L. Aronian & M. Carlsen vencem Wijk ann Zee 2008!

Amigos[as], os GMs Levon Aronian [Armênia] e Magnus Carlsen [Noruega] venceram o super-torneio de Wijk ann Zee 2008. Anand ficou em 3.º e deve ampliar um pouco mais o seu rating, para manter-se à frente de todos mais, inclusive do destronado “Vlad” Kramnik. Topalov não foi muito bem, mas a sua espetacular vitória sobre Kramnik o deixou satisfeito com o torneio. Judit Polgar mostrou que ainda deve ser temida, entre os grandes e que é um deles. Aronian provou que é também um dos mais fortes, para as pretensões de titulo mundial, em 2009 [já, que, em 2008, as coisas já estão definidas: Anand x Kramnik, Topalov x Gata Kamsky].

Magnus Carlsen segue assombrando o mundo do xadrez e todos se perguntam: onde ele vai parar?! Irá se tornar o novo Kasparov? Muitos crêem que sim, pois sempre joga com grande coragem, sempre tenta algo novo, sempre luta pela vitória! Parabéns ao menino-prodígio da Noruega!

Abaixo, vejam as bonitas fotos de todos os jogadores [na lente de Fred Lucas – fotógrafo oficial do torneio].

Players and personalities – photo report by Fred Lucas
29.01.2008 – “My relation with chess is simple,” he says. “I’m a photographer who is very fond of the game, loves the atmosphere at tournaments – and I love to make pictures, especially with available light.” As the official photographer once again in Wijk aan Zee Fred Lucas has documented the tournament with his extraordinary work. We bring you a selection in this amazing pictorial.

Wijk aan Zee 2008 – Players and Personalities

Picture gallery Fred Lucas

The playing hall in Wijk aan Zee, with the A-Group on the right, the B-Group on the left

Shakhryar Mamedyarov, 22, Azerbeijan, rated 2760, A Group

The top Azeri GM is currently ranked number six in the world, in spite of a “bad” year in 2007. “Shak” is considered a bit of a loner who turns up at tournaments without a coach or second. In Wijk he came 11th in the A Group, with a 2715 performance.

Teimour Radjabov, 20, Azerbaijan, rated 2735, A Group

Azerbeijan’s second strongest GM, ranked number 12 in the world, came equal first last year’s tournament. He started 2008 very impressively, winning the ACP Rapid Knockout in Odessa, beating Ivanchuk, Grischuk and Jakovenko. In the A Group of Wijk he came equal 3-4 with a 2796 performance.

Magnus Carlsen, 17, Norway, rated 2733, A Group

Magnus turned seventeen at the end of November and is already rankes 13th in the world. He shows no sign of slowing his meteoric rise to the top of the chess world. He finished the A Group equal first with a 2824 performance.

Vladimir Kramnik, 32, Russia, rated 2799, A Group

Kramnik is an ex World Champion who beat Garry Kasparov in 2000, defended his title against Peter Leko in 2004 and defeated FIDE world champion Veselin Topalov in a reunification match in 2006. He lost his title in September 2007, at the World Championship in Mexico City, but gets to play the new champion Viswanathan Anand in September 2008. He finished equal 7-8 in the A Group with a 2738 performance.

Viswanathan Anand, 38, India, rated 2799, A Group

“Vishy” had a very successful year 2007 (to put it mildly), making place one in the world, crossing the 2800 Elo barrier and winning the World Championship in Mexico City. He started off badly in this event, occupying last place until a steady climb put him half a point behind the leaders. In the last round he missed joining them by a hair. Final standing: equal 3-4, performance: 2792.

Levon Aronian, 25, Armenia, rated 2739, A Group

Lev is an easy-going, fun-loving GM who has chalked up remarkable victories in his still young career. He is currently number ten in the world, and will improve his ranking and rating with his equal first place (with Magnus Carlsen) and 2824 performance.

Michael Adams, 36, England, rated 2726, A Group

For many years now “Micky” has been England’s top grandmaster, and often appeared in the world’s top ten – currently he is 15-16th in the world. In Wijk he finished joint 7-8th (with Kramnik) and performed at a 2743 level.

Veselin Topalov, 32, Bulgaria, rated 2780, A Group

Topalov won the FIDE world championship title in San Luis in 2005 and went on to achieve the second highest Elo rating of all time (2813). After losing his title to Vladimir Kramnik in 2006 he has alternated between brilliant and dismal results. Wijk aan Zee 2008 counts as one of the latter: he finished 9-11th with a 2713 performance.

Vassily Ivanchuk, 38, Ukraine, rated 2751, A Group

“Chucky” is nine months older than Anand and one of the most profound players in the world. In the final quarter of 2007 he was ranked second in the world, but subsequently dropped to number nine. He plays more games per year then any top players and is obviously ferociously in love with the game. In Wijk he finished 5-6th together with Peter Leko. His performance was 2768.

Judit Polgar, 31, Hungary, rated 2707, A Group

We cannot repeat it often enough: Judit is easily the strongest female who ever played chess. After two children in recent years she dropped out to the top ten slot, but has her sights firmly concentrated on a return. Currently she is 22nd in the world. She finished Wijk equal 9-11 (with Topalov and Mamedyarov) with a 2718 performance.

Boris Gelfand, 39, Israel, rated 2737, A Group

The oldest player in the field had been a serious contender for the World Championship title in Mexico City last September, where he finished equal 2-3 (with Kramnik behind Anand). In Wijk he faltered badly with four losses and only one win. He came equal 13-14 with a 2662 performance.

Loek van Wely, 35, Netherlands, rated 2681, A Group

The bottom seed local boy started off well and after four rounds was in fourth place. However three successive losses towards the end of the tournament spoilt it for him and he finished equal 13-14 with a disappointing 2666 performance.

Sergey Movsesian, 29, Slovakia, rated 2677, B Group

Georgian born of Armenian descent, Sergey has been living in the Czech Republic ever since he was a teenager, but plays for Slovakia, which gave him citizenship. He won the B Group a full point ahead of the field, with a 2787 performance.

Etienne Bacrot, 25, France, rated 2700, B Group

Top French player, former child prodigy who completed his GM title at 14, father of two, Etienne came equal 2-3rd with a 2722 performance.

