30 Jan 2010

CORUS 2010 round 12

Today Carlsen is Black against Leko.

They have embarked on a Sicilian Najdorf.

Recent confrontations have been in a Sveshnikov and a Breyer Ruy a few years back.
And of course playing the same game until move 12....0-0 in HERE in Tal round 9 two months ago.

I thought it looked familiar.
That game first looked like a fast draw, with both players wanting to get out, but then turned into an interesting battle though still ending in a draw.
There Carlsen left out the 0-0 and played Nc6 a move earlier. The result is virtually identical by move 13, apart from White's LSB being on a different square on the e1-a6 diagonal.

In that game Carlsen didn't castle until move 21...*

The Najdorf is a consequence of Carlsen's collaboration with Kasparov.


Carlsen's 12...0-0 rather than 12....Nc6, has set Leko thinking, after a swift start.

16.e5 may give Carlsen tripled pawns on the e-file???
That's going a bit too far in my book.

And yes, that's what we have by move 18, until White swipes one of them


He might have been wiser to leave them there and go 19.h4 or something instead.

I may be wrong, but it seems to me that Leko is doing Carlsen's work for him.

If White now were to play 21.Nxd5, then he would have cleared up Black's doubled pawns as well. Mind you, then Black would have three pawn islands versus White's two. Not so brill.

This is going to take some thinking out for White.

He does swap Knights on =d5=, and then they simplify further until it looks like an imminent draw.

Unless Leko now mistakenly pushes a pawn, they are perfectly level.
Leko has 40 mins for 18 moves, so time isn't of the essence. Can't see any hope of a positive outcome for either side.

Oops. I thought I told him not to!

Now 23...e6 is on the cards, with a kingside gallop from Black.

Oh well, what do I know. 23...gxh4 24.
Maybe Carlsen wants to get his Rook on =f2= and reduce even further before he advances.

Anyway, they trundle into the clear draw.

Good news for Carlsen fans

It looks like Kramnik is being defeated by Anand.
This means Carlsen will be leader of the pack tonight
with 8 points over 7.5 for Shirov and Kramnik.

I am not sorry. I was annoyed about the barbed remarks Kramnik has been making
about both Anand and Carlsen lately. He is no longer in my good books.

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