Mtel R4: All games drawn

5/15/2005 – Judit Polgar had the world's top-rated active player on the run today, but he quickly turned the tables. Anand had an extra bishop, but couldn't hold on to his pawns. Adams-Ponomariov ended in a quick perpetual check. Kramnik got a small endgame plus against Topalov but not enough to win. Read more about the tablebase tournament.

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Super GM Tournament
in Sofia

Six of the world's top players
clash in the M-Tel Masters

May 11 to 22, 2005
in the Grand Hotel Sofia, Bulgaria

The Mtel Masters Super Tournament is under way. It is a category 20 event with an Elo average of 2744. The time controls are classic (up to seven hours per game) and the tournament is a double round robin (every player plays every other player twice). There is a special rule in place at this Super Tournament: draw offers are not allowed, i.e. draws by mutual agreement between the players are forbidden, only technical draws may be given by the arbiter.

The lady is the tiger

A wild, sacrificial middlegame turned into a tough endgame for Judit Polgar, but she hung on to draw against Anand. Motherhood has not mellowed this woman! You may need to cover the eyes of the children just to go over this game.


Vishy Anand during his game

Polgar-Anand after 20...Qh5

Anand gave up the exchange to gain enough counterplay to at least equalize. Then Polgar sacrificed a full rook to continue her attack. She played 21.Bxg6!? (21.Re3 looks okay. 21.Kg2?? Rxf4!! wins for Black.) 21...fxg6 22.Rxe6+ Bxe6 23.Qxe6+ and scooped up enough pawns for compensation. (39...Rc3 looks like a good winning try for Black.) After exchanges she just managed to hold the bishop for three pawns ending (see below). Another sensational game.

Topalov and Kramnik livened up the Petroff a little today (Kramnik has seen it in three of his four games). As GM John Nunn put it to us, the anti-draw rules aren't working. What we really need is a way for White to get an advantage against the Petroff! Topalov's over-aggressive h6 thrust got him into a little trouble, but he held a pawn-down rook endgame without much difficulty. Adams and Ponomariov followed a known exchange line that led to a quick perpetual check.


Vladimir Kramnik, who has seen three Petroffs so far (photos Olena Boytsun)

Round 4 (Sunday, May 15, 2005)
Michael Adams
½-½
Ruslan Ponomariov
Judit Polgar
½-½
Viswanathan Anand
Veselin Topalov
½-½
Vladimir Kramnik
Games – Report

Current standings

The tablebase tournament

The players are working harder and our endgame tablebases are also getting a workout thanks to the rule prohibiting draw offers. Many of the games are going down to nearly no material, and that's when the tablebases dramatically increase the accuracy of computer evaluations, sometimes reaching absolute perfection.

Polgar-Anand after 58.Rh6+

For instance, as you can see below, Fritz knew Polgar-Anand was dead drawn as soon as Vishy played 58...Kg2. After Polgar's 59.Rh5 there is nothing Black can do to prevent Rg5, Kg8, Rxa5, f8Q with a draw.

Anand swapped all the pieces and ran to the queenside, but just like the tablebases, Polgar had it calculated perfectly and her king got there just in time to capture the last pawn on the board.


No mystery to Fritz. After zero seconds it's a 0.00 evaluation.

Schedule and results

Round 1 (Thursday, May 12, 2005)
Vladimir Kramnik
1-0
Ruslan Ponomariov
Viswanathan Anand
½-½
Veselin Topalov
Michael Adams
½-½
Judit Polgar
GamesReport
Round 2 (Friday, May 13, 2005)
Ruslan Ponomariov
½-½
Judit Polgar
Veselin Topalov
½-½
Michael Adams
Vladimir Kramnik
½-½
Viswanathan Anand
Games Report
Round 3 (Saturday, May 14, 2005)
Viswanathan Anand
½-½
Ruslan Ponomariov
Michael Adams
1-0
Vladimir Kramnik
Judit Polgar
½-½
Veselin Topalov
GamesReport
Round 4 (Sunday, May 15, 2005)
Michael Adams
½-½
Ruslan Ponomariov
Judit Polgar
½-½
Viswanathan Anand
Veselin Topalov
½-½
Vladimir Kramnik
GamesReport
Round 5 (Monday, May 16, 2005)
Ruslan Ponomariov
-
Veselin Topalov
Vladimir Kramnik
-
Judit Polgar
Viswanathan Anand
-
Michael Adams
Games – Report
Round 6 (Wednesday, May 18, 2005)
Ruslan Ponomariov
-
Vladimir Kramnik
Veselin Topalov
-
Viswanathan Anand
Judit Polgar
-
Michael Adams
Games – Report
Round 7 (Thursday, May 19, 2005)
Judit Polgar
-
Ruslan Ponomariov
Michael Adams
-
Veselin Topalov
Viswanathan Anand
-
Vladimir Kramnik
Games – Report
Round 8 (Friday, May 20, 2005)
Ruslan Ponomariov
-
Viswanathan Anand
Vladimir Kramnik
-
Michael Adams
Veselin Topalov
-
Judit Polgar
Games – Report
Round 9 (Saturday, May 21, 2005)
Veselin Topalov
-
Ruslan Ponomariov
Judit Polgar
-
Vladimir Kramnik
Michael Adams
-
Viswanathan Anand
Games – Report
Round 10 (Sunday, May 22, 2005)
Ruslan Ponomariov
-
Michael Adams
Viswanathan Anand
-
Judit Polgar
Vladimir Kramnik
-
Veselin Topalov
Games – Report

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