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Nakamura Leads Tata with Two Rounds to Go

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There are only two rounds left to play in Wijk aan Zee and for the second time, Hikaru Nakamura is the sole leader of the illustrious A Group. He has bounced back from a crushing loss to Carlsen in round 8 to win his second in a row today, outplaying Nepomniachtchi on the black side of a Caro-Kann. That separated Nakamura from Anand, who drew against Vachier-Lagrave. The win also propelled Nakamura into the rarefied territory of +5, which hasn't been obtained by a Wijk winner since Bareev in 2002's "Corus Lite" that didn't include Kasparov, Anand, Kramnik, or Topalov. (As I tweeted, Shirov reached +5 after just five rounds last year, but eventually fell to +3.)

Of course this year's tournament isn't over yet either. Nakamura finishes with white against Kramnik and then black against Wang Hao. Kramnik just lost to Carlsen and I sort of doubt he'll be feeling frisky with black. I'd love to be wrong, and this is no longer the ultra-pragmatic Kramnik who once went three years without winning with black. But 1.e4, Petroff/Berlin, and draw in 26 seems more likely. Wang Hao isn't in great shape, but he's dangerous and doesn't give up cheap draws with white, so Nakamura can't get complacent.

And then there's that other guy. You know, the world champion and five-time Wijk aan Zee winner, Vishy Anand. He's just a half-point back, hasn't lost a game, and finishes with white against Giri tomorrow and then black against the combative Nepomniachtchi. Aronian is a full point back of Nakamura, but he has games with l'Ami and Smeets and might be feeling ambitious. For some reason it surprised me Aronian hasn't lost a game either. He's had a very inconspicuous tournament but is somehow on +3. I'm going to make stuff up and say that shows how strong he's become.

Nakamura's win was very sharp stuff and a lot of fun to go over. He played an early novelty, 7..Bg4, that he says was inspired by a Karpov recommendation. It certainly worked out better than the loss he had to Svidler in Amsterdam last year. Nepo gave up his e-pawn for a kingside push and invasion that looked very dangerous. Nakamura defended like a demon and, just like the Caro-Kann is supposed to work, Black gained the advantage when White overpressed. 21.g4 is probably a mistake, but if you don't play that what the hell is White doing? You have to go for it by that point or your just down a pawn and waiting for Black to consolidate, which won't take long. The tactics just weren't there for White though and once Nakamura got the initiative he was ruthlessly accurate to stop all of White's tricks and finish off the young Russian champion. That's two consecutive steam-rollerings against top-20 players by Nakamura, who is now #7 with a bullet on the Live List.

Carlsen and Kramnik are tied on +2 after Mighty Magnus got one back from Big Vlad today in what looked like a very Kramnikian game. In the same "Bogo-Catalan" line in which he beat Topalov a few months ago in Nanjing, Carlsen nabbed a pawn, held on with some sharp calculations, and then won a lovely pawn-up endgame with a knight versus a bishop. Kramnik must have missed a draw in there somewhere, but that's usually how these things go. It's just usually Kramnik on the side doing the squeezing and forcing the errors. Remarkable stuff. I'd love to know when Carlsen started to see the winning structures. If he knew during the game that the 59..Bc8 he mentioned afterwards was a draw, yow. That there's a square problem with the bishop on b7 instead of c8 is tricky, though not something Kramnik would normally miss. (The bishop has to be able to go to a6 to stop ..Kf1, since it can't reach that diagonal from a8 or a4, which is covered by the knight.) I think it just "felt" drawn for so long that Kramnik got lulled to sleep a little. Carlsen and Kramnik have slugged back and forth since they first met in 2007. Kramnik had won their last two classical encounters, including at Wijk last year. I think he's still +1 overall.

Interesting bit in the official report; Kramnik offered a draw on move 22. Carlsen: "I know Kramnik well and I know what it means when he offers a draw. It meant I had to play on." Smart, if a little cheeky to say it. I think this is less about the position and the implication that Kramnik thought it was starting to go sour than about Kramnik. He's an energy guy who doesn't always feel it. Forcing him to play when he obviously didn't want to was an instant psychological edge. It's just that not many people have the cojones, or the chops, to turn down a quick draw against the former world champion and live to tell the tale. I'm probably reading too much into that since it looks like Black was clearly getting a little edge, but Kramnik isn't used to having such offers rejected and I'm sure it wasn't pleasant.

Nice of them to mention the draw offer, so allow me to refresh one of my habitual rants about how we discard all this information. Both players must record draw offers on their scoresheets, but this essential information vanishes into the database formats we all all rely on at home and in online viewers. The clock times, critical to understanding the flow and the key moments of the game in the minds of the players, and which are recorded automatically by the relay software every top tournament uses, also vanish. Moronic. It's like the script of a play without the stage direction. Organizers need to export the scores of top events with the clock times and draw offers and the clearinghouses like TWIC and ChessBase have to preserve them. If PGN is awkward for this, improve it or use something else. Make it so!

Four players are tied for the lead in the B Group, the winner qualifying for next year's A Group. Should be a fun final couple of days. Round 12: Nakamura-Kramnik, Anand-Giri, Ponomariov-Shirov, l'Ami-Aronian, Smeets-Grischuk, Carlsen-Wang Hao, Vachier-Lagrave-Nepomniachtchi. Note that Sunday's final round begins 90 minutes early.


I'm glad Magnus turned down the draw offer to give us the best endgame I've seen in a long time!

The cheeky comment from Carlsen could be a response to Kramnik's insinuations about Carlsen being his "client".

Always entertaining when the GMs are teasing each other, but some fans tend to overreact on statements taken out of context.

Great post by Mig. I'd love to see Naka winning this tournament. Btw. Carlsen nicely equalized the Vlads customer -comment there!

Some observations from the cross table after rnd 11:
- Naka has scored 4/4 against the bottom 4
- Carlsen is the only player with +2 against the top half in standings
- Anand is the only other player with + against the top half
- Shirov and Smeets have both managed only 1 draw each against the the top half players he has played so far.. 0.5/6
- L'Ami and Grischuk are still win less
- Nepo, the Russian champion, who is on 50% has a -1 score against the bottom 4 in standings!

In Corus 2006, Anand and Topalov finished in shared first with 9/13 (+5). Corus/Tata is the supertournament I follow most closely (being able to visit at the venue) and I vividly remember that year. The difference with 2011: It was clear early on that only two players could fight for tournament victory (only 90% sure about this).

Some more tournament history:
- 2006 was also the year when a certain Magnus Carlsen finished first in the B group (actually second on tiebreak behind Motylev, but he was invited anyway to the 2007 crown group).
- Monster scores are rather common in the C group: for example in 2007 Nepomniachtchi's 10/13 was only good for second place (Krasenkow had 10.5/13).

I think the draw offer was probably cheekier than the comment afterwards, to be honest! :) I mean, it'd be well-timed against an amateur as White seems to be a pawn up, but you don't need to be rated 2800 to see White's soon going to be struggling... even if objectively it should actually be drawn quite easily (it seems there were easy draws - just putting a pawn on h5 - before you get to the study-like madness of 59...Bc8).

