Anand wins, Kramnik loses, Shirov in the lead

1/16/2003 – They have played at least 82 games against each other, Vishy Anand has scored 58% against the legendary world champion Anatoly Karpov. Today Anand chalked up one more with a fine win in Wijk. Meanwhile the bitter anthagonists Shirov and Kramnik fought it out in a complicated game, which the former won to take the lead in the tournament. Young Radjabov and Loek van Wely also scored their first wins. Read all about it in Mig Greengard's round five report.

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Corus Wijk aan Zee

Round 5 (Thursday, January 16, 2003)

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 5: Not the Kramnik we used to know. In four days in Wijk aan Zee world champion Vladimir Kramnik has lost more games, two, than he used to lose in two years. Today it was his old nemesis Alexei Shirov doing the damage. This put Shirov in a tie for first and dropped Kramnik to an even score. It looked like Kramnik had weathered the storm in yet another sharp Sveshnikov Sicilian. But Shirov showed that Black's light-squares and king were too weak and with 36.Qd3 (diagram) he picked off the critical d-pawn.

Joining Shirov and Polgar at the top with 3.5/5 was Vishy Anand. Their rivalry goes back to their candidates match in 1991 and includes a FIDE world championship match in 1998, both won narrowly by Karpov. But overall Anand has a big plus score against Karpov, particularly in classical chess. Karpov trotted out his Caro-Kann again but the mind-bendingly complicated piece sac variation they entered could not have been what he was hoping for. Anand steadily whittled down the black pawns to join the leaders and send Karpov to a minus score.

We're not used to seeing Kramnik lose, and we're no used to seeing Loek van Wely do anything else in Wijk aan Zee. But Loek has been training hard to reverse this trend and after four tough draws he went into the plus column with a win with black over Topalov. The Dutchman was shedding pawns on the queenside and it wasn't looking good. But he built up on the kingside and said a little prayer. This was answered when Topalov underestimated Black's attack for a few moves too long and fell into a mate.

Teimour Radjabov picked up his first win and knocked Jan Timman into the cellar at the same time. Youth was triumphant in this matchup between the oldest and youngest players in the tournament. It looked like Timman was getting the better of things until he embarked on a Timmanesque piece sac/blunder on move 35 instead of simply taking a hanging pawn. Radjabov's technique was more than sufficient to bring home the point. (37% picked Timman to finish in last place in a ChessNinja pre-event poll.)

Grischuk-Ponomariov was a long Berlin Defense that well illustrated various plans in this defense for both sides. Grischuk gave up material on the white side but kept enough activity to force a repetition draw. Polgar-Ivanchuk was yet another short draw by the Ukrainian. Krasenkow-Bareev had a few twists and turns but never looked like more than a solid draw. Grischuk and Ivanchuk have drawn all their games so far. Kramnik, the Rock of Tuapse, has the most decisive games in the tournament with two wins and two losses!

Mig Greengard

Standing after round 5

More information: Corus web site

Previous rounds

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 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 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 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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