Wijk R10: Anand beats Karjakin, Topalov unstoppable

1/24/2007 – Veselin Topalov has won yet another game, against Norwegian junior star Magnus Carlsen, to pull a full point ahead of the field. Vishy Anand in the meantime is staging a gritty comeback with a second win in succession, this time with black against Karjakin, to join the top group. Full report with pictures and videos.

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Round 10

Magnus Carlsen deviated on move 13 from a recent game in a Ragozin Defence, which saw him with a bishop and pawn for Topalov's rook and an uncastled king. The young Norwegian sacrificed material back two moves later, but was unable to hold the position against the ruthless precision of the Bulgarian ex-world champion. The game ended 1-0 on move 26.

Good spirits – Veselin Topalov after his victory over Magnus Carlsen

Topalov,V (2783) - Carlsen,M (2690) [D38]
Corus A Wijk aan Zee NED (10), 24.01.2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 0–0 7.e3 c5 8.dxc5 Nbd7 9.Rc1 Qa5 10.a3!? According to Megabase 2007, this has been played only twice before. In Agilera-Vilerbedo, 1929, I suspect that White just overlooked the loss of the exchange, but when the line was repeated in Kempinski-Mchedlishvili, Dresden 2006, it would have been preparation. Such exchange sacrifices have become Topalov’s trademark in recent years. 10…Bxc3+ 11.Rxc3 Ne4 12.b4 Nxc3 13.Qa1 Qa4. Mchedlishvili preferred 13…Qc7, with an unclear position after 14 Qxc3 Re8 15 Be2 Ne5 16 Nd4 a6, and the game was eventually drawn. White has a pawn, plus the queenside majority and a Black weakness on d5, in compensation for the exchange. 14.Qxc3 a5 15.b5.

Nxc5? I do not understand this at all. After 15…Re8 and 16…Nf8, White may well be better, but at least Black is playing. After the text, he just has a technically losing position. Maybe Carlsen overlooked something, and thought that his temporary initiative was more effective than it proves to be? In any event, Topalov soon unravels. 16.Qxc5 Be6 17.Qc1 Rfc8 18.Qa1 Qc2 19.Be2 Qc1+ 20.Qxc1 Rxc1+ 21.Bd1 Ra1 22.a4 Rc8 23.Nd4 Rc4 24.0-0 f6 25.Bf4 Bf7 26.h4 1-0

For the second White game in a row, Topalov is favoured by a rather premature resignation, but Carlsen was presumably just too depressed by his position.

Anand's comeback

Vishy Anand played a Najdorf against Sergey Karjakin and produced a novelty on move 23, improving on games won by Morozevich on the white side. In fact Sergey Karjakin had drawn with black against Leko in this line. White ends up with rook, knight and pawn for his queen. Karjakin was outplayed by Anand in the endgame, in spite of his very tenacious defence.

Bouncing back – Vishy Anand during his round ten game

Karjakin,Sergey (2678) - Anand,V (2779) [B90]
Corus A Wijk aan Zee NED (10), 24.01.2007
Karjakin’s second straight defeat was a case of being hoist by his own petard: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.Qd2 Nbd7 9.0-0-0 b5 10.f3 Be7 11.g4 0-0 12.g5 b4 13.Ne2 Ne8 14.h4 a5 15.Kb1 Nb6 16.Ng3 a4 17.Nc1 d5 18.Bxb6 Qxb6 19.exd5 Rd8 20.Bc4 Nc7 21.dxe6N Rxd2 22.exf7+ Kh8 23.Rxd2 Nb5

At Corus 12 months ago, Karjakin had used the same line as Black, to draw comfortably with Peter Leko: 23...Qc6 24.b3 Nb5 25.Bxb5 Qxb5 26.bxa4 Qxa4 27.Rhd1 Rxf7 28.Rd7 Kg8 29.Ne4 ½–½ Leko,P (2740)-Karjakin,S (2660)/Wijk aan Zee 2006. In the post-mortem, Leko tried for some time to prove an advantage, but without success. Given the confidence he showed as Black on that occasion, it is rather surprising to see Karjakin now prepared to switch sides.

24.Bxb5 Qxb5 25.Nf5 Rxf7 26.Nxe7 Rxe7 27.Rd8+ Re8 28.Rhd1 Rg8 29.b3 a3. As seen in the last note, Leko went out of his way to avoid this pawn formation as White, probably with good reason. Now the mating threats will always give White problems in the ending. 30.R1d5 Qf1 31.Rxg8+ Kxg8 32.Rxe5 Qxf3 33.Rc5 Qh1 34.Rc4 Qe1.

With his pieces so tied up, White effectively only has a rook versus the queen, and it is hard to believe that he can draw. 35.Rf4 h5 36.gxh6 gxh6 37.Rg4+ Kf7 38.Rf4+ Kg6 39.Rg4+ Kf5 40.Rc4 h5 41.Rc5+ Kg4 42.Rc4+ Kf3 43.Rd4 Qe5 44.c3 Qh2 45.Rd3+ Ke4 46.Rd4+ Kf5 47.Nd3 Qd2 48.Rd5+ Kf6? 48...Ke4! was much quicker. 49.c4 Qd1+ 50.Nc1 Qg4 51.Rd2 Qxh4 52.Nd3 Qd4 53.Kc2 h4 54.Nxb4 Qb2+ 55.Kd1 Qb1+ 56.Ke2 Qe4+ 57.Kd1 h3 58.Nd3 Qh1+ 59.Ke2 h2 60.Nf2 Qg2 61.Ke3 Ke7 62.Rd5 0-1.

