They must have put something in the water

1/24/2003 – The pussy-cat took a snooze on Tuesday – and woke up a ferocious animal. All but a single game were decided, with Black winning three: Anand defeated Shirov, Polgar defeate Grischuk and Radjabov grinding down an over-reaching Krasenkow. Even Vassily Ivanchuk, caught up by the mood, was able to manage his first win against tail-ender Jan Timman. Read Mig Greengard's entertaining and informative report on round 10

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Corus Wijk aan Zee

Round 10 (Thursday, January 23, 2003)

Round 10 (Thursday, January 23, 2003)
Kramnik, Vladimir
1-0
Topalov, Veselin
Grischuk, Alexander
0-1
Polgar, Judit
Ponomariov, Ruslan
1-0
Van Wely, Loek
Krasenkow, Michal
0-1
Radjabov, Teimour
Ivanchuk, Vassily
1-0
Timman, Jan H
Shirov, Alexei
0-1
Anand, Viswanathan
Bareev, Evgeny
½-½
Karpov, Anatoly

ROUND 10: They're alive! It looks like the two rest days did the job. For fans who love decisive games, and all fans do, this was a banner day at Corus Wijk aan Zee. Six of the seven games were decisive and the only draw lasted 60 moves! Anand continued his dominant play. He won with black and remains in the lead by a half point. On his heels is Judit Polgar, who also won. Van Wely, after a week in the clouds, is slowly falling to Earth. He lost his second game in three days, but is still at +1.

Anand dispatched Shirov on the black side of another hideously complicated Caro-Kann Advance. Long gone are the days when 1.e4 c6 signified either exchanges and quick draw or a long positional grind. All four games starting with 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 have been decisive, three of them wins for black! This time Anand played matador to the Spanish bull Shirov, who sacrificed a piece in the opening. Anand battled back and held on to the material and Shirov's compensation was never quite enough.

In the diagrammed position it looks like White is going to get his piece back or have a vicious attack thanks to the pin on the d-pawn. For example, 14...Nd7 15.Bx4 f6 16.h5 Bf7 and White can choose from moves like 17.Qe4 or 17.h6.

Anand found the spectacular interference shot 14...Nd3!! to blunt the attack after 15.cxd3 h5 16.f5 Bh7 17.Bd2 dxc3 18.Bxc3 0-0. Later Anand traded down to two pieces for a rook with passed pawns for both sides and he brought the win home in confident fashion. Thrilling chess from both players.

Kramnik flexed his impressive endgame muscles in a win over Topalov. The classical world champion got a plus after liquidating most of the material against Topalov's Benko Gambit. Then it was a pawn and rook endgame that Kramnik's fine technique made look easier than it was. The win brings Big Vlad to a plus score for the first time and he's in the large pack of players right behind Polgar.

Polgar stayed a half-point behind Anand and reserved clear second place by handing Grischuk his first loss. On the black side of a non-Sveshnikov Sicilian, she took a knight and then played good counterattacking defense. At the end she gave back the piece for an easily won endgame and Grischuk resigned. Despite her sharp style she is one of only three undefeated players in Wijk ann Zee, the others being Anand and Ivanchuk.

Speaking of Chukky, he came out of hibernation today long enough to add to Jan Timman's ongoing embarrassment. This time the Dutch legend lasted just 21 moves. I can only imagine that he saw some winning line after 16...d5?? 17.a5 Bd6 that just wasn't there. Instead his knight was lost for nothing and he resigned a few moves later. Timman now has 2/10 and will have trouble making this into anything other than the worst tournament of his long and storied career.

Ruslan Ponomariov got back on track by beating one of the title aspirants, Loek van Wely. The FIDE champion decided to skip all the theoretical arguments that have been going on and played 3.Bb5 against the Dutchman's inevitable Sicilian. Van Wely has been formidably well prepared so far, and this move paid dividends for Super Mariov. He kept a passed pawn on e7 from move 23 until it won the game for him on move 59! Ponomariov is still well out of the race, and needs two more wins just to reach an even score. It was a real crusher for van Wely, who now falls 1.5 points behind Anand.

Teimour Radjabov, the one who hasn't started shaving yet, has quietly gone +3 since his early losses made it look like the 16-year-old was going to have a rough time in his first super-tournament. With today's win over Krasenkow with black he made it to +1, where he joins some elite company. He has won two in a row with black, both with the King's Indian Defense that isn't supposed to be any good at this level! Club players around the world, rejoice! Right before the first time control Krasenkow played for a win with 39.g4 and avoided a repetition draw. (He also avoided just taking the f-pawn and entering a pawn-up Q vs Q endgame.) A few moves later he was worse and 20 moves later he had a nice bagel for his efforts.