By the way, Kramnik also offered a draw against a younger Carlsen in an awful position the last time he lost with White at Wijk-aan-Zee: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1482706 In that game as well Kramnik missed a simple tactical trap when taking a pawn. I just realised that was a Hedgehog, which is probably the other (and main) reason why Shipov said yesterday that Carlsen should play the Hedgehog: http://bit.ly/ej2dL5

Shipov's commentating on Nakamura - Kramnik today: http://www.chessintranslation.com/live-game/

Absolutely agree on with your draw offer rant.

Update - as mishanp is probably busy with his own site: Shipov is (now) commentating on Anand-Giri. He didn't even wait for Naka and Kramnik to shake hands, guess there will be no press conference on hidden subtleties of their game ,:) .

Too bad that Shipov can't write another pre-game introduction - I always enjoy (also) that part of his work ... .

Kramnik, in Corus 2008, offered Carlsen a draw after..hold your breath..Qb5!

I think Carlsen's tongue-in-cheek comment yesterday was an allusion to that rather than fun at Vlad's expense.

Mig spot on about his Naka-Kramnik prediction...only 6 moves off ;)

Man...this is one of the first times in 20 years I can remember actually rooting against Vishy ;).

Now that the end is near, is someone able to calculate what the exact tiebreakers would be if Naka draws Hao and:

1. Anand beats Giri and draws Nepo (who wins tiebreak between Naka and Vishy)
2. Anand draws Giri and beats Nepo (who wins tiebreak between Naka and Vishy)
3. Aronian beats L'Ami and beats Smeets + Anand gets 1.5/2 (who wins tiebreak between Naka, Vishy, and Aronian)


And I have to root against the Dutch players (Giri and l'Ami), hoping for an interesting last round tomorrow on the top of the standings.

From Dennis Monokroussos' report on round 12: "Nakamura played so shamelessly for a draw that he could have come to the board with a beggar's cup." Oh wait, that's what he wrote after round 10 - talking about Smeets rather than Nakamura.

Who is Dennis Monokroussos and what credibility does he have to attack anyone in this field, let alone Smeets or Naka? At least Shipov is a strong GM.

Alright. After 20 ... b5. We have a fight in Anand-Giri. It may turn out to be a short, sharp fight ending in a draw. But a fight nevertheless.

My thoughts exactly. Who is Dennis Monowhatever? And why should one care what he thinks?

Well, he is "just" a FM writing (his own words) "A blog for chess fans, by a chess fan". And he is an American usually rooting for Nakamura. And who are you?

I also find it, given today's Naka game, a bit ironic that Mig - a more outspoken Nakamura fan - twittered a while ago "This is the 1st time Anand has reached +3 in a tournament since r8 of Linares 08. Then he drew all his games to win. Can't coast in Wijk!" OK, Naka has +5 rather than +3 and it's a later stage in the tournament, but still ... .

The funniest live commentary on Naka-Kramnik, at least in hindsight, is by whomever at Chessbomb:
"1. e4 Clear intentions by Nakamura, he will be looking for aggressive open game."
Well, apparently it's not a strong player, a bit later followed
"3... Nf6 Avoiding 3... a6 and going into the four knights. Black can play more aggressively by 4...Nd4, the Rubinstein Variation."

Well, if he's just an FM then his ELO is no higher than mine...not exactly someone whose opinion I'd take as an authority. A GM, or even an IM, that's a different story.

If Kramnik didn't want a quick draw, he shouldn't have played the Berlin...obviously.

And yeah, +3 with 5 rounds to go is a bit different the +5 with 2 rounds to go (now one round to go). Epic fail by you trying to portray Naka negatively by taking the quick draw against your boy Kramnik.

Seems like unless something crazy happens in Aronian's or Anand's games Nakamura wins with a draw tomorrow!Imagine all the biased drivel appearing on Chessbase...

Well, Monokroussos' games, FIDE record, rating, opinions and analysis are all in the public space.

We have just your word about your rating Thomas, and, as everybody knows, everyone on the internet is a GM anyway.

Obviously, that should have been pioneer, not Thomas. Apologies, it's early in the morning here.

As big a fan I am of Anand I'd be the first to admit he's not been anywhere close to Kasparov's league when it comes to winning on demand. Kasimdzhanov at San Luis 2005 and Aronian at the Tal Memorial are the first which come to mind. But I'm sure there have been several more (just too lazy to look them up).

Hopefully though he'll be able to trick the kid Giri today and sneak away with a full point.

I think Anand's plans are not working out. Shipov hasn't said this in his commentary as yet, but I have a feeling he is going to say something like this soon. Not looking good. Anand may need to settle for a draw.

Obviously, anonymity is advantageous for me or I would have posted by my real name...btw I don't really care whether you believe me or not.

If you want to listen to a commentator, focus on strong GM analysis (i.e Shipov or the Chessbase commentators) over FMs or players even weaker (i.e. 99.99% of people on this forum).

On the other hand, Carlsen seems to be winning... Unfortunately, it is too late in the tournament for him...

OK, this is not going anywhere fast. I'm going to check back after a couple of hours. I hope Anand doesn't lower his guard and lose.

Too late? If Naka loses tomorrow, suddenly Carlsen is a joint winner! All he need to do is win against an out of form Grishchuk.

You are obviously not a big enough fan of Anand then :P

Note the following games which come to mind immediately:
1) Touzane (KO wcc... must win with Black... yes he was just a 2400 player but still..)
2) Must win against Karpov... Game 6 of his silly WCC match against Karpov.. was a must win if I remember correctly
3) In finals of rapid tournament, he was in must win against Kasparov himself who had White (surprised GK with the KID and won)..

Nice instructive win by Carlsen...how to start an kingside attack after castling into an open h-file. Giri is putting up resistance. Pretty win by Vachier-Lagrave over Nepo.

Could potentially be a four-way tie for first if Naka loses tomorrow (Naka, Anand, Aronian, Carlsen). Interesting that Naka's score of 8.5 (with a round to go) was enough for clear first last year when Carlsen won.

Looks to me like Anand could end up losing this game...

And by the way, if Anand ends up losing today, Carlsen should be back at #1 too (assuming Aronian doesn't win L'ami).

I think Aronian is going to beat L'ami, though...interesting exchange sac in that game.

The "reverse jinx" is in effect...L'Ami holds the draw (Rxg5 was a nice way to eliminate Black's dangerous counterplay), virtually eliminating Aronian and improving Naka's tiebreaks as well.

Meanwhile Tania Sachdev is up an exchange but in severe time trouble. And Ganguly won the battle of the seconds against Wojta. Maybe that is what has been distracting Anand. :)

First of all, an opinion is an opinion. Everybody can have one regardless of his/her Elo, and it can be neither wrong nor right. An _assessment_ of any given position is another story. BTW, to me Monokroussos' (engine-assisted) analyses seem to be 'worth' more than his Elo - we could discuss this but it's irrelevant in this particular context.

Second, Kramnik was probably happy with a draw after a painful loss. Or at least, he saw no reason to lash out with a Sicilian (if he has any such plans, he might wait until the candidates event anyway).

