Wijk aan Zee

(1) Short,N (2696) - Kramnik,V (2788) [C43]
Corus A Wijk aan Zee NED (7), 23.01.2010

As the first player to successfully serve as a foil to Shirov's success, in the previous round, Short could not be discounted as a legitimate threat to the former world champion that sat across from him. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 Nxe4 4.dxe5 d5 5.Nbd2 Nc5 6.a3N [deviating from previous tries, including the relatively popular 6.Nb3 ] 6...a5 7.Be2 Be7 8.0-0 0-0 9.Re1 Nc6 10.Nf1 Bf5 11.Ng3 Bg6 12.Be3 a4 13.Bb5 Na5 14.Nd4 c6 15.Bf1 f6 16.exf6 [Fritz suggests 16.e6 cramping Black's position.] 16...Bxf6 17.Nxc6 bxc6 18.Bxc5 Re8 19.Qd2 Rxe1 20.Rxe1 Nc4 21.Bxc4 dxc4 22.Qb4 c3 23.bxc3 Qd2 24.Qc4+ Kh8 25.Re2 Qd1+ 26.Nf1 Bxc3 27.h3 Rd8 28.Re3 Bd2 29.Rf3 Bg5 30.Qxa4 Bxc2 31.Qa5 h6 32.Be3 Bxe3 33.Rxe3 Qd4 34.Rc3 Be4 35.Ne3 Qd2 36.Qe5 Rf8 37.Kh2 Bd5 38.Rc2 Qd3 39.a4 Qg6 40.Rb2 Re8 41.Rb8 Rxb8 42.Qxb8+ Bg8 43.Qe5 Qf7 44.Nf5 Qa7 45.a5 c5 46.f4 Ba2 47.a6 Bc4 48.Nxh6 [48.Nxg7 Qxg7 49.a7 Bd5 50.Qxd5 Qxa7 may be preferred.] 48...Qxa6 49.Nf5 Qf6 50.Qxc5 Be6 51.g4 Bxf5 52.Qxf5 Qb2+ 53.Kg3 Qc3+ 54.Kh4 Qe1+ 55.Kh5 Qe8+ 56.Qg6 Qe3 57.Kg5 [57.Qd6 may have been better, returning one of the pawns, but maintaining the pressure.] 57...Qe7+ 58.Kh5 Qe3 59.Qf7 Qxh3+ 60.Kg5 Qh6+ This check is the key reason White's queen was best on d6. 61.Kf5 g6+ 62.Ke5 Qg5+ 63.fxg5 So, with an early novelty in the Petroff, the players provided some excitement. Despite a superior position throughout most of the game, however, Short ultimately let it slip. 1/2-1/2

(2) Nakamura,Hi (2708) - Shirov,A (2723) [B33]
Corus A Wijk aan Zee NED (7), 23.01.2010

Having taken a breather yesterday, Nakamura was well-prepared for today's match-up with the tournament leader, Shirov. For his part, Shirov made the fatal error of allowing himself to be relegated to the status of a demigod, by permitting a draw against Short. 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Bxf6 gxf6 9.Na3 f5 10.Nc4 Nd4 11.exf5 Bxf5 12.Ne3 Bg6 13.Ncd5 Bh6 14.c3 Ne6 15.Bd3N [15.Qf3 was previously attempted by the white side in Denisov-Korzeb (2004).] 15...Bxe3 16.Nxe3 Qb6 17.0-0 Nf4 18.Be2 Rg8 19.Bf3 Nh3+ 20.Kh1 Nxf2+ 21.Rxf2 Qxe3 22.Bxb7 Rb8 23.Re2 Qb6 24.Bd5 Rg7 25.Qd2 f5 26.Rf1 Kd7 27.b4 f4 28.a4 a5 29.b5 Rd8 The start of a losing plan to secure Black's king deep on the queenside. 30.g3 fxg3 31.hxg3 Kc8 32.c4 Kb8 33.Rf6 Re7 34.Kh2 e4 35.Qc3 Rc8 36.Re3 Ka7 37.Bc6 Rd8 38.c5 dxc5 39.Bxe4 Rd6 40.Rxd6 Qxd6 41.Qxa5+ A demonstration of outstanding technique on the part of the American, finally bringing the S-train to a complete halt. Rest assured that Kramnik-Nakamura will receive more than a few thoughtful stares tomorrow. 1-0

(3) Howell,D (2606) - Nyback,T (2643) [C45]
Corus B Wijk aan Zee NED (7), 23.01.2010

With Giri fighting to a draw against L'Ami, the chasing pack was ripe for a shake-up, of which British Champion Howell was happy to take part. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Bc5 5.Be3 Qf6 6.c3 Nge7 7.Bc4 Ne5 8.Be2 Qg6 9.0-0 d6 10.Kh1 0-0 11.Nd2 Ng4 12.Bf4 Nc6 13.f3 Nge5 14.Be3N [deviating from 14.Nxc6 Mussanti-Popa (2002).] 14...Bb6 15.f4 Nxd4 16.cxd4 Nc6 17.f5 Qf6 18.e5 [18.Nf3 bolstering the d-pawn and garnering threats to ensnare Black's queen may have been a better try.] 18...dxe5 19.Ne4 Qd8 20.Bc4 Na5 [With 20...exd4 standing as a viable alternative, the text proves unsavoury.] 21.f6 Bxd4 was the straw that broke the camel's back. Either of [21...g6 ; 21...Nxc4 were viable.] 22.fxg7 Kxg7 23.Bg5 With his king's position compromised, and White's heavy artillery lying in wait, Nyback sagely admitted defeat. 1-0