Teimour Radjabov vs Peter Svidler: ½-½
The whole game followed Kramnik-Svidler from Corus 2005. In that game, Svidler lost quickly after 19…Be6 20.Rac1 Bxc4 21.Rfe1 Kd7? 22.Re7+, but it was clearly established at the time that 21…Be6 was okay for Black. Radjabov did even bother testing this, and agreed the draw at move 19.

Old friends: Peter Svidler and Vladimir Kramnik

Alexander Motylev vs Vladimir Kramnik: ½-½
Along with the Radjabov and Tiviakov games, this completed today’s “Triplet of Tedium”. The late Harry Golombek once reacted to a spate of Petroff draws in one of the Petrosian-Spassky world championship matches, by suggesting that the opening should perhaps be banned, as certain openings are in checkers. He retreated in the face of threats from various readers of a reciprocal ban on the English and Caro-Kann, his two favourites, but I can’t help feeling that he had a point. The Petroff is certainly incredibly solid, but it leads to exceptionally boring chess! Motylev is a practitioner himself, which made it even less likely that he would reveal a bone-crunching novelty for White. Instead, queens came off and a draw was agreed at move 17.

Kramnik enjoying his analysis session after the draw against Motylev

Sergei Tiviakov vs David Navara: ½-½
A very quiet draw. Tiviakov’s 4.d3 Lopez led to heavy simplifications and an early bath at move 18.

David Navara contemplating his 18-mover against Sergei Tiviakov

Alexei Shirov vs Ruslan Ponomariev: ½-½
This was an exciting draw. Another well-known line of the Najdorf English Attack saw Shirov innovate with 20 b3. He was able to win the b4-pawn, but at the cost of a nomadic king (23 0-0 allows 23…Bxa5, regaining the pawn). Things looked rather dangerous for White, but presumably most of it was preparation, and the result was an opposite-coloured bishop ending and a draw.

Top Dutch GM Loek van Wely

Van Wely,L (2683) - Aronian,L (2744) [D38]
Corus A Wijk aan Zee NED (10), 24.01.2007
An embarrassing game for both players. The opening yielded a typical queenless middlegame, with White having two bishops and the better pawn structure, but Black’s pieces very active. Black seemed to be doing okay, until he got a little too clever for his own good. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bg5 Nbd7 6.cxd5 exd5 7.Qc2 c5 8.a3 Bxc3+ 9.Qxc3 h6 10.Qe3+ Qe7 11.Qxe7+ Kxe7 12.Bf4 b6 13.dxc5 bxc5 14.b4 a5 15.bxc5 Nxc5 16.Nd4 Bd7 17.f3 Rhc8 18.g4 Ne8 19.h4 Nd6 20.Rd1 Na4 21.e3 Rab8 22.Rh2 Nb2 23.Ra1 Rb6 24.Rd2 Nbc4 25.Rc2 Nb5 26.Nxb5 Rxb5 27.e4 Rb3 28.Be2 Nxa3 29.Rxc8 Bxc8 30.Bd1

30...Rxf3? 31.Bc1. Of course 31.Bxf3 doesn't work because of 31...Nc2+. 31...Rh3 32.Bxa3+ Ke6 33.exd5+ Kxd5 34.Bf8 Rxh4 35.Rxa5+ Ke6 36.Bxg7 Rh1+ 37.Kd2 f6

38.Rh5? Payback time. Rxd1+! 39.Kxd1 Kf7 40.Rxh6 Bxg4+ ½-½.

Commentary by Steve Giddins, photos by Jeroen van den Belt

All results

Round 10 - Wed. Jan. 24th
A. Motylev - V. Kramnik
T. Radjabov - P. Svidler
V. Topalov - M. Carlsen
L. van Wely - L. Aronian
S. Karjakin - V. Anand
A. Shirov - R. Ponomariov
S. Tiviakov - D. Navara
Round 11 - Fri. Jan. 26th
D. Navara - A. Motylev  
R. Ponomariov - S. Tiviakov  
V. Anand - A. Shirov  
L. Aronian - S. Karjakin  
M. Carlsen - L. van Wely  
P. Svidler - V. Topalov  
V. Kramnik - T. Radjabov  

Standings after ten rounds


ChessVibes video of the start of round 10 (4:47 min)

Topalov analysing his game in the press centre (6:38 min)

Part two of Topalov's analysis (6:12 min)

Other sections

Group B Group C
Round 10 - Wed. Jan. 24th
D. Jakovenko - M. Vachier-Lagrav
P. Eljanov - J. Smeets
T. Kosintseva - E. L’Ami
V. Georgiev - D. Stellwagen
F. Nijboer - V. Bologan
G. Sargissian - J. Werle
B. Xiangzhi - S. Atalik
Round 10 - Wed. Jan. 24th
T. Willemze - H. Yifan
W. Spoelman - I. Nepomniachtchi
S. Brynell - Z. Peng
P. Negi - E. van Haastert
N. Kosintseva - H. Jonkman
M. Krasenkow - M. Bosboom
J. van der Wiel - E. Berg

The loss by Maxime Vachier-Lagrav to Dmitrij Jakovenko cost the French lad his one-point lead. Note that there was only one draw in Group B, and three black wins. In Group C Nepomniachtchi's lead shrunk to one point when he drew and Krasenkow won. Hou Yifan lost and was caught by her child-prodigy rival Parimarjan Negi, who drew his game.

Standings in Group B

Standings in Group C

Live audio commentary by Yasser Seirawan

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