Third, the Berlin mainline is about even (like most popular openings) but not all drawish - there is still the possibility for a decisive result either way. Only the insipid 5.Re1 often leads to a quick draw. If you do not see the difference, I wonder about your claimed playing strength.

BTW, I wonder also a bit because you can't calculate tiebreak scores - or rather that you don't realize that they cannot be calculated yet: final Sonneborn-Berger might depend on the results of all remaining games.

Can't say I expected Vachier-Lagrave to extract a full point from Ian Nepo. But good for him.
I also thought that Vlad would give it the good go today, instead of exchanging pieces down to a drawn position. Hikaru is now in great shape to win the whole enchilada now. Expect something like a 17-move draw in his last round tomorrow.

41...c4 could put Anand in trouble. 42.Rec1 Bc5!? 43.Rxc4 Rxc4 44.Nxc4 Bxf2+ (44...Rxf2+ bad i think because 45.Ra5! Bd4 46.Rd5 and black will be in trouble.) 45.Kg2 Rc2 46.Na3 and can this draw for Anand with perpetual?

Please...Re1 is not a quick draw by force. There are several games in this line with play for both sides. Naka put the onus on Kramnik to deviate from the formation he used in the Smeets game (even though technically Bd3 was a novelty), and Draw-nik was unwilling to do so...probably because the last time he tried to complicate things from an equal/slightly worse position against Naka, he lost.

Regarding tiebreaks, I asked a simple question about tiebreaks, and you were unable to provide an answer. Thankfully I found the answer to my prior questions through another channel. I am well-aware of the tiebreak formats, but wasn't sure which they were using for Tata.

You attempting to attack my playing strength because of a Re1 line in the Berlin and the S-B tiebreak system is pathetic. But, as they say, if you can't attack the message (Naka is a legit threat to win supertournaments), attack the messenger.

Dennis has more credibility to say anything than you do, pioneer.

Well, he and I both have much more credibility than you to say anything, we definitely have that in common.

"My thoughts exactly. Who is Dennis Monowhatever? And why should one care what he thinks?"

He didn't say that, mind you.

He said it about Smeets after round 10.

However, I think it applies equally well to Nakamura's game today. It was a bit shameless, even if it can be understood why he opted to play as he did.

Regarding Dennis, he writes on the blog http://www.thechessmind.net. In my opinion he often writes better than Mig Greengard, even if his stature among chessophiliacs may not be as high. :)

c4 has been played. Would be an amazing tournament for Giri to beat Carlsen and Anand both.

Wow give it up for Sachdev. Five wins and one more round to go.

A lot of hard fighters in that C group. Vocaturo has only one draw in twelve games.

Yeah...Sachdev now with 6.5/12 and a 2551 TPR. Where is chesspride who predicted she'd go 0 for 13?

Come on, 'predictions' like that are always tongue in cheek anyway. Let's be happy for the girl, and not try to rub it in.

If Anand manages to exchange his e-pawn for Black's c pawn, while also exchanging K for B, he gets into a rook end gam with an extra pawn for Black. Since all the pawns are on the same side, he could go then go for a draw. Any other plan looks losing for White...

Anyone who would predict another player (man or woman) to go 0-13 in a tournament where their ELO is within 50 points of the next lowest rated player deserves to have their prediction rubbed in...that prediction is of the utmost disrespect. It would be one thing if someone predicted she'd finish last with 2 or 3 out of 13. But an 0 for 13 prediction is malicious, and deserves punishment.

And I'm very happy for Sachdev...I'm sure she'd much rather have people talk about her play than her physical appearance.

regardless of what happens in the Anand-Giri game, we could see a 4-way tie for first tomorrow!

Why avoid the main point with unlikely hypotheticals? If Anand doesn't hold on against Giri, Naka will be in the much more favorable position of needing only a draw to clinch.

Anand is clearly lost. Black king is active and that'll decide the game in Black's favor.

Rubbing it in? Only fathers can understand.
"That man said mean things about me father."
"What would you like me to do to him sweetheart?"
"I want you to give me his toes."
"I'm sorry darling, I already sent them to his wife and children."

I should have added "sole first place" to the above. Joint first would already be in hand.

Aftre Re5 by black, isn't Nxg4 better than Rxf7+ for White?

I'm not sure but now 48. Rd7 sneaky move! if Bxe3 fxe3 and if Rxe3 black king cannot escape from rook checks!!

So says Shipov, with a nice line to hold, but Anand didn't find it.

And the presence of g4 pawn plays and important role in that!

Black can play Rb6 and take care of the checks. I think Giri will play it and then it's over for Anand. I still think Nxg4 instead of Rxf7+ was better for White...

lol eval 0 says the computer after Rd2!!

Unbleievable. That little Rd7 trap won a tempo for Anand and it's a draw now. Wow!!

with 50.Rc7 Anand got the plot. 50...Rxe3 then perpetual. 50.. Rd3, then Rc6+ perpetual if king goes to Kh5, Rff6 force perpetual by black or else black runs into mate, if i am not wrong.

So gotto be a Houdini Act from Anand!


Great game. Anish shouldn't be troubled. He outplayed Anand most of the way it seems. He still showed some claws and heart.

I should think Tata is getting their money's worth. It's been a great tournament and still a lot of drama heading into tomorrow.

Sometimes it ain't over even after it's over!

According to Chess Bomb's engine, Anish played several less-than-optimal moves toward the end. He's still learning, of course. Very young.

So does Carlsen pay a late night visit to Hao and give him a treasure from the little red notebook?

Now Nakamura may still need more than a draw tomorrow for clear first and the Bilbao invitation (if Anand catches him, Sonneborn-Berger is probably in Vishy's favor). Giri didn't play Anand's role as a spoiler - last year Carlsen won the event because Anand beat his direct competitors Kramnik and Shirov (and had all draws in his other games).

The B group is wide open: McShane and Navara are leading ... and play each other tomorrow. Efimenko could join them in the lead, but his position against Le Quang Liem looks too drawish for that.

Same showdown in the C group: Nyzhnyk is now just 1/2 point behind Vocaturo and faces him tomorrow with black.

Great game between Anand n Giri!!
From tata steel chess site
A relieved Anand emerges after a few minutes discussion with Giri about the rook ending. "I had the feeling that it was going to be a bad day," said the World Champion, "but in the end I managed to save it. He played extremely well." What went wrong? "I just played badly the whole game. I just drifted; lots of aimless moves." Regarding the rook ending. "I just assumed I was lost but I didn't see a clear win for him. At the end one of the fortresses I was hoping to set up was him doubling on the c file behind his pawn on c2 and me with rooks on c1 and f2. Then he cannot get his king in and I draw with Kg1-g2. However I am not sure that I can get this. "After the game we looked at 49....Rb6 50.Rd4 h5 51.e4 Rc5 52.Rdd1 and I have at least kept my pawn. Of course maybe I am still lost." Indeed after 52...c2 53.Rc1 Rf6! Anand cannot set up his fortress and loses. Giri said that he saw that 16...Be6 equalises but that he thought what he played was just as good and that he would have more chances if he kept his bishop pair. Giri admitted that when playing 49...Rd2? he had missed 52.Rff6 - "though even after this he can still draw" said Anand, acknowledging that, if even when he sets up a mating net he isn't winning, his position must have been REALLY bad.""

