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.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Melody Amber, Round 9

With two rounds (four games) to go, Viswanathan Anand has increased his lead to three points; barring a complete collapse, therefore, Anand can celebrate yet another impressive success on one of the great chess resumes of the era. Among active players, only two other players are even in the conversation, in my view: Anatoly Karpov, who isn't playing but whose recent match victory vs. Istratescu will be discussed in a post very soon, and Vladimir Kramnik, who won't be including this event in his next "greatest hits" collection. Here's the latest sour note:

Kramnik,Vladimir (2754) - Svidler,Peter (2735) [B46]
Amber Rapid Monte Carlo MNC (9), 29.03.2005

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Nxc6 bxc6 7.Bd3 d5 8.0-0 Qc7 9.Qe2 Bb7 10.Bd2 Bd6 [10...Nf6 11.Rae1 Be7 (11...c5 12.exd5 Nxd5 13.Nxd5 Bxd5 14.c4 Bc6 15.Bc3+/=) 12.Kh1 0-0 13.f4 dxe4 (13...c5 14.exd5 Nxd5 15.f5|^) 14.Nxe4 c5 15.Bc3 Qc6 '?' Ribli. (15...Nd5 16.Be5 Qc6 17.c4 Nb4 18.Bb1+/-; 15...Nxe4 16.Bxe4 Bxe4 17.Qxe4+/=) 16.Nxf6+ Bxf6 17.Bxf6 gxf6 18.Bxh7+ '!' Ribli. 18...Kh8 (18...Kxh7 19.Qh5+ Kg7 20.Qg4+ Kh8 21.Rf3+-) 19.Rf3 Qxf3 20.gxf3 Kxh7 21.Qf2 Rg8 22.Qh4+ Kg7 23.Rg1+ Kf8 24.Rxg8+ Kxg8 25.Qxf6 Bxf3+ 26.Kg1 Bd5 27.h4! Rf8 28.Kf2 c4 29.h5 1-0 Ioseliani,N-Portisch,L/Monte Carlo 1994/CBM 42/[Ribli]] 11.f4 Ne7 12.Kh1 0-0 13.e5 Bb4 14.Rf3 Bxc3

15.bxc3 [The stock sacrifice 15.Bxh7+ is easily refuted in this position: 15...Kxh7 16.Rh3+ Kg8 17.Qh5 f5 18.Bxc3 (18.Qh7+ Kf7-+; 18.exf6 Bxf6-+) 18...c5 19.Qh7+ Kf7 20.Rg3 Rg8-+; 15.Bxc3 certainly makes better sense on structural grounds, but maybe Kramnik didn't felt that (a) the bishop would be vulnerable to the advance of Black's queenside pawns, and (b) the pawn on c3 would help slow that advance. Here's some quickie analysis, non-computer-based analysis: 15...g6 a) 15...d4? 16.Bxd4 c5 17.Rh3+-; b) 15...c5? 16.Bxh7+ Kxh7 17.Rh3+ Kg8 18.Qh5 f5 19.exf6+-; c) 15...h6 16.f5 (16.Rg3!?) 16...Nxf5 17.Bxf5 exf5 18.e6 fxe6 19.Qxe6+ Qf7 20.Rg3 Qxe6 21.Rxg7+ Kh8 22.Re7+ (22.Rxb7+?? Rf6) 22...Qf6 23.Bxf6+ Rxf6 24.Rxb7 Re8=; 16.f5 exf5 17.e6 f6 18.Qe3 (18.g4 d4-+) 18...c5 19.Qh6 Nc6 20.Bxf5 d4 21.Rg3 Ne5 22.Ba5 Qg7 (22...Qxa5 23.Bxg6 Nxg6 24.Rxg6+ hxg6 25.Qxg6+=; 22...Qe7 23.Re1 looks unclear.) 23.Qxg7+ Kxg7 24.Bb6+/-] 15...c5 16.Rh3 [16.Bxh7+ won't come close without the bishop on the a1-h8 diagonal, supporting the exf6 capture after the inevitable ...f6 or ...f5. 16...Kxh7 17.Rh3+ Kg8 18.Qh5 f5 (here)] 16...h6 17.Qh5 [17.f5 looks fun, but I don't see the justification after 17...c4 (17...Nxf5 18.Bxf5 exf5 19.Rg3 gives White reasonable compensation.) 18.f6 cxd3 19.Qh5 Nf5 20.fxg7 Rfc8 21.Bxh6 Qxe5-+; The non-panicky 17.c4 , however, should be fine for White.] 17...f5 [17...c4 looks fine, too, as 18.f5 cxd3 19.Bxh6 g6 20.fxg6 fxg6 21.Qh4 Qxc3 22.Rg1 Rf7 should win for Black.] 18.exf6 Rxf6

19.Re1 [19.c4= Last chance!] 19...c4-/+ Now White's pieces go backward, Black's go forward, and the game ends in a hurry: 20.Bf1 Ng6 21.Qg4 Raf8 22.Rf3 e5 23.f5 Bc8 24.Kg1 Bxf5

Ugh. 25.Qg3 [25.Rxf5 would be great if White had a pawn on h3, but here it loses quickly to a back-rank tactic: 25...Rxf5 26.Qxg6 Qc5+ 27.Be3 Qxe3+ 28.Rxe3 Rxf1#] 25...Bxc2 26.Rxf6 Rxf6 27.h4 Be4 28.h5 Nf4 29.Qg4 Qf7 30.Bxc4 Bf5 0-1

Round 9 summary:


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


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



Anand 7
Morozevich, Vallejo 5.5
Kramnik, Svidler 5
Gelfand, Ivanchuk, Leko 4.5
Topalov 4
Shirov 3.5
van Wely 3
Bareev 2


Anand 6.5
Ivanchuk, Leko 5.5
Morozevich, Shirov, Svidler 5
Bareev, Gelfand, Kramnik 4
Topalov 3.5
Vallejo, van Wely 3


Anand 13.5
Morozevich 10.5
Ivanchuk, Leko, Svidler 10
Kramnik 9
Gelfand, Shirov, Vallejo 8.5
Topalov 7.5
Bareev, van Wely 6


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