26 Jan 2010

CORUS round 9


The big event of the tournament.
These two superstars met in the first round of the LONDON CLASSIC last month because of the vagaries of the draw, and that meant the rest was a bit of an anti-climax.

This time they meet when they already share second place.
I hope their game today will befit this clash of the Titans.

1.d4, bypassing the pesky Petroff.

Kramnik played this against Bareev in 2005 Monte Carlo, but then got 7.0-0, draw in 36 moves.

They are on their own as far as I know.

Such a confusing opening, as you never know what it resembles until later:
QGD/QGA/Reti/QP or whatever.
The distinguishing feature is White's d4 plus g3; which is what we have today.

Black needs to play c6/c5 and attack the centre. Which he has just done.


Carlsen played his Queen to =b3= rather than =d3= and Kramnik pushed his b-pawn all the way to =b5= rather than =b6= and takes his LSB one further than I expected, to=a6= rather than =b7=.
What do I know.

Correct me if I am wrong.
I seem to have noticed time and again, with any player in any game, that the reply is often not directed at the actual move made, but at the move expected.

Here Kramnik might have expected 12.Qc2, to which the reply 12...Nbd7 would have been logical.

Instead, Carlsen played 12.Bg5, to which there was the reply 12...b4.

Is it a case of reluctance to change one's mind? Or an oversight with hasty play?

Or am I totally barking up the wrong tree?

I would be really interested in hearing pertinent views on this.



Without the exchange on =f6=, White might have pushe the exchanged on =e4= instead after Ne4.
Better? Worse? Same?


21...Ne5? What was wrong with quietly pushing the -h-pawn?
Why give White the chance to attack?
Ah, I can see now. Well done Kramnik.It was daring to allow the ennemy to set foot in the black camp, but really the white LSB can't do any real harm there, inspite of having the Queen behind it. It merely losses White a tempo, which by move 21 may not mean much, but still.

If White can take on =e5= with check and then move to =g4= and check, things look rosy enough for him.
27.Qe4, so far, so good.

Now waiting for Qg4+
But..Kramnik finds the perfect move to upset my plan:
By centralizing his Rook on the back rank he takes the sting out of the attack.

Black, a pawn down, but with the Bishop pair, 2 active Rooks and his queenside advanced, looks good to me now.

What pieces can White exchange to make his extra pawn count?

15 mins vs 27

I can't see anything except a draw, but would not be surprised if Kramnik refused.

He played 29.Be4, when I would have preferred to see

29.Re1 d3 30.Bxd3 c4 31.Bh7 Qc7 32.Rad1

What do I know.

leading to

Black's Queenside looks formidable. That one extra pawn isn't going to do it for White unless he can pull a kingside pawn storm out of the hat. Very unlikely.

Shirov and Ivanchuk just drew, making the outcome of this game even more importan for a top place on the leaderboard.

Getting rid of the Rook on =c6= and then moving the Queen to the h-file might be one way for White to tip the scales. Or at least provide a number of neutral moves to get to move 40.

I think 'knife edge' has never been a more accurate description of a game posisiton.

No. I just checked my line on the engine and it is not sound. Maybe BxR BxB and then the Queen to =f4=. Still, not nice for White.

I need some tea.
Back soon.

Good grief. I turn my back for a minute and Carlsen goes down.
I am quite shocked by Carlsen's unnecessary defeat when a draw was right there.
The move 35.Nb6 was his undoing and then he compounded the error with the mysterious 36.Qf4, which needed to be played earlier.
Almost as if he was suffering from a dyslexia attack, if there is such a thing.


Kramnik and Shirov tie for top.

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