Corus Round 9: Heavyweight battle drawn short and sweet

1/20/2004 – Right after rook sacrifices shook the board in Kramnik-Anand, the players shook hands. Did someone resign? What was going on? It turns out a perpetual check was unavoidable. Adams lost to van Wely to join Leko a full point behind Anand. Full report and analysis.

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Corus Wijk aan Zee 2004 – Round 9

66th Wijk aan Zee Tournament – Jan. 10-25
Category 19 (avg. Elo 2702)

Round 9 (Tuesday, January 20, 2004)
Van Wely, Loek
1-0
Adams, Michael
Bologan, Viktor
1-0
Akopian, Vladimir
Svidler, Peter
½-½
Leko, Peter
Shirov, Alexei
1-0
Sokolov, Ivan
Zhang Zhong
½-½
Topalov, Veselin
Bareev, Evgeny
0-1
Timman, Jan
Kramnik, Vladimir
½-½
Anand, Viswanathan

van Wely on a plus score

Vishy Anand found a brilliant defense to hold off an aggressive Vladimir Kramnik and hold on to his tournament lead. When Mickey Adams fell to van Wely it all worked out perfectly for Anand, whose is now a full point ahead. Even in a week of exciting chess the games today were riveting. That is, if you like sacrifices, tactics, and non-stop action!

It was a good day for the home team, muted only if the locals have embraced Bosnian Dutchman-come-lately Ivan Sokolov, who was routed by Alexei Shirov in the way only Shirov can rout. The Spanish-Latvian thusly reached an even score after reaching -2. Loek van Wely moved to a plus score by outplaying Adams in an epic endgame. The Englishman had an opportunity to turn the tables but when that slipped by van Wely converted confidently.

That was the only relatively calm win of the round. Timman handed Bareev his third loss in four games with a very well-played kingside assault. The game is also notable for the Russian's curious decision to recapture in the center with his king, costing himself considerable time. It was the fifth game to surpass 75 moves.

The outsiders continue to beat each other senseless. Bologan defeated Akopian in a wild Semi-Slav that eventually took on many characteristics of a Botvinnik System. It all boiled down to an extra pawn for Bologan, who didn't have any trouble notching the point and dragging Akopian back to a minus score. Zhang-Topalov was a clean draw. Svidler and Leko stole from the the fans with a 14-move draw.


Jan the Man shows how he polished off Bareev.

The most important game was one of the shortest and most exciting at the same time. Some baffling bishop maneuvers by Anand held the balance as Kramnik sacrificed a pawn for open lines on the kingside and closed in. Suddenly Black went on the offensive on the queenside and managed to generate enough play to force a perpetual check before getting mated.

With his toughest hurdle now behind him Anand has a full point lead with four games to play. His remaining games include two against tail-enders Sokolov and Timman, although the latter isn't showing his usual late-round swoon. But blacks against Topalov and Adams keep things interesting. Wednesday is the final rest day. Adams-Anand is the highlight of the 10th round.

Kramnik-Anand after 23.Bxd5

23...Rxc3!! [ 23...Nxc3+?! 24.bxc3 Rxc3]

24.Qg6 [ 24.a4!? A computer move to gain a piece, but Black gets good attacking chances. Even against computer defense Black's counterplay and pawn gains should be adequate. 24...Na3+! 25.Ka2 ( 25.bxa3?? Qb6+ 26.Bb3 Rxb3+ 27.Nxb3 Qxb3+ 28.Ka1 Qxa3+ 29.Kb1 Qb4+ 30.Ka2 Qxa4+ 31.Kb2 Qxe4) 25...Rd3 26.bxa3 Qc7 27.Nb1 Qc2+ 28.Ka1 Rxg3 29.Rc1 Qxa4 30.Rc4 Qa5 31.Rh3 Rg1 32.Rhc3 Bd8 33.Rc8 Qb6 34.Rb3; 24.bxc3 Nxc3+ 25.Kc2 Nxd5!? 26.exd5 Qb6]

24...Qb6!= [ 24...Bg5? 25.f6 Qxf6 26.Qxf6 Bxf6 27.bxc3 Nxc3+ 28.Kc2 Nxd1 29.Rxd1+-

24...Na3+!? Black could continue the game with this risky try. 25.bxa3 Qb6+ 26.Nb3 Qf2 27.Qh5 Rc2 ( 27...Bg5 28.Rh2 Qxg3 29.Bxb7 a5) 28.Na5]

25.Rxh6 [ 25.a4 Na3+ 26.Ka2 Rc2 27.Nb3 Qf2 28.Rxh6 Rxb2+ 29.Kxa3 Ra2+ 30.Kb4 Qb6+ 31.Kc3 ( 31.Kc4 Qc7+ 32.Kb4 a5+ 33.Kb5 Qd7+ 34.Kb6 Bd8+ 35.Ka7 b5+-+) 31...Qe3+-+] 1/2-1/2
 

Shirov-Sokolov after 15...Rd8

Leaving your king in the center against Alexei Shirov is still one of the best ways in the business to find yourself in the bar early. Considering who is playing black here you can imagine that this wasn't too much of a hardship for him.

