Round #1 Pairings

Morozevich (Russia) - Kasimjanov (Uzbekistan)
Polgar (Hungary) - Anand (India)
Leko (Hungary) - Topolov (Bulgaria)
Svidler (Russia) - Adams (England)


Round #1 Results

Morozevich-Kasimjanov, ½-½.
When the first pawn was pushed in this tournament, it would begin Kasimjanov's title defense. This game had no tense moments and surprisingly Morozevich did not get much with the white pieces against the Najdorf. The game featured an uneventful middle game with a number of exchanges and a slight plus for black. In fact, it was Kasimdzhanov who would play for the win after winning a pawn in the ending, but he was unable to mount chances for the full point. (game)

Polgar-Anand , 0-1. This was not a good way to start the tournament for Judit Polgar. She  was caught like a deer staring into the headlights of an oncoming truck and Anand proceeded to run through her position with crushing effect.  This game took an interesting turn when Polgar decided to compromise her kingside (even offering a pawn) to launch one of her trademark attacks.

Viswanathan Anand, also known as 'The Tiger from Madras," patiently consolidated his position and launched an attack of his own. His foresight with 22…Kh8 was instructive as Polgar's only hope was an assault on the open g-file. After Anand shored up his kingside, he quickly shifted the momentum on the queenside and Polgar had to retreat to guard her queen's flank… it was too late. Anand's attacked with capped off by the brilliant 34…Nc3+! and finished her off with a flurry. Complete disaster for Polgar.

Anand’s lightening finish with 34…Nc3+ capped off an energetic performance.

Anand's lightening finish with 34…Nc3+ capped off an energetic performance.

Leko-Topolov, 0-1. Another loss with white; another loss for a Hungarian. Leko is seen as an outside favorite to win this championship setting up a possible rematch with Kramnik. However, his loss to Veselin Topalov was a setback given the overwhelming advantage he had developed into the middlegame. Coming out of a Najdorf Sicilian, Leko placed his pieces aggressively, but could not make much of his lead in development. Eventually the queens came off the board  and Leko was saddled with a number of weaknesses while Topalov was nursing the two bishops versus two wayward knights. Leko's 37.c4 was soon punished and  his position came apart as laser bishops were poised to make way for a decisive rook invasion. Hungarians will look to bounce back tomorrow. (game)

Svidler-Adams, ½-½. This game was the first to finish lasting only 24 moves. "Peter the Great" defended with the Petroff Defense and the delved into known theory against Adams' inveterate 1.e4. The game featured some very interesting tactics in the middle game after 17.Rb2 Bxa3 18.Re2 Bxc1 19.Nc6!? Qf6 20.Nxa5, but the flashy exchanges did nothing for the final position. These two players are expected to remain in the lower-mid range of the field as both seem to lack the killer-instinct possessed by the top two contenders, Anand and Topalov. (game)


1st-2nd Anand, Topalov, 1-0
3rd-6th Morozevich, Kasimjanov, Adams, Svidler, ½-½
Polgar, Leko, 0-1

Playing venue of the 2005 FIDE World Chess Championship.

Photo courtesy of WCC official site

Posted by The Chess Drum: 28 September 2005