Corus 04: Kramnik, Adams, Short win

1/18/2005 – A good day for the Brits: both Michael Adams and Nigel Short won their games, beating Topalov and Morozevich respectively. Vladimir Kramnik also won his game against Ivan Sokolov after the latter lost the thread in the end. The overall drawing statics in Wijk are very positive: this is a fighting tournament.

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Corus Chess Tournament
Wijk aan Zee 14 – 30 January 2005

Official web site Live coverageAll ChessBase reports

The event is being held from January 14 to 30 (first and last rounds) at the De Moriaan Community Centre in Wijk aan Zee, Holland. There are three main tournaments, all 14-player round robins, starting at 13.30 Central European Time. The rest days are on Jan. 19, 24 and 27. The rate of play is 40/2, 20/1 and 30 minutes to finish the game (group C 40/2 plus 1 hour for the rest). The games can be watched on the official live coverage site or watched and discussed with other chess fans on the Playchess.com server.

Round four

On of the most-watched games on the Playchess.com server was the encounter between Britian's Nigel Short (above) and Russian Super-GM Alexander Morozvitch, one of the most mercurial player in top-level chess. Morozevich can go through tournaments like a knife through butter, or he can set himself up as, well, the butter. This is what he is doing in Wijk aan Zee. Against the 39-year-old Short, veteran of a world championship challenge (in 1993 against Garry Kasparov) "Moro" decided to try the ancient Philidor Defence. Did we mention that Morozevich is also one of the most diverse players in the opening? Nigel Short, confronted with a novelty on move eight, and a suprising ...d5 break on move 15, kept his wits about him in this "Morozevich position" (Short). He gave up the bishop pair, won an exchange and pinned the black king down on the h8 square.

Short,N (2674) - Morozevich,A (2741) [C41]
Corus A Wijk aan Zee NED (4), 18.01.2005

Black has just played 41...Rf8-g8 after White had moved his queen from g4-f4. Now there was an agonizing five-minute wait on the server. Over five hundred people, all armed with Fritz, wondered whether Nigel had not seen the killer combination that immediately ends the game. He had and Morozevich resigned two moves later – 1-0. We leave you to ponder what White must play in the above position, and to check in the replay and download section if you fail to spot the move.

In the typical style of an "English Attack" in the Najdorf Michael Adams (photo above by Siep Korteling) castled queenside and threw everything he had at the uncastled black king. Take a look at the position after White's 13th move and claim you would not be intimidated by the forces gathering for the attack. However the world's number three from Bulgaria stood up to the pressure pretty well, until he lost the thread in time touble.

Adams,Mi (2741) - Topalov,V (2757) [B90]
Corus A Wijk aan Zee NED (4), 18.01.2005

In severe time trouble Topalov gave up the exchange and then a pawn and the game: 31...Rxd4 [31...Bxd4 32.Rxd4 Rxd4 was an obvious alternative] 32.Rxd4 Bxd4 33.Qxd4 e5 34.Qf2+ Ke8 [loses a pawn – 34...Qf7 would have been better] 35.Nf6+ Kd8 36.Qf5 Bc8 37.Qxg5 Be6 38.Qh6 Kc7 39.g5 Kc6 40.Qh8 Kb7 41.g6 1-0. This game won the public prize for the day.

Vladimir Kramnik (above) played what many described as a flawless game against Dutch import Ivan Sokolov. After the game he appeared in the press room and answered questions by the journalists. He admitted that he had a problem with his slow start, seeing virtually nothing in his game against Topalov in round two. That was most likely due to his inactivity after the classical chess world championship match in Brissago. Kramnik said he had not prepared for this tournament, relying on the work he had done for Brissago. In retrospect he should have at least played a few rapid chess games to get the calculating parts of his mind going.

Kramnik,V (2754) - Sokolov,I (2685) [C96]
Corus A Wijk aan Zee NED (4), 18.01.2005

Watching the game in realtime on the server Garry Kasparov was initially very impressed by Kramnik's next move: 28.a4!? But then Kasparov spotted 28...Rxf3! 29.axb5 axb5, after which Black does not seem to be in any serious trouble. So Sokolov's 28...Rxb3? was the decisive mistake. After 29.axb5 axb5 30.Kh2 Kg7 31.Rg1+ Kh6 32.Rg4 Nc6 33.Rag1 Kh5 a pretty mating drama unfolded.