16.Nxf7! Qxf7 17.Bxc7 Qe6 18.Bxd8 Bxd8 19.Kh1 So ..Qxc5+ won't exist a few moves later. 19...Nf6 [ 19...Bc7 20.e5 ( 20.Rad1 Bc8+/-) ] 20.Nc5+- Qe7 21.Rad1! [ <21.Nxd7 Qxd7 22.Qb4 a5+-]

21...Bc8 [ 21...Bg4!? 22.Qxd8+ ( 22.e5! Nd7 23.Nb7 Bc7 24.Nd6+ Kd8 25.Nf7+ Kc8 26.Rde1+-) 22...Qxd8 23.Rxd8+ Kxd8 24.hxg4 hxg4+ 25.Kg1 Ke7+-; 21...Qxc5?? 22.Rxf6 Bxf6 23.Qxd7+ Kf8 24.Qc8+ Ke7 25.Rd7+ Ke6 26.Rd8+ Kf7 27.Rxh8]

22.e5! Nd5 [ 22...Qxe5 Deflection from d8 23.Qxd8+] 23.Ne4 Qxe5 24.Rde1 Be7 25.c4 Bb4 [ 25...Rf8 26.Nf6+! Qxf6 ( 26...Rxf6 27.Rxe5 Rxf1+ 28.Kh2 Nf4 29.Qd6) 27.Rxf6 Nxf6 28.Qd6+-] 26.Nc3 [ 26.Nc3 Qxe1 27.Rxe1+ Ne7 28.a3 Bxc3 29.Qxc3+-] 1-0
 

van Wely-Adams after 35.Rc1?

White's a-pawn isn't too dangerous yet, but Black can't wait around. It turns out that White's king is in dangerous waters here, but Adams misses his chance.

35...Rb3+? [ 35...Be4+! This shot turns the tables. 36.Ke3 ( 36.Kc3 Rb5; 36.Ke2? Bxc6 37.Rxc6 Bb4) 36...Rb3+ 37.Ke2 Ba3-/+]

36.Kc2 Ba3? [ >=36...f6!? 37.Bf4 ( 37.Ra1 Rb5) 37...Bxf4 38.gxf4 Rb5=] 37.Ra1+/- Rb2+ 38.Kc3 [ >=38.Kd1!? Rb3 39.Rxa3 Rxa3 40.Bb4+ Ke8 41.Bxa3 Bxc6 42.a6+/-]

38...Rb3+ 39.Kc2 Rb2+ 40.Kd1 White has kept his pawn and made it through time trouble. He later finished off with a fine exchange sacrifice to win the ending.