Nigel Short, 42, England, rated 2645, B Group

“When I won the tournament in 1986,” said the former world championship challenger, “most of the players here were not yet born. Except Kransenkov.” Nigel meant the A Group, which he won twice, once by a point and a half. His play this year was galvanised when his opponent in round eight, Ivan Cheparinov, refused to shake hands and was briefly forfeited. The game was played the next day and Short trounced his opponent. After that came only wins and draws, and he finished equal 2-3rd with a 2726 performance.

Pentala Harikrishna, 21, India, rated 2664, B Group

His name is Harikrishna, Pentala is his father’s name. So call him Harikrishna if you know him well, or Mr Harikrishna if you don’t. Hari is from the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh and is the country’s second highest ranked player. He finished Wijk B on place four, with a performance of 2668.

Ivan Cheparinov, 21, Bulgaria, rated 2713, B Group

He is one of the great Bulgarian talents, and works as Veselin Topalov’s second, playing a serious role in Topalov’s successes. He gained notoriety by refusing to shake Nigel Short’s hand in round eight. The video of that memorable moment was watched on YouTube by 90,000 visitors. The top seed did not fare too well in Wijk, finishing on place six with a 2611 performance.

Koneru Humpy, 20, India, rated 2612, B Group

Like Harikrishna her name is Humpy or Ms Humpy, not Koneru, which is how you address her father. Humpy is a full grandmaster and the second female in history to break the 2600 barrier. All we can say is Judit, watch out! She did not do well in Wijk, finishing 11th with a 2565 performance.

Hou Yifan, 13, China, rated 2527, B Group

One of the most remarkable talents in Wijk, this 13-year-old girl is only a WGM, but don’t tell the GMs she regularly crushes (for example Nigel Short in 23 moves in round three). Nobody doubts that this is a future women’s world champion and someone the top male players are going to learn to fear. She came 7-10th in Group B with a 2598 performance.

Fabiano Caruana, 15, Italy, rated 2598, C Group

Talking about talent, here’s another player to watch. Fabiano is of Italian extraction, grew up in the US and now lives in Hungary. He is the second youngest grandmaster in the world. His debut in Wijk brought victory in the C Group. Did we say victory? He won it by two full points! His performance: 2694. Makes you dizzy, doesn’t it?

Parimarjan Negi, 14, India, rated 2526, C Group

They just keep churning them out. Parimarjan, whose surname is Negi (i.e. Mr Negi to you, please), is one of the many extraordinary talents that has come out of India in recent years. He is the youngest ever grandmaster in Indian and was at one stage the second youngest in the history of the game. Pari finished equal 2-3rd with a rating performance of 2572.

Irina Krush, 24, USA, rated 2473, C Group

Born in Odessa (her name is actually pronounced “Kroosh”), Irina migrated with her family to Brooklyn when she was five. At 14 she became the youngest ever US Women’s Champion. She finished 5-8th with a 2521 performance.

Li Shilong, 30, China, rated 2502, C Group

One of the many Chinese grandmasters that have raised their country to a chess super-power. He finished 10-11th in the C Group with a performance of 2567.

Peng Zhaoqin, 29, China, rated 2461, C Group

Call her Peng – or 彭肇勤, if you come from her native China. Peng was born in Guangzhou, Guangdong, but has lived in the Netherlands for more than ten years now. She has a full FIDE title of grandmaster and has won the Dutch Women’s Championship six times – in a row. She finished the C Group in a disappointing 12-13th place with a performance of 2386.

Anna Ushenina, 22, Ukraine, rated 2484, C Group

Anna is the highest ranked female player in Ukraine, which is the second strongest chess nation in the world. She has a WGM and a (male) IM title. She finised 12-13th (together with Peng) with a performance of 2384.

Viktor Korchnoi, 76, Switzerland, rated 2605, Honorary Group

Introducing Viktor Lvovich would be like introducing Shakespeare of Beethoven. He is one of the strongest players in history never to actually win the world championship title. And at an age where most people are dozing in deck chairs this man travels the world in serach of new chess adventures. He finished third in his group with a disappointing 2545 performance.

Ljubomir Ljubojevic, 57, Yugoslavia, rated 2543, Honorary Group

Yugoslavia is now Serbia, of course. But “Ljubo” lives in Linares, Spain, and is fluent in any language you may care to try on him. He was once rated third in the world and has defeated practically every top grandmaster of his generation. His belligerent comments to postgame analyses are legend. Ljubojevic won the Honorary Group with a performance of 2685.

Jan Timman, 56, Netherlands, rated 2561, Honorary Group

The greatest Dutch chess player since Max Euwe, Jan won the national championship nine times. In the 1980s and 1990s, after Fischer had retreated from the game, he was considered the strongest non-Soviet player. He finished second in the Honorary Group with a performance of 2560.

Lajos Portisch, 70, Hungary, rated 2530, Honorary Group

From the early 1960s into the late 1980s, Portisch was one of the strongest non-Soviet players. He participated in twelve straight Interzonals, and qualified for the World Chess Championship Candidates’ cycle a total of eight times. He finished fourth in the Honorary Group with a 2450 performance.

John Nunn, 52, England, rated 2602, Honorary guest

John Denis Martin Nunn is one of England’s strongest chess players, once amongst the world’s top ten. He is also a mathematician, a subject he took up at Oriel College in Oxford at the age of 15, which made him the youngest undergraduate since Cardinal Wolsey. Today he earns his living publishing and sometimes writing chess books, and occupies himself with science, especially astronomy.

Signe Carlsen, 10, Norway, unrated, sister of Magnus

Signe will turn 11 in February and accompanied her father Henrik on their trip to Wijk. Both assisted and encouraged her brother Magnus. Signe speaks fluent English (like all Skandinavians) and is incredibly cute. Hope she comes to Morelia, Mexico, to support Magnus there.

Photos by Fred Lucas, text by Frederic Friedel

“My relation with chess is simple,” says Fred Lucas. “I’m a photographer who is very fond of the game, loves the atmosphere at tournaments – it’s if you can really feel all the ideas coming up on all those boards – and I love to make pictures, especially with available light. What I like most when photographing chess players is to get their emotions that are otherwise hard to see, because life immediately proceeds to the next moment. Before the start of a game most players are busy with themselves, concentrating and some give you the impression that they really don’t want to pay attention to anything else than the game to come.”