34.Rg7 (threat: Rxh7#) 34...h6 (leads to a forced mate – only 34...Kh6 would have extended Black's life) 35.Ne4 (threatens Ng3+ and Rg4#) 35...Rxf3 36.R1g4 1-0. Mate in six is unavoidable: 36...Nd4 37.Ng3+ Rxg3 38.fxg3 Nf3+ (38...Nxf5 39.Rh4+ Nxh4 40.g4#) 39.Kh1 b4 40.Rh4+ Nxh4 41.g4 mate. The other fun alternative is 36...Rxf2+ 37.Nxf2 (or 37.Kg1 Rf3 38.R7g6 Rxh3 39.Ng3+ Rxg3+ 40.Rxg3 Kh4 41.Kh2 Nd4 42.Rh3#) 37...Ra8 38.Ne4 Ra2+ 39.Rg2 Rxg2+ 40.Kxg2 Nd4 41.Nxf6+ Kh4 42.Rg4#. We advise you to play through these lines on our JavaScript board. The link is given below.

Against Vishy Anand the off-form Peter Svidler came out of a Chigorin on crutches, but found an imaginative and confusing defence:

Anand,V (2786) - Svidler,P (2735) [C99]
Corus A Wijk aan Zee NED (4), 18.01.2005
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d6 9.h3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 Qc7 12.Nbd2 cxd4 13.cxd4 Nc6 14.a3 exd4 15.Nb3 d3 16.Bxd3 Ne5 17.Bf4 Nxd3 18.Qxd3 Re8 19.Rac1 Qb6 20.Be3 Qb7 21.Bd2

21...Bd8?! "It's crazy, but what could I do?" said Peter afterwards. The move gives up a pawn. 22.Qxd6 Bb6 23.Ba5. Garry Kasparov did not understand this move, played after due consideration by Anand. "Why not 23.e5 and keep the damn pawn?" Kasparov said. An alternative was 23.Be3 Bxe3 24.Rxe3 Nxe4 25.Qf4 Qd5 26.Nc5 Nf6 27.Rxe8+ Nxe8 with a clear positional advantage. After Vishy's move Peter Svidler managed to get some counterplay and hold on to half a point.

Drawing statistics

The percentage of draws in this tournament has been pleasantly low. just 58% of the games were drawn, with 28% white and 14% black wins. There has been only one game which was drawn in 20 moves or less (Topalov-van Wely in round three) and six in 30 or less moves. Two players have drawn all their games (van Wely and Bruzon). The players who have played three decisive games each are Topalov, Morozevich and Ponomariov. And most of the draws have been very well fought out. Gentlemen (and the lady): this is an exciting tournament.

Round four – Tues. 18.01.2005
Viswanathan Anand
½-½
Peter Svidler C99: Closed Ruy / Chigorin
Ruslan Ponomariov
½-½
Peter Leko A36: Symmetrical English
Vladimir Kramnik
1-0
Ivan Sokolov C99: Closed Ruy Lopez
Loek van Wely
½-½
Judit Polgar D41: Queen's Gambit
Michael Adams
1-0
Veselin Topalov B84: Sicilian Najdorf
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Lazaro Bruzon D35: Queen's Gambit
Nigel Short
1-0
Alexander Morozevich C41: Philidor Defence

Current standings

Wednesday is a free day.


Groups B and C

Yesterday, in round three, all six games in the C Group were decided. Today all six games in the B Group were drawn. That made for 62% drawn games, up from 49% after three rounds.

In the C Group there were three decided game, all won by Black. Here the drawing average is just 37%, with 28% black wins.

Group B Round four – Tues. 18.01.2005
Daniel Stellwagen
½-½ Antoaneta Stefanova
Alexander Onischuk
½-½ Sipke Ernst
Magnus Carlsen
½-½ Sergey Karjakin
S. Mamedyarov
½-½ Peter .H. Nielsen
Ivan Cheparinov
½-½ Alexandra Kosteniuk
Predrag Nikolic
½-½ Alejandro Ramirez
Jan Smeets
½-½ Friso Nijboer
Group C Round four – Tues. 18.01.2005
Leon Pliester
½-½ Parimarjan Negi
Manuel Bosboom
½-½ Erwin L’Ami
Bianca Muhren
0-1 Tea Lanchava
Zeinab Mamedjarova
0-1 Evgeny Alekseev
Alexey Korotylev
½-½ Vladimir Georgiev
Wouter Spoelman
½-½ Natalia Zhukova
Joost Wempe
0-1 Harmen Jonkman