True, but Anand needs to play for a win against Nepo with Black in order to have a legitimate chance for 1st; he can't assume that Naka is going to lose to Hao. Will be very interesting...can't remember the last time Vishy was forced to play for a win with Black. Even in the WCC against Topalov, he was content with a draw in the final game b/c of the rapid playoff.

I just noticed there was a new threat. well, Giri comes to realize that he beat Carlsen due to a blunder, but against Anand although he got a good position the slow grind against Anand is extremely difficult. Well I am glad Anand played with risk with h4 unlike some people here who expected him not to do so.

For some reason I feel Anand is better off having black in a must-win game..maybe he's more versatile with his openings as black? Also, Nepo seems the one guy most falling in line with my "young players will tire more" prediction a few days ago (he has just 1 point from his last 4 rounds now). A slow grind with black seems to be the best bet for Anand tomorrow.

Happy for Grischuk that he finally won a game! Would have been terrible to see that even a Jan Smeets has a win but not Grischuk..

There is a couple of reasons why Anand would want to win tomorrow 1. ofcourse the tournament situation but 2. if carlsen wins and he draws, carlsen probably back to #1 rating spot.

Yes, if Carlsen wins tomorrow he'll go up to 2819.9 and Anand will be at 2816.6 if he draws Nepo (2821.6 if he wins)..

Well thats now almost two consecutive wijk aan zee tournaments without any loss for Anand and also the only one to do so in the last two events.

That is IM Miodrag Perunovic, doing the official commentary on chessdom. Funny how I forgot the site even existed, after it turned into a full-time propaganda machine for Danailov.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the future World Champion... Anish Giri... who will make many nationalities proud (Dutch, Nepali, Indian, and Russian).

Really? Do you have an account or where you going by the free engines? The free engines have severely limited depth.

According to Shipov and some other engines, Anand missed several good moves.

1) 41. Red1 instead of Ra1
2) 44. Ra4 instead of Rf1
3) 47. Nxg4 instead of Rxf7

Wha? Stockfish is free and statistically almost as strong as Rybka. Quibbling over 40 elo points? Or just uninformed?

Nobody could possibly think 0-13 was a serious prediction.

It's impossible to lose all your games unless you are 500+ elo worse than your competition.

Ahh, I see you were talking about Chessbomb's free acount. Ignore my comment.

I'm saying unless you have a paid account on chessbomb they SF engine evals are limited to very few moves, so they are pretty unreliable.

Who is uninformed now?

I'm not doubting that the Stockfish free version is weaker than the paid version. I'll take your word for it. But to again state what was quoted and stated above: Anand said, "After the game we looked at 49....Rb6 50.Rd4 h5 51.e4 Rc5 52.Rdd1 and I have at least kept my pawn. Of course maybe I am still lost." And from the writer: Indeed after 52...c2 53.Rc1 Rf6! Anand cannot set up his fortress and loses."
That doesn't contradict what I said above.

Is that still the case? I mean Chessdome being, in your words, "a full-time propaganda machine for Danailov."
Could you elaborate on that? In what way? And, how do you know that?

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave has been impressive in this tournament , had he converted his totally winning position earlier in the tournament , he'd be on 8.0 points and 2nd place , not bad for someone who's not dedicated full time on chess and doesn't have a established world class trainer

well 7.5 points actually , sorry

Stockfish is a strong program, but I haven't seen such poor evals with any other program. When Rybka says +0.28, Stockfish can well say +1.41 which is very misleading. Something the programmers would be well to fix.

I don't know if it's "still the case" - for the reason given by ptr I no longer follow Chessdom, only their live games page. There may be no particular reason to spread propaganda at the moment, it has become a bit silent around Topalov ... .

But in the past, they were a platform for all kinds of "Topailov" interviews and statements, and their reporting on the Sofia WCh match was rather one-sided.

Agree completely. What a shot today with 36.Rg7!!

Magnus Carlsen showed magnificent fighting spirit in the Kramnik end game. So ironic that this helped Hikaru Nakamura.

I'm sure Hikaru Nakamura will stay focused and complete one of his best performances to date. It has been a pleasure to watch his chess and I've noticed his demeanor in interviews at Wijk aan Zee has been pleasant and professional.

Hopefully GM Grischuck can get some rest and regain his form for the upcoming matches. It happens even to the best of the best.

I don't know why some are treating tomorrow as a formality for Nakamura. He and Wang Hao have only played twice, both times in 2010. Wang Hao won one (at the Olympiad) and drew one, both times with black. There's no reason to think he won't be gunning for Naka tomorrow with white, and no reason to think he can't do it.

Maybe not world class, but for the last 8 years VL's coach/second is/was GM Arnaud Hauchard. However, after talking with his sponsor he decided not to bring him to the tournament - due to ongoing cheating investigations by the French chess federation against Hauchard and others. Vachier-Lagrave himself is considered absolutely innocent. IMO, no need to discuss the story here in detail (lack of a dedicated thread is just one reason), I mention it just because it relates to the tournament.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMGUG3NX9ww (in French)

Wang should be quite rested for his encounter with Naka tomorrow... his game with Carlsen did not last very long today :)


interview with IM Tania Sachdev (with a few pics too!:)

It's just my memory from earlier in 2010, from around the time of the WCh match and the FIDE elections. They had a thoroughly unbalanced coverage, especially of the latter. Danailov is closely associated to that website -- a couple of ways this was obvious (apart from the biased coverage) were: (a) they were probably the only media outlet allowed to broadcast the WCh games live (Chessbase did it, but was loudly criticized by Danailov and the organizers), and (b) they had several "exclusive" stories from the Topalov camp, which were written as if they were news stories, but were obviously released by Danailov and co themselves. (E.g. they were the first to carry the story of Topalov's use of the supercomputer. Whenever Danailov had something to gripe about, he would give an "interview" to chessdom -- remember the one where he called Aruna Anand a "secretary" rather than a manager, or threatening lawsuits against chessbase.)

As I said, I stopped reading the website as soon as I realized they were biased, so I don't know what it's been up to since then.


Chessbase has been spelling this Chinese Tata B player as "Li Chao2". Is '2' actually part of his name? (Kinda similar to that South African "!xobile" guy, no? - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yj-1kp777NM)

Does anyone know how close Giri is to crossing 2700? He was 2686 before this tourney, and given his performance rating over the first 12 rounds, I'd have to think that he's very close to the super-GM rating threshold by now.

Where have you seen those evaluations from SF ?

at Chessbomb

Compare them to your own Rybka's evals, which are much more realistic and "human".

50% over 12 games against 2740-odd opposition should bring him somewhere between 9 to 10 Elos. Which means a win against Pono tomorrow will push him over the 2700 mark (but a draw won't).

I think it is time to forget about Topalov being a worthy contender for the WC.

