Dennis M's Chess Site

This is a blog for chess fans by a chess fan. I enjoy winning as much as anyone else, and I've had a reasonable amount of success as a competitor, but what keeps me coming back to the game is its beauty. And that, primarily, is what this site will be about! All material copyrighted.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Melody Amber, Round 6

An excellent round today! Again, there were many games worth examining; here are two for your entertainment and potential benefit, should you choose to examine them in real depth.

Anand has extended his lead to 3 points, but not without some seriously nervous moments, as Morozevich was quite close to winning their blindfold game. Nevertheless, the position was absolutely crazy and Anand wriggled out with a draw.

Anand,Viswanathan (2786) - Morozevich,Alexander (2741) [C11]
Amber Blindfold Monte Carlo MNC (6), 25.03.2005

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 a6 8.Qd2 b5 9.a3 g5N

That's Morozevich for you! Actually, although this is a new setting, ...g5 is a common French idea, declaring an all-out war on White's central pawn chain. 10.fxg5 cxd4 11.Bxd4 Bg7 12.0-0-0 0-0 13.Na2 Nxd4 14.Nxd4 Nxe5 15.h4 Nc4 16.Bxc4 bxc4 17.Kb1 Rb8 18.c3 Qb6 19.g4 Rd8 20.Ka1 e5 21.Nf5 Bxf5 22.gxf5 d4 23.h5 e4 24.f6 e3 25.Qg2 d3 26.fxg7 e2 27.Rb1

27...Re8 [27...Qe6! might win after 28.g6 (28.Nc1 e1Q 29.Rxe1 Qxe1 30.Nxd3 Qe6 31.Re1 Qb6) 28...d2 29.gxf7+ Kxf7 30.g8Q+ Rxg8 31.Qf2+ Ke8 32.Rhe1 dxe1Q 33.Rxe1 Rf8-+ Notkin (Chess Today, issue 1600); but 27...Qe6 28.Nc1! e1Q 29.Rxe1 Qxe1 30.Nxd3 Qe3 31.Nb4 is far less clear.] 28.g6 fxg6 29.Nb4 Kxg7 [29...Rbd8 looks logical, supporting the advance of the d-pawn and trying to maintain the g7 pawn as a shield against White's heavy pieces, but it turns out poorly. 30.Nc6 d2 31.hxg6 h6 32.Nxd8 Qxd8 33.Qh3 d1Q 34.Qxh6 Qxh1 35.Qxh1 Kxg7 36.Qh7+ Kf6 37.Qf7+ Ke5 38.g7+-] 30.hxg6 Qxg6 31.Qf2 Rbd8 32.Rhg1 d2 33.Qa7+ Kg8 34.Rxg6+ hxg6 35.Qb6

It feels as if Black should have something here, with two pawns about to promote and White possessing a grand total of one threat, but he doesn't! 35...e1Q 36.Qxg6+ Kf8 37.Qf6+ Kg8 38.Qg6+ 1/2-1/2

Also interesting was the rapid game between van Wely and Shirov. In a crazy line of the Botvinnik Variation of the Semi-Slav (that's redundant, I know), van Wely produced a novelty on move 23. The game was roughly balanced and should have concluded with perpetual check, but van Wely came up with an ill-advised winning attempt and walked into a forced mate.

Van Wely,Loek (2679) - Shirov,Alexei (2713) [D44]
Amber Rapid Monte Carlo MNC (6), 25.03.2005

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.e4 b5 7.e5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Nxg5 hxg5 10.Bxg5 Nbd7 11.exf6 Bb7 12.g3 c5 13.d5 Qb6 14.Bg2 0-0-0 15.0-0 b4 16.Rb1 Qa6 17.dxe6 Bxg2 18.e7 Bxf1 19.Kxf1 Qc6 20.exd8Q+ Kxd8 21.Nd5 Rxh2 22.Kg1 Rh8

23.Qf3N [23.Bf4 was played in the five earlier games in this line, with good results: White winning three games and drawing two.] 23...Ne5 24.Qe4 Bd6 25.Rd1 [25.Bf4 Re8 26.Rd1 Nd3 27.Qxc4 Nxb2 28.Nxb4 Nxc4 29.Nxc6+ Kc7 30.Na5 Bxf4 31.Nxc4 Re4=] 25...Nd3 26.b3 Nb2 27.Nc3 Kd7 28.Qf5+ Kc7 29.Nd5+ Kb7 30.Re1 c3 31.Bf4? [31.Re4 Kb8 32.Re7 c2 33.Re2 Nd1 34.Rxc2 Nc3 35.Rd2+/=; 31.Re7+ Bxe7 32.fxe7 Re8 33.Qxf7 Nd3 34.Nf6 Ne1 35.Kf1 c2 36.Qxe8 Qh1+ 37.Ke2 Qf3+ 38.Kf1 Qh1+=] 31...Bxf4 32.Re7+ Ka8 33.Qe4 Rc8 34.gxf4 c2 35.Nc7+ Rxc7 36.Qxc2 Rc8?! [36...c4-/+] 37.Qxb2 Rh8 38.f3 Qd5 39.Qe2 Qd4+ 40.Kg2 Rg8+ 41.Kh3 Rh8+

How hard should one try to win? Many players seem to be allergic to draws and fight for the win in almost every possible situation. They win more games than they otherwise might, but also lose games they otherwise wouldn't. Is this the right atttitude to have? Is there anything intrinsically wrong with a draw? Interesting questions, about which I may have more to say later; for now, I note only that van Wely's decision to press is, on this occasion, thoroughly mistaken. 42.Kg4?? [42.Kg2=] 42...Qg1+ 43.Kf5 Rh5+ [43...Rh5+ 44.Ke4 Qd4#] 0-1

Round 6 summary:


Topalov-Leko 1-0
Anand-Morozevich 1/2-1/2
Kramnik-Bareev 1-0
Ivanchuk-Gelfand 1/2-1/2
Shirov-van Wely 1-0
Vallejo-Svidler 1-0


Leko-Topalov 1-0
Morozevich-Anand 1/2-1/2
Bareev-Kramnik 1/2-1/2
Gelfand-Ivanchuk 1/2-1/2
van Wely-Shirov 0-1
Svidler-Vallejo 1/2-1/2



Anand 5
Kramnik 4
Ivanchuk, Morozevich, Svidler 3.5
Gelfand, Leko, Vallejo 3
Shirov 2.5
Topalov, van Wely 2
Bareev 1


Anand 5
Leko 4
Ivanchuk, Morozevich, Svidler 3.5
Gelfand, Shirov 3
Bareev, Kramnik 2.5
Topalov, Vallejo 2
van Wely 1.5


Anand 10
Ivanchuk, Leko, Morozevich, Svidler 7
Kramnik 6.5
Gelfand 6
Shirov 5.5
Vallejo 5
Topalov 4
Bareev, van Wely 3.5


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