Standings


All results and schedule

Round one – Sat. 15.01.2005
Alexander Grischuk
½-½ Viswanathan Anand
Nigel Short
½-½ Michael Adams
Alexander Morozevich
½-½ Loek van Wely
Lazaro Bruzon
½-½ Vladimir Kramnik
Veselin Topalov
1-0 Ruslan Ponomariov
Judit Polgar
1-0 Peter Svidler
Ivan Sokolov
½-½ Peter Leko
Games
Report
Round two – Sun. 16.01.2005
Viswanathan Anand
0-1 Peter Leko
Peter Svidler
½-½ Ivan Sokolov
Ruslan Ponomariov
1-0 Judit Polgar
Vladimir Kramnik
0-1 Veselin Topalov
Loek van Wely
½-½ Lazaro Bruzon
Michael Adams
1-0 Alexander Morozevich
Alexander Grischuk
½-½ Nigel Short
Games
Report
Round three – Mon. 17.01.2005
Nigel Short
½-½ Viswanathan Anand
Alexander Morozevich
0-1 Alexander Grischuk
Lazaro Bruzon
½-½ Michael Adams
Veselin Topalov
½-½ Loek van Wely
Judit Polgar
½-½ Vladimir Kramnik
Ivan Sokolov
0-1 Ruslan Ponomariov
Peter Leko
1-0 Peter Svidler
Games
Report
Round four – Tues. 18.01.2005
Viswanathan Anand
½-½ Peter Svidler
Ruslan Ponomariov
½-½ Peter Leko
Vladimir Kramnik
1-0 Ivan Sokolov
Loek van Wely
½-½ Judit Polgar
Michael Adams
1-0 Veselin Topalov
Alexander Grischuk
½-½ Lazaro Bruzon
Nigel Short
1-0 Alexander Morozevich
Games
Report
Round five – Thurs. 20.01.2005
Alexander Morozevich
Viswanathan Anand
Lazaro Bruzon
Nigel Short
Veselin Topalov
Alexander Grischuk
Judit Polgar
Michael Adams
Ivan Sokolov
Loek van Wely
Peter Leko
Vladimir Kramnik
Peter Svidler
Ruslan Ponomariov
Games
Report
Round six – Fri. 21.01.2005
Viswanathan Anand
Ruslan Ponomariov
Vladimir Kramnik
Peter Svidler
Loek van Wely
Peter Leko
Michael Adams
Ivan Sokolov
Alexander Grischuk
Judit Polgar
Nigel Short
Veselin Topalov
Alexander Morozevich
Lazaro Bruzon
Games
Report
Round seven – Sat. 22.01.2005
Lazaro Bruzon
Viswanathan Anand
Veselin Topalov
Alexander Morozevich
Judit Polgar
Nigel Short
Ivan Sokolov
Alexander Grischuk
Peter Leko
Michael Adams
Peter Svidler
Loek van Wely
Ruslan Ponomariov
Vladimir Kramnik
Games
Report
Round eight – Sun. 23.01.2005
Viswanathan Anand
Vladimir Kramnik
Loek van Wely
Ruslan Ponomariov
Michael Adams
Peter Svidler
Alexander Grischuk
Peter Leko
Nigel Short
Ivan Sokolov
Alexander Morozevich
Judit Polgar
Lazaro Bruzon
Veselin Topalov
Games
Report
Round nine – Tues. 25.01.2005
Veselin Topalov
Viswanathan Anand
Judit Polgar
Lazaro Bruzon
Ivan Sokolov
Alexander Morozevich
Peter Leko
Nigel Short
Peter Svidler
Alexander Grischuk
Ruslan Ponomariov
Michael Adams
Vladimir Kramnik
Loek van Wely
Games
Report
Round ten – Wed 26.01.2005
Viswanathan Anand
Loek van Wely
Michael Adams
Vladimir Kramnik
Alexander Grischuk
Ruslan Ponomariov
Nigel Short
Peter Svidler
Alexander Morozevich
Peter Leko
Lazaro Bruzon
Ivan Sokolov
Veselin Topalov
Judit Polgar
Games
Report
Round eleven – Fri. 28.01.2005
Judit Polgar
Viswanathan Anand
Ivan Sokolov
Veselin Topalov
Peter Leko
Lazaro Bruzon
Peter Svidler
Alexander Morozevich
Ruslan Ponomariov
Nigel Short
Vladimir Kramnik
Alexander Grischuk
Loek van Wely
Michael Adams
Games
Report
Round twelve – Sat. 29.01.2005
Viswanathan Anand
Michael Adams
Alexander Grischuk
Loek van Wely
Nigel Short
Vladimir Kramnik
Alexander Morozevich
Ruslan Ponomariov
Lazaro Bruzon
Peter Svidler
Veselin Topalov
Peter Leko
Judit Polgar
Ivan Sokolov
Games
Report
Round thirteen – Sun. 30.01.2005
Ivan Sokolov
Viswanathan Anand
Peter Leko
Judit Polgar
Peter Svidler
Veselin Topalov
Ruslan Ponomariov
Lazaro Bruzon
Vladimir Kramnik
Alexander Morozevich
Loek van Wely
Nigel Short
Michael Adams
Alexander Grischuk
Games
Report

