Snooze aan Zee

1/21/2003 – What is better than a rest day coming up in a really tough tournament? Two rest days. If you can afford to take the quick draw, or your name doesn't begin with Topalov, this is no big problem. The only decisive game came when Grischuk collapsed against Bareev's Caro-Kann. Take a look at what Evgeny did with his queen in Mig's round nine report.

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Corus Wijk aan Zee

Round 9 (Tuesday, January 21, 2003)

Round 9 (Tuesday, January 20, 2003)
Timman, Jan H
½-½
Karpov, Anatoly
Van Wely, Loek
½-½
Ivanchuk, Vassily
Grischuk, Alexander
0-1
Bareev, Evgeny
Polgar, Judit
½-½
Shirov, Alexei
Radjabov, Teimour
½-½
Kramnik, Vladimir
Anand, Viswanathan
½-½
Krasenkow, Michal
Topalov, Veselin
½-½
Ponomariov, Ruslan

ROUND 9: Snooze aan Zee. Most of the players decided to go for two rest days in a row, one scheduled for tomorrow and one unscheduled today. After four rounds of brutal fighting, with a few notable exceptions, all but one of the games were drawn in round nine. Unsurprisingly, it was again Topalov's game that went the distance. He couldn't get the full point against Ponomariov's Berlin Defense, but he kept trying until there was nothing left to try.

The only decisive game of the round was Grischuk's collapse against Bareev's Caro-Kann. There are many lines with pawn sacrifices in the Advance variation, but last time I checked it's WHITE who is supposed to get the attack after giving up the pawns! Bareev played a risky-looking queen infiltration and ended up with the sizzle, the steak, and the entire kitchen. The diagram shows Bareev's brave queen raid from move 13-21. Grischuk managed to conjure up a few counterchances but had to resign before the first time control.

Polgar and Shirov avoided their usual wild Najdorf to delve further into the fashion world of the Sveshnikov Sicilian. It's getting hard to keep up, but from the 22-move draw that resulted we can give Alexei's homework a little higher grade than Judit's. The way this is going the entire opening system will be refuted for one side or the other by the end of the tournament.

Speaking of opening systems I would like to see refuted, Anand-Krasenkow was another Berlin Defense and another short draw. My fear is that with computers getting stronger all the time, amorphous endgame systems like the Berlin are going to be more and more common. At least you will have to use your brain instead of just memorizing what your computer tells you to play. We're not there yet, but the sharpest opening lines will turn humans into computer proxies in a few years.

The only changes in the standings saw Bareev and Grischuk unite at +1 with Shirov. Anand is still in clear first with Polgar and van Wely a half-point back. The big pack with an even score is made up of Kramnik, Radjabov, Topalov, Karpov, and Ivanchuk. When they look at Ivanchuk's nine draws in something around 200 moves the other guys must wonder why they are doing so much more work for the same score!

The tail-enders are Krasenkow with 3.5, Ponomariov with 3, and Timman with 2. Only Ponomariov's name really surprises, considering his stellar performance in Linares last year (clear second behind Kasparov). It's likely that all his sparring with FIDE about his scheduled match with Kasparov has broken his concentration in several places. In the latest developments from this saga, FIDE has replaced Ponomariov with John Turturro. Round 10 is on Thursday the 22nd.

Mig Greengard

Standing after round 9

Previous rounds

Round 1 (Saturday, January 11, 2003)
Ponomariov, Ruslan
0-1
Bareev, Evgeny
Kramnik, Vladimir
½-½
Ivanchuk, Vassily
Krasenkow, Michal
0-1
Karpov, Anatoly
Shirov, Alexei
½-½
Timman, Jan H
Grischuk, Alexander
½-½
Van Wely, Loek
Anand, Viswanathan
½-½
Radjabov, Teimour
Polgar, Judit
½-½
Topalov, Veselin
Round 2 (Sunday, January 12, 2003)
Bareev, Evgeny
1-0
Radjabov, Teimour
Topalov, Veselin
0-1
Anand, Viswanathan
Van Wely, Loek
½-½
Polgar, Judit
Timman, Jan H
½-½
Grischuk, Alexander
Karpov, Anatoly
½-½
Shirov, Alexei
Ivanchuk, Vassily
½-½
Krasenkow, Michal
Ponomariov, Ruslan
1-0
Kramnik, Vladimir
Round 3 (Tuesday, January 14, 2003)
Anand, Viswanathan
½-½
Van Wely, Loek
Shirov, Alexei
½-½
Ivanchuk, Vassily
Polgar, Judit
1-0
Timman, Jan H
Grischuk, Alexander
½-½
Karpov, Anatoly
Kramnik, Vladimir
1-0
Bareev, Evgeny
Krasenkow, Michal
½-½
Ponomariov, Ruslan
Radjabov, Teimour
0-1
Topalov, Veselin
Round 4 (Wednesday, January 15, 2003)
Van Wely, Loek
½-½
Radjabov, Teimour
Timman, Jan H
½-½
Anand, Viswanathan
Bareev, Evgeny
½-½
Topalov, Veselin
Ivanchuk, Vassily
½-½
Grischuk, Alexander
Karpov, Anatoly
0-1
Polgar, Judit
Ponomariov, Ruslan
0-1
Shirov, Alexei
Kramnik, Vladimir
1-0
Krasenkow, Michal
Round 5 (Thursday, January 16, 2003)
Grischuk, Alexander
½-½
Ponomariov, Ruslan
Polgar, Judit
½-½
Ivanchuk, Vassily
Topalov, Veselin
0-1
Van Wely, Loek
Shirov, Alexei
1-0
Kramnik, Vladimir
Radjabov, Teimour
1-0
Timman, Jan H
Krasenkow, Michal
½-½
Bareev, Evgeny
Anand, Viswanathan
1-0
Karpov, Anatoly
Round 6 (Saturday, January 18, 2003)
Kramnik, Vladimir
½-½
Grischuk, Alexander
Ivanchuk, Vassily
½-½
Anand, Viswanathan
Ponomariov, Ruslan
½-½
Polgar, Judit
Bareev, Evgeny
0-1
Van Wely, Loek
Krasenkow, Michal
1-0
Shirov, Alexei
Timman, Jan H
0-1
Topalov, Veselin
Karpov, Anatoly
½-½
Radjabov, Teimour
Round 7 (Sunday, January 19, 2003)
Shirov, Alexei
1-0
Bareev, Evgeny
Grischuk, Alexander
1-0
Krasenkow, Michal
Anand, Viswanathan
1-0
Ponomariov, Ruslan
Van Wely, Loek
1-0
Timman, Jan H
Topalov, Veselin
½-½
Karpov, Anatoly
Radjabov, Teimour
½-½
Ivanchuk, Vassily
Polgar, Judit
½-½
Kramnik, Vladimir
Round 8 (Monday, January 20, 2003)
Shirov, Alexei
0-1
Grischuk, Alexander
Bareev, Evgeny
1-0
Timman, Jan H
Ponomariov, Ruslan
0-1
Radjabov, Teimour
Ivanchuk, Vassily
½-½
Topalov, Veselin
Karpov, Anatoly
1-0
Van Wely, Loek
Krasenkow, Michal
½-½
Polgar, Judit
Kramnik, Vladimir
½-½
Anand, Viswanathan

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