San Luis R3: Slugfest at the World Championship

10/1/2005 – In round two all games were drawn. Today the hyper aggressive play at the FIDE world championship led to four wins: Anand crushed Adams in 32 moves, Svidler beat Leko, and Judit Polgar won a very nice game against Kasimdzhanov. Veselin Topalov needed over six hours to grind down Alexander Morozevich. Full report.

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The FIDE World Chess Championship is taking place in the Hotel Potrero de los Funes Complex, in the Province of San Luis, Argentina, from September 27 to October 16, 2005..

Round Three Summary

Vishy Anand played a convincing game against Michael Adams, ending with a devastating king-side attack and Adams' resignation on move 32. Judit Polgar played a very nice game to defeat Rustam Kasimdzhanov. Peter Svidler defeated an apparently out-of-form Peter Leko. Veselin Topalov, playing black, ground down is Alexander Morozevich in 74 moves.

Round 3: Friday, September 30th
A. Morozevich
0-1
Veselin Topalov
Peter Svidler
1-0
Peter Leko
Judit Polgar
1-0
R. Kasimdzhanov
Vishy Anand
1-0
Michael Adams

Current standings at the World Championship in San Luis


World Championship Diary: Round 3

By Nigel Short – on site in San Luis

Myomancy: Noun; divination from the movements of mice.

One should always start the day with a nice word: this one seems to accurately describe the activity of those following the games live on the Internet. Naturally I am referring to mice of the computer variety. Being technophobic, I prefer instead to rely on intuition for my prognostications. My only prediction for today is that Svidler-Leko will end in a “tablas” (draw). I would very much like to be proven wrong, but this pairing has a pacific, if not to say soporific, feel to it.


Veselin Topalov being checked out by security at the entrance

4.10pm: Anand-Adams has exploded into extraordinary violence. The Zaitsev Variation is not a regular feature of the Englishman’s repertoire (he tends to prefer other systems of the Spanish), but clearly he had prepared something particular for the tournament favourite, excavating a line that was popular from the Kasparov-Karpov clashes back in the 1980s. It also jogged long-dormant painful memories of a game that I lost brilliantly to Gyula Sax in the Subotica Interzonal. Black’s kingside is jolly weak indeed.


Adams vs Anand, before the start of round three

Anand, whose memory (not to mention ability) is better than most, appeared unperturbed by the unexpected turn of events and offered his opponent a bewildering choice of captures with the novelty 23.Qd2!? which, from the relative speed with which he played it, looks as if it was home-cooked. I have absolutely no idea what is going on, quite frankly, other than to say that if Anand fails to give mate (or a perpetual check) he will most likely lose. It is not the sort of position that one can just hold. It is do or die. Mind you, defending against a ferocious onslaught is even worse. At moments like this that I am quite glad that I am just watching and not playing .

Polgar-Kasimjanov looks almost sedate by comparison. She has “only” sacrificed two pieces within the first thirteen moves. She will win one back, I imagine, but then it is anyone’s guess as to who stands better. Bravo girl! One has go to admire such gutsy spiritedness.


Leko vs Svidler in the foreground, Topalov vs Morozevich in the background

I suspect that I may have maligned Svidler and Leko: their game appears rather unbalanced and pregnant with possibilities. One would describe it as very interesting were it not for the fact that one’s attention is instinctively drawn to the first two games. Svidler has central doubled isolated pawns – usually a liability – but I rather like his position. I will stick by my prediction of a draw though for the time being.


Peter Leko fascinated by the Anand-Adams slugfest

5.10pm: Crikey, Vishy has won! What a rout! What an annihilation! It turns out that he prepared this novelty ten years ago, when he prepared it for his Kamsky match, and had kept it in his memory banks ever since. He is not just a very fine player but he is a world class analyst too. Adams was severely punished for playing a risky line without adequate study (a few months would probably have sufficed). Doubtless he could have defended more resiliently, hypothetically speaking, but this was an almost impossible task over the board.


Animated Anand in the press conference


Adams subdued after the horrible loss

5.45pm: Polgar is stoking the blazing bonfire with more wood! She is two pieces down but will win back a queen for a rook. Judit is in her element, attacking like a demented axeman. This is fabulous, swashbuckling entertainment! The drugs’ Tsarina Dr. Jana Bellin had better get here quickly: I am sure these players are on steroids. If they are, give them more, is what I say!


Peter Svidler, suffering in success

6.10pm: Svidler has won! It was a question of which rock (Peter) would crumble first. This looked like a fine positional game from the Russian. Leko’s knight, miserably stranded on a5 (and then on b7), was the cause of his downfall – a perfect illustration of the truth of the saying “A knight on the rim is grim”. This equine neglect led to first one concession and then the other, as first his rook was forced to abdicate the e-file and then his queen was driven back in a most unregal manner. Finally, with Black’s queenside collapsing (which itself would have sufficed for victory) Svidler brutally zeroed in on the king. With mate in the offing, Leko resigned. The much fancied Hungarian is having a torrid time of it here. He still has a chance to make a recovery but, if he is to even dream of victory, he had better start winning very quickly.


Rustam Kasimdzhanov, world champion from Uzbekistan

6.30pm: Polgar has regained her sacrificed material with interest. The World Champion is on the ropes and I can hardly conceive of him recovering with his paralysed pieces. This is extremely impressive stuff from the young lady who has bounced back well after her disappointing opening day.

There is a reason why I have been ignoring the Morozevich-Topalov clash: it has been a pretty turgid affair so far. Moroz was clearly intent on keeping the position very tight and not allowing the aggressive Bulgarian to play the sort of game which he enjoys. The strategy has backfired, though, because the Russian has dropped a pawn. White enjoys a modicum of compensation, by means of a well-positioned knight, but I doubt that he will be very happy with what he has done. It appears as if a draw is the best he can hope for now.


Judit Polgar in the press conference after her victory

6.47pm: Kasimjanov resigned. The endgame was beyond redemption. Polgar had a choice of winning with rooks on (the silicon choice) or with them off (as any normal human being would prefer). She exchanged – obviously she does not carry Pocket Fritz in that handbag of hers – and elegantly shepherded her passed c-pawn through to promotion. Three decisive results and we are not finished yet!


Morozevich (seated) letting it slip away against Topalov

8.05pm: There has been an understandable lull after all the excitement of earlier. I find myself singing the refrain from Paul Simon’s hit “Slip-slidin’ away” after looking at Morozevich’s position. He must be cursing himself: if one is to lose, better to do it with testosterone, not with faggotty shuffling like this. I did the same myself against Topalov this year, and it was pretty miserable.


Morozevich going under

10.45pm: This oenomaniac has returned from dinner after pleasant discourse with the World Champion on linguistics and ophthalmology. Toppy, who duly won his game as anticipated, mentioned, a touch incredulously, that his opponent had offered a draw on move 12 . One can only surmise that Morozevich was suffering from insomnia or some other physical ailment. Why else would one wish to waste a precious White?

Four decisive games. This was an amazing day for the spectators – not that the others have been bad. Toppy and Vishy share the lead with Peter Svidler half a point behind. Long may this slugfest continue!

Nigel Short

As a special service we provide our readers with definitions of some of the words used in Nigel Short's Diary of the World Championship. If we have missed a few obscure or difficult expressions – a good place to look them up is the OneLook Dictionary Search.

A Short English Dictionary

  • Technophobic: Noun; fear or dislike of advanced technology or complex devices and especially computers.
  • Prognostication: Noun; knowledge of the future, a statement made about the future.
  • Soporific: Adjective; sleep inducing, inducing mental lethargy
  • Malign: Verb; to say false and unpleasant things about someone or to unfairly criticize them.
  • Crikey: Interjection; British informal: an expression of surprise, euphemism for "Christ", used as a mild oath. Pronunciation: Cry-key.
  • Equine: Adjective; of or belonging to the family Equidae, resembling a horse.
  • Turgid: Adjective; swollen and distended or congested, (of language or style) tediously pompous or bombastic.
  • Modicum: Noun; a small portion, a limited quantity.
  • Oenomaniac: Noun; a person with an obsession or craze for wine. Pronounciation: Ee-no-mania. Oenomania sometimes leads to the abundant use of rare or obscure words.

Full schedule

Round 1: Wednesday, September 28th

Peter Leko
0-1
Veselin Topalov
A. Morozevich
½-½
R. Kasimdzhanov
Peter Svidler
½-½
Michael Adams
Judit Polgar
0-1
Vishy Anand
Round 2: Thursday, September 29th
Veselin Topalov
½-½
Vishy Anand
Michael Adams
½-½
Judit Polgar
R. Kasimdzhanov
½-½
Peter Svidler
Peter Leko
½-½
A. Morozevich
Round 3: Friday, September 30th
A. Morozevich
0-1
Veselin Topalov
Peter Svidler
1-0
Peter Leko
Judit Polgar
1-0
R. Kasimdzhanov
Vishy Anand
1-0
Michael Adams
Round 4: Saturday, October 1st
Veselin Topalov
-
Michael Adams
R. Kasimdzhanov
-
Vishy Anand
Peter Leko
-
Judit Polgar
A. Morozevich
-
Peter Svidler
Games – Report
Free day: Sunday, October 2nd
Round 5: Monday, October 3rd
Peter Svidler
-
Veselin Topalov
Judit Polgar
-
A. Morozevich
Vishy Anand
-
Peter Leko
Michael Adams
-
R. Kasimdzhanov
Games – Report
Round 6: Tuesday, October 4th
Judit Polgar
-
Veselin Topalov
Vishy Anand
-
Peter Svidler
Michael Adams
-
A. Morozevich
R. Kasimdzhanov
-
Peter Leko
Games – Report
Round 7: Wednesday, October 5th
Veselin Topalov
-
R. Kasimdzhanov
Peter Leko
-
Michael Adams
A. Morozevich
-
Vishy Anand
Peter Svidler
-
Judit Polgar
Games – Report
Round 8: Thursday, October 6th
Veselin Topalov
-
Peter Leko
R. Kasimdzhanov
-
A. Morozevich
Michael Adams
-
Peter Svidler
Vishy Anand
-
Judit Polgar
Games – Report
Free day: Friday, October 7th
Round 9: Saturday, October 8th
Vishy Anand
-
Veselin Topalov
Judit Polgar
-
Michael Adams
Peter Svidler
-
R. Kasimdzhanov
A. Morozevich
-
Peter Leko
Games – Report
Round 10: Sunday, October 9th
Veselin Topalov
-
A. Morozevich
Peter Leko
-
Peter Svidler
R. Kasimdzhanov
-
Judit Polgar
Adamas
-
Vishy Anand
Games – Report
Round 11: Monday, October 10th
Adamas
-
Veselin Topalov
Vishy Anand
-
R. Kasimdzhanov
Judit Polgar
-
Peter Leko
Peter Svidler
-
A. Morozevich
Games – Report
Round 12: Tuesday, October 11th
Veselin Topalov
-
Peter Svidler
A. Morozevich
-
Judit Polgar
Peter Leko
-
Vishy Anand
R. Kasimdzhanov
-
Michael Adams
Games – Report
Free day: Wednesday, October 12th
Round 13: Thursday, October 13th
R. Kasimdzhanov
-
Veselin Topalov
Michael Adams
-
Peter Leko
Vishy Anand
-
A. Morozevich
Judit Polgar
-
Peter Svidler
Games – Report
Round 14: Friday, October 14th
Veselin Topalov
-
Judit Polgar
Peter Svidler
-
Vishy Anand
A. Morozevich
-
Michael Adams
Peter Leko
-
R. Kasimdzhanov
Games – Report
Tie-breaks: Saturday, October 15th

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