Corus R7: Topalov takes the lead

1/21/2006 – It took seven rounds for FIDE world champion Veselin Topalov to move into clear first place. He beat Sokolov while Anand was held to a draw rather easily by Adams. Karjakin moved up to tie Anand by beating Mamedyarov. With Carlsen well ahead in the B Group, has the next generation already arrived? See all the games and analysis.

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The Corus Chess Tournament 2006 is being held from 13-29 January 2006 in Wijk aan Zee, Holland. The venue is the De Moriaan Community Centre (Dorpsduinen 4, 1949 EG Wijk aan Zee) and the nearby bar de Zon. Commentary is available in the Corus Chess Pavilion, on the Village Green in Wijk aan Zee.

Round seven

Grandmaster Group A
Grandmaster Group B
Grandmaster Group C
Round 7 – Saturday 21.1.2006
V. Topalov
1-0
I. Sokolov
B. Gelfand
½-½
S. Tiviakov
S. Karjakin
1-0
Mamedyarov
L. Aronian
0-1
L. van Wely
V. Ivanchuk
½-½
E. Bacrot
V. Anand
½-½
M. Adams
P. Leko
1-0
G. Kamsky
Round 7 – Saturday 21.1.2006

D. Navara

1-0

K. Humpy

M. Carlsen

1-0

G. Vescovi

Z. Almasi

1-0

A. Naiditsch

A. Motylev

½-½

A. Beliavsky

I. Cheparinov

1-0

D.Stellwagen

K. Lahno

0-1

B. Jobava

E. L’Ami

½-½

J. Smeets

Round 7 – Saturday 21.1.2006

H. Jonkman

0-1

L. Shilong

C. Marcelin

½-½

J. Werle

J.v.d. Wiel

½-½

S. Atalik

A. Adly

0-1

M. Bensdorp

P. Hopman

½-½

K. Atalik

Y. Afek

1-0

K. Bischoff

K.v.d. Weide

½-½

Y. Visser

Grandmaster Group A

All games in PGN

Grandmaster Group B

All games in PGN

Grandmaster Group C

All games in PGN


Round Seven Report

[Photos coming soon] It was a classical day in Wijk aan Zee, at least in Group A. Every 1.e4 was met with 1...e5 and every 1.d4 was answered with 1..d5. Most of the Sicilian fanatics had the white pieces and Kamsky decided to try his luck with the Spanish after losses with the Scandinavian and the Sicilian. (It didn't help.)

Veselin Topalov surged into clear first place with a win over Ivan Sokolov. It looked exciting thanks to the Dutch player's double piece sacrifice, but it was more like 99% desperation and 1% inspiration. Topalov swallowed the gifts and slowly digested them with precise calculation. The extra 40 minutes he had surely helped. Sokolov played the final dozen moves with just a few minutes on his clock, but an extra three or four days wouldn't have helped.

Mickey Adams displayed another sign of his fine form by getting that rarest of things for him, an easy draw against Anand with black. He was in fact better when the game concluded on move 23.

This allowed Sergey Karjakin to catch up to Anand on the crosstable. The 16-year-old Ukrainian beat Mamedyarov almost without firing a shot. He worked a Steinitz Ruy Lopez into a superior endgame that Black resigned with material still equal. The final position looks all the world like it came from a Sveshnikov. Regardless of the opening, the endgame is definitely kaput for the Azerbaijani.

Here's a diagram of the final position. After the unassuming 34.g3 Mamedyarov resigned. There is nothing Black can do to save the a-pawn. Even if he covers it with his rook, White captures it anyway and gets the rook back with a check on c7.

If 34..Rc6 (or ..Ra8) 35.Rxa6 Rxa6 36.Nc7+. If 34..Rc4 35.Rxa6 fxe4 36.b3! kicking the rook. This was Mamedyarov's first decisive game of the event and now everyone in the tournament has tasted defeat. Kasparov, showing little favor for his fellow Baku native, wondered if the organizers had tried to invite the more accomplished Svidler or Grischuk instead to replace Kramnik with a fellow Russian.

Leko beat Kamsky, but for a while it looked like he really didn't want to. Since he was a tot Leko has been known for having the killer instinct of a chocolate éclair. Even today, and this is something he has acknowledged on various occasions, he regularly gets dominating positions only to see them slip away. He'll sleep a little easier tonight after scoring the full point despite missing a half-dozen opportunities to nail things down earlier. He worked his pieces around for a massive attack against Black's king.