The guy was spotted a game handicap by both Kramnik and Anand (Kramnik forfeited a game due to Danailov's antics, and Anand did not get enough rest after a 40-hour land trip and lost the first game due to oversight). Topalov still couldn't win either match, time to stop thinking about him.

-StockFish is the Dramaqueen of chess software.

I think they did it on purpose. More reaction on the "speedometer" fools people into thinking it sees deeper.

Froggie's taking an awfully long time to update the live ratings for Magnus's win :}

Froggie's taking an awfully long time to update the live ratings for Magnus's win :}

KC | January 29, 2011 2:27 PM | Reply

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the future World Champion... Anish Giri... who will make many nationalities proud (Dutch, Nepali, Indian, and Russian).

Why should it make the Indian nationality proud ? His father is Nepalese and his mother is Russian and he lives in and represents Netherlands.

Anyone with a name like "Sanjay Giri" is ethnically Indian... besides have you seen Anish's pics?

I should probably add German to the list of nationalities as the Dutch are ethnically Germans :)

I was hoping that Max Vachier-Lagrave would do well enough at Wijk aan Zee to get other invites to super tournaments. It looks like he's achieved that goal.
So far, just one lost game (as I said back in December, he is really difficult to bring down), and he was not afraid of the World Champion, going right at him. He played sharply and accurately. Never in danger.
In this tournament he played just two bad games: his loss to Hikaru, who is most likely to win the tournament, and his draw with L'Ami, which he felt should have been converted.
And now that he's left college for a while to play full time, there are more good results on the horizon.
As with Hikaru, if he can hang with this class of GMs, he's headed for the top ten.

The version of SF used at Chessbomb has a limited search-tree depth.

ok Giri can be the future world champion, that would
bring chess world peace between east and west. but wait, the Asians will feel left out, Giri should migrate and live in Vietnam/China/Phillipines (about 3 years each country). That would bring the
ultimate chess unification.

Here's the final version of Sergey Shipov's commentary on... Anand-Giri, after a short misadventure with Nakamura-Kramnik: http://bit.ly/eHZVmW

The "champion of a realm not quite as expansive as the whole Earth" didn't do so badly against the champion of the whole Earth!

Actually he grew up in Japan so Asia should be pretty well covered :)

[Anand Nair wrote: Chessbase has been spelling this Chinese Tata B player as "Li Chao2". Is '2' actually part of his name? (Kinda similar to that South African "!xobile" guy, no? -]

The "2" is one of the methods used to represent the second tone in Chinese Pinyin. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinyin#Numerals_in_place_of_tone_marks).

In the old days, they used to use the numbers a lot to represent tones, but these days the diacritical marks are much more common.

Probably more than you wanted to know.

Thanks for the video Thomas , for those who do not understand , they basically say that they are suprised at the cheating allegations and that Vachier-Lagrave had to part with his coach who's involved in the case .

It's true that Nakamura has really impressed in this tournament , scoring twice more wins than the likes of Aronian or Kramnik , this is why i really appreciate watching Hikaru's game , blitz or classical ,he's a tactical player never afraid to go sharp and put up an uncompromising fight , so when he's in good form his games are great to follow .

For Vachier-Lagrave , Gelfand said after winning the World Cup that his hardest games had been against MVL , i feel his opening repertoire is now more varied and i also think he has an interesting future in front of him if he starts getting more of these high profile tournament invites and possibly train with a coach that has experience at this level , i just hope for him that he'll keep playing sharp and avoid complacency by working hard because it's very easy to fall in grace as the competition is so strong with the other 2700's nowadays

Still gutted for Shirov though , hopefully he will not lose to much confidence after this event and review the way he prepares for next time , he has so much talent , i wish he can move on from his bad experience since a few months , and we'll get a Shirov in good mood and top form later this year

I like Giri's brand of chess. He is perhaps the second most talented young player around, behind Nakamura.

Well, there are several in that group (also remember that Giri is 6.5 years younger than Naka)...including So, Le Quang Liem, Nepo, and Sjugirov (the last two have already beaten Carlsen within the past 6 months).

Between them and Naka as contemporaries and Anand, Kramnik, Aronian as the older guards, there is no guarantee that Carlsen will become world champion in the future (I think he will, but its by no means a lock).

Got to laugh :) http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/jan/29/secret-footballer-andy-gray-pundits

"Football at this level is very chess-like, maybe not to those outside of football but certainly to those inside. I sometimes wonder whether it's more enjoyable playing lower down the leagues. After all, who wants to play chess?"

I've been wondering about this guy as well. Maybe the "2" does indicate a tone. Or maybe it indicates that "Li Chao2" alias "Li Chao b" is the second "Li Chao" on the FIDE rating list. Which curiously is missing a lot of ratings.

Naka has shown exceptional ELO rating raise recently. Let's hope he - unlike Mr. Carlsen - stays away from tempting and willing celebrity women and the ubiquitous beer. After all, and let's face it - chess is more important than getting laid and having a good time. Chess may save the human project, women and beer should have been outlawed centuries ago.

"Regarding Dennis, he writes on the blog http://www.thechessmind.net. In my opinion he often writes better than Mig Greengard, even if his stature among chessophiliacs may not be as high. :)"

I agree. He provides good annotations also to the games. A recent good write-up http://www.thechessmind.net/blog/2011/1/24/a-review-of-alexander-alekhines-new-york-1927.html

That's imaginative, but the "2" is appended because there is another FIDE-rated Chinese player. The tone explanation doesn't make sense for a couple of reasons. One, the "Chao" in Li Chao's name is said with the so-called flat tone, which is tone 1, not tone 2. Tone 2 is the rising tone. Two, no other Chinese players' names always include numbers indicating tone. There is nothing special about his name which would demand an indicator of tone.

To Fall from grace* sorry

Being precocious is a good thing , it means the raw talent and world class potential is there , but it's no guarantee of success and consistency at the very top in my opinion cause i believe consistency at the very top is achieved using different virtues , not only pure chess talent

IMO until Anand and Kramnik retires , the top 5 will be incredibly hard to break with Carlsen ( , Aronian or Nakamura around.

[HJ said: That's imaginative, but the "2" is appended because there is another FIDE-rated Chinese player. The tone explanation doesn't make sense for a couple of reasons. One, the "Chao" in Li Chao's name is said with the so-called flat tone, which is tone 1, not tone 2. Tone 2 is the rising tone. Two, no other Chinese players' names always include numbers indicating tone. There is nothing special about his name which would demand an indicator of tone.]

Yep, you seem to be correct. I guess a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. :)

I am always happy when the Electric Light Orchestra is mentioned.

The Stockfish engine on Chessbomb is limited to depth 15, and thus is fairly useless except for the most cursory look. The website sets the limit to get you to pay for a "premium" membership that shows the engine running past depth 15.

You can hope that. I hope Nakamura shows up to claim the first place prize with Maggie Q on his arm.

You must not only aim right, but draw the bow with all your might. - Henry David Thoreau

I'm not so sure Anand aims all that right when he's forced to draw the bow with all his might :P

Like he admitted after the game against Giri - "I just played badly the whole game..I just drifted...lots of aimless moves".

Because he can read and think?

Just go into the archives at chessdom, or do a search on issues dear to Danailov.