(4) Carlsen,M (2810) - Ivanchuk,V (2749) [D10]
Corus A Wijk aan Zee NED (7), 23.01.2010

As was true of another young player yesterday, Carlsen opted to take a rest against his opponent - World Champion Anand. Reinvigorated today, the Norwegian brought his A-game to the A section, in a demolition worthy of the world's top-ranked, A-grade player. 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 a6 5.Qc2 g6 6.Bd3 Be6N leaving well-tested lines early. 7.b3 Bg7 8.Nge2 c5 9.cxd5 Nxd5 10.Nxd5 Bxd5 11.e4 Be6 12.Qxc5 Nc6 13.Be3 Rc8 14.Qa3 0-0 15.Rd1 Nxd4 [15...a5 with the idea of providing an outpost for the knight, facilitating an exchange for White's light-squared bishop, may have been better.] 16.Bxd4 Bxd4 17.Bb1 Bc5 18.b4 Qxd1+ with this move, things go from bad to worse. [18...Bxf2+ was to be much preferred.] 19.Kxd1 Bxf2 20.Nf4 Bc4 21.Bd3 Rfd8 22.Ke2 Bxd3+ 23.Kxf2 Rc2+ 24.Kf3 Bc4 25.Rc1 Rxa2 26.Qc3 b5 27.Ra1 Rdd2 28.Rxa2 Rxa2 29.h4 h5 30.g4 hxg4+ 31.Kxg4 f6 32.e5 Kf7 33.exf6 exf6 34.Qe3 Rc2 35.Qa7+ With Black's position in tatters, Ivanchuk mericfully put himself out of his own misery. 1-0

(5) Vocaturo,D (2495) - Robson,R (2570) [C11]
Corus C Wijk aan Zee NED (7), 23.01.2010

Comfortably leading the C section by a half-point entering into today's round, American Junior Champion Ray Robson was eager to extend the gap between himself and his main rivals. Unfortunately, Vocaturo was there to stop him. 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 Be7 8.Qd2 0-0 9.Be2 a6 10.0-0 b5 11.a3 Bb7 12.Nd1N departing from a number of previous tries. 12...cxd4 13.Nxd4 Rc8 14.Nf2 Qc7 15.c3 Na5 16.Bd3 Nc4 17.Qe2 Nc5 18.Rae1 g6 19.Bc1 Qb6 20.Bb1 Na4 21.f5 exf5 22.Bxf5 Rce8 23.e6 Nc5 24.Qg4 Nd6 here [24...fxe6 or; 24...Kh8 may have solved a number of Black's forthcoming problems.] 25.Bh6 the earnest concentration and furrowed frow on Black's face following this move would have indicated to the audience that there was trouble on the horizon. 25...Nxf5 [25...Kh8 was still preferable.] 26.Nxf5 Nxe6 27.Nxe7+ Rxe7 28.Bxf8 Kxf8 29.Qh4 h5 30.Qf6 Ke8 31.Kh1 d4 32.Nd3 dxc3 33.Qxc3 Qd4 34.Rxe6 Bxg2+ 35.Kxg2 Qd5+ 36.Rf3 Qg5+ 37.Kf1 Rxe6 38.Qc8+ Qd8 39.Qxd8+ Kxd8 40.Rxf7 A piece to the good, with no realistic opportunities for Black to draw, Vocaturo was offered Robson's hand in defeat. Though he may have been impeded this time, Robson will return with steely resolve tomorrow in an attempt to regain full control of his section. 1-0

(6) So,W (2656) - Reinderman,D (2573) [A90]
Corus B Wijk aan Zee NED (7), 23.01.2010

As was true of Howell, so was So anxious to bring himself into contention in the B group. Faced with a favourable pairing against Reinderman, who languished at the bottom of the crosstable, So took full advantage of his opportunities. 1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 e6 4.Nf3 d5 5.0-0 Bd6 6.c4 c6 7.b3 Qe7 8.Bb2 b6 9.Nbd2 Bb7 10.Ne5 0-0 11.Rc1 a5 12.e3 Na6 13.Qe2 a4 14.bxa4 Bxe5 15.dxe5 Nd7 16.a5 Nac5 17.Bc3N leaving Sturua-Vaisser (1996), where [17.Nb3 proved ample for a white victory.] 17...bxa5 18.Nb3 Nxb3 19.axb3 Nc5 20.Qc2 Ne4 21.Bb2 a4 22.bxa4 Ba6 23.f3 Ng5 24.cxd5 Bxf1 25.d6 Qa7 26.Bd4 Qa6 27.Rxf1 to this point, Black's position might have been fairly described as tolerable, but with 27...c5 spurning [27...Qxa4 things simply got worse for him.] 28.Bxc5 Rfc8 29.Rc1 Rc6 30.h4 Rac8 31.d7 Rd8 32.hxg5 Rxd7 33.f4 Rc8 34.Bf1 Qb7 35.Bc4 Re8 36.Bb5 Faced with the prospect of an unopposed wing pawn, which, in order to stop, would require an investment of material he could not afford, Reinderman shook hands with his Filipino adversary. 1-0

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