14 Nov 2009


They have chosen one of the HELLO - GOODBYE games that ends in a quick draw:
Lutz versus Polgar Budapest 2003. a 25 move draw.

Well, it is the last day and no glory left for either of them,
So what the heck, let them get out of there and catch the next plane home.
Unless they are playing in the blitz. Haven checked on that yet.



Treasure this statement : I don't often admit to that:-)

Carlsen stuck his neck out with 14...g4
Eval Junior 11 is +0.93 at 18 ply. Rybka gives it +0.58.
The usual discrepancy between the two programmes.

So far Carlsen has saved himself a tempo by NOT CASTLING.
Will he do so in this game?

Yes. I thought it was about time.

Carlsen has used up 25 mins more than Leko who has 1.27 mins left.

This will probably still end in a draw, but I am grateful that
they are giving us full measure.

leading to:

Now after a long think, Leko moves the LightSB rather than the DarkSB.
Is he doing a Carlsen?
Trying to make Black use up extra time? they both have about an hour left, so no Zeitnot yet.

I wouldn't mind it for Black after 31. Rd8+

They seem to be coasting to a gentlemanly 40 move draw.
More an exhibition than a match.
Good for them.
We're grateful.
At least I am.
Thank you both.

Not that it matters much:
Aronian is beating Anand.
Svidler and Gelfand have drawn.
So there will definitely be 3 players on 5 whilst
Kramnik and Ivanchuk battle it out for supremacy.

Carlsen and Leko might as well draw here.
They both have about 45 minutes left for 8 moves.
Even Carlsen cannot create chances from this position.

Oh yes he can. particulalry if his opponent slips up.
If White had taken Rxe7 a move earlier, he would not have given black
a foor in the door.
Sadly that is the move where I had to leave the game and I missed
the exciting conclusion with Carlsen winning in style!!

Makes you think what he would have done if he had been firing on
all cylinders this week. Amazing.
18 years old and number one in the world.
I hope it gives him genuine pleasure.
Full ame tomorrow.

13 Nov 2009


Let's hope we get something a little more exciting today.
I am beginning to lose interest.
Six day on antibiotics ought to have pepped Carlsen up a bit.
He has White today, agains the fly-by-night Chess champ
Ponomariov, who is 1/2 point behind him in the stakes.

B89 SCHEVENINGEN Sicilian, English attack.
What fun!!


Carlsen goes for something different on move 11. Qe1 ?!
Always original.
Wish I knew what went through his head here, when we expected
11.h3 or 11.a4 or maybe 11.Bd3

This is where Carlsen begins stirring the pot:
finding unlikely but non-dangerous moves to make Black use up his time.

Clearly he hasn't made up his mind where he wants his LSB to go.
Will he now continue the kingside advance with h4/g5 after putting
his Rook safe or go for the queenside advance with a3, preventing
Black playing b4. We shall see.

Carlsen was lucky that Black didn't insert d5 exd5 Nxd5 before White could play Nf4.
And after 16.Bc4 Carlsen has turned the corner.
Why is Black so shy of pushing his center pawns?


Is there going to be an almighty rumpus on the =e6= square?

Oh no! 19.Nfxe6 rather than 19.Ndxe6??????????
Am I looking at the wrong board, or has he messed up???

I don't understand this at all.
He is still OK, but missed a lovely sequence.
Maybe I'm wrong.
I shall have to check it later.
OK, forget about what might have been and concentrate on what is.
Golden rule.

Now, let's hope he plays 21. Nf5

Well, what do I know.
He plays 21. Qd3 instead.
I wouldn't have minded 21. g5
What's with the 22...Rd8?? When I thought 22...just about anything else.
Such as 22...Bb7/Kh8

This has turned into a ragged, untidy game.
Carlsen will probably win it, but I hate it when I see things that he doesn't.
I give up.
Going for a walk.

So, he DID win. And from the first twenty moves I would have said ' in style'.
However, the ending took the shine off it, with errors on both sides.
The aftertaste of this game is not so much that Carlsen won, but that
Ponomariov lost by playing 22....Rd8

Still, excitement is worth a lot, after the damage limitation we saw all week.
Hope Magnus feels completely recovered by the time he comes over to London.
I won't go out of my way to visit there this year.

12 Nov 2009


Today Carlsen is Black against Svidler.
They opted for a B30 Sicilian, no g6.

after 9...cxd4

At the same time Kramnik as Black faces Aronian, and I confess
being intrigued by their confrontation so I might
concentrate on that match.

These two are in a QGD Ragozin D39 again.
Quite the flavour of the month it seems.

Junior 11 and Rybka AQUA differ radically in their views on this position.

Rybka wants 13....Bxc3, which Junior puts in seventh place,
with its preferred choice 13....Ne7.
It certainly set Kramnik thinking.

Turn-up for the books :
Kramnik plays something completely different:


Time 1.40 vs 1.24 mins

Now Aronian needs time to reply.

Both games fizzled out into a draw.

11 Nov 2009


Carlsen has White against Anand today.

They are playing a QGD Ragozin Defence,
which according to some has a touch of the
Moscow variation at the minute.

We are now 90 minutes into the game, and the life seems to have drained from it already. I feel another draw coming on. I suppose Carlsen is doing a bit of damage limitation. Not surprising, under the circumstances.


