Sunday, January 31, 2010

Corus 2010, Final Round !

The last round of the 2010 Corus will start very soon. Tournament leader Carlsen has white against Caruana. A draw will give the Norwegian at least shared first. That is provided Kramnik can beat Karjakin.

Carlsen will have no problems with Caruana, talented no doubt but he still is a few years away from the big boys. I believe Carlsen will be going for the win. That will give him clear first and a place in the history books.

Carlsen - Caruana
Corus Chess 2010 Wijk aan Zee (13), 31.01.2010

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.d3

Looks like I am wrong and this cautious line is Carlsen's way of playing for win without playing for a win.

d6 6.c3 g6 7.Nbd2 Bg7 8.Nf1 0-0 9.Bg5 d5 10.Qe2 Qd6 11.Bxf6 Bxf6 12.Ne3 Ne7 13.Bb3 c6 14.h4 Be6 15.Ng5 Bd7 16.Rd1 Rad8 17.Qf3 h6 18.Nc4 dxc4 19.dxc4 Nd5 20.Nh3 h5 21.Qg3 Bg4 22.Rd2 Bxh4 23.Qxh4 Qf6 24.Qxf6 Nxf6 25.Ng5 c5 26.f3 Bc8 27.Ba4 Kg7 28.Rxd8 Rxd8 29.b4 !?

This is really pushing it too far. Carlsen seems intent to mix it up instead of settling for a draw.

Rd3 30.bxc5 Rxc3 31.Kd2 Rxc4 32.Bb3 Rxc5 33. Nxf7 a5

Black is down to four minutes which may explains Carlsen's last few moves. White is running real risks of losing now, with a pawn down and running out of squares for his pieces.

Kramnik has drawn with Karjakin at this stage. However Shirov is still in the hunt against Dominguez so a draw for Carlsen is still "only" a tie for first. But a lost for Carlsen will be disastrous as Shirov will take first with a win.

34. Rc1 Rxc1 35. Kxc1 a4 36.Bc4 b5 37.Nd6 bxc4 38.Nxc8 h4 39.Nb6 Nh5 40.Nxc4 Kf6 41.Kd2 Nf4 42.Ke3 Nxg2+ 43.Kf2 Nf4 44.Nb2

Looks like Carlsen will get his draw after all. By now Shirov has drawn a really crazy game with Dominguez. I don't really know what is happening the last 7-8 moves. Only a computer will know for sure, but Shirov really entertains with his games finding some incredulous moves all the time.

a3 45.Nc4 Nd3+ 46.Kg2 Kg5 47.Nxa3 Kf4 48.Nc2 Nb2 49.Nb4 h3+ 50. Kxh3 Kxf3 51. h4

Hoping to get the king to g5 but Black can play 51...Kf4 and if 52. Nd5+ Kxe4 attacking the knight gains a tempo.

51...Kf4 52. Nd5+ Kxe4 53. Ne7

This move saves the game after all.

Kf3 54. Nxg6 e4 55. Ne5+ Kf4 56. Ng4!

Simple threat of drawing with 57. Nf6 e3 and 58 Nd5 which cannot be avoided

56...Na4 1/2-1/2

Carlsen wins the tournament with clear half point ahead of Kramnik and Shirov


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