Round #9 Pairings

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


Round #9 Results

Anand-Topalov, -.
This was a strange game. First, the Ruy Lopez was strange. Second, Topalov leading the field by 2 points, played 7g5!? which at first look terrible but of course, the white's light-squared bishop had been exchanged. Anand went into a piece sacrifice line with 13.Bh4 leading to a quick draw. GM Grigory Kaidanov reporting on Chess.FM attended the press conference where Anand was visibly upset at his performance. He stated that he trained well, but it is not bringing the results.

As for the game, he stated that he misjudged  the position and in the end, he could not play to win and had to take the draw. Of course this helps Topalov whose goes another round without losing any of his lead. It is interesting to note the Topalov played 7.g5!? without fear of repercussion from such a deadly opponent. He stated in a recent interview that the difference between he and other elite players is that he is not afraid to lose. In such a critical game, he has shown this characteristic. Amazing!

Polgar - Adams, -.
People at the Internet Chess Club were booing  this game as soon as it entered the theoretical Marshall Gambit. "Draw," everyone was claiming. Of course, Marshall Gambit is seen often at the top level, but how much improvement can there be? Anand faced Svidler Marshall Gambit and even offered the exchanged draw. After the main line 17Re6, the game had no major drama and by move 33.Bxe5 the game was a dead draw. This was probably a good result for both as it gives them a chance to continue preparations without another disappointment. (game, ChessBase videos - TopalovAnand)

Svidler-Kasimjanov, -. The two previous games were uneventful, but this game was the more exciting than the first those two games combined! Those who question Kasimjanov's ability may have lost their last bit of skepticism in viewing this slugfest. For the second time, he has Svidler on the ropes this time from the black side of a Najdorf. GM John Federowicz and Kaidanov felt that Svidler was better in the opening. That assessment was certainly questionable as Kasimjanov threw a vicious attack on Svidler's king after 15a4 and 16Qb8.

After 16Qb6, GM John Federowicz was raving about white's position, but  his reasoning was vague and unconvincing. Apparently Kasimjanov disagreed as well and blasted away with 18b3! Black's pieces came alive, took posts in menacing positions and Kasimjanov delivered a zinger with 24Bc3!? (diagram) Interesting!

Federowicz was still skeptical (or confused) and it is surprising he did not appreciate the power of the FIDE champ's play. Svidler realized the danger and punched back with 26.Qb5! This was the critical moment of the queen. After a long think Kasimjanov, to the surprise of the chess world, played 26Qc7 instead of

Blacks pieces came alive, took posts in menacing positions and Kasimjanov delivered a powerful body shot with 24Bc3!? Interesting!

The point of the latter move is on 27.Nc6, black will play 27Qxa3! 28.bxa3 Rxa3 when white is forced to return the queen with 29.Qxb3. Black will come out on top after 29Rxb3+ 30Kc2 Nc7. Svidler stated that he would have played 27.Bc1, but black is still for choice after 27Nc7 28.Qe2 Bxd4! 29.Rxd4 Ne4 30.Rhd1 Nxg3 31.hxg3 Bf5+!

In any event, none of these variations occurred. After 27.Nge2, the FIDE champion went in for the mind-boggling 27Bd7 apparently trapping the queen. Svidler played
28.e6 and it the board was on fire! The chess engines were overheating and everyone was confused. Kaidanov, who had arrived in San Luis the night before, said that those will engines at the site were saying different things about the position "white is better," "black is better" "No wait. It's equal." Kasimjanov shocked the audiences when he played 30fxe6 instead of the anticipated 30Nxc7 and had to scramble later for a wild drawing line after sacrificing two pieces. In the final position, black will get a perpetual check. What a battle! (game)

Morozevich-Leko, 1-0. Here is an excerpt from GM Susan Polgar's weblog

"Leko played extremely well and had a great game. He managed to bust open Morozevich's Kingside. Even though Morozevich defended very well, Leko had the upper hand. Unfortunately, Leko blundered in time pressure on move 36."

This game was very exciting. It was yet another Sveshnikov, but this time Leko was able to secure a solid advantage. In the opening, Morozevich eschewed the main lines and went for the speculative 
11.c4!? instead of 11.c3. Unlike most Sveshnikovs, this game became closed on the queenside, but Morozevich continued to play in his own provocative style with 16.Bh3, 17.Kf1, 18.Kg2 and 19.Bf5. Play heated up after Leko's  23f5 followed by Moro's 24.h5.

Black was doing well and launched the missile,
35Bf4! but on the next move blundered when the piece sacrifice was no longer sound due to white's 38.Rh1! Morozevich consolidated and Leko flailed away for another 15 moves before running out of checks. The young Russian has now won three consecutive games and will face Topalov in round 10. Look for a bruising battle. The gloves will be off! (game)

Note: Kaidanov attended the press conference in round #10 and quoted Leko as saying that he was not able to sleep after this game until 6:00am the next morning. He felt he should have won the game and was extremely upset.

Morozevich making a move on Leko.  (Photo courtesy of WCC official site)

Morozevich making a move on Leko.
(Photo courtesy of WCC official site)


1st Topalov, 7-1
Svidler, 5-3
Anand, Morozevich, 5-4
Leko, 4-5
Kasimjanov, 3-5
Adams, 3-6
Polgar, 2-6

Posted by The Chess Drum: 8 October 2005