Published in: on janeiro 29, 2008 at 1:59 pm  Deixe um comentário  

Magnus Carlsen [17 anos] recusa empate e derrota Kramnik!

Amigos[as], depois de Topalov, agora foi o jovem-prodígio Magnus Carlsen quem derroutou o “super-confiante” [e destronado…] Vladimir Kramnik, numa aula de final de torres/cavalo.

No alnce 30, Kramnik ofereceu empate; Carlsen recusou! 

A partida é um primor nos quesitos coragem, decisão, criatividade. Uma aula do melhor xadrez do mundo [neste janeiro de 2008]. Para verem o jogo em java [automático], procurem em www.coruschess.com

Massive interest for the game Kramnik vs Carlsen

Kramnik,V (2799) – Carlsen,M (2733) [A30]
Corus A Wijk aan Zee NED (12), 26.01.2008
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.g3 b6 5.Bg2 Bb7 6.0-0 Be7 7.d4 cxd4 8.Qxd4 d6 9.Rd1 a6 10.Ng5 Bxg2 11.Kxg2 Nc6 12.Qf4 0-0 13.Nce4 Ne8 14.b3 Ra7 15.Bb2 Rd7 16.Rac1 Nc7 17.Nf3 f5 18.Nc3 g5. Carlsen has played the Hedgehog and held his opponent thoughout a phase of manoeuvering. He now plays this interesting plan. 19.Qd2 g4 20.Ne1 Bg5 21.e3 Rff7 22.Kg1 Ne8 23.Ne2 Nf6 24.Nf4 Qe8 25.Qc3 Rg7 26.b4 Ne4 27.Qb3 Rge7 28.Qa4 Ne5

Kramnik may have had a slight edge, but the following pawn grab plan is based on a simple miscalcualtion, having missed that he could not take on b6 because of material loss. 29.Qxa6 Ra7 30.Qb5. Forced. After this the ending was very bad for White and Carlsen wrapped things up. 30…Qxb5 31.cxb5 Rxa2 32.Rc8+ Kf7 33.Nfd3 Bf6 34.Nxe5+ dxe5 35.Rc2 Rea7 36.Kg2 Ng5 37.Rd6 e4 38.Bxf6 Kxf6 39.Kf1 Ra1 40.Ke2 Rb1 41.Rd1 Rxb4 42.Ng2 Rxb5 43.Nf4 Rc5 44.Rb2 b5 45.Kf1 Rac7 46.Rbb1 Rb7 47.Rb4 Rc4 48.Rb2 b4 49.Rdb1 Nf3 50.Kg2 Rd7 51.h3 e5 52.Ne2 Rd2 53.hxg4 fxg4 54.Rxd2 Nxd2 55.Rb2 Nf3 56.Kf1 b3 57.Kg2 Rc2 0-1.

Magnus Carlsen after his win over Vladimir Kramnik

Published in: on janeiro 27, 2008 at 2:36 am  Comments (3)  

Fotos de Wiij ann Zee: Kramnik esnobando, Topalov concentrado e Judit Polgar sorrindo…

Amigos, as fotos abaixo são do round 9 do supertorneio de Wijk ann Zee, que se aproxima do seu final. Neste round, Kramnik fez pose de semideus, mas quem deu-lhe uma categórica surra foi seu arqui-rival Veselin Topalov… Os dois não se cumprimentaram, nem trocaram olhares, durante todo o jogo. Judit Polgar não estava nem aí p’ra isso…

Gallery – Round 9




Published in: on janeiro 24, 2008 at 6:10 pm  Comments (1)  

Jogo anotado: Topalov 1 x 0 Kramnik [análises de Kasparov].

Amigos[as], classificando este jogo no tema dos sacrifícios, mando abaixo a ano~tação desta espetacular partida, que acaba de se tornar clássica e virar o centro de todos os comentários do mundo do xadrez, no dia de hoje. Seguem, portanto, as anotações de Kasparov e de outro GM, assim como [no final da anotação] o link para se ver o jogo em java, automaticamente. Boa aula.

Wijk ann Zee, round 9: the tournament spectacular
23.01.2008 – Topalov vs Kramnik in round nine was pure spectacle, with a stunning novelty which had been kept a secret for three years, complicated middlegame fight and mutual missed opportunities. And with a kibitzing Garry Kasparov offering special insights. Adams gradually squeezed van Wely in a static position, managed to win a pawn with a simple trick and then the game. Mihail Marin comments.

Wijk aan Zee 2008

GM Mihail Marin in his analysis kitchen at home in Romaina

The following express commentary was provided by Romanian grandmaster Mihail Marin, who is the author of a number of very popular ChessBase training CDs and articles for ChessBase Magazine. GM Marin will study the games of the World Championship tournament in much greater detail and provide the full results of his analysis in the next issue of ChessBase Magazine.

Round nine commentary by GM Mihail Marin

Group A: Round 9 – Tues. Jan. 22th
Michael Adams – Loek van Wely
Levon Aronian – Pavel Eljanov
Vassily Ivanchuk – Shak. Mamedyarov
Judit Polgar – Teimour Radjabov
Veselin Topalov – Vladimir Kramnik
Boris Gelfand – Vishy Anand
Peter Leko – Magnus Carlsen

The 9th round scheduled one of the most awaited game of the tournament, one that opposed the ex World Champions Topalov and Kramnik. The game was pure spectacle, with a stunning novelty which had been kept a secret for three years, complicated middlegame fight and mutual missed opportunities in the final part. Topalov won after 45 moves and there seems to have been just one moment when Kramnik could have saved the game.

Leko-Carlsen featured a tense fight with some initiative for White. Black defended actively, but then missed a relatively simple draw and immediately resigned (see the express report).

Playing with white, Adams gradually squeezed van Wely in a static position. He managed to win a pawn with a simple trick. Black was forced to launch an energetic counterplay, but eventually misplaced his pieces and, confronted with additional losses of material, resigned on move 47.

