better or at least obvious if you had posted as "Unlucky Luke".

How about "Touchy Thomas"?

and apparently "Schizo Stendec". [eye roll]

The fake post was funny... after Mig stapled the real author's name to it.

You like fake posts , don´t you? :)

greg koster was funny...after I looked up his rating.

That'd be 1646... pretty good for an 7 year-old these days.

He,he. Very good, hcl, very good indeed. I think that gave me a greater laugh even than Mig's 'kings' typo on the Jermuk r3-4 thread.

"Kamsky's now 35 and downhill rating-wise. He said he'd temporarily return from Law to make a run (presumably at crown), but can't even reenter the Top 10. It's time for him to join Dlugy, Rhode, Wolf, Wilder, et alia and sell out to Corporate America... (hey, the money's good... Kamsky really could earn a ton... just show up for the Olympiads until Naroditsky or Robson can take your place, thanks.)"

I totally disagree with your entire post. The rumors of Kamsky's death are greatly exaggerated. Having a good career is not selling out. "Naroditsky or Robson" may never be as strong as Ehlvest. Even if Gata did retire and Seirawan was semi-retired, the US has many strong Olympiad worthy GMs such as:

7 Ehlvest, Jaan g USA 2614 27 1962
8 Ibragimov, Ildar g USA 2583 9 1967
8 Kaidanov, Gregory S g USA 2583 8 1959
10 Shabalov, Alexander g USA 2580 33 1967
11 Kudrin, Sergey g USA 2578 12 1959
11 Christiansen, Larry M g USA 2578 9 1956
13 Benjamin, Joel g USA 2575 9 1964
14 Hess, Robert L g USA 2560 27 1991
15 Becerra Rivero, Julio g USA 2557 36 1973
15 Goldin, Alexander g USA 2557 4 1965

Gata was a couple of close games away from challenging Vishy for the crown. Get a grip people!

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on August 10, 2009 9:54 PM.

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