Shipov's commentating on Nepomniachtchi - Anand. Intro up now! http://bit.ly/bqNkym

p.s. on Danailov - he seems to have become the head of the Bulgarian Chess Federation, which should make dealing with the ECU easier :)

Yes, Stockfish does seem to up the ante in its eval's.

Houdini 1.5 is very solid in its estimation.

[Bobby Fiske said: -StockFish is the Dramaqueen of chess software.
I think they did it on purpose. More reaction on the "speedometer" fools people into thinking it sees deeper.]

Not at all. Nothing could be further from the truth: In fact, the evaluation function is almost completely computer-tuned. We didn't pick the weights. More about this below.

The scale of the evaluation function is arbitrary: There is no universal, God-given "evaluation unit". You can never directly compare the evaluations given by two different chess programs (except the *sign* of the evaluation function -- it certainly tells you something if program X thinks white is better while program Y thinks black is better), nor even the evaluations given by a single program for two completely unrelated positions.

Most non-programmers seem to believe that the evaluation function attempts to give some extremely accurate estimate of the winning probability from the current position. This is not the case. Chess programs, just like human grandmasters, don't primarily try to give some numerical estimate of the position on the board. What they try to do is to find the best move, and perhaps to decide whether it is wise to resign or accept a draw. The evaluation function is a tool to help the chess program make these decisions, nothing more.

In order to help the program pick the right moves, the evaluation function must be able to decide which of two *similar* positions is better. In order to help the program decide when to force and when to avoid draws, the evaluation function must be able to decide which side is better. In order to avoid resigning prematurely, the evaluation shouldn't return scores bigger than +6 or so unless one side has a decisive and easily convertible advantage.

These three properties are all the evaluation function needs to have in order to help the program make the right decisions. The evaluation function does *not* need to be able to decide, for instance, whether some theoretical opening position in the Advance French is better than some minor piece endgame with three pawns against two on the queenside, because two such positions are unlikely to ever occur in the same search tree, and the program will therefore never have to choose between them. A hypothetical evaluation function that is able to compare all possible chess positions would of course automatically satisfy the three important properties explained above, but such an evaluation function would also be infinitely harder to design. As long as you design and tune the evaluation function manually, you can try to keep things reasonably consistent over all possible positions, but in reality all top programs have their evaluation weights automatically tuned by playing thousands of test games. Even if the evaluation function starts out as an attempt to estimate winning probabilities, it will look completely different when auto-tuning is finished.

What does this mean for a human player using a chess program for analysis? Primarily, it means that you should stop paying so much attention to evaluations. They are just some numbers, and chess is about moves, not about numbers. Even if you could safely assume that the number represented some accurate truth (which you can't, unless there is a forced mate or draw), it wouldn't really tell you anything of great interest about the position. It doesn't tell you anything about *why* one side is better, how that side should use his advantage, or the defensive resources of the other side. You'll never learn anything about chess by just looking at numbers.

Instead of looking at the numbers, look at the moves and lines the program suggests, and evaluate them yourself. Even if you're just an average player, your positional understanding is better than that of any chess program. Use the program interactively. Play out the lines the program suggests, check what it thinks about various plausible alternative moves you see yourself, and use what you find to form *your own* opinion about the position. Unlike just passively looking at numbers, this will actually help you understand the position and the tactical and positional resources for both sides. It is infinitely more useful, and also more fun.

Finally, a few things specific to Stockfish: Yes, the Stockfish's evaluations tend to have much bigger magnitude than Rybka's. Neither is more or less correct than the other: As explained at the beginning of this post, the scale is arbitrary. If you pick a third program, it will most likely be different from both Stockfish and Rybka. And yes, Stockfish's scores tend to jump around a lot compared to most other programs. Contrary to popular belief, this has nothing to do with the evaluation function. It's an artifact of the search, and in particular using a technique known as "aspiration windows" much more aggressively than other top programs today. I have sometimes considered introducing a new option for disabling or widening the aspiration windows, but has so far decided against it. The quality of moves selected by the program is in my opinion a far more important property of the analysis than the stability of scores, and I don't like to introduce new options that only the most technically knowledgeable users would understand.

Thank you for this very initiated post, which should be compulsory reading for all commentators (anonymous or not) citing chess engine lines.

With the black rook on c2 now, can't see Anand not converting this..question is will Nakamura glance over and feel pressured to win? So he can be sole first and have it all for himself? Or will he accept shared first?

MVL draws with black against Vladdy -- both finish at +2 with 7.5/13. Hopefully Vachier-Lagrave will get more superGM tourney invites in the future.

Looks pretty even to me...if black ever trades rooks, Nc6 will prevent the other rook from infiltrating. Naka's game is just as interesting.

Naka just draws to clinch share of first.

Now Vishy has to win...tiebreaks are very close right now; Naka has slight edge, but could go either way if Vishy wins.

Well, Naka just answered my question by drawing. He's not overly greedy. Shared first is enough for him.

Carlsen takes draw now that he knows he can't catch Naka

its only shared IF Vishy wins ;)

Carlsen draws too! Which means Anand will remain at #1 on the live list even if he doesn't win! Is Carlsen playing any event before the official list is published again on March 1st? That should be the last official list before the candidates, right?

Looks like best of both worlds: Naka gets at least a share of first, and Vishy will be the new official #1 on the March FIDE list

WHEN Vishy wins! :P

Don't see how Black makes progress if W plays g4 in response to ...Rg7

Its okay for you not to see. I don't see it either. But that's not important. All that matters is Vishy should see it - which more likely than not, he will!

Its official...draw. Naka wins sole first!

What? Anand drew without even trying? Disappointing..

Way to go Naka. Now the haters will say 'he's only won one super tmt'


There was nothing in the position...no way for the Rook to invade

Did Anand just draw a won game?

Play rook to h-file. White can only move his knight around c6-xx-c6.

Then black plays his K to d6. Then R -> c8. Then white has to place his N on c6 and move his K around f1-g1-f1-g1.

When the K is on g1(!) black plays a5!! White of course can not take with N. And if he takes on a5 with pawn, then black takes on c6 with Rook and the pawn ending seems won.

And if white plays a3 then black takes on b4. And after axb4 he plays Ra8. Now white must play Na5 (with the idea Na5-c6 blocking the open files as need be). But black then has Rxa5!! bxa5 b4! White queens first, but black queens b1=Q mate!

Can someone refute this?

Did Anand just blunder the tournament victory away?!

Uh...no. Anytime black plays a5, white just plays bxa5 -- there is no invasion..the king is fast enough to prevent black's king from invading if he gives back the exchange

Can anyone tell why Anand agreed to a draw. Chess Engines were clearly showing huge advantage for Black. True no clear path for Black was in sight, but at least he should have tried little longer.

Because chess engines CANT EVALUATE ENDGAMES -- you can't trust the numbers when it comes to endings. White has a fortress

I just don't ever want to hear again how Naka is "inferior" to players like Wang Yue...that was a popular notion on this forum back in August -- those people are pretty quiet now :).

This is probably a simple enough position (for these guys) for them to know that nothing is going to happen. Everyone knows engine plusses don't mean anything in a blockade.