A spectacular tactical fight could be seen in Ivanchuk-Mamedyarov. The exchange of blows eventually resulted into almost complete simplifications and a logical draw.

Playing with Black against Judit Polgar, Radjabov unearthed the out-fashioned Jänisch Attack and obtained an entirely adequate position out of the opening. Soon, Judit initiated a tcaticaloperation resulting into a draw by perpetual check.

Anand once again employed his “pet” variation against Gelfand’s Catalan and equalized comfortably. In fact, Black’sposition looked more attractive after 25 moves, when a draw was agreed.

A solid but complex line of the English Opening was rehearsed in Aronian-Eljanov. Players ageed on a draw after 20 moves, in a moment when there was a lot of play yet.

Topalov,V (2780) – Kramnik,V (2799) [D43]
Corus A Wijk aan Zee NED (9), 22.01.2008 [Mihail Marin]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6. During the Elista match, Kramnik played 4…dxc4 in all the 3 games where this position arised, obtaining entirely satisfactory positions out of the opening. After the match, he started employing the sharper Moscow/Anti-Moscow systems, where he seems to feel at home with both colours. 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4. Between players that do not shake eachother’s hands before the game, the positional 6.Bxf6 is out of question, of course. 6…dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.0-0 Nbd7 11.Ne5 Bg7

This position is so frequently seen nowadays that it would hardly deserve a diagram under normal circumstances. The real tabyias arise slightly later, but in the present game White deviated from the approved path abruptly. 12.Nxf7!? If such surprises, in the true spyrit of the King’s Gambit, can arise from once in a while still, we are quite far from the exhaustion of our favourite game still. In the press conference Topalov said Cheparinov found Nxf7 three years ago, and they have been saving and developing it ever since. A huge effort indeed, but the resulting positions cannot be analized properly without considerable investment of time. All engines would consider that Black is just winning in all the lines, which can be quite discouraging for the faint-hearted. Contrary to the almost unanimous opinion, the move is not a novelty, though. It had been played for the first time by the Romanian correspondemce player Miron Nacu two years ago, as Marius Ceteras (among others, captain of the Romanian Ladies Olympic correspondence team) kindly informed me. 12…Kxf7

Black is a full piece up and there is no obvious way for White to get at least part of his material back. However, the permanent exposure of the black king to White’s pieces’ attack justifies the sacrifice from abstract point of view. 13.e5. Only this move is new. Both correspondence games continued with 13.f4 (If we spoke about the King’s Gambit, this move is quite natural, even if played with a delay of more than 10 moves) 13…b4 (This looks suspicious. Later, Black tried to improve by evacuating the king from the centre with 13…Kg8 when after 14.e5 Nd5 15.Nxd5 cxd5 16.Bh5 White’s kingside pressure eventually proved sufficient for reaching a draw in Brodda-Zidu, ICCF 2007.) 14.f5 exf5 (There is no immediate refutation for 14…bxc3 15.fxe6+ Kxe6 , but the presence of the king in the centre would be a permanent source of worries.) 15.Bxc4+ Ke7 16.Rxf5 bxc3 17.bxc3 Rf8 18.h4 with strong initiative for the considerable material disadvantage, Nacu-Brodda, ICCF 2006. 13…Nd5 14.Ne4. The next phase of the game consists of natural developing moves, as if nothing extraordinary had happened. Quite logically so, because development should be the highest priority in the first phase of the game no matter what. 14…Ke7 15.Nd6 Qb6 16.Bg4 Raf8 17.Qc2

17…Qxd4. This is the first move after which engines switch their evaluation from better for Black (already not winning, though) to at least equal for White. Which does not mean anything really, it might just be a consequence of the horison effect. Kramnik’s move was probably dictated by the desire to establish some communication between the opposite wings (something that was possible only along the back rank until now). From the computer’s suggestions, I would consider 17…Rhg8 as logical, because it develops the last piece, anticipating the infiltration of the white queen at the same time. 18.Qg6 Qxg4 19.Qxg7+ Kd8 20.Nxb7+. Black’s material advance has been reduced to the minimum, but Kramnik probably relied on his stability on light squares as well as on the optical dispersion of White’s forces all over the board. The queen and the knight are placed on active positions, but they are not sustained by the rooks, restricted to back rank activity for the time being. At the same time, the g3-bishop is somewhat out of play. Its only function is to keep the essential e5-pawn protected. 20…Kc8

The king could not go to c7 because of Nc5, with an unpleasant pin. However, the relatively best king retreat to c8 is not without drawbacks either. White is not at all forced to hurry with the check on d6, when after …Kc7 Black would reach relative stability on the queenside. Taking advantage of the fact that the d7-knight is hanging, too, Topalov will leave his own knight on b7 for several moves, keeping Nd6+ in reserve. This is a typical way to increase the force of a determinedpiece. From b7, the knight controls the c5- and d8-squares, but also, indirectly, all the squares that can be reached from d6 in one move. After a premature knight jump to d6, the former area of influence would be lost. During the game, it is hard to foresee all the cases when a difference would be made by delaying the move Nd6+, but while this possibility will be available anyway, delaying it will (at least theoretically) restrict Black’s choices. 21.a4 b4 22.Rac1. Threatening Rxc4! Black has obvious problems maintaining the queenside closed. 22…c3 23.bxc3

23…b3!? Aiming to maintain the c-file closed. 23…Nxc3 would allow White to coordinate the action of most of his pieces with 24.h3! Qd4 (24…Qe2 would leave both e6- and b4-pawns undefended and White would immediately attack them with 25.Qe7!) 25.Rfd1! when Black would have to find a form of giving up the queen for (probbaly) insufficient compensation, since the natural line 25…Nxd1? 26.Nd6+ Kc7? (Black should capture on d6 already. The text move aims to keep the knight and the e6-pawn defended, which is essential in order to avoid decisive attack.) loses the queen for nothing to 27.Nb5+; In case of 23…bxc3 White has a wide choice, but I like 24.Rfd1 best, because it brings the last piece into play. The concrete threat is Rxd5 followed by Qe7 with a strong attack. 24.c4. After the recent structural modifications, Black’s central knight has lost stability. 24…Rfg8 Black cannot afford to open the d-file and has to start chasing the enemy queen. 25.Nd6+.He could still have waited for one more move. 25…Kc7 26.Qf7 Rf8