Here on move 33, instead of Rf1, Leko could have blown things open with the wild 33.Bxg7+! (simply Rxa8 and Bg5 was also strong) 33...Kxg7 34.Nhf5+ Kf8 35.Nxd6!? Rxa1+ 36.Kh2 Kxe7 37.Nxb7 +-

Kamsky, for his part, kept banging out computer-perfect defensive moves until he was tantalizingly close to salvation. The last moves before time control, however, were Black's downfall. 39..Kf8 may have offered a few swindling chances after 40.Nxg6+ fxg6 41.g5 Kg7. Later, Black's 40...Qb7? was met by a half-hour think and Leko's pretty refutation.

41.Nc4! discovering a nasty mate threat in order to get this knight into attacking position on a5. Now if 41...bxc4?? 42.Bh6+! is a pretty mate in nine, according to Fritz, although the weakness of f7 and g6 doesn't take that long to see. 41...g5 didn't hold up long either and White crashed through. 42.Na5 Qa8 43.Nf5+ Kf8 44.h4 Bd8 45.Nh6 f6 46.hxg5 f5 1-0. This was Leko's first win and he moved back to an even score. Feast or famine Kamsky has yet to draw a game, winning two and now losing five.

Van Wely put the Dutch squad on the board by beating Aronian in a long and tortured endgame with queens. Aronian eventually ran out of checks and couldn't stop Black's queenside pawns. A patient win for van Wely. But before the endgame (quoth Tarrasch) came the middlegame, and there Loek had a bit of Luck. Aronian was up the exchange and applying some pressure but fell for a nice queen sacrifice that turned the tables completely.

25.Rf1?? (h3 or h4) 25...Qxb3! Oops! A new queen appears on d1 and white can't capture it because of the back-rank mate threat. The game lasted another 60 moves, but eventually 0-1. That makes a fine even score for the Dutch champ, although he still has to face most of the top of the crosstable.

Ivanchuk-Bacrot swapped a few tactical blows and somehow Black survived a very ugly position. Gelfand-Tiviakov was drawn with fewer fireworks, although the game could have been spiced up considerably had Gelfand tried 22.Nc6!? and the knight can follow up with ..Nxa5.

Carlsen continues to lead the B Group by a full point after a nice endgame win over Vescovi. The Norwegian now has a remarkable 6/7 and the highest tournament performance rating of anyone in Wijk aan Zee, including the A Group! Only Navara kept the pace, by beating Koneru. Somehow Motylev failed to beat Beliavsky after doing well in a Marshall Gambit line seen in the Kramnik-Leko world championship match. Unless we've lost the ability to count, Motylev would have been up three pawns after 38.fxg3. Cheparinov beat Stellwagen with a nice mating attack launched by the star move 40.Rxg4! Fun stuff!

Report by Mig Greengard, pictures by Jeroen van den Belt


Schedule, results and reports

Grandmaster Group A
Grandmaster Group B
Grandmaster Group C
Round 1 – Saturday 14.1.2006
L. van Wely
½-½ I. Sokolov
Mamedyarov
½-½ E. Bacrot
S. Tiviakov
½-½ M. Adams
V. Topalov
 1-0 G. Kamsky
B. Gelfand
½-½ P. Leko
S. Karjakin
 0-1 V. Anand
L. Aronian
 0-1 V. Ivanchuk
Round 1 – Saturday 14.1.2006

A. Beliavsky

½-½

K. Humpy

A. Naiditsch

 1-0

D.Stellwagen

G. Vescovi

 1-0

B. Jobava

D. Navara

 1-0

J. Smeets

M. Carlsen

 1-0

E. L’Ami

Z. Almasi

 1-0

K. Lahno

A. Motylev

 1-0

I. Cheparinov

Round 1 – Saturday 14.1.2006

M. Bensdorp

1-0

L. Shilong

S. Atalik

 1-0

K. Atalik

J. Werle

½-½

K. Bischoff

H. Jonkman

 1-0

Y. Visser

C. Marcelin

½-½

K.v.d. Weide

J.v.d. Wiel

 1-0

Y. Afek

A. Adly

 0-1

P. Hopman

Round 2 – Sunday 15.1.2006
I. Sokolov
 0-1 V. Ivanchuk
V. Anand
½-½ L. Aronian
P. Leko
½-½ S. Karjakin
G. Kamsky
 1-0 B. Gelfand
M. Adams
 1-0 V. Topalov
E. Bacrot
 1-0 S. Tiviakov
L. van Wely
½-½ Mamedyarov
Round 2 – Sunday 15.1.2006