From GM Shipov:

"And Hikaru Nakamura is the sole winner of the Wijk-aan-Zee 2011 super-tournament. Bravo! That’s the greatest achievement of the brave Samurai’s career. Let’s hope that his example will inspire chess youngsters and sponsors in America. It’s time for the USA to hold tournaments at the top level – they’re fortunate to have finally found their own chess hero. Nakamura’s play was the most enterprising and the most energetic. It’s precisely in his colossal energy and will to win that I see the cause of his success. And a +5 result is a Kasparov-like success. In recent years the winners of Wijk-aan-Zee didn’t manage to achieve those heights. Anand, in second place, played more soundly and cleanly than the winner, but he didn’t apply enough pressure."

Couldn't have said it better myself :)

That would be a factual statement rather than hatred. While I agree with pioneer - engines tend to be materialistic in endgames (see also opposite-colored bishop endings and Q vs. R+N) - I am also a bit suprised that Anand didn't even try. Overall the last round is a bit of an anticlimax in the A group. Only the fight against last place between Shirov and l'Ami still holds interest: Rybka considers the position (dynamically) equal, Stockfish at low search depth prefers l'Ami, I (with limited chess understanding) also prefer l'Ami.

We might as well switch attention to the photo finish in the B and C groups?

You are correct. I miscalculated a tempi in the pawn endgame. White's king gets just in time to defend.

So Congrats to Nakamura for a deserved tournament victory! He clearly showed he was the best this time!

In fact, he was already better against Hao and in other circumstances would probably have won!

The least he could've done was to play on - maybe given up the e6 pawn at the right time and infiltrate along the c-file? In this respect Anand is distinctly different from Carlsen. He does not seem to have that will to "win all all costs". Or maybe he respects the game and the objectivity of a position too much to want to scrap out a win based on a blunder by his opponent (like Carlsen's win against L'ami). Interesting philosophy, but disappointing for his fans. Shipov got it spot on with his "Anand, in second place, played more soundly and cleanly than the winner (Naka), but he didn’t apply enough pressure".

" I am also a bit suprised that Anand didn't even try. "

Thomas, do you really think that the reigning Russian champion with ample time on his clock would lose that position if even someone like me (2200+ ELO) can see how White draws?

Vishy knew it was a draw...obviously if he was playing someone far weaker than Nepo (like me), he would have tested me to see if I could hold it.

-Nakamura's tweet a few minutes ago.

"Last game relatively quickly drawn, and 3rd or 4th place in the end. Way too many weak moments to hope for more. Congrats to @GMHikaru !"
-Carlsen's tweet.

Looking forward to the Grand Slam final in Bilbao in September-October. We already know that Carlsen (winner of Pearl Spring) and Nakamura (winner of Tata Steel) have qualified.

Does anyone know what the field will be for Linares next month?

Objectively you are (probably) right, but I agree with Anand Nair that "Carlsen would have tried". Nepomniachtchi is Russian champion and obviously a strong player, but maybe (not sure about it) he could have come up with a better defense in his endgame against Smeets. Wang Hao is also a strong player who went horribly wrong in his endgame against the same Nepo.
In other words: just because a position is objectively drawn, it isn't automatically drawn even at super-GM level. And Anand certainly wouldn't have risked anything by playing on.

True points...I certainly would have played it out regardless of who I was playing. But Vishy knows a LOT more about chess than I do :)

By the way, why haven't you congratulated Naka for his victory yet?

Congratulations, Naka. Seriously brilliant. There is no longer any doubt that Naka is a World Championship contender.

About Vachier-Lagrave (at least a few people are interested): His final score of 7.5/13 is the same as Nakamura's result last year - but, at least by comparison, went relatively unnoticed. I agree with xy and kenh that it's a reason for future invitations, unfortunately (for him and, I would say, "the chess world") I am afraid it's no guarantee.

If we take Karjakin who WON Corus 2009: His invitations over the last few years were Corus (where he first qualified by winning the B group), Bilbao 2009 (where he qualified by winning Corus), the FIDE Grand Prix Series (where he qualified by rating) and events in his home countries: formerly Aerosvit in Ukraine, more recently Poikovsky and Tal Memorial in Russia. Apparently he was never invited to Linares, Bazna, Dortmund or Nanjing!?

Small consolation for Vishy Anand after failing to win any of his last 3 games would be reclaiming the #1 ranking. Congratulations Nakamura. Nice to see some diversity at the top of the chess world too - two westerners in the top 7 now!

What Next?

Does anyone know what the field will be for Linares next month?

Linares will not be held next month. If it is to be held, it will be later in the year. The next event on the elite calendar is Melody Amber (final edition).

The field
Viswanathan Anand (India), Magnus Carlsen (Norway), Levon Aronian (Armenia), Vladimir Kramnik (Russia), Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria), Alexander Grischuk (Russia), Vasily Ivanchuk (Ukraine), Sergey Karjakin (Russia), Boris Gelfand (Israel), Hikaru Nakamura (United States), Vugar Gashimov (Azerbaijan) and Anish Giri (The Netherlands).



Thanks for the Melody Amber info, but I'm looking for the next super-GM tourney that's not rated (i.e. not rapid/blitz). When is that event if its not Linares? Is there nothing except Melody Amber until the Candidates tournament in May?

BTW, man up about your misguided 0/13 pretournament Tania Sachdev prediction (given her 2516 performance rating in group C).

As far as I remember, I never congratulated anyone on this forum - also not Kramnik for winning Bilbao, Tal Memorial and Dortmund. So why should I make an exception for Nakamura? Seriously, "he has every reason to be happy" ... .

In the meantime, Shirov and l'Ami have drawn which leaves poor Shirov in at least shared last place. Strange things seemed to happen near the end of their game, maybe in mutual time trouble?

In the B group, Efimenko lost his chances for first place by drawing Sargissian. Navara-McShane may also be a draw, so a tiebreak lottery might decide about first place (but it would make perfect sense to invite both players to the A group next year). In the C group, Vocaturo sacrificed his way to perpetual check and tournament victory.

"As far as I remember, I never congratulated anyone on this forum - also not Kramnik for winning Bilbao, Tal Memorial and Dortmund. So why should I make an exception for Nakamura? Seriously, "he has every reason to be happy" ... ."

Its just a sign of class. Like shaking your opponent's hand after a game whether you win, lose or draw. But, to each his own.

Is there nothing except Melody Amber until the Candidates tournament in May?

I really hope not. I think it is important that the candidates not be held with the stigma that the world #1 isn't part of the cycle. Its only a matter of time before Carlsen picks up cheap points and the #1 ranking again by beating sub-2750 players, but hopefully it will only happen after the Candidates. :)

If I was watching at the venue and met Nakamura on the corridor, I would shake his hand (but I wouldn't have Internet access in Wijk aan Zee ...). Did you formally congratulate everyone who ever won a supertournament?

To answer your question about forthcoming top events: MTel (or "Sofia" if they need and find a new sponsor) may or may not take place again. I think Poikovsky is usually in May (and might collide with the candidates event), and Bazna in June.