Karpov and Bareev had a long debate about whose minor piece was better in the endgame. At move 60 they decided they were both right, or both wrong, and agreed on the draw that had looked preordained since move 20. Hats off to both players for giving us a nice endgame lesson instead of taking a half-day.

There are three rounds to go and no more rest days. Polgar-Anand is on Saturday (round 12) and that could decide the tournament. Tomorrow will be a test for both van Wely and Kramnik as they match up tomorrow. After a sensational start, van Wely has looked mortal and Kramnik might decide to play for a win with black to move into contention for first prize. (Or he might just wait till his full point appointment with Timman in round 12.)

Mig Greengard

Standing after round 10

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
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 3 (Tuesday, January 14, 2003)
Anand, Viswanathan
½-½
Van Wely, Loek
Shirov, Alexei
½-½
Ivanchuk, Vassily
Polgar, Judit
1-0
Timman, Jan H
Grischuk, Alexander
½-½
Karpov, Anatoly
Kramnik, Vladimir
1-0
Bareev, Evgeny
Krasenkow, Michal
½-½
Ponomariov, Ruslan
Radjabov, Teimour
0-1
Topalov, Veselin
Round 4 (Wednesday, January 15, 2003)
Van Wely, Loek
½-½
Radjabov, Teimour
Timman, Jan H
½-½
Anand, Viswanathan
Bareev, Evgeny
½-½
Topalov, Veselin
Ivanchuk, Vassily
½-½
Grischuk, Alexander
Karpov, Anatoly
0-1
Polgar, Judit
Ponomariov, Ruslan
0-1
Shirov, Alexei
Kramnik, Vladimir
1-0
Krasenkow, Michal
Round 5 (Thursday, January 16, 2003)
Grischuk, Alexander
½-½
Ponomariov, Ruslan
Polgar, Judit
½-½
Ivanchuk, Vassily
Topalov, Veselin
0-1
Van Wely, Loek
Shirov, Alexei
1-0
Kramnik, Vladimir
Radjabov, Teimour
1-0
Timman, Jan H
Krasenkow, Michal
½-½
Bareev, Evgeny
Anand, Viswanathan
1-0
Karpov, Anatoly
Round 6 (Saturday, January 18, 2003)
Kramnik, Vladimir
½-½
Grischuk, Alexander
Ivanchuk, Vassily
½-½
Anand, Viswanathan
Ponomariov, Ruslan
½-½
Polgar, Judit
Bareev, Evgeny
0-1
Van Wely, Loek
Krasenkow, Michal
1-0
Shirov, Alexei
Timman, Jan H
0-1
Topalov, Veselin
Karpov, Anatoly
½-½
Radjabov, Teimour
Round 7 (Sunday, January 19, 2003)
Shirov, Alexei
1-0
Bareev, Evgeny
Grischuk, Alexander
1-0
Krasenkow, Michal
Anand, Viswanathan
1-0
Ponomariov, Ruslan
Van Wely, Loek
1-0
Timman, Jan H
Topalov, Veselin
½-½
Karpov, Anatoly
Radjabov, Teimour
½-½
Ivanchuk, Vassily
Polgar, Judit
½-½
Kramnik, Vladimir
Round 8 (Monday, January 20, 2003)
Shirov, Alexei
0-1
Grischuk, Alexander
Bareev, Evgeny
1-0
Timman, Jan H
Ponomariov, Ruslan
0-1
Radjabov, Teimour
Ivanchuk, Vassily
½-½
Topalov, Veselin
Karpov, Anatoly
1-0
Van Wely, Loek
Krasenkow, Michal
½-½
Polgar, Judit
Kramnik, Vladimir
½-½
Anand, Viswanathan
Round 9 (Tuesday, January 21, 2003)
Timman, Jan H
½-½
Karpov, Anatoly
Van Wely, Loek
½-½
Ivanchuk, Vassily
Grischuk, Alexander
0-1
Bareev, Evgeny
Polgar, Judit
½-½
Shirov, Alexei
Radjabov, Teimour
½-½
Kramnik, Vladimir
Anand, Viswanathan
½-½
Krasenkow, Michal
Topalov, Veselin
½-½
Ponomariov, Ruslan
 

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