Looks pretty, if not exactly winning for White.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.Bg5 Bb4 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 h6 8.Bxf6 Qxf6 9.e3 b5 10.a4 c6 11.Ne5 a6 12.g4 Bb7 13.Bg2 Qe7 Qe7 14.O-O O-O 15.f4 Nd7 16.Nxc6 Qd6 17.Ne7+ Qxe7 18.Bxb7 Ra7 19.Bg2 Nb6 20.axb5 axb5 21.Rxa7 Qxa7 22.Qa1 Qe7 23.e4 Ra8 24.Qb2 Ra5 25.e5 Qh4 26.Qe2 Ra3 27.f5 Rxc3 28.fxe6 fxe6 29.Qe4 Qd8 30.Qg6 Qxd4+ 31.Kh1 Re3 32.Qxe6+ Kh7 33.Qf5+ Kh8 34.Qf8+ Kh7 35.Qf5+ Kh8 36.Qf8

There was a bit of excitement at move 26.Qe2, when it seems that 26.f5 might have a little bit of a kick for White. However, after a closer look, this would have been a dead end, with many pitfalls for either side along the way. So it was better to stay clear of it.

10 Nov 2009


Carlsen doesn't have flu. Not that he isn't ill.
He has a throat infection. That explains why he
was prescribed anti-biotics, which do nothing against
a virus. Hope his fever is gone. Not easy getting your
brain in gear when you feel bad. He is playing Black
against Ivanchuk today. They are both on 2 points.

Kramnik is leading by one point. By general consensus he is
believed to be on a caffeine drip: his eyes look wild and
his playing is fiendish. So they say. I have nothing against
him doing well. I like him and his playing style. The reason
I stick with Carlsen's games is that I can't cope with more
than one game at a time. Besides, when the lad feels good,
he is still the most exciting player to follow.

Torre, London and Colle systems.



Very subtle play from Ivanchuk. He always strikes me
as an exquisite embroiderer or marquetry chap.


After 20.Ra3


leading to:

and the inevitable draw.

8 Nov 2009


Carlsen is ill with the flu. Wonder which flu.
Apparently he asked for a postponement of today's match.
With tomorrow being a free day, that didn't seem unreasonable.
He is playing today.

D47, Semi-slav, Meran.


Black wants to give his fianchettoed Bishop free rein.
Before that, the b-pawn must be protected and the King made safe by castling.

After 16...Qe5 White looks a little hemmed in to me.
His diagonals are locked and neither Rook is free to go.

He plays 17. Qe1 AND ALL IS WELL FOR WHITE and time is now 1.26 vs 1.24 mins

17...Bd5 rather than taking the c5 Pawn straight away. Black wants to hang on to his DSB.

After a very long think, Carlsen settles on 18. Qc3.
57 vs 1.24 mins

Slightly unexpected replies from Aronian. At least Junior 11 thinks so.

Hope Magnus feels better after the rest day.

7 Nov 2009


Carlsen plays Black against Gelfand today.
Will he do better than draw?
It seems he has already put the time screws on:
1.17 vs 1.54 on move 15.

They are playing a D91 Grunfeld with 4.Bg5

Guess what?
A lacklustre game and early draw.

I'm out of here.

6 Nov 2009


Nimzo-Indian again today, Sämisch E25 version, with mixed up order of f3/d5/c5/cxd5.
Carlsen is white, against Morozevich.

Will there be some definite results today?
Fighting draws is all very well, but I would love to see
a Carlsen win.

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. f3 d5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 c5 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. dxc5 Qa5 9. e4 Nf6 10. Be3 O-O 11. Qb3
White half a pawn up.
Need to look into the f3-d5 interpolation, Kasparov played it against Llubojevic Linares 1990. Did Carlsen play this earlier? Check.

Moro has already used up 11 minutes on his next move. His choices
are retracting the Queen, e5, or three Knight moves.
He finally opted for 11...Na6, but it cost him 30 minutes.

I would like to see 12.Rd1, but I dare say Carlsen will play something totally different.

He opts for 12.Nh3

1.38 vs 1.30

11. Qb3 Na6 12. Nh3 Nd7 13. Bxa6 Qxa6 14. c4 Ne5 15. Rc1 Bd7 16. Qc3 f6 17. O-O Ba4

They now seem to know where they want to be going.
1.27 54mins

18.Nf4 Rfd8 19.Bd4 Ng6
1.09 vs 49 mins

After 21...f5

19... Ng6 20.Nxg6 hxg6 21.e5 f5 22.h4 Rd7 23.Rf2 Rad8 24.Rd2 Qc6 25.Kh2 Qc7 26.Qe3 Kf7 27.Kg3 Rh8 28.Qf4 Qd8 29.Rb1 Bc6 30.Rbb2

How many times have I seen Carlsen play an inappropriate h4?
For move 22 I would have preferred about seven other moves. Even 22.h3, when things might have turned out more favourably for White.

40 vs 22 mins

30.Rbb2 Qa5 31.Be3 Rxd2 32.Rxd2 Qxa3 33.Qd4 Rc8

27 vs 14 mins

Then a slip-up from Moro:

34. Rd1 Qa5? 35.Ra1 Qd8 36. QxQ ?? RxQ 37. Rxa7 ( too late) Rd3 38. Bg5

The state of equality over the past dozen or so moves, has now tipped into Carlsen's favour. He is not taking his time over the reply, although 35.Ra1 seems obvious.

Still Carlsen does this hasty switching round of moves, forsaking the more efficient move order. Has he been on the O.J. again? He is NOT in Zeitnot, so why the haste.

Moro tried to lure him into an unsafe Queen swap, and he fell for it.

38.Bg5 Rd4 39. Be3 DRAW

I feel slightly cheated here.