30 Jan 2009

CORUS round 11

After his win in round 10, Carlsen took a bite from the cherry: he is now within striking distance of the top, as long as Aronian doesn't do that well today and tomorrow.

Playing as Black against Morozewitch today, he has an even chance. Moro has not been at his best this tourney, but might want to prove himself towards the end, and a win over Carlsen would be a feather in his cap.

After the opening

The position looks like this:

With that last move Moro deviated from an obscure game played in Denmark in 1983.

Five moves later, and the board looks totally depleted. What has come over Carlsen? Does he need to catch a train?

I have no idea what they are up to.
Unless Moro is giving Carlsen some of his own medicine and using slightly off-beam moves to delay his squeezing technique.

leading to :

Time now 1:25 vs 1:38 and just gone down to vs 1:23, so Moro's efforts work and Carlsen needs thinking time himself.

I hope he will push his e-Rook forward and shift his attention to the kingside.

Well, he does and he doesn't: he leaves the Rook for the time being and merely pushes the h-pawn.

19.b4 h6 20.h3 a6

softly,softly from both of them now. The mood seems to have changed.

Soon one of them will have to take action and break up this pussy-footing.

There we go: 21.Rc5, finally! Time: 1:07 vs 1:11

Eliciting this Rc5 move from White a little earlier, by playing 19...Re4 before starting on the outside pawns. would not have helped Black:

19.b4 Re4 20.Rc5 Ne7 21.Rxd5 Nxd5
(not: 21.f5 Qd6 22.Rf4 RxR 23.QxR Rd8 24.Qa2 Qd6 ) 22.Qxe4 Nf6
would have equalized. So once again, Carlsen knew best.

In fact, i now think that this move ...Re4 isn't such a good idea on move 23....Re4 either and that Carlsen might have gone straight for Ne7 and bypass the Rook move altogether.

Time: 0.46 vs 1:01

Time: 26 vs 53 mins

after 23.axb4 Re4!? 24.Kh2 Rc4 25.R1xc4 dxc4 26.Qe2 *

Bar any blunders from his opponent today, it looks as if Aronian isn't going to win his game, nor draw either. Carlsen with a win could make them shared leaders. But is Carlsen going to win? Not by what I can see now. And Moro seems determined to keep his ebullience in check today. With 20 mins still for 12 moves it doesn't look like time trouble either.

With two rounds still to come, Carlsen might do well to opt for a safe draw now rather than risk a loss by playing offbeam moves to upset Moro's time keeping.

There is no leaway for Carlsen to do anything devious: the risks are too great and they trundle into a draw.

I find the quick exchanges around move 13 may have been to blame for this draw: the tension was released a little early and there wasn't the usual room for manoeuver so that Carlsen had to play straight down the line. No blunder from Moro, they both play competently, so a draw was inevitable.

I do not have high hopes for Carlsen as there are too many contenders within striking distance of the top spot. Besides, Carlsen has been playing below his strength for most of the games and can't really expect a top place.

There is always Linares....

5 comment:

. said...

Even a Random Visitor would be nice.....

James Stripes said...

I don't think Aronian is in so much trouble. The pawns may well be as valuable as the piece. A draw against Morozevich is not a bad result with the Black pieces even when Moro is having such a bad event. The last two rounds both give Carlsen games he can win if he's ready to catch fire, and catch Aronian. If either one manages to beat Smeets, and the other fails, that could prove critical.

. said...

Top of the morning to you James.

I can't quite see your optimistic predictions comeing true.
But as long as we get two interesting games, I am not too bothered.

How deep is the snow outside your house? Can you get about? In Ohio they are at a standstill, so I'm told: everybody hibernating.

Here it is inhospitably cold, but no snow.

James Stripes said...

I was wrong, but it's a good day for that. Now four players share first. We're in for an exciting weekend!

James Stripes said...

The snow here is melting. Most areas in my town are down to five inches of hard packed ice where there had been six feet of powder a month ago. Some roads--major ones--still have a lane obscured by hard packed snow berms.