Mig Greengard

Standings after round nine

All the games in PGN (no notes) GM group AGM group BGM group C

Schedule – (Rest days 12, 16, 21)
Round 1 (Saturday, January 11, 2004)
Topalov, Veselin
½-½
Adams, Michael
Sokolov, Ivan
½-½
Timman, Jan
Leko, Peter
½-½
Anand, Viswanathan
Akopian, Vladimir
1-0
Kramnik, Vladimir
Van Wely, Loek
½-½
Bareev, Evgeny
Bologan, Viktor
½-½
Zhang Zhong
Svidler, Peter
½-½
Shirov, Alexei
Round 2 (Sunday, January 11, 2004)
Adams, Michael
½-½
Shirov, Alexei
Zhang Zhong
½-½
Svidler, Peter
Bareev, Evgeny
½-½
Bologan, Viktor
Kramnik, Vladimir
1-0
Van Wely, Loek
Anand, Viswanathan
1-0
Akopian, Vladimir
Timman, Jan
0-1
Leko, Peter
Topalov, Veselin
½-½
Sokolov, Ivan
Round 3 (Tuesday, January 13, 2004)
Sokolov, Ivan
½-½
Adams, Michael
Leko, Peter
½-½
Topalov, Veselin
Akopian, Vladimir
½-½
Timman, Jan
Van Wely, Loek
½-½
Anand, Viswanathan
Bologan, Viktor
½-½
Kramnik, Vladimir
Svidler, Peter
1-0
Bareev, Evgeny
Shirov, Alexei
½-½
Zhang Zhong
Round 4 (Wednesday, January 14, 2004)
Adams, Michael
1-0
Zhang Zhong
Bareev, Evgeny
1-0
Shirov, Alexei
Kramnik, Vladimir
1-0
Svidler, Peter
Anand, Viswanathan
½-½
Bologan, Viktor
Timman, Jan
0-1
Van Wely, Loek
Topalov, Veselin
1-0
Akopian, Vladimir
Sokolov, Ivan
½-½
Leko, Peter
Round 5 (Thursday, January 15, 2004)
Leko, Peter
½-½
Adams, Michael
Akopian, Vladimir
1-0
Sokolov, Ivan
Van Wely, Loek
½-½
Topalov, Veselin
Bologan, Viktor
0-1
Timman, Jan
Svidler, Peter
½-½
Anand, Viswanathan
Shirov, Alexei
½-½
Kramnik, Vladimir
Zhang Zhong
½-½
Bareev, Evgeny
Round 6 (Saturday, January 17, 2004)
Adams, Michael
1-0
Bareev, Evgeny
Kramnik, Vladimir
1-0
Zhang Zhong
Anand, Viswanathan
1-0
Shirov, Alexei
Timman, Jan
½-½
Svidler, Peter
Topalov, Veselin
1-0
Bologan, Viktor
Sokolov, Ivan
½-½
Van Wely, Loek
Leko, Peter
½-½
Akopian, Vladimir
Round 7 (Sunday, January 18, 2004)
Akopian, Vladimir
½-½
Adams, Michael
Van Wely, Loek
½-½
Leko, Peter
Bologan, Viktor
1-0
Sokolov, Ivan
Svidler, Peter
1-0
Topalov, Veselin
Shirov, Alexei
1-0
Timman, Jan
Zhang Zhong
0-1
Anand, Viswanathan
Bareev, Evgeny
½-½
Kramnik, Vladimir
Round 8 (Monday, January 19, 2004)
Adams, Michael
1-0
Kramnik, Vladimir
Anand, Viswanathan
1-0
Bareev, Evgeny
Timman, Jan
0-1
Zhang Zhong
Topalov, Veselin
½-½
Shirov, Alexei
Sokolov, Ivan
½-½
Svidler, Peter
Leko, Peter
1-0
Bologan, Viktor
Akopian, Vladimir
½-½
Van Wely, Loek
Round 9 (Tuesday, January 20, 2004)
Van Wely, Loek
1-0
Adams, Michael
Bologan, Viktor
1-0
Akopian, Vladimir
Svidler, Peter
½-½
Leko, Peter
Shirov, Alexei
1-0
Sokolov, Ivan
Zhang Zhong
½-½
Topalov, Veselin
Bareev, Evgeny
0-1
Timman, Jan
Kramnik, Vladimir
½-½
Anand, Viswanathan
Games – Report
Round 10 (Thursday, January 22, 2004)
Adams, Michael
  Anand, Viswanathan
Timman, Jan
  Kramnik, Vladimir
Topalov, Veselin
  Bareev, Evgeny
Sokolov, Ivan
  Zhang Zhong
Leko, Peter
  Shirov, Alexei
Akopian, Vladimir
  Svidler, Peter
Van Wely, Loek
  Bologan, Viktor
Games – Report
Round 11 (Friday, January 23, 2004)
Bologan, Viktor
  Adams, Michael
Svidler, Peter
  Van Wely, Loek
Shirov, Alexei
  Akopian, Vladimir
Zhang Zhong
  Leko, Peter
Bareev, Evgeny
  Sokolov, Ivan
Kramnik, Vladimir
  Topalov, Veselin
Anand, Viswanathan
  Timman, Jan
Games – Report
Round 12 (Saturday, January 24, 2004)
Adams, Michael
  Timman, Jan
Topalov, Veselin
  Anand, Viswanathan
Sokolov, Ivan
  Kramnik, Vladimir
Leko, Peter
  Bareev, Evgeny
Akopian, Vladimir
  Zhang Zhong
Van Wely, Loek
  Shirov, Alexei
Bologan, Viktor
  Svidler, Peter
Games – Report
Round 13 (Sunday, January 25, 2004)
Svidler, Peter
  Adams, Michael
Shirov, Alexei
  Bologan, Viktor
Zhang Zhong
  Van Wely, Loek
Bareev, Evgeny
  Akopian, Vladimir
Kramnik, Vladimir
  Leko, Peter
Anand, Viswanathan
  Sokolov, Ivan
Timman, Jan
  Topalov, Veselin
Games – Report
 

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