Corus Round 7: Anand leads alone at last

1/18/2004 – As inevitable as tears at a wedding, Vishy Anand has taken the lead in Wijk aan Zee. The Indian won the all-Asia game against Zhang Zhong with black while his co-leaders could only draw (or lose, in Topalov's case). Is Anand's second consecutive title also inevitable? Svidler, Bologan, and Shirov also won. Full report with analysis and photos here now.

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Corus Wijk aan Zee 2004 – Round 7

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

Round 7 (Sunday, January 18, 2004)
Akopian, Vladimir
½-½
Adams, Michael
Van Wely, Loek
½-½
Leko, Peter
Bologan, Viktor
1-0
Sokolov, Ivan
Svidler, Peter
1-0
Topalov, Veselin
Shirov, Alexei
1-0
Timman, Jan
Zhang Zhong
0-1
Anand, Viswanathan
Bareev, Evgeny
½-½
Kramnik, Vladimir

Somehow it seemed inevitable. As we crossed the halfway mark in Wijk aan Zee Vishy Anand took over clear first place. Anand took the unofficial Asian title as well by beating Zhang Zhong with black with more than a little help from the 25-year-old Chinese. Kramnik and Adams were not pressed by their opponents and got short draws with black. The other leader, Topalov, lost to Svidler when he went looking for a win.

Anand tied for first with four others in Wijk aan Zee way back in 1989 when it was not yet the super-elite event is has become. In 96 he finished behind Ivanchuk and in 1998 he tied for first with Kramnik. From 1999-2001 Garry Kasparov stopped by to collect three clear firsts with Anand hot on his heels in all three events. In 2002 Anand didn't play but he was back last year for his first ever clear first in Wijk aan Zee.

In round seven he made his move for a second consecutive title. Zhang Zhong opened up lines to his own king with a lemming-like run after gaining a fine position out of the opening. After the game Anand, in what has become a habit, pointed out various ways with which his opponent could have gained an early advantage. Maybe he'll start charging for these classes soon? Zhang, who qualified by dominating the B group last year, dropped into the cellar.

Bareev and Akopian couldn't get anywhere against Kramnik and Adams, respectively. Topalov wasn't so lucky but he has only his fighting spirit to blame so we cannot criticize. He played hard for a win against Svidler but fell into a brutal back-rank mating attack. The wild tactics in this game starting on move 14 have to be seen to be believed. Every move looks like a zwischenzug!

The other wins were interesting endgames. Bologan gave Sokolov no chance while Shirov needed some time-trouble help from Timman to notch the point.

Shirov-Timman after 72.Kg5

White can't mobilize his pawns quickly without giving up his h-pawn for the black f-pawn.

72...Rg1?? The rook needs to stay behind the h-pawn. It's more dangerous because it's further away from the Black king. Even worse, the black rook ends up on the 2nd rank instead of the first so Black loses several tempi for queening his c-pawn to win the white rook. Queening the c-pawn asap draws.

[72...Kd3= 73.h6 (73.g4 fxg4 74.Kxg4 c2 75.Kg5 c1Q 76.Rxc1 Rxc1 77.f5 Ke4 78.f6 Ke5 79.f7 Rc8 80.Kg6 Ke6 81.Kg7 (81.h6 Rf8 82.h7 Ke7 83.Kg7 Rxf7+ 84.Kg8 Rxh7 85.Kxh7) 81...Rc7; 73...c2 74.Kxf5 Rxh6 75.g4 Rh1 76.g5 c1Q 77.Rxc1 Rxc1 78.g6 Rg1 79.Ke5 Rxg6 80.f5 Rg5 81.Ke6 Ke4 82.f6 Rf5 83.f7]

73.h6+- Rxg2+ 74.Kxf5 Rh2 75.Kg6 c2

[75...Rg2+ 76.Kf6 Kd3+-] 76.f5 Rg2+ 77.Kf7 According to the tablebases there were various ways for Shirov to win more quickly, but they were banging out moves by this point and continued in severe time trouble till the end. Shirov converted a queen vs rook endgame on move 101.
 

Svidler-Topalov after 14.Qf2

This is where the insanity started. Of course exchange sacrifices on c3 are routine in the Sicilian but when you have a knight hanging on b6? 14...Nc4 was played here several times last year. Topalov has an improvement. Hold on to your seat.

14...Rxc3 5.Bxb6 [15.bxc3 Na4] 15...Bxg5+ 16.Kb1 Bh4 17.Rg3 [17.Bxd8 Bxf2 18.bxc3 Bxg1 19.Rxd6 Nf4] 17...Bxg3 18.hxg3 Rc7 19.Nc5 Qe7 [19...dxc5 20.Rxd8] 20.Nxe6 fxe6 21.Bxc7 Qxc7

Svidler has play for the pawn, but it wasn't until Topalov went pawn grabbing much later that he got into serious trouble. Aggressive and spectacular play from both players.
 

Mig Greengard

Standings after round seven

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
Round 4 (Wednesday, January 14, 2004)
Adams, Michael
1-0
Zhang Zhong
Bareev, Evgeny
1-0
Shirov, Alexei
Kramnik, Vladimir
1-0
Svidler, Peter
Anand, Viswanathan
½-½
Bologan, Viktor
Timman, Jan
0-1
Van Wely, Loek
Topalov, Veselin
1-0
Akopian, Vladimir
Sokolov, Ivan
½-½
Leko, Peter
Round 5 (Thursday, January 15, 2004)
Leko, Peter
½-½
Adams, Michael
Akopian, Vladimir
1-0
Sokolov, Ivan
Van Wely, Loek
½-½
Topalov, Veselin
Bologan, Viktor
0-1
Timman, Jan
Svidler, Peter
½-½
Anand, Viswanathan
Shirov, Alexei
½-½
Kramnik, Vladimir
Zhang Zhong
½-½
Bareev, Evgeny
Round 6 (Saturday, January 17, 2004)
Adams, Michael
1-0
Bareev, Evgeny
Kramnik, Vladimir
1-0
Zhang Zhong
Anand, Viswanathan
1-0
Shirov, Alexei
Timman, Jan
½-½
Svidler, Peter
Topalov, Veselin
1-0
Bologan, Viktor
Sokolov, Ivan
½-½
Van Wely, Loek
Leko, Peter
½-½
Akopian, Vladimir
Round 7 (Sunday, January 18, 2004)
Akopian, Vladimir
½-½
Adams, Michael
Van Wely, Loek
½-½
Leko, Peter
Bologan, Viktor
1-0
Sokolov, Ivan
Svidler, Peter
1-0
Topalov, Veselin
Shirov, Alexei
1-0
Timman, Jan
Zhang Zhong
0-1
Anand, Viswanathan
Bareev, Evgeny
½-½
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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