27 Jan 2010

CORUS round 10

After yesterday's shock defeat, Carlsen
is playing Black against Karjakin,
another young pretender to the WaZ crown.

I very much wish Carlsen would go back to his old intuitive playing style:
he is thinking too hard and too long. Running out of time is something new and worrying.

C11 French Classical


Kamsky vs Morozevich drew in Amsterdam in 1996
Kamsky played 11.Nd1, others went for 11.dxc5 or 11.Rae1

Karjakin chooses 11.Kh1, like De Firmian vs Olsson Stockholm 1996, 1-0 and
Nijboer vs Gurevich Amsterdam 2000, 0-1

Carlsen's reply differs:

leading to:

leads to:

22.Rg1 was a bit costly

35 mins each

Bar the odd blunder, this game seems to be in the bag for MaCa.

He removes all superfluous pieces from the board to simplify the ending.


And now moves down on the kingside.

I have to own up and disclose that I have no great affection for the French (opening that is). All this fuss about which way to go: Simplification, Cramping pawn chain or Keeping the tension: it all adds up to very little in the end.
I never get the feeling that there is a real struggle going on at any time in a French game.

Compare that to yesterday's Open Catalan, where every move unveiled drama and danger. It was like a hike on a craggy mountain range, with a precipice on either side. One false move and your off.
In spite of that, it can end in a draw. Yesterday's time portal blunder didn't detract from the magnificence of that game.
In fact, in such a game, the outcome is neither here nor there. The players gave such a stirring performance and the coup de grace wasn't so much a win for Kramnik, but rather a loss for Carlsen, leaving the game itself to stand out.

It may take two to tango, but it's the tango that counts.

And today it isn't a tango. Not by a long chalk. Nothing but a very slow and rather dreary foxtrot.

Now it remains for Black to get the Bishops off the board and Bob's your uncle.

Anand seems to be beating Shirov to the full point, and Kramnik is hovering around freezing point against Ivanchuk. Mind you, ivanchuk, never one of the swiftest of players, could end up in time trouble, with 29 vs 12 mins for 17 moves. Kramnik is better placed regards time.

Still...things are looking up for MaCa

I wish he would play his move 40..., but i guess the servers are down as he wouldn't risk defeat for a cup of coffee and a loo break.

40.Kg2 Bd7 41.Nf3+ Kf6
42.Bb3 g4 43.Nd4 Ke5
44.Bc2 a5 45.Bd1 Ke4

and it is a point for Carlsen.

So Kramnik goes top at 7 pts, Shirov stays at 6.5 (Anand is said to 'have the upper hand' and with a bit of luck pulls off the win), and Carlsen joins him there.