Groups B + C

Group B Round one – Sat. 15.01.2005
Predrag Nikolic
0-1 Daniel Stellwagen
Jan Smeets
½-½ Ivan Cheparinov
Friso Nijboer
0-1 S. Mamedyarov
Alejandro Ramirez
½-½ Magnus Carlsen
Alexandra Kosteniuk
1-0 Alexander Onischuk
Peter .H. Nielsen
½-½ Antoaneta Stefanova
Sergey Karjakin
1-0 Sipke Ernst
Group C Round one – Sat. 15.01.2005
Wouter Spoelman
½-½ Leon Pliester
Joost Wempe
0-1 Alexey Korotylev
Harmen Jonkman
½-½ Zeinab Mamedjarova
Natalia Zhukova
1-0 Bianca Muhren
Vladimir Georgiev
1-0 Manuel Bosboom
Evgeny Alekseev
1-0 Parimarjan Negi
Tea Lanchava
0-1 Erwin L’Ami
Group B Round two – Sun. 16.01.2005
Ivan Cheparinov
1-0 Friso Nijboer
Alexander Onischuk
½-½ Peter .H. Nielsen
Magnus Carlsen
1-0 Alexandra Kosteniuk
Antoaneta Stefanova
½-½ Sergey Karjakin
Daniel Stellwagen
1-0 Sipke Ernst
S. Mamedyarov
1-0 Alejandro Ramirez
Predrag Nikolic
½-½ Jan Smeets
Group C Round two – Sun. 16.01.2005
Parimarjan Negi
1-0 Tea Lanchava
Alexey Korotylev
½-½ Harmen Jonkman
Wouter Spoelman
1-0 Joost Wempe
Zeinab Mamedjarova
0-1 Natalia Zhukova
Bianca Muhren
½-½ Vladimir Georgiev
Manuel Bosboom
½-½ Evgeny Alekseev
Leon Pliester
½-½ Erwin L’Ami
Group B Round three – Mon. 17.01.2005
Jan Smeets
½-½ Daniel Stellwagen
Friso Nijboer
0-1 Predrag Nikolic
Alejandro Ramirez
½-½ Ivan Cheparinov
Alexandra Kosteniuk
0-1 S. Mamedyarov
Peter .H. Nielsen
½-½ Magnus Carlsen
Sergey Karjakin
½-½ Alexander Onischuk
Sipke Ernst
0-1 Antoaneta Stefanova
Group C Round three – Mon. 17.01.2005
Joost Wempe 1-0 Leon Pliester
Harmen Jonkman 0-1 Wouter Spoelman
Natalia Zhukova 0-1 Alexey Korotylev
Vladimir Georgiev 1-0 Zeinab Mamedjarova
Evgeny Alekseev 1-0 Bianca Muhren
Tea Lanchava 1-0 Manuel Bosboom
Erwin L’Ami 1-0 Parimarjan Negi
Group B Round four – Tues. 18.01.2005
Daniel Stellwagen ½-½ Antoaneta Stefanova
Alexander Onischuk ½-½ Sipke Ernst
Magnus Carlsen ½-½ Sergey Karjakin
S. Mamedyarov ½-½ Peter .H. Nielsen
Ivan Cheparinov ½-½ Alexandra Kosteniuk
Predrag Nikolic ½-½ Alejandro Ramirez
Jan Smeets ½-½ Friso Nijboer
Group C Round four – Tues. 18.01.2005
Leon Pliester ½-½ Parimarjan Negi
Manuel Bosboom ½-½ Erwin L’Ami
Bianca Muhren 0-1 Tea Lanchava
Zeinab Mamedjarova 0-1 Evgeny Alekseev
Alexey Korotylev ½-½ Vladimir Georgiev
Wouter Spoelman ½-½ Natalia Zhukova
Joost Wempe 0-1 Harmen Jonkman
Group B Round five – Thurs. 20.01.2005
Friso Nijboer Daniel Stellwagen
Alejandro Ramirez Jan Smeets
Alexandra Kosteniuk Predrag Nikolic
Peter .H. Nielsen Ivan Cheparinov
Sergey Karjakin S. Mamedyarov
Sipke Ernst Magnus Carlsen
Antoaneta Stefanova Alexander Onischuk
Group C Round five – Thurs. 20.01.2005
Harmen Jonkman Leon Pliester
Natalia Zhukova Joost Wempe
Vladimir Georgiev Wouter Spoelman
Evgeny Alekseev Alexey Korotylev
Tea Lanchava Zeinab Mamedjarova
Erwin L’Ami Bianca Muhren
Parimarjan Negi Manuel Bosboom

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