2008 Corus in high gear!

Corus Lane (chessvista.com)

Corus Chess Lane in Wijk an Zee. Photo from chessvista.com.

Teimour Radjabov is often criticized for his tournament strategies, but his standing in Corus so far has been one of fortune. Radjabov has scored success with the King’s Indian but today it would be the Benoni-type of position against Pavel Eljanov of the Ukraine. Radjabov analyzes his games below:

With the above win, Radjabov moves into a tie for the lead with Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian on 4-2 (+2). Etienne Bacrot of France leads the “B” group on 4-2 while IM Arik Braun of Germany leads the “C” group on 4½-1½. Other action… Dimitri Reinderman of the Netherlands no doubt saw Pontus Carlsson’s Dragon breathing fire and decided on a different setup. He castled kingside, played Re1 and retreated with Nf3 and Bf1. These are not normal moves against the Dragon, but perhaps they forced Carlsson to spend a lot of time trying to find the right plan. Carlsson sacrificed a pawn with 24…b5 25.Nxc4 Qxc4 (25…Nf4!?) 26.Nxb5 and later fell into a terrible bind. Unable to unravel from white’s strangle hold, he apparently ran short of time and fell into a mating net. Carlsson will face 2nd place Fabiano Caruana tomorrow. No pictures of him playing yet. Official site: https://www.coruschess.com/

Related links taken from TWIC…

Fred Lucas takes many photos at the event: https://www.fredlucas.eu/.
Frits Agterdenbos has daily photo reports: https://www.chessvista.com/.
Commentary: https://www.chessdom.com/.
Chess Videos: https://www.chessvibes.com/. ICC – https://www.chessclub.com/ has daily live coverage.
Etienne Bacrot annotates his own games: https://www.chess22.fr/
Ian Rogers blogging from Wijk: https://main.uschess.org/


  1. Carlsen-Anand report from coruschess.com

    The most visible game today was the match up between the world champion Vishy Anand, who is on fire, and the surprise leader Magnus Carlsen. In the opening, Anand said: “I had my wires crossed and got into a worse position”. 14…Bd7?! was the culprit move, since after 15.g4! black had to play 15…e5. White was increasing his advantage gradually and had an overwhelming position. “I couldn’t find a forced win for white, but I’d be surprised if there isn’t one”, said the Indian. Magnus’ 22.Bg2?! was criticized in the post mortem, and black decided to grab the pawn on c2, giving him “practical chances” (Anand). On move 25, white should have tried 25.Rc3 Bxd5 26.Rh3 h6 27.gxh6 g6 28.h7+ Kh8 29.exd5 Qxh4 30.Nxh4 g5 31.Rxf7 gxh4 with some drawing chances for black. White’s downfall came when he played the faulty 33.Qh7+? (see diagram 1), since 37.Rxf5! Qxd5+ 38.Rhf3 Qd1+ 39.Rf1 Qd5+ would have led to a draw. Instead the black king ran between the raindrops into safety, leaving black up a piece, and winning. “A slightly undeserved loss for Magnus, but that’s how it goes” — Anand.

    I personally enjoyed Magnus Carlsen’s win with the Benko Gambit the other day. He misplayed the opening and got a bad position, but won. Today against Viswanathan Anand, but got a good position, but lost. Chess is brutal.

    Here is Anand analysing the game against Carlsen.

    Videos by chessvibes.com.

  2. Magnus Carlsen rebounded from his loss against Viswanathan Anand by beating Vladimir Kramnik. Carlsen shares the lead with Lev Aronian on 7½-4½, or +3. Anand and Teimour Radjabov are 3rd-4th with +2. Carlsen and Radjabov play tomorrow in a very highly-anticipated showdown. Aronian, who has been the most consistent will end with Judit Polgar. Aronian will have to prepare for battle against the greatest female player the world has ever seen.

    One of the pre-tournament favorites Veselin Topalov is out of form with -1, but can seek consolation from his spectacular win over Kramnik. If there is a brilliancy prize, he will certainly be in the running. Judit Polgar won nicely against Michael Adams and improves to -1. Vassily Ivanchuk on +1. Ivanchuk has won one game and drawn the rest. Boris Gelfand is a lackluster -4! (full standings after round 12)

    Sergei Movsesian has had a stellar tournament and lead the Corus “B” group with 9-3, or +6!! Nigel Short has rebounded from a spate of poor showings in 2007 for a nice performance at Wikj an Zee. He is tied with Etienne Bacrot with +4. In the Corus “C” group, the red-hot Fabiano Caruana continues his march toward victory with yet another win… this time over Friso Nijboer. The American-born, Italian national champion will play Negi Parimajan in the final. The young Indian has really round into form after a rough start. He has scored a tournament-high seven wins! Future looks bright. 8)

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