A first critical moment of the game. White cannot evacuate his queen starting with 27.Qg6? because of 27…Nf4! 28.Bxf4 Rhg8! followd by 29…gxf4 with a strong counterattack. Agreeing to the repetion of moves is out of question (they would have had to look into eachother’s eyes in order to fix the draw in that case, but this would have been almost as humiliating as shaking hands!) which means, using the method of elimination, that White has to create a threat at least as strong as …Rxf7. 27.cxd5!? Optically speaking, the most natural decision. It is easy to establish that White will get ample compensation for his queen; no complicate calculation is required. Objectively speaking, 27.h3! might be better, though. This move was suggested by Garry Kasparov, who was following the game informally (phoning and discussing with people in between) on a notebook without an engine! In fact, the first sequence of moves is not difficult to calculate and I assume that Topalov saw it, too: 27…Rxf7 28.hxg4 Nf4 (The only way to maintain the material disadvantage within acceptable limits) 29.Nxf7 Ne2+ 30.Kh2! (This move is natural and would be the instant choice of most players. I have awarded it with an exclaim because in a certain line it will be essential not to have the king on the back rank.) 30…Nxc1 31.Rxc1 Rb8

Analysis diagram

Players have reversed their parts and it is White who is a piece up now. However, with the bishop temporarily imprisonned on g3, the b-pawn, sustained by the rook and knight, seems to be very dangerous. Topalov must have evaluated this position as unclear, but further analysis proves that Kasparov’s intuition did not let him down. White is able to generate a powerful and somewhat unexpected counterplay on the opposite wing, developing by one tempo faster than Black’s simple plan. Here are some possible continuations (part of them provided by Kasparov himself, when confronted with a powerful chess engine by Frederic Friedel) 32.Rb1 Nc5 33.f4! Nxa4 (Black should not lose time. In case of an exchange on f4, the bishop will get into play just in time to keep Black’s counterplay under control) 34.fxg5 hxg5 35.Nxg5 b2 (35…Nc3 also leads to remarkable play after 36.Nxe6+ Kc8 . The only possible retreat on an apparently empty area of the board. After any other move, White would play Rxb3! Once again, the direct and indirect action of White’s knight keeps under control a bunch of important squares. 37.Rf1 b2 38.Nc5! Establishing a nice net around the enemy king. 38…b1Q 39.Rf8+ Kc7 40.e6+ Kb6 41.Rxb8+ Kxc5 42.Rxb1 Nxb1 43.e7 winning.) 36.Nxe6+ Kc8 (Again the only square. 36…Kd7 37.Nc5+! Nxc5 38.e6+ would lose the rook; while 36…Kb7 leaves Black without the threat …Nc3.) 37.g5 Nc3 Finally, Black has reached his optimal regroupment, but after 38.Rxb2 Rxb2 39.g6+- the pawn is unstoppable. 27…Rxf7 28.Rxc6+ Kb8 29.Nxf7

29…Re8?! This is the second critical moment and… Black’s only chance to save the game! Kramnik played his last move quickly, apparently without considering any alternative to removing the rook from the attacked square. By this moment, Kasparov felt somewhat frustrated by the fact that on the server nobody was suggesting 29…Qe2! , which he considered a way to hold the position. The basic idea is similar to that behind his previous suggestion, 27.h3. Instead of parrying the threat Nxh8, Black creates a stronger one! Indeed, in case the knight captures on h8, Black takes on f1 followed by …b2, with a likely draw by perpetual, because Wite’s pieces are not communicating with eachother. Here is a (not entirely forced) line confirming Kasparov’s evaluation: 30.Rc3 (After 30.Rcc1 Rc8! 31.Rb1 b2 White is too passive to claim an advantage.) 30…b2 31.Rb3+ Ka8 32.Nxh8 Nc5 33.Rb5 (The rook is instable along the b-file and will have to capture on b2 at some point. However, it is useful to distract from its actual square the knight before doing that. 33.Rxb2?! Qxb2 34.dxe6 Nxe6 allows Black consolidate on the kingside,, while his a-pawn could prove dangerous in the near future.) 33…Nxa4 34.Rxb2 Qxb2 35.dxe6 Qb6 36.e7 Qe6 Apparently, White is in some trouble, but he can maintain some initiative with 37.f4 gxf4 (Otherwise, Black would have to fight against two connected pawns) 38.Bh4, but the position remains fairly unclear. 30.Nd6 Rh8 31.Rc4 Qe2 32.dxe6 Nb6 33.Rb4

White has a material advantage already, active piece placement, far advanced pawns and the safer position of the king. Black is in big trouble. 33…Ka8 34.e7?! More accurate would have been 34.Rxb3, keeping both e-pawns on board. 34…Nd5 35.Rxb3 Nxe7 36.Rfb1 Nd5 37.h3

There seems to be some hope for Black now, since there is no obvious way for White to improve his position. 37…h5?! But after this pseudo-active move, weakening the g5-pawn and allowing White regroup with gain of time, simplifies White’s task. 38.Nf7 Rc8 39.e6 Threatening mate in one. 39…a6 40.Nxg5 h4 41.Bd6! The h4-pawn has little significance in this moment. Topalov prefers to use his bishop to sustain the advance of his passed pawn. 41…Rg8 42.R3b2 Qd3 43.e7 Nf6 44.Be5 Nd7 45.Ne6

There is no satisfactory defence against Nc7+ followed by Rb7#. 1-0. [Click to replay]

Published in: on janeiro 23, 2008 at 5:23 pm  Deixe um comentário  

Partida anotada: Anand 1 x 0 Topalov [Wik ann Zee 2008, round 8].

Amigos[as], somente hoje pude ver como é interessante o jogo Anand x Topalov, no round 8. De lé pra cá, Topalov derrotou Kramnik em partida ainda mais rica e cujos comentários seguem amanhã ou depois. Até lá, vejam as análises excelentes do jogo Anand x Topalov.

