7 Mar 2008

Carlsen versus Radjabov

Final round. Is Carlsen going to pull of a miracle here this afternoon?

Doesn't look like it from where I am sitting. But then..I have no feel for the Schlieman at all. Never played, never studied it. So far there is little I can say.

Ahm wait: I think I can see Carlsen's python technique coming to the fore again: he has just played 28.g3 and after 27...b6 bringing the entire queenside to a standstill, it is going to be the kingside where trouble is brewing.

Radjabov is spending a long time over where to move his Queen at move 30.h4 *
Is he going Qg7 and then back to =h6= again or is he going to move the Rook from right to left and back again? Or is he simply going to say "Pass" ?

All very softly, softly and a little too subtle for me.

What? 36...Qf4?
And why does Magnus NOT take it? What am I missing here?
37.Qxf4 exf4 38.Rh3 Kc8/fxg3
Yeah, that's probably a damp squib.

They are through the time portal and playing fast.

63.b4 was a little wobbly (63.Rh6 better?)

It's got to be a draw.

I'm assuming it will be a draw any second now and I'm out of here.

Well done Magnus! Coming a close second in such company is another amazing feat. Thank you for entertaining us all in such style.

6 Mar 2008

Aronian versus Carlsen

A very pragmatic decision.
I wonder how it will effect the overal standings by the end of the day. Ivanchuk versus Anand is also drawn.

A Queen's Indian, with 4.g3 and they both fianchetto on the a8-h1 diagonal. White doesn't castle until move 13 and plays 6.Nc3 instead .
He manages to block the diagonal with 8.d5 to facilitate -e4-. Move 9 produced a Novelty, but I'm not sure whether for Aronian or Carlsen. I could not find any 9.cxd5 in my own databases.

13....Nd4 was played so fast that it must have been home prep. It set in motion a train of virtually forced moves with Carlsen yet again starting a Pythonesque ( and I don't mean 'Monty', but 'Karpov') trail which imprisoned Aronian and immobilized both his Rooks and his DSB.

Doubling pawns never seems to worry Magnus, and here it actually looked helpful. With 22....d5 he has his opponent locked in a cage, from which it proves hard to escape.

What goes through Carlsen's mind? How does he see it? Surely not the way we do. He makes it such fun for us observers.

Oh, I do nice work :-)

5 Mar 2008

Day off

Not a day goes by without a quick look at chessbase.com . This invariably cheers me up. Has done for I don't know how many years.

The competence, dedication, sense of humour and sheer goodness of nature of the entire team radiates through their pages.

Thank you all, both for your products and the website.

And please, Nadja Woisin, forgive me for stealing this picture. It gave such pleasure to see the relationship between these two so aptly summed up in one shot.

"The child is father of the man."

4 Mar 2008

Carlsen versus Topalov

Today's game started off as a Four Knights English and rapidly turned into an upside down Boleslavsky.
This favoured Carlsen who helped himself to an extra tempo.
Below left today's game at move 10. To the right the Boleslavsky showing the mirror image with Colours reversed.

By move ten Topalov realized what was happening and put a stop to White's march of the a-pawn. In order to achieve that he had to allow Carlsen the Sicilian's fantasy of an early -d4-.

White had to pay for this with a rather holey Queenside and he had to forego -b3-.

Black needed to stay in touch with the =d5= square and had to play c6 to keep a close watch on it.

All this Sicilian flavour promised an exciting game, but it came to an abrupt end when Topalov blundered in not-too-great a Zeitnot.

3 Mar 2008

Leko versus Carlsen

In this Sveshnikov game two of Black's pieces were forced to inactivity: The DSB on =h6= and the Rook on=c6=. Both needed costly rescues.

1 Mar 2008

Carlsen versus Shirov

This is my initial take on the game as it unfolded yesterday up until the disputed move 30.Qg4 rather than the option declared safe by Rybka of 30.Rxc7 combined with 33.Rxf7+

I was too worn out to continue watching with the same intensity after that.
In my eyes, they both won. That doesn't mean that I am not delighted that Carlsen has climbed another rung.