World team wins again on day two

6/12/2004 – So far it's been rough going for the sons of Petrosian in Moscow. Anglo Mickey Adams and anglophile Peter Svidler notched wins for the visitors and the home team had no answer. Kasparov's Najdorf was held by Vallejo and Anand also drew. The two-point win leaves the World team with a three point lead.

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World team extends lead

Round 2 (June 11, 2004)
Petrosian Team
2 - 4
World Team
Kasparov
½-½
Vallejo
Leko
½-½
Bacrot
Gelfand
½-½
van Wely
Akopian
0-1
Adams
Vaganian
½-½
Anand
Lputian
0-1
Svidler
Overall score: World Team: 7.5 – 4.5 Petrosian Team

Is Elo destiny? Some days it seems so. Despite the occasional egalitarian yawp, the high-rated guys usually beat the lower-rated guys with relentless efficiency. This gives us upsets to cheer on occasion. Today was not one of those occasions. World team heavies Mickey Adams and Peter Svidler scored to push the lead to three points when the Petrosian team couldn't muster a victory.

Maybe it's more the French team than the Armenian team. Or perhaps the French Defense should be renamed the Armenian Defense. And considering the way it's going so far in Moscow the French may be happy to have their name off of the damn thing. All of the Armenian players use it and after two rounds each has had a chance to play it once. So far the score is 0.5-2.5.

The latest casualty was Vladimir Akopian, who went down in 25 flaming moves against Mickey Adams. The brevity is nothing unusual. In the past two years there have been over twenty Grandmaster miniatures in the French. Odds are we'll see at least one more in the next few days in Moscow.

The other decisive game was a fine illustration of the power of two bishops against the king. Svidler kept creating threats until Lputian made a decisive blunder in time trouble and fell into a mating net. It was the second loss for the event's lowest-rated player, although to be fair he has the rather unfortunate task of facing the World team's top guns right out of the gate. Plus, if Smbat Lputian can make it this far in life with so few vowels he can bounce back from a few tough losses.

The other games were balanced affairs with varying levels of fight. Gelfand and van Wely played a wild sequence of piece exchanges and agreed to a draw on move 26. Bacrot and Leko followed 22 moves of a Kasparov-Anand game before drawing on move 26. Vaganian ventured 19 moves against Anand before they made the piece.

Vallejo-Kasparov started out with all the signs of a battle. Kasparov has been analyzing Fischer's games for his books lately so playing the Poisoned Pawn Najdorf seems only natural. The problem is these lines have been analyzed half to death. They went through 20 moves of theory before Kasparov improved on a 1982 game. Vallejo had to play precisely to force the draw and the game ended in a perpetual check on move 34.

Lputian – Svidler after 40...Bc7

We're guessing that Lputian rushed out his next move before realizing they had reached the time control at move 40. The black h-pawn makes the position a very hard one to save no matter what he does, but his choice of 41.a5 resulted in a quick end after 41...f5! 1-0

The White king is in a mating net that will close with ..g4+ on the next move. It's a pretty final position after 42.Nxf5 (blocking the key f5 square) 42...g4+ 43.Ke4 Bg2+ 44.f3 Bxf3 mate.

Adams – Akopian after 16...Ke7

Black has fallen into a very passive position. It's not going to be easy to complete development, but Akopian's king lift was definitely not the answer. Adams started the route with 17.Bxb7! Bxb7 18.Rd7+ Kf6 19.f4!

That's the cruncher. White protects the knight and threatens mate on the move with Rxf7#. He ends up with a pawn and a continuing attack. Akopian wandered forward with his king, but this didn't turn out well. Adams finished off powerfully.


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