Corus Round 8: Anand sprints, Adams follows

1/19/2004 – It was a good day from A to Z in Wijk aan Zee. Or maybe just for A and Z. Players with names starting with A scored 2.5/3 led by wins from Anand over Bareev and Adams over Kramnik. Z, represented by Zhang, got its first full point. B was a disaster, going 0-2. Anand keeps the clear lead and will have black against Kramnik tomorrow. Full report and analysis.

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Corus Wijk aan Zee 2004 – Round 8

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

Round 8 (Monday, January 19, 2004)
Adams, Michael
1-0
Kramnik, Vladimir
Anand, Viswanathan
1-0
Bareev, Evgeny
Timman, Jan
0-1
Zhang Zhong
Topalov, Veselin
½-½
Shirov, Alexei
Sokolov, Ivan
½-½
Svidler, Peter
Leko, Peter
1-0
Bologan, Viktor
Akopian, Vladimir
½-½
Van Wely, Loek

Adams shook up the standings.

Vishy Anand survived an exchange of mistakes with Bareev to notch his third win in a row and stay in the lead. He didn't extend his lead because Mickey Adams kept pace with a wild win over Vladimir Kramnik. That put the Englishman into clear second place. He is trailed by Leko, who passed by a nervous moment to beat Bologan. Zhang swapped places with Timman in the standings by beating the Dutchman for his first win of the event.

That left Sokolov as the only player in the field without a win, but he came very close. Svidler pulled out a miracle save that looked like magic. Akopian-van Wely and Topalov-Shirov were fairly tame draws. It looks like Kramnik will need a win with white over Anand in tomorrow's marquee match-up if he is to maintain any hopes of winning the event.

Before congratulating the winners we should take a moment to appreciate the play of one of today's losers. 14th world champion Vladimir Kramnik (an indisputable appellation used in place of the currently defunct "world champion") lost his second game of Wijk aan Zee today. It was the second Najdorf Sicilian of his life; the first resulted in his first loss to Akopian last week.

This doesn't sound like progress, but it may represent a sea-change for the no-longer-so-young Kramnik. (Although he is younger than all but three others in a relatively elderly WaZ field. No Moro, Grischuk, Polgar, or Ponomariov.) After an explosive debut as a teen Kramnik emerged from the tutelage of GM Sergei Dolmatov as an immovable object. The new style was ideal for beating Kasparov in the 2000 world championship match. In one of the most incredible feats in chess history he went 15 games with Kasparov without a loss.

But as Petrosian showed 40 years ago, being a caissic Rock of Gibraltar is less effective in tournament play. If you never lose you can't lose a match, but you can go undefeated in a tournament and finish sixth. Petrosian won a candidates match-tournament (undefeated of course), beat Botvinnik, fended off Spassky once, but couldn't win a tournament when competing against aggressive players like Larsen, Spassky, Fischer, and Korchnoi. In the last few years Kramnik has often found himself in the same situation when competing against Kasparov and Anand.

When the margins are tight and +2 can win, Kramnik's style is nearly ideal. This was the case in Linares last year but it doesn't always work. In Dortmund 2003 he won his first game and then reeled off nine (!) consecutive draws to finish behind Bologan. Kramnik simply hasn't played enough classical chess in the past few years to draw any real conclusions, but it will be inspiring if he makes an effort to give his remarkable talent more room to breathe.

Peter Leko did this several years ago after hitting a ceiling in his results. He retooled his repertoire and started playing sharper games. He lost more before he won more but eventually came back a more dangerous and successful tournament player. We saw this in his triumphs in Dortmund 2002 and Linares 2003. (We also discovered how Leko did it.)

There's no reason to believe Kramnik can't do the same thing, especially since, unlike Leko, he was more of a wild-man in his youth. (We used to say that Leko played like an old man by the time he was 14.) The growing pains of a few unfamiliar losses are a small price to pay. Even if it means experimenting with Kasparov's Najdorf and taking a few knocks, Kramnik, and chess, will be much the better for it.

So let's cheer Kramnik for these losses, at least for a while. That means we we can congratulate him and Mickey Adams, who inflicted today's loss in excellent fashion.