Wijk aan Zee round eight annotated
21.01.2008 – Sunday saw only three real fights and just one decisive game. Topalov employed a strategically ambitious, but rather time consuming plan against Anand, who reacted with great precision and Black soon found himself under pressure on both wings. Polgar sacrificed a pawn against Kramnik in order to annihilate White’s pressure and get some initiative in exchange. GM Mihail Marin comments.

Wijk aan Zee 2008

The following express commentary was provided by Romanian grandmaster Mihail Marin, who is the author of a number of very popular ChessBase training CDs and articles for ChessBase Magazine.

Most players seem to have been somewhat tired after the eventful seventh round. We only had three real fights and just one decisive game.

Group A: Round 8 – Sun. Jan. 20nd
Loek van Wely – Peter Leko
Magnus Carlsen – Boris Gelfand
Vishy Anand – Veselin Topalov
Vladimir Kramnik – Judit Polgar
Teimour Radjabov – Vassily Ivanchuk
Shak. Mamedyarov – Levon Aronian
Pavel Eljanov – Michael Adams

Playing with black against Anand, Topalov employed a strategically ambitious, but rather time consuming plan. The World Champion reacted with great precision and Black soon found himself under pressure on both wings. Topalov tried to keep things under control on the queenside, but got under a strong positional attack on the kingside. On the 40th move he resigned in a joyless position.

Vishy Anand plays 1.e4 against Veselin Topalov in round eight

The game proceeds 1…c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 and Topalov plays 3…cxd4

4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.f3 and we reach the position of the first diagram below.

Anand,V (2799) – Topalov,V (2780) [B90]
Corus A Wijk aan Zee NED (8), 20.01.2008 [Mihail Marin]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.f3

8…h5. This prophylactic move, preventing (or, at lest, slowing down) the standard attack based on g4-g5, becomes incresingly popular. 9.Nd5. Deviating from a game played at an earlier stage of the same tournament, which continued with 9.Qd2 Nbd7 10.a4 Be7 11.Be2 Qc7 12.0-0 0-0 , Leko-Topalov, Wijk aan Zee 2008. After White’s short castle, it is not easy to take advantage of the relative weakness of the black kingside. Besides, if we compare to the 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 lines of the Najdorf, …h5 cannot be considered a loss of time, because White also played the generally unfavourable f3 (this square is usually left available for the bishop, ever since Karpov used the line to defeat Portisch decades ago). Anand’s move is logical in a deeper sense. Since Black has spent a tempo on a pawn move which has little to do with the fight for the centre, White is in a favourable position to maintain the advantage of space he obtains after the inevitable exchange on d5. 9…Bxd5 10.exd5 Nbd7 11.Qd2

11…g6 12.0-0-0

12…Nb6!? The start of a very ambitious strategic plan, which, however, will cost Black considerable amount of time. The neutral developing moves 12…Rc8 13.Kb1 Bg7 might have been safer. 13.Qa5. The only way to defend the d5-pawn, but now Black can carry out the strategically favourable exchange of the dark-squared bishops with 13…Bh6 14.Bxh6 Rxh6 15.Kb1 Rc8

From static point of view, Black’s position looks great. He has exchanged his potentially “bad” bishop. Besides, with the centre blocked, knights are supposed to be stringer than White’s light-squared bishop. However, the last operations have caused alarming lack of harmony in Black’s camp. The b6-knight needs two tempi to get to the optimal blocking c5-square, while the h6-rook will consume quite some time to get into play, too. 16.Qb4! A very important element in White’s regrouping. A small tactical trick (see below) makes the d5-pawn taboo, allowing White prepare the consolidation of his centre with c4. If his queen had remained stuck on a5, his position could have become uncomfortable. 16…Kf8. In case of 16…Nfxd5 White would play 17.Rxd5! Nxd5 18.Qd2! with a double attack, taking full advantage of the awkward placement of the enemy rook. Black cannot avoid losing material, for instance 18…Qc7 19.c4 Nf4 20.g3. 17.c4 Kg7

18.g3! Another strong move, anticipating an eventual activation of the h6-rook by means of …h4 and …Rh5 and preparing the activation of the bishop. 18…Rh8. The strategically desirable 18…h4 does not seem to work out too well after 19.g4 . Black’s main problem remains that he needs considerable amount of time to take all the available blocking squares (c5, g5, f4) under control. For instance 19…Rh8 20.Rc1 (20.g5 is premature and allows Black regroup in time with 20…Nh5 21.Nd2 Nf4 22.Ne4 Qc7! If allowed one more move, Black would over-defend his d6-pawn with …Rhd8, while 23.Qxd6 or 23.Nxd6 can be met by 23…Nbxd5! taking advantage of the hanging position of the d1-rook.) 20…Nh7 21.Bd3 Ng5 22.Be4 The weakness of the d6-pawn prevents Black from transferring his other knight to c5 quickly, while the threat c5 is in the air… At the same time, advancing the f-pawn after, say, …Rf8, would open the king’s position too much, while after the more static kingside approach 22…Nh3 23.Rhd1 Nf4 White obtains strong initiative with 24.c5! 19.Rc1 Qc7 20.Bh3 Rce8 21.Rhd1 Re7 22.a3 Rd8 23.Nd2 Nbd7 24.Qc3

Black has finally completed his development, but White’s mobilisation of forces looks more threatening. he has advantage of space in the centre and the possibility of starting active operations on both wings. 24…a5. Topalov intends to install his knight on c5 with all the comfort (after…a4), probably underestimating Anand’s next move. One of the last chances to maintain the position double edged consisted of 24…Nc5 and if 25.b4 then simply 25…Ncd7 , when the relatively weak position of the white king would offer Black chances for a casual counterplay, although his position remains passive in general. 25.Bxd7! After the elimination of one of the knights, Black will not be able to keep both wings under control. 25…Nxd7?! Black is still dreaming about blockade. However, the temporary lack of defence of his kingside will offer Anand the possibility to launch a strong attack. 26.f4! Nf6 27.Rf1 b6 28.h3 Qd7 29.f5 Rf8 30.Qe3

White threatens to asfixiate his opponent with g4-g5 followed by Ne4. 30…e4!? A desperate attempt to activate his play. 31.g4! hxg4 32.hxg4 Re5 [32…Nxg4? lads to mate after 33.Qg5 Nf6 34.Rh1] 33.Rf4 Qd8 34.g5 Nh5 35.f6+ Kg8 36.Rxe4

