Kramnik loses to Ponomariov in Wijk

1/12/2003 – The second round of the Wijk aan Zee tournament saw some shock results. FIDE champion Ruslan Ponomariov had apparently digested yesterday's defeat and took the full point off classical chess world champion Vladimir Kramnik, who blundered on move 36. Evgeny Bareev won for the second time in succession, beating youngster Teimour Radjabov, while Anand beat a too-daring Topalov with the black pieces. More

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Corus Wijk aan Zee

Round 2 (Sunday, January 12, 2003)
Bareev, Evgeny
1-0
Radjabov, Teimour
Topalov, Veselin
0-1
Anand, Viswanathan
Van Wely, Loek
½-½
Polgar, Judit
Timman, Jan H
½-½
Grischuk, Alexander
Karpov, Anatoly
½-½
Shirov, Alexei
Ivanchuk, Vassily
½-½
Krasenkow, Michal
Ponomariov, Ruslan
1-0
Kramnik, Vladimir

Round 2 (Sunday, January 12, 2003)

ROUND 2: Last year in Wijk aan Zee Evgeny Bareev drew his first two games before going on to win clear first place. This year he's in clear first after just two games! In round two he taught The Kid a few things about the KID, crashing through in the center to win with a passed pawn. It looks like Radjabov wants to find out for himself why the top 10 have stopped playing the King's Indian Defense. Radjabov had some bad luck in getting the worst draw in his first supertournament. Playing a pack of wild 2700s eager for tender young flesh is bad enough. Starting with two blacks is just plain mean.


Under way: Ponomariov vs Kramnik in round two

The super-heavyweight matchup was the first classical game between the world champion Kramnik and FIDE champion Ponomariov. (They drew a short rapid game in the Russia vs the World match last year.) Kramnik is lucky that he can blame this one on rust after a year of inactivity. Ponomariov got a bind on the half-open c-file and kept pushing until Kramnik ran out of options.


This is not looking so good...

Ponomariov,R (2734) - Kramnik,V (2807) [E46]

Ponomariov just played 36.b5, after which 36...Qf6 was required. Instead Kramnik fumbled into 36...c5?? and resigned quickly after 37.dxc5 bxc5 38.Qg6+.

1-0 because of 38...Kf8 39.Qxh6+ Kg8 40.Qxg5+ Kh8 41.Ra6. I was watching the games live on the Playchess server and it took a while for the point of Ponomariov's 34.Qd3 to sink in. Black is practically out of moves! Instead of going to a6 directly (which looked natural), White gains a tempo. In an increasingly difficult position Kramnik decided to go out in a blaze of glory, allowing 38.Qg6+. Not only is the party is over, but the guests have gone home, the leftover beer has been drunk, and the hangover has started. Ponomariov got back to an even score and Kramnik needs to warm up in a hurry.

In round one Ponomariov sacrificed the exchange early and was ground down by Bareev. This time it was Topalov's turn to give up a rook for a bishop for attacking chances. It was also his turn to get ground down like a peppercorn in an Italian restaurant on free Caesar salad night. Anand did the grinding this time and Topalov's novelty (17.Rxe6) is unlikely to reappear any time soon. Anand joins Karpov with 1.5 behind Bareev's perfect score.

Mig Greengard

More information: Corus web site


Previous rounds

Round 1 (Saturday, January 11, 2003)
Ponomariov, Ruslan
0-1
Bareev, Evgeny
Kramnik, Vladimir
½-½
Ivanchuk, Vassily
Krasenkow, Michal
0-1
Karpov, Anatoly
Shirov, Alexei
½-½
Timman, Jan H
Grischuk, Alexander
½-½
Van Wely, Loek
Anand, Viswanathan
½-½
Radjabov, Teimour
Polgar, Judit
½-½
Topalov, Veselin

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