Adams-Kramnik after 28...dxe4

The white bishop has to go somewhere and Black's weak back rank allows Adams to park it on a7 for just enough time to pinch the e4 pawn and get all his pieces into the attack. Black's knight ends up stranded in the center. See the replay page for the conclusion.

29.Ba7! What Kramnik missed. [29.Bg1? Qh4] 29...Re7?! [29...Rf8!? 30.Qe6 (30.Qxf8+ Qxf8 31.Rxf8+ Rxf8 32.Nxe4) 30...e3 31.Rxf8+ Qxf8 32.Bxb8 Nf2+ 33.Kg1 Nxd1 34.Nxd1 Qxb8 35.Nxe3 Bxe3+ 36.Qxe3 h6=; 29...Rc8 30.Nxe4 Rxe4 31.Rxd3] 30.Qf5± Ra8 31.Nxe4 Rd7? [31...Re5 32.Rxd3! Qe7±] 32.Bb6!+- Back rank! 32...Qe8 [32...Qxb6?? 33.Qf8+ Rxf8 34.Rxf8#] 33.a5 Kg8
 

Leko-Bologan after 25.Ke8

Bologan committed a fatal mistake, sacrificing a piece against Peter Leko. As the old saying goes, if an attack isn't successful the counterattack will likely be decisive. (Following an old chess writer's axiom, if you can't remember who said something pithy and you're too lazy to look it up, attribute it to Tarrasch. Non-chess journalists do this with Churchill and/or Twain.)

Leko rebounded quickly and here he smashed through with 26.Nxe6! Kd7 [26...fxe6 27.Qxe6+ Be7 (27...Qe7 28.Qg8+ Kd7 29.Rxe7+ Kxe7 30.Qxa8) 28.Qc6+ Kf7 29.Qxa8] 27.Qf3 Rb8 [27...fxe6 28.Qb7+ Bc7 29.Rd1+ Ke8 30.Qxa8+ Ke7 31.Qc6+-] 28.Nd4 Rc8 29.Qh3+ [29.Nb5 Qg6 30.Qb7+ Rc7 31.Nxc7 Bxc7 32.Rd1+ Qd6 33.Rxd6+ Kxd6 34.Qxa7 h5+-] 29...f5 30.Nxf5 1-0 [30.Nxf5 Rxc2 31.Qd3+- Rc6 32.Qd5 Kc7 33.Nxd6 Rxd6 34.Rc1+ Kd7 35.Qb7+]
 

Anand-Bareev after 31...e5

Anand closed in for the kill and picked up the black queen with 32.Rg7+ Ke6 [32...Bxg7? 33.Rxg7+ Ke6 34.Qxa8] 33.R1g6 Rab8 34.Qg8+ Kd6 35.Rxf6+ Qxf6 36.Rg6 Kc7 [36...Rxb2+ 37.Kc1 Qxg6 38.Qxg6+ Kc7 39.Qf7+ Kd6 40.Bb3] 37.Rxf6 Rxf6 The uncoordinated rooks are no match for the marauding queen. Eventually Anand builds a mating net.

38.Qh7+ Kb6 39.Be4 Rd6 40.h5 a6 41.Qf7 Rd2 42.a3 Rd1+ [42...a5 43.Qe6+ Rd6 44.Qxe5+-] 43.Kc2 Rd6 [43...Rdd8+-] 44.b4 cxb4 45.axb4 Rdd8 46.Qe6+ Rd6 [46...Ka7 47.Qxe5 Rdc8+-] 47.Qc4 Rf6 48.Qd5 1-0 [48.Qd5 Kc7 49.Qxe5+ Rd6 50.c4+-; 48.f4 Re8 49.fxe5 Rxe5 50.Qd4+ Kc7 51.Qxe5+ Rd6+-]

Mig Greengard

Standings after round eight

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
Round 8 (Monday, January 19, 2004)
Adams, Michael
1-0
Kramnik, Vladimir
Anand, Viswanathan
1-0
Bareev, Evgeny
Timman, Jan
0-1
Zhang Zhong
Topalov, Veselin
½-½
Shirov, Alexei
Sokolov, Ivan
½-½
Svidler, Peter
Leko, Peter
1-0
Bologan, Viktor
Akopian, Vladimir
½-½
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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