Corus Round 3: The calm after the calm

1/13/2004 – We're still waiting for the storm in Wijk aan Zee. There was only one decisive game today, making just 5 of 21 games total. There were three short draws, but the one win was even shorter! Displaying a total lack of nationalistic solidarity, Russian champ Peter Svidler demolished countryman Evgeny Bareev in just 17 moves. He joins Anand and Leko in the lead with 2/3. Full report here.

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Corus Wijk aan Zee 2004 – Round 3

66th Wijk aan Zee Tournament – Jan. 10-25
Category 19 (avg. Elo 2702)

Round 3 (Tuesday, January 13, 2004)
Sokolov, Ivan
½-½
Adams, Michael
Leko, Peter
½-½
Topalov, Veselin
Akopian, Vladimir
½-½
Timman, Jan
Van Wely, Loek
½-½
Anand, Viswanathan
Bologan, Viktor
½-½
Kramnik, Vladimir
Svidler, Peter
1-0
Bareev, Evgeny
Shirov, Alexei
½-½
Zhang Zhong

After three rounds and only five decisive games we're wondering whether or not having all these superstars is such a good idea. Where's the hunger the outsiders usually bring to the board in Wijk aan Zee? Has Elo-itis infected everyone? Only Akopian has played three exciting games and only two players, Akopian again and Kramnik, have played more than one decisive game. Six players have drawn all three of their games.

Peter Svidler joined leaders Anand and Leko after beating Bareev in just 17 moves. That's ugly, but not really a shocker considering how many miniatures Bareev has lost over the years, including a loss to Khalifman in 20 in the same opening in Wijk aan Zee in 2002. That's life with the French Defense. Shirov beat Bareev in 15 in 1994 and he lost in just 13 with white back in 1988.

Getting back to today in Wijk aan Zee, it's an incredibly tight field with just one point separating all the players. Another day of this and we're changing channels to cover the B and C groups where we've seen a lot more action! For the record, Fressinet is leading the B group with 3/3. Ernst and Gagunashvili have perfect scores in the C group. Several of the world's top juniors are in action and we'll be taking a closer look tomorrow.

Even today's single win in the A group didn't give us much to savor, but you can't blame Peter Svidler. His opponent, 2002 Corus winner Evgeny Bareev, played a dubious line of the French and resigned three moves after leaving known analysis. In the MegaBase 2004, GM Alex Finkel rates the position +/= after 14.Nc6, but it quickly went to :-( for Bareev.

Here is where Svidler dropped the pretty 14.Nc6 on the board. Capturing the knight loses the exchange and a pawn after 14...bxc6?? 15.Bxc6+. In the only game to see this move actually played on the board instead of in the notes, the best Black could find was to suffer in an endgame after 14...0-0 15.Nxe7+ Qxe7 16.Qd6. (The move also appears in analysis to Shirov-Anand, Corus 2001 and Polgar-van Wely, Hoogeveen 2001.)

Although it seems unlikely that a player as strong as Bareev wouldn't be aware of this line in his favorite defense it is even harder to believe he would play into this position intentionally. Bareev tried development with 14...e5 15.Nxe7 Qxe7 16.f4.

Black is now basically stuck with a miserable endgame or worse. Bareev went for worse with 16...exf4??

[16...0-0 17.f5± (17.Qd6 Qxd6 18.Rxd6 exf4 19.Rxf4 Be6 20.Bxb7 Rab8 21.Rb4 a5 22.Rbb6 Bxa2 23.b3 Bb1 24.c4) 17...Qb4 (17...f6 18.Rf3 Rb8 19.Qb3+ (19.Rg3 b5) 19...Kh8 20.Qb6; 18.f6 Bg4 19.Rde1

16...Bg4 17.Rde1 0-0 18.fxe5]
 

17.Bxb7! 1-0

Ending things instantly by clearing the e-file for a deadly pin. The black queen can't abandon control of d8.

[17.Bxb7 0-0 (17...Bxb7 18.Rfe1) 18.Bxa8 Qa7+ 19.Qd4 Qxa8 20.Rxf4+-]