White has increased his spatial advantage radically, having won a pawn at the same time. Black’s position is helpless. 36…Rfe8 37.Ka2 a4 38.Rc3 Qc7 39.Qd4 Qc5 40.Qxc5

Black’s resignation is not premature. White will need some time to convert his huge advantage into a win, but there would never be a doubt about it. Once Anand reached the control, Topalov probably did not feel like torturing himself defending this position. After 40.Qxc5 bxc5 41.Rce3 Black would be forced to trade all rooks (otherwise White would invade through the e-file). In the knight ending, White would get a passed a-pawn, retaining a crushing advantage of space on the whole board, while Black could not activate his pieces easily. Besides, the d6-pawn and both kingside pawns would be a permanent source of worries… Frankly, this is a lot more than a World Champion would need to win a game… 1-0. [Click to replay]

On the rebound: World Champion Vishy Anand

Comeback with hiccups: Veselin Topalov

Published in: on janeiro 23, 2008 at 3:18 pm  Deixe um comentário  

Topalov massacra Kramnik!!!

Amigos[as], segue o supertorneio de Wijk ann Zee, com jogos marcantes. Topalov derrotou [de forma categórica] seu arqui-rival Vladimir Kramnik! E com grande estilo, utilizando uma novidade no lance 12 e vários, vários sacrifícios [cavlso, bispo, peões e dama!!!].

Kasparov assistiu e comentou a partida; no meio-jogo, Kasparov já anunciava que Topalov iria ganhar e que Kramnik tinha perdido a chance do empate!

Vejam abaixo, algumas fotos e a anotação da partida. Detalhe: os dois jogadores não se cumprimentaram nem se olharam, durante todo o jogo…

Wijk R09: Topalov beats Kramnik, Carlsen blunders
23.01.2008 – The grudge game started without a handshake – or even eye contact. On move twelve Veselin Topalov uncorked a novelty his second Ivan Cheparinov had found three years earlier. With Garry Kasparov watching on Playchess.com his opponent Vladimir Kramnik was unable to resist the pressure and lost. Tournament leader Magnus Carlsen also suffered his first defeat. Express report.

Results of round nine

Group A: Round 9 – Tues. Jan. 22th
Michael Adams – Loek van Wely
Levon Aronian – Pavel Eljanov
Vassily Ivanchuk – Shak. Mamedyarov
Judit Polgar – Teimour Radjabov
Veselin Topalov – Vladimir Kramnik
Boris Gelfand – Vishy Anand
Peter Leko – Magnus Carlsen
Group B: Round 9 – Tues. Jan. 22th
Sergei Movsesian – Nigel Short
Jan Smeets – Wouter Spoelman
Ian Nepomniachtchi – Daniël Stellwagen
Erwin L’Ami – Hou Yifan
Koneru Humpy – P. Harikrishna
Gabriel Sargissian – Etienne Bacrot
Ivan Cheparinov – Michal Krasenkow
Group C: Round 9 – Tues. Jan. 22th
Peng Zhaoqin – Irina Krush
Mark van der Werf – Parimarjan Negi
Dennis Ruijgrok – Friso Nijboer
Dimitri Reinderman – Anna Ushenina
Efstratios Grivas – Li Shilong
Fabiano Caruana – John van der Wiel
Pontus Carlsson – Arik Braun

Group A

The game of the day was of course Veselin Topalov vs Vladimir Kramnik, and the question of the day whether they would shake hands. They didn’t. But everything was done in full compliance with the FIDE directive: neither of the players refused to shake hands, because neither of the players offered to do so. They simply ignored each other completely, to the extent that even eye contact was studiously avoided.

The key game: Veselin Topalov vs Vladimir Kramnik in round nine

No handshake, no eye contact – but strictly according to FIDE rules

Chess Vibes
has posted a film of the start of round nine on YouTube

The game went well for Topalov, who was able to spring a dramatic novelty, 12.Nxf7, discovered by his second Ivan Cheparinov three years ago and carefully preserved for an important occasion. Kramnik came under serious pressure and missed clear drawing chances, as Garry Kasparov, watching the games on Playchess.com, pointed out in real time. More about that in the analysis tomorrow. In the end thing went badly downhill for the Russian GM and Topalov was able to chalk up an important psychological victory.

Published in: on janeiro 23, 2008 at 2:48 pm  Comments (1)  

Cheparinov [Danailov] apelou! Partida poderá ser remarcada!

Amigos[as], enquanto o mundo do xadrez segue embasbacado com o ocorrido na partida Nigel Short x Ivan Cheparinov, devemos dizer que este último [através do seu manager Silvio Danailov – que também é o manager de Veselin Topalov!] apelou, e a decisão do Comitê de Apelação do Torneio [Vladimir Kramink (arqui-inimigo de Topalov!!!), Judit Polgar e outro jogador] decidiu que a partida pode ser remarcada, desde que Cheparinov peça desculpas, por escrito, a N. Short, até o fim do dia de hoje!.

Veremos o que vai acontecer. Até lá, vai o link dos vídeos que mostram o momento inicial da partida, quando ocorreu o incidente.


Published in: on janeiro 21, 2008 at 4:59 pm  Deixe um comentário  

Cheparinov perde por não cumprimentar Short!!!

É isso mesmo, amigos[as]: Ivan Cheparinov foi declarado perdedor da partida que mal começara [estavam em 1.e4 c5], por ter se recusado a cumprimentar [apertar a mão, exatamente] seu oponente, Nigel Short!!! E por duas vezes!!!

Cheparinov é um grande jogador e está se aproximando rapidamente dos top 15 do xadrez mundial, já sendo o 2º de Topalov, há alguns anos.

Short é um jogador respeitado, já tendo disputado, inclusive, o título mundial, contra Kasparov.

A atitude de Cheparinov é injustificável e ele foi punido com justiça, no meu entendimento. Abaixo, segue, também, a regra na qual o árbitro baseou a sua decisão.