K. Humpy

 1-0

I. Cheparinov

K. Lahno

½-½

A. Motylev

E. L’Ami

½-½

Z. Almasi

J. Smeets

 0-1

M. Carlsen

B. Jobava

½-½

D. Navara

D.Stellwagen

 0-1

G. Vescovi

A. Beliavsky

 0-1

A. Naiditsch

Round 2 – Sunday 15.1.2006

L. Shilong

 1-0

P. Hopman

Y. Afek

½-½

A. Adly

K.v.d. Weide

½-½

J.v.d. Wiel

Y. Visser

 1-0

C. Marcelin

K. Bischoff

 1-0

H. Jonkman

K. Atalik

 0-1

J. Werle

M. Bensdorp

 0-1

S. Atalik

Round 3 – Monday 16.1.2006
Mamedyarov
½-½ I. Sokolov
S. Tiviakov
½-½ L. van Wely
V. Topalov
 1-0 E. Bacrot
B. Gelfand
 1-0 M. Adams
S. Karjakin
 1-0 G. Kamsky
L. Aronian
½-½ P. Leko
V. Ivanchuk
 0-1 V. Anand
Round 3 – Monday 16.1.2006
A. Naiditsch
 1-0

K. Humpy

G. Vescovi

½-½

A. Beliavsky

D. Navara

 1-0

D.Stellwagen

M. Carlsen

½-½

B. Jobava

Z. Almasi

 1-0

J. Smeets

A. Motylev

½-½

E. L’Ami

I. Cheparinov

 1-0

K. Lahno

Round 3 – Monday 16.1.2006

S. Atalik

 1-0

L. Shilong

J. Werle

½-½

M. Bensdorp

H. Jonkman

½-½

K. Atalik

C. Marcelin

 1-0

K. Bischoff

J.v.d. Wiel

½-½

Y. Visser

A. Adly

 1-0

K.v.d. Weide

P. Hopman

 1-0

Y. Afek

Round 4 – Tuesday 17.1.2006
I. Sokolov
½-½ V. Anand
P. Leko
½-½ V. Ivanchuk
G. Kamsky
 0-1 L. Aronian
M. Adams
½-½ S. Karjakin
E. Bacrot
 0-1 B. Gelfand
L. van Wely
 0-1 V. Topalov
Mamedyarov
½-½ S. Tiviakov
Round 4 – Tuesday 17.1.2006

K. Humpy

 1-0

K. Lahno

E. L’Ami

½-½

I. Cheparinov

J. Smeets

½-½

A. Motylev

B. Jobava

 1-0

Z. Almasi

D.Stellwagen

½-½

M. Carlsen

A. Beliavsky

½-½

D. Navara

A. Naiditsch

½-½

G. Vescovi

Round 4 – Tuesday 17.1.2006

L. Shilong

 1-0

Y. Afek

K.v.d. Weide

 1-0

P. Hopman

Y. Visser

 0-1

A. Adly

K. Bischoff

½-½

J.v.d. Wiel

K. Atalik

 0-1

C. Marcelin

M. Bensdorp

 0-1

H. Jonkman

S. Atalik

½-½

J. Werle

Wednesday 18.1.2006 – Free day
Round 5 – Thursday 19.1.2006
S. Tiviakov
½-½ I. Sokolov
V. Topalov
½-½ Mamedyarov
B. Gelfand
½-½ L. van Wely
S. Karjakin
 1-0 E. Bacrot
L. Aronian
½-½ M. Adams
V. Ivanchuk
 1-0 G. Kamsky
V. Anand
 1-0 P. Leko
Round 5 – Thursday 19.1.2006

G. Vescovi

½-½

K. Humpy

D. Navara

½-½

A. Naiditsch

M. Carlsen

 1-0

A. Beliavsky

Z. Almasi

 1-0

D.Stellwagen

A. Motylev

 1-0

B. Jobava

I. Cheparinov

½-½

J. Smeets

K. Lahno

 0-1

E. L’Ami

Round 5 – Thursday 19.1.2006

J. Werle

 1-0

L. Shilong

H. Jonkman

 0-1

S. Atalik

C. Marcelin

 1-0

M. Bensdorp

J.v.d. Wiel

 ½-½

K. Atalik

A. Adly

 0-1

K. Bischoff

P. Hopman

 0-1

Y. Visser

Y. Afek

 0-1

K.v.d. Weide

Round 6 – Friday 20.1.2006
I. Sokolov
½-½ P. Leko
G. Kamsky
 1-0 V. Anand
M. Adams
 1-0 V. Ivanchuk
E. Bacrot
½-½ L. Aronian
L. van Wely
½-½ S. Karjakin
Mamedyarov
½-½ B. Gelfand
S. Tiviakov
½-½ V. Topalov
Round 6 – Friday 20.1.2006

K. Humpy

 0-1

E. L’Ami

J. Smeets

 1-0

K. Lahno

B. Jobava

 1-0

I. Cheparinov

D.Stellwagen

½-½

A. Motylev

A. Beliavsky

 1-0

Z. Almasi

A. Naiditsch

 0-1

M. Carlsen

G. Vescovi

½-½

D. Navara

Round 6 – Friday 20.1.2006

L. Shilong

 1-0

K.v.d. Weide

Y. Visser

½-½

Y. Afek

K. Bischoff

½-½

P. Hopman

K. Atalik

½-½

A. Adly

M. Bensdorp

 0-1

J.v.d. Wiel

S. Atalik

 1-0

C. Marcelin

J. Werle

 1-0

H. Jonkman

Round 7 – Saturday 21.1.2006
V. Topalov
1-0
I. Sokolov
B. Gelfand
½-½
S. Tiviakov
S. Karjakin
1-0
Mamedyarov
L. Aronian
0-1
L. van Wely
V. Ivanchuk
½-½
E. Bacrot
V. Anand
½-½
M. Adams
P. Leko
1-0
G. Kamsky
Round 7 – Saturday 21.1.2006

D. Navara

1-0

K. Humpy

M. Carlsen

1-0

G. Vescovi

Z. Almasi

1-0

A. Naiditsch

A. Motylev

½-½

A. Beliavsky

I. Cheparinov

1-0

D.Stellwagen

K. Lahno

0-1

B. Jobava

E. L’Ami

½-½

J. Smeets

Round 7 – Saturday 21.1.2006

H. Jonkman

0-1

L. Shilong

C. Marcelin

½-½

J. Werle

J.v.d. Wiel

½-½

S. Atalik

A. Adly

0-1

M. Bensdorp

P. Hopman

½-½

K. Atalik

Y. Afek

1-0

K. Bischoff

K.v.d. Weide

½-½

Y. Visser

Round 8 – Sunday 22.1.2006
I. Sokolov
  G. Kamsky
M. Adams
  P. Leko
E. Bacrot
  V. Anand
L. van Wely
  V. Ivanchuk
Mamedyarov
  L. Aronian
S. Tiviakov
  S. Karjakin
V. Topalov
  B. Gelfand
Report – Games
Round 8 – Sunday 22.1.2006

K. Humpy

 

J. Smeets

B. Jobava

 

E. L’Ami

D.Stellwagen

 

K. Lahno

A. Beliavsky

 

I. Cheparinov

A. Naiditsch

 

A. Motylev

G. Vescovi

 

Z. Almasi

D. Navara

 

M. Carlsen

Games
Round 8 – Sunday 22.1.2006

L. Shilong

 

Y. Visser

K. Bischoff

 

K.v.d. Weide

K. Atalik

 

Y. Afek

M. Bensdorp

 

P. Hopman

S. Atalik

 

A. Adly

J. Werle

 

J.v.d. Wiel

H. Jonkman

 

C. Marcelin

Games
Monday 23.1.2006 – Free day
Round 9 – Tuesday 24.1.2006
B. Gelfand
  I. Sokolov
S. Karjakin
  V. Topalov
L. Aronian
  S. Tiviakov
V. Ivanchuk
  Mamedyarov
V. Anand
  L. van Wely
P. Leko
  E. Bacrot
G. Kamsky
  M. Adams
Report – Games
Round 9 – Tuesday 24.1.2006

M. Carlsen

 

K. Humpy

Z. Almasi

 

D. Navara

A. Motylev

 

G. Vescovi

I. Cheparinov

 

A. Naiditsch

K. Lahno

 

A. Beliavsky

E. L’Ami

 

D.Stellwagen

J. Smeets

 

B. Jobava

Games
Round 9 – Tuesday 24.1.2006

C. Marcelin

 

L. Shilong

J.v.d. Wiel

 

H. Jonkman

A. Adly

 

J. Werle

P. Hopman

 

S. Atalik

Y. Afek

 

M. Bensdorp

K.v.d. Weide

 

K. Atalik

Y. Visser

 

K. Bischoff

Games
Round 10 – Wed. 25.1.2006
I. Sokolov
  M. Adams
E. Bacrot
  G. Kamsky
L. van Wely
  P. Leko
Mamedyarov
  V. Anand
S. Tiviakov
  V. Ivanchuk
V. Topalov
  L. Aronian
B. Gelfand
  S. Karjakin
Report – Games
Round 10 – Wed. 25.1.2006

K. Humpy

 

B. Jobava

D.Stellwagen

 

J. Smeets

A. Beliavsky

 

E. L’Ami

A. Naiditsch

 

K. Lahno

G. Vescovi

 

I. Cheparinov

D. Navara

 

A. Motylev

M. Carlsen

 

Z. Almasi

Games
Round 10 – Wed. 25.1.2006

L. Shilong

 

K. Bischoff

K. Atalik

 

Y. Visser

M. Bensdorp

 

K.v.d. Weide

S. Atalik

 

Y. Afek

J. Werle

 

P. Hopman

H. Jonkman

 

A. Adly

C. Marcelin

 

J.v.d. Wiel

Games
Thursday 26.1.2006 – Free day
Round 11 – Friday 27.1.2006
S. Karjakin
  I. Sokolov
L. Aronian
  B. Gelfand
V. Ivanchuk
  V. Topalov
V. Anand
  S. Tiviakov
P. Leko
  Mamedyarov
G. Kamsky
  L. van Wely
M. Adams
  E. Bacrot
Report – Games
Round 11 – Friday 27.1.2006

Z. Almasi

 

K. Humpy

A. Motylev

 

M. Carlsen

I. Cheparinov

 

D. Navara

K. Lahno

 

G. Vescovi

E. L’Ami

 

A. Naiditsch

J. Smeets

 

A. Beliavsky

B. Jobava

 

D.Stellwagen

Games
Round 11 – Friday 27.1.2006

J.v.d. Wiel

 

L. Shilong

A. Adly

 

C. Marcelin

P. Hopman

 

H. Jonkman

Y. Afek

 

J. Werle

K.v.d. Weide

 

S. Atalik

Y. Visser

 

M. Bensdorp

K. Bischoff

 

K. Atalik

Games
Round 12 – Saturday 28.1.2006
I. Sokolov
  E. Bacrot
L. van Wely
  M. Adams
Mamedyarov
  G. Kamsky
S. Tiviakov
  P. Leko
V. Topalov
  V. Anand
B. Gelfand
  V. Ivanchuk
S. Karjakin
  L. Aronian
Report – Games
Round 12 – Saturday 28.1.2006

K. Humpy

 

D.Stellwagen

A. Beliavsky

 

B. Jobava

A. Naiditsch

 

J. Smeets

G. Vescovi

 

E. L’Ami

D. Navara

 

K. Lahno

M. Carlsen

 

I. Cheparinov

Z. Almasi

 

A. Motylev

Games
Round 12 – Saturday 28.1.2006

L. Shilong

 

K. Atalik

M. Bensdorp

 

K. Bischoff

S. Atalik

 

Y. Visser

J. Werle

 

K.v.d. Weide

H. Jonkman

 

Y. Afek

C. Marcelin

 

P. Hopman

J.v.d. Wiel

 

A. Adly

Games
Round 13 – Sunday 29.1.2006
L. Aronian
  I. Sokolov
V. Ivanchuk
  S. Karjakin
V. Anand
  B. Gelfand
P. Leko
  V. Topalov
G. Kamsky
  S. Tiviakov
M. Adams
  Mamedyarov
E. Bacrot
  L. van Wely
Report – Games
Round 13 – Sunday 29.1.2006

A. Motylev

 

K. Humpy

I. Cheparinov

 

Z. Almasi

K. Lahno

 

M. Carlsen

E. L’Ami

 

D. Navara

J. Smeets

 

G. Vescovi

B. Jobava

 

A. Naiditsch

D.Stellwagen

 

A. Beliavsky

Games
Round 13 – Sunday 29.1.2006

A. Adly

 

L. Shilong

P. Hopman

 

J.v.d. Wiel

Y. Afek

 

C. Marcelin

K.v.d. Weide

 

H. Jonkman

Y. Visser

 

J. Werle

K. Bischoff

 

S. Atalik

K. Atalik

 

M. Bensdorp

Games

When and how to watch

The games of the Corus Chess Tournament start at 13:30h Central European Time, which is GMT + 1h, or 7:30 a.m. New York and 15:30 Moscow (you can check for other locations here).

There is live coverage on the official web site (links at the bottom of the page) and on Playchess.com, where audio and video commentary will be provided by GM Yasser Seirawan, live from Wijk aan Zee. Don't miss it!

Here is where you can find and replay the video commentary from the Playchess archives. Click on "English" and then select the report in the Games window. Replaying archive files costs you a Ducat or two.

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