Mig Greengard

Standings after round three

All the games in PGN (no notes) GM group AGM group BGM group C

Schedule – (Rest days 12, 16, 21)
Round 1 (Saturday, January 11, 2004)
Topalov, Veselin
½-½
Adams, Michael
Sokolov, Ivan
½-½
Timman, Jan
Leko, Peter
½-½
Anand, Viswanathan
Akopian, Vladimir
1-0
Kramnik, Vladimir
Van Wely, Loek
½-½
Bareev, Evgeny
Bologan, Viktor
½-½
Zhang Zhong
Svidler, Peter
½-½
Shirov, Alexei
Round 2 (Sunday, January 11, 2004)
Adams, Michael
½-½
Shirov, Alexei
Zhang Zhong
½-½
Svidler, Peter
Bareev, Evgeny
½-½
Bologan, Viktor
Kramnik, Vladimir
1-0
Van Wely, Loek
Anand, Viswanathan
1-0
Akopian, Vladimir
Timman, Jan
0-1
Leko, Peter
Topalov, Veselin
½-½
Sokolov, Ivan
Round 3 (Tuesday, January 13, 2004)
Sokolov, Ivan
½-½
Adams, Michael
Leko, Peter
½-½
Topalov, Veselin
Akopian, Vladimir
½-½
Timman, Jan
Van Wely, Loek
½-½
Anand, Viswanathan
Bologan, Viktor
½-½
Kramnik, Vladimir
Svidler, Peter
1-0
Bareev, Evgeny
Shirov, Alexei
½-½
Zhang Zhong
Games – Report
Round 4 (Wednesday, January 1, 2004)
Adams, Michael
  Zhang Zhong
Bareev, Evgeny
  Shirov, Alexei
Kramnik, Vladimir
  Svidler, Peter
Anand, Viswanathan
  Bologan, Viktor
Timman, Jan
  Van Wely, Loek
Topalov, Veselin
  Akopian, Vladimir
Sokolov, Ivan
  Leko, Peter
Games – Report
Round 5 (Thursday, January 15, 2004)
Leko, Peter
  Adams, Michael
Akopian, Vladimir
  Sokolov, Ivan
Van Wely, Loek
  Topalov, Veselin
Bologan, Viktor
  Timman, Jan
Svidler, Peter
  Anand, Viswanathan
Shirov, Alexei
  Kramnik, Vladimir
Zhang Zhong
  Bareev, Evgeny
Games – Report
Round 6 (Saturday, January 17, 2004)
Adams, Michael
  Bareev, Evgeny
Kramnik, Vladimir
  Zhang Zhong
Anand, Viswanathan
  Shirov, Alexei
Timman, Jan
  Svidler, Peter
Topalov, Veselin
  Bologan, Viktor
Sokolov, Ivan
  Van Wely, Loek
Leko, Peter
  Akopian, Vladimir
Games – Report
Round 7 (Sunday, January 18, 2004)
Akopian, Vladimir
  Adams, Michael
Van Wely, Loek
  Leko, Peter
Bologan, Viktor
  Sokolov, Ivan
Svidler, Peter
  Topalov, Veselin
Shirov, Alexei
  Timman, Jan
Zhang Zhong
  Anand, Viswanathan
Bareev, Evgeny
  Kramnik, Vladimir
Games – Report
Round 8 (Monday, January 19, 2004)
Adams, Michael
  Kramnik, Vladimir
Anand, Viswanathan
  Bareev, Evgeny
Timman, Jan
  Zhang Zhong
Topalov, Veselin
  Shirov, Alexei
Sokolov, Ivan
  Svidler, Peter
Leko, Peter
  Bologan, Viktor
Akopian, Vladimir
  Van Wely, Loek
Games – Report
Round 9 (Tuesday, January 20, 2004)
Van Wely, Loek
  Adams, Michael
Bologan, Viktor
  Akopian, Vladimir
Svidler, Peter
  Leko, Peter
Shirov, Alexei
  Sokolov, Ivan
Zhang Zhong
  Topalov, Veselin
Bareev, Evgeny
  Timman, Jan
Kramnik, Vladimir
  Anand, Viswanathan
Games – Report
Round 10 (Thursday, January 22, 2004)
Adams, Michael
  Anand, Viswanathan
Timman, Jan
  Kramnik, Vladimir
Topalov, Veselin
  Bareev, Evgeny
Sokolov, Ivan
  Zhang Zhong
Leko, Peter
  Shirov, Alexei
Akopian, Vladimir
  Svidler, Peter
Van Wely, Loek
  Bologan, Viktor
Games – Report
Round 11 (Friday, January 23, 2004)
Bologan, Viktor
  Adams, Michael
Svidler, Peter
  Van Wely, Loek
Shirov, Alexei
  Akopian, Vladimir
Zhang Zhong
  Leko, Peter
Bareev, Evgeny
  Sokolov, Ivan
Kramnik, Vladimir
  Topalov, Veselin
Anand, Viswanathan
  Timman, Jan
Games – Report
Round 12 (Saturday, January 24, 2004)
Adams, Michael
  Timman, Jan
Topalov, Veselin
  Anand, Viswanathan
Sokolov, Ivan
  Kramnik, Vladimir
Leko, Peter
  Bareev, Evgeny
Akopian, Vladimir
  Zhang Zhong
Van Wely, Loek
  Shirov, Alexei
Bologan, Viktor
  Svidler, Peter
Games – Report
Round 13 (Sunday, January 25, 2004)
Svidler, Peter
  Adams, Michael
Shirov, Alexei
  Bologan, Viktor
Zhang Zhong
  Van Wely, Loek
Bareev, Evgeny
  Akopian, Vladimir
Kramnik, Vladimir
  Leko, Peter
Anand, Viswanathan
  Sokolov, Ivan
Timman, Jan
  Topalov, Veselin
Games – Report
 

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