22 Apr 2008

Swindle in Round 2

It may be totally legit, but to Svidler today the draw must have felt like a swindle. The usual Magnus technique: manoever your opponent into Zeitnot, then hit him with slightly offbeat moves to make him use up what little he has left and thus win the game on time.

Unfortunately, by move 35 there wasn't much leaway to produce moves that were not quite the best, but required thinking about. There were rook moves galore for making up time, and the Kings could be shuffled ad nauseam without losing White's advantage of just below one pawn, enough to push for a win.

And sure enough, Svidler squeezed through the time portal unscathed. But.... as so often happens, he couldn't stop his momentum and still played unnecessarily fast on move 41.
Possibly a combination of relief that he had made it, coupled with a release of the intense concentration.

And there it was: Magnus kept the screws on by playing 40.Kg6 really fast and dragged Svidler along into a less than best move 41.Rc4, and there his advantage went up in a puff of smoke, with Carlsen achieving the draw.

Maybe not a swindle, but certainly a psyche!

0 comment: