San Luis R8: Anand and Morozevich win

10/7/2005 – Alexander Morozevich got a full point when Rustam Kasimjanov [sic] got into time trouble. Vishy Anand defeated Judit Polgar in a 62-move struggle. Topalov and Leko drew an atypically peaceful game – which sent Topalov's performance rating crashing to 3073. Adams-Svidler was a draw. Big illustrated 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 Eight Summary

Veselin Topalov and Peter Leko drew an atypically peaceful game. Peter Svidler blew an advantage against Michael Adams and drew in 40 moves. Rustam Kasimdzhanov lost unluckily with the white pieces against Alexander Morozevich. Vishy Anand defeated Judit Polgar in a 62-move struggle.

Round 8: Thursday, October 6th
Veselin Topalov
½-½
Peter Leko
R. Kasimdzhanov
0-1
A. Morozevich
Michael Adams
½-½
Peter Svidler
Vishy Anand
1-0
Judit Polgar

Current standings at the World Championship in San Luis


World Championship Diary: Round 8

By Nigel Short – on site in San Luis

Thought for today: Garry Kasparov, no less, blew a one and half point lead in Linares this year in just two rounds. Seven rounds is ample time for Topalov to squander his two point advantage.

3.03pm: The first psychological battle has been lost. Peter Leko arrives late. The Hungarian is forced to take his seat at the right hand table nearest the arbiters’ desk. This notorious piece of furniture apparently exerts a malign influence on all players except Topalov – who, for some inexplicable reason, is immune to its bad vibes.


Peter Leko at the start of round eight

4.00pm: Evil spirit or not, Leko seems to have obtained a rather satisfactory position in a quiet variation of the Queen’s Indian. Some years ago, in an interview for New In Chess magazine, the young man rhapsodized about the beneficial effects of sleeping outdoors under an apple tree. Did he do that last night? Do peach and pear trees have the same effect? And what sort of wood is his table made of? These are the burning questions of the moment.


Judit's husband Gustav, video-documenting the game

4.30pm: The arrival today of Judit Polgar’s husband, Gustav, from Budapest, has not provided her with the creative boost that she would have hoped for: she is already in grave trouble against Anand in a Sicilian Taimanov. Judit is gifted, beyond doubt, but lacks a certain solidity to her game. Her openings, as she has acknowledged herself, are perhaps a little weak for this level. She obviously ran into some preparation today. Maybe she is also suffering the delayed effects of her 14 month absence from competitive chess last year. Carrying a small degree of rust makes is very detrimental in a tournament of this caliber.


Peter Svidler takes on Michael Adams with black

Second-placed Peter Svidler has decided that if he is to have a hope of catching Topalov, he had better take some risks. Last year’s World Championship Finalist, Michael Adams, would not ordinarily be classed as a bunny rabbit, but in everything is relative here in San Luis. If you can’t beat a depressed tail-ender whom can you expect to beat? Hence the sharp Sicilian Scheveningen. But even bunnies have sharp teeth you know, and Englishman’s kingside attack is mounting ominously. As I write, Svidler has just offered an exchange of queens, which is a clear sign that he recognizes the danger.


Rustam Kasimjanov in his traumatic game against Morozevich

From tomorrow the famous chessplayer Rustam Kasimdzhanov will cease to exist on the FIDE rating lists. Normally only people who have committed gross crimes against humanity suffer such a fate (it befell me in 1993/4).What despicable, foul deed has he done, you may ask? None at all, it transpires. It is just that FIDE are finally going to spell his name Kasimjanov correctly. What will this re-birth do to his chess? Not a lot either way, one suspects. Anyway, the mighty Uzbek has a fairly unassuming position today in another Scheveningen. Moroz is clearly trying to provoke an exchange sacrifice which, given that White will drift into inferiority if he does nothing, may not necessarily be such a wise thing to do.


Michael Adams – willing to take risks

Adams has just declined a draw by repetition of position. Bravo! Courageous stuff! Unfortunately he has had to put his queen onto an inferior square to do that. I wonder whether he will come to regret this choice. At least the spectators win by the fight continuing.

5.30pm: Leko has no problems whatsoever against the tearaway Toppy. Actually he has looked very comfortable throughout. Given his control of the d-file, perhaps even White needs to exercise caution. Oops, they have just agreed a draw. A fair enough result, although a trifle tame compared to what we have grown accustomed to.


Tearaway Topalov – had to concede a draw to Peter Leko,
reducing his performance rating in this event to a mere 3073

Anand is bearing down heavily upon Polgar and it will surely not be long before he breaches her defences. I think she will be pretty disgusted with her performance today. She slipped into a position of such manifest inferiority straight out of the opening that it should be beyond redemption against a player of Vishy’s class. She has been unable to generate any sort of counterplay whatsoever and will succumb supinely, unless I am mistaken.


Chess in focus during the game Anand vs Polgar

Kasimjanov could withstand temptation no longer and has yielded to his urge to sacrifice the exchange. I don’t believe he is running grave risks by doing so, because Morozevich’s king is rather exposed. Sometimes I wonder whether the Russian likes unbalance just for the sake of it. I think he trusts in his ability to calculate his way out of any tight corner. That is why when he is on song he scores victory after victory but when in poor form he crashes horribly. It is the mentality of a gambler, which is perhaps why we love him.


Morozevich and Topalov kibitzing, Svidler and Adams playing

Adams-Svidler is becoming rather complicated. Black’s king has been stripped of his cover but there is no way White can exploit this in the short term. Black’s bishops are active. This could go either way.

6.50: I have been watching in the hall. I was mystified by the Adams-Svidler monomachy. It looked like the Cornishman lost the thread completely and baled out into a miserable ending a pawn down. Then, for reasons I cannot fathom, he was handed back his pawn on a silver platter. The result was a draw. I think the pressure is starting to tell on the participants: that looked like a poor game, but then again it is so easy to be clever when you are not sitting there sweating yourself.


Peter Svidler and Mickey Adams in the press conference

The key factor in Kasimjanov-Morozevich was time: the World Champion ran horribly short of it around move thirty. I started to feel ill just seeing him twitching nervously minute after minute. The position was difficult and required great precision but, with only a few seconds for each move, it was almost impossible to find. He has now reached the sanctuary of move forty, without total catastrophe, but will still have to work hard to save his skin.


Anand giving Judit a hard time

Anand’s play had a distinctly sub-optimal feel to it. Polgar strove hard to create chances, as is her wont. It seems though now that the Indian is firmly back in the driving seat after this little wobble, and is steadily mopping up what remains of the Black queenside.

7.50: Morozevich wins. That makes it two in a row for him. His king was about to find refuge on the seventh rank where it would also, most conveniently, help deliver checkmate. Polgar remains hopelessly lost.


Kasimjanov and Morozevich in the press conference


The face of an Uzbek who really hates to lose – least of all this way

8.15: The inevitable happens: Anand finally scores. He is back in positive territory (way off the lead, of course) whereas Judit is now firmly in last place. Tomorrow is a free day.

All photos: Word Chess Championship Press, Nadja Woisin, Frederic Friedel


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
1-0
Michael Adams
R. Kasimdzhanov
1-0
Vishy Anand
Peter Leko
1-0
Judit Polgar
A. Morozevich
0-1
Peter Svidler
Free day: Sunday, October 2nd
Round 5: Monday, October 3rd
Peter Svidler
0-1
Veselin Topalov
Judit Polgar
½-½
A. Morozevich
Vishy Anand
½-½
Peter Leko
Michael Adams
½-½
R. Kasimdzhanov
Round 6: Tuesday, October 4th
Judit Polgar
0-1
Veselin Topalov
Vishy Anand
½-½
Peter Svidler
Michael Adams
½-½
A. Morozevich
R. Kasimdzhanov
½-½
Peter Leko
Round 7: Wednesday, October 5th
Veselin Topalov
1-0
R. Kasimdzhanov
Peter Leko
1-0
Michael Adams
A. Morozevich
1-0
Vishy Anand
Peter Svidler
1-0
Judit Polgar
Round 8: Thursday, October 6th
Veselin Topalov
½-½
Peter Leko
R. Kasimdzhanov
0-1
A. Morozevich
Michael Adams
½-½
Peter Svidler
Vishy Anand
1-0
Judit Polgar
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
Adams
-
Vishy Anand
Games – Report
Round 11: Monday, October 10th
Adams
-
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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