Hey, I guess the World Champ could have picked up a few more cheap points himself at the event he just finished. Eh?

There is, of course, Aeroflot in February.


As far as my Tania Sachdev predictions are concerned, of course, I stand corrected. The results speak for themselves.

My 0/13 prediction was partly facetious but even in the most optimistic scenario, I wouldn't have expected her to score better than -7. She finished with an even score which should speak for itself.

I have gone through many of her games and I wasn't particularly impressed. The bottom of the C group must be weaker than I thought. Now, before people in the forum rise up against me and say I am prejudiced because she is Indian or because she is a woman, I didn't say the same things against the other Indians in the field , Anand or Ganguly , or the other lady in the field Kateryna Lahno.

But, ultimately, it is the results that matter not my or anybody else's predictions.

What about the world cup? When is that?

He did it! A brilliant achievement. Congratulations Nakamura! This is just beginning.

It is a wonderful win for Nakamura and he has arrived in the top league of chess. Time will tell whether he sustains it or not. But this win combined with his subsequent rise in the rating list and his American citizenship should give him a plethora of invitations and hence the chance to prove his mettle. It would be ideal for chess if Nakamura reaches top 3 in the world rankings. Along with Carlsen and Anand the three will represent America, Europe and Asia. It means more fans , more sponsorship and more exciting chess.

I am really happy my favorites finished second and first!

Congratulations World Champion Anand for the excellent unbeaten performance and for staying at world no 1! (Chennai Super Kingkuku Whislte Podu, that is, Whistle for Chennai super king Anand!)

Congratulations to one of top all time great talents Nakamura for finishing 1st!
("Nakamuka" song drum rolls!)

Congrats to Nakamura for enterprising play, great preparation and pushing hard for a win in most games. He has clearly moved up a notch. It does enrich the chess world and makes tournaments lot more exciting.

The next aim for him would be do do better against the top tier of world chess (Anand, Kramnik, Carlsen and Aronian) to have WC aspirations. At Wijk, he drew 3 and lost 1 against this group which wasn't bad at all. While 4 of his 6 wins came against the bottom 4, the wins age-group rivals Nepo and MVL were convincing and a great sign.


And my congrats and good luck to another of my favorite - ever nice and great talent Carlsen!

Another great unbeaten performance from Aronian, congrats!

Others, better luck next time! :)

Congrats to Nakamura for a very deserving tournament victory. If he continues to play like this, he can solidify his position into top-5 along side ACAK.

Well, Kramnik's tournament wasn't all bad - after all, he confirmed and slightly improved his rating. And midfielders Vachier-Lagrave and Giri can certainly be happy with their tournaments.

I guess if a 19-year old Radjabov, a 19-year old Karjakin and a 17-year old Carlsen can win in Wijk aan Zee, there is no reason why a 23-year old Nakamura can't win there.

He showed in the past years that he can beat any GM below 2720. Now he showed he can draw comfortably against 2720+. The sum of both brings him a +5 score.

Well deserved victory, because he went for it.

Carlsens 7 whites proved no advantage. He lost twice with the white pieces.

So congratulations to HN.

Congrats to Naka - tremendous performance. Few would have predicted an outright victory in such a strong tournament. Naka is officially in the elite club. Expectations will also be higher for him from now on. Can't wait for Amber. Unfortunate for Anand, couldn't win in spite of a very strong solid show.

Here's the final version of Shipov's commentary on Nepomniachtchi - Anand, including comments on Nakamura's win: http://bit.ly/ecoCi4

p.s. I might update it later e.g. if Shipov finds a win for Anand in analysis and shows it in his video round-up.

Yes, but you made a very classless prediction. How would someone ever predict that a player would not score a single draw when the ratings differences were not that great? I don't believe you were being facetious. You made another jab at Sachdev by saying her games weren't impressive. It's OK to miss the mark, but had you any of her games before making the prediction? I doubt it. Be fair.


Oh... what? woooooow...

Nak finishes ahead of two!!!!!!!!!! world champions.

That must have happened at least 1000 times in the past 120 years...

But of course it is something special if the hometown hero does it.

Or rather: it is always special again. Even if the last one to do so was Carlsen 6 weeks ago.

Mig, calm down.

P.S. well done, Nak!

are you a dumb ass ? you did not say "similar" things about other indians like anand ....,
who the hell are you , garry kasparov ?
tania sachdev will beat you in a simul ....

Thomas, in this competition all are star players, no denying that. And this is like never before seen high quality competition. But just wanted to congratulate some super star performers! :)

Or rather, you wanted to name your favorite players, and for me "Others, better luck next time!" sounded like everyone else had a bad tournament - which wasn't quite the case, only Grischuk and Shirov will be rather sad and need better luck next time.

OK I was wrong. Hikaru walked in after a 20 move draw; not 17.
Great showing overall. We'll all be watching to see if he can match or improve on this result, but for sure he has an elite tourney chair with his name on it for a while.
And for certain, people will be gunning for him in upcoming tournaments more than they were after his lesser showing in the Tal Memorial or London.

Best keep Mr. Littlejohn busy and well-paid...

All right, I didn't think like that. I was thinking that everyone would have the same goals like finish in top 3 at least or something like that. But some might have had goals like to improve rating, beat or draw the world champion etc. So you're right!

But better luck should always be good you know? :)

In addition to Mr. Nakamura, I predict that we will also see more and more of his future nemeses, Mr. Karjakin, Mr. Giri, Mr. Nyzhnyk, Mr. Vocaturo, Mr. McShane, and last but not least, Mssr. Vachier-Lagrave. Hikaru will have his hands full with that crew. Guaranteed.

"I guess if a 19-year old Radjabov, a 19-year old Karjakin and a 17-year old Carlsen can win in Wijk aan Zee, there is no reason why a 23-year old Nakamura can't win there."

Of course Wijk aan Zee didn't have the all top four players in the world playing in any of those years...and of those three only Karjakin didn't have to share first.

"Did you formally congratulate everyone who ever won a supertournament?"

If I was watching and posting comments about that tournament regularly, yes -- especially if I had been badmouthing the eventual winner personally and professionally before and during the event, as you have been doing to Naka.

"I have gone through many of her games and I wasn't particularly impressed. The bottom of the C group must be weaker than I thought."

Moronic statement...to score a 2500+ performance rating over 13 rounds clearly shows that she is a good player. As someone whose ELO is certainly higher than yours, I went through several of her games this tourney and was impressed...she actually threw away at least 1.5 points during the tourney, so her score could have been better.

Congrats to Vocaturo for winning that section, and for McShane and Navara for winning Group B (and both getting invites to Group A next year).

Coach Factory recommended you to buy Coach Kristin Bags, the one which can fully display women's elegance and nobleness.coach factory stores embodied both strength of style and features, as well as what else are you able to request only one bag?

I don't think you want to take on a job like cleaning the pellet stove pipe unless you really know what you are doing because this can be a messy bear of a job. Professionals have all http://www.pricenettools.com

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on January 28, 2011 10:29 PM.

    Tata 2011: Anand & Nakamura Lead after 4 was the previous entry in this blog.

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