E vejam, também adiante, a cobertura completa do triste/marcante evento, no site chessbase.com:

Wijk R08: Breaking news: Cheparinov forfeits on handshake
20.01.2008 – This is a first in modern chess: Nigel Short started his game against Ivan Cheparinov with 1.e4. The Bulgarian arrived late and replied 1…c5. Then Short offered the traditional handshake, which was twice refused by Cheparinov. Short protested, the arbiters consulted the FIDE web site and found a presidential board decision on the matter. Cheparinov was defaulted, Short received the point.

As regular readers of my reports will know, I usually try to start with a light-hearted digression. Today, however, I have to report something far more serious, indeed, one of the most extraordinary episodes I have ever heard of, let alone witnessed, at an international chess tournament. It occurred in the B Group, where Britain’s Nigel Short is playing. Today he faced Ivan Cheparinov, with the white pieces. Short came to the board, and with his opponent absent, he played the move 1.e4, and walked away. A few minutes later, Cheparinov came to the board, sat down, and played 1…c5. As Short came over, and held out his hand for the traditional pre-game handshake, Cheparinov pointedly kept his head down over the board and his scoresheet. After a few moments, Short sat down, and waited for Cheparinov to raise his head. When he did so, Short again extended his hand, only for Cheparinov to shrug in refusal.

Short then stood up and approached the arbiter, pointing out that his opponent’s actions are a breach of FIDE rules, which prescribe an immediate forfeit as the penalty for refusing the handshake. The arbiter was not even aware of this rule, which was announced only recently. He was asked to check, and after going away to do so, he duly found it on the FIDE website. After consulting with Cheparinov, and explaining the situation, the arbiter told Short that Cheparinov was now prepared to shake hands after all. However, given that he had already twice refused to do so, and that Short’s equanimity had by now been totally destroyed, the latter insisted that the offence had already occurred, and that Cheparinov should be forfeited. “It was clearly a calculated insult”, said Short. The arbiter was forced to agree, and the official tournament record now shows the game Short-Cheparinov as having gone 1.e4 c5 1-0.

Nigel Short explaining what had just transpired to journalists in the press centre…

…and especially to our correspondent Steve Giddins (seated)

An incredible situation. Short says that he personally has no issue with Cheparinov at all, but he presumes that the incident arose out of past comments that Short has made to the press, concerning the events of the “Toiletgate” match in Elista, and subsequent cheating allegations made against Topalov. Cheparinov is Topalov’s regular second, and both are managed by Silvio Danailov. Tomorrow is the second rest day here at Corus, which gives an extra 24 hours for the repercussions to rumble on. Of course, it is open to Cheparinov to lodge an appeal. With delicious humour, however, Short pointed out that one member of the tournament Appeals Committee, is… Vladimir Kramnik!

As they say in the press, watch this space!

FIDE ruling

Behavioural norms of players in chess events

Having discussed several recent cases in different chess tournaments where the attitude of players toward their opponent or officials, journalists etc. was not acceptable under conventional social behaviour, the FIDE Presidential Board – at the suggestion of President Ilyumzhinov – decided on setting up strict rules regarding such behaviour.

Any player who does not shake hands with the opponent (or greets the opponent in a normal social manner in accordance with the conventional rules of their society) before the game starts in a FIDE tournament or during a FIDE match (and does not do it after being asked to do so by the arbiter) or deliberately insults his/her opponent or the officials of the event, will immediately and finally lose the relevant game.

Regarding a more comprehensive set of behavioural and ethical norms to be followed, FIDE Ethics Commission and the Arbiter’s Council are to elaborate guidelines for the players. The guidelines will be published on the FIDE website.

Published in: on janeiro 20, 2008 at 3:20 pm  Deixe um comentário  

Morreu “Bob” Fischer…

Amigos[as], um dia triste para os fãs do xadrez genial: morreu, ontem, Robert James Fischer, campeão mundial de xadrez em 1972 e considerado [por muitos] o maior gênio nato do xadrez, depois de Capablanca.

Como homenagem, anotamos abaixo um de seus jogos contra Boris Spassky [de quem ele tomou o título, em 1972]; é uma derrota, mas mostra como era corajoso o velho “Bob”… Boa aula.

(1) Spassky,Boris V (2660) – Fischer,Robert James (2785) [E56]
World Championship 28th Reykjavik (1), 11.07.1972

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.e3 0-0 6.Bd3 c5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.a3 Ba5 9.Ne2 dxc4 10.Bxc4 Bb6 11.dxc5 Qxd1 12.Rxd1 Bxc5 13.b4 Be7 14.Bb2 Bd7 15.Rac1 Rfd8 16.Ned4 Nxd4 17.Nxd4 Ba4 18.Bb3 Bxb3 19.Nxb3 Rxd1+ 20.Rxd1 Rc8 21.Kf1 Kf8 22.Ke2 Ne4 23.Rc1 Rxc1 24.Bxc1 f6 25.Na5 Nd6 26.Kd3 Bd8 27.Nc4 Bc7 28.Nxd6 Bxd6 29.b5 Bxh2 30.g3 h5 31.Ke2 h4 32.Kf3 Ke7 33.Kg2 hxg3 34.fxg3 Bxg3 35.Kxg3 Kd6 36.a4 Kd5 37.Ba3 Ke4 38.Bc5 a6 39.b6 f5 40.Kh4 f4 41.exf4 Kxf4 42.Kh5 Kf5 43.Be3 Ke4 44.Bf2 Kf5 45.Bh4 e5 46.Bg5 e4 47.Be3 Kf6 48.Kg4 Ke5 49.Kg5 Kd5 50.Kf5 a5 51.Bf2 g5 52.Kxg5 Kc4 53.Kf5 Kb4 54.Kxe4 Kxa4 55.Kd5 Kb5 56.Kd6 1-0


Published in: on janeiro 18, 2008 at 8:27 pm  Deixe um comentário  

Topalov vence outra! Kramnik vence uma… Carlsen lidera!

Amigos[as], Topalov continua mais uma das suas conhecidas “reações tardias” e vence outra, e com as pretas! Kramnik venceu uma [finalmente…] e subiu para 3º. Carlsen venceu mais uma e lidera isolado!

Vejam em www.chessbase.com ou em www.coruschess.com

Published in: on janeiro 18, 2008 at 8:23 pm  Deixe um comentário