21 Jan 2010

CORUS round 5

Today Carlsen is playing Black against Nakamura.
They are into a RUY LOPEZ, the Spanish Game, ECO C77.

This Knight on his way to =c4= I shouldn't wonder.

It is unusual for a RUY not to have its first fifteen moves rattled off inside a few seconds. This Opening van be a game in itself. Here these two have reached a place where there are only a dozen or so games left in the database. Interesting.

Some sort of DELAYED EXCHANGE, but not quite. At least the Queens are safe and will furnish some sort of tenable endgame/

White castling on move 8 makes it even rarer: only one obscure game from 2005 left. A draw in 31 moves, by two unpronouncible names in Croatia. Sorry, chaps.

Below this game are my observations as I watched the game unfold.


Black scuppers any ideas about Nc4 by replying 7...Nbe6.

By move 10 Carlsen has used up 15 minutes more than White.

leading to

White foregoes the calm 15.Qe2 and starts harrassing Black's queenside pawns with 15.c4 to which Black makes it clear that he is not interested in sitting back with 15...c5.

Then White, in true Euwe style, shifts his attention to the kingside with 16.Nh4*

63 mins vs 58.

This is a gorgeous game so far.

And then Carlsen goes anti-computer and I can hear Kasparov groaning again.
BTW, I reckon Coach ought to take a backseat and step out of the lime-light. He is a bit to me-me about this partnership in his interviews and TV appearances.
He can always come back himself and do his own thing.

leading to:

15.c4 was a canny move!
Directing attention away from the kingside. laying a smokescreen even, one might think. Could Black afford the luxury of pressing forward on the queenside?

Break through for White. Beautifully played.

And then it goes pearshaped for White. No provocation, no Zeitnot. And White goes slightly off the rails. Nothing tragic, but he gives Black a chance to catch up.

23.Qh4, with Black able to grab the d5 pawn and then get his Queen on b4.

When a calm 23.Bc3 QxQ 24.RxQ Kg8 25.Rf3 might have done.

30 vs 21 mins

Three pawns for a Bishop. Is it enough when facing a pair of Knights.

Not the Bishop exchange then. 30.Rfd1 rather than 30.Nhf3 c4 31.BxB RxB.
Rook exchange instead?
Black doesn't allow it (yet).
31...a5 32.Nhf3 a4

Leko and Anand have drawn. The rest are still fighting.

After 32...Kg8 33.Kf2, whatever black plays, the -c5- pawn is for the chop.

Noooooooo, not 33....c4. Now White has an open playing field. Surely.
Now we'll get the Knights gangin up on the Rook and giving White a free run-in on the kingside. No?

The Rooks are tied down.
The Knights are tied down.
So it is more or less a separate game on the kingside with a pawn majority for black plus a Bishop versus a Rook.
Only....the kingside artillery gets loose.
I can't see Black getting out of this alive.

16 mins vs 6.

Does Carlsen really think he can bamboozle Nikamura with time nerves?
You only have to look at the cap to see that this is not going to happen. Nerves of steel.

Carlsen has met his match here this afternoon.
Barring a sudden bout of toothache, I don't think White will let go of his prey.

Oh dear, what am I saying.

White falters not before the 40 moves, but after.

Why do people play so fast, once the 40th move has been reached?
Why don't they immediately go out for a coffee or a loo break?
What's the haste then?

41.RxR comes in as choice number 14 out of 25 available moves.
What am I not seeing?
41.Re3 is what was wanted, and the Rook exchange not until a few moves later.

I'm out of here. Need a walk. This will draw now. I'm glad Carlsen didn't lose, but I hate to see a good chance wasted nevertheless.

Game to play through will be up in a couple of hours.

Back again and they are still on course for a draw.
Is there any meat left on this bone?
Shirov is on a roll. He won again and so did Kramnik.
Carlsen is sinking on the results ladder.

0 comment: