Carlsen wins 72nd Corus Chess Tournament

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
CorusMagnus Carlsen has won Corus 2010. In the last round he drew Fabiano Caruana and both Kramnik and Shirov also drew their games, the latter after accepting Dominguez' offer in a winning position. Anish Giri won the B group and Li Chao took C.

The Corus Chess Tournament takes place January 16-31 in Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands. Next to hundreds of amateurs, three Grandmaster Groups (A, B and C) with 14 players each play a closed round-robin. The rate of play is 100 minutes for 40 moves, then 50 minutes for 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game, and 30 seconds increment starting from move 1.

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Games round 13

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Round 13

13:20 CET The board is on fire in Short-Smeets, despite the fact that it started as a Petroff. (This tournament once more confirmed that it's not just the opening that's boring, but more what the players are doing with it!) It's easy enough to follow the start: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 4.dxe5 Bc5 5.Bc4 Nxf2 6.Bxf7+ (wow!) which was in fact mentioned in one of the our ChessVibes Openings issues. Our main line was 6...Kf8; in the game 6...Kxf7 7.Qd5+ Kg6 8.Bg5 got Smeets thinking.

Carlsen takes up Caruana's Ruy Lopez carefully, in Steinitz style while Kramnik and Karjakin are in a theoretical Queen's Indian. Negi can still spoil Giri's tournament, but in another Petroff the 15-year-old tournament leader looks OK after the opening.

13:44 CET Smeets has only just made a move after 8.Bg5! Meanwhile, Shirov must be happy with the Najdorf hybrid (mixing a Bg5 and Bc4 setup) that he has on the board: it looks perfect for playing for a win today. Nakamura will be pressing Tiviakov a bit with the pair of bishops, but Black's position looks quite solid.

15:10 CET Things are heating up in the A group! Kramnik decided to make a draw against Karjakin, securing a good tournament, and Ivanchuk and Leko have called it a day already as well. But what about the other games? Of course all attention in the press room is focused on Short-Smeets, a true Romantic classic! After 10.Nd2, the computer supposedly prefers 10...d6 11.Ndf3+ Kg4! 12.h3+ Kg3! with completely unclear consequences. Several prominent players have already said they're rooting for Short, not so much because they like the Englishman personally but because they like the way he's playing the game, reminding them of Morphy and Anderssen and taking us all back to the 19th century. Time trouble will probably decide the game, however.


Shirov and Carlsen, both playing White, are still trying to win, although objectively, Dominguez doesn't seem to have much to complain about. Carlsen-Caruana is a mess, only time will tell who's better here. In the meantime, Anish Giri has made a draw to make sure he's promoting to the A Group next year: a formidable achievement from the young Dutchman!

16:05 CET With the time control coming up, the tournament can be decided any minute now. Carlsen seems to have an inferior position against Caruana, and Shirov's attacking chances seem very realistic all of a sudden, so who knows what kind of upsets we'll see this afternoon.

Meanwhile, Loek van Wely drew his game with Anand even though the experts claimed he was lost at some point, so this is definitely a small Dutch success. The same can be said for Jan Smeets, who managed a draw as well. His opponent Short apparently couldn't find the win (and neither could the computer) so he decided to repeat moves with his clock ticking away. A disappointing end of a very promising game but perhaps this round will go down in history anyway if Shirov would miraculously manage to win the tournament after all! We're sure many chess fans are rooting for him very hard right now...


16:45 CET Well, the tournament will definitely end in dramatic fashion after Shirov accepted a draw in a completely winning position! We have exclusive video footage of the last minutes of the game and we'll bring it to you as soon as possible, but for now we should mention Shirov's last seconds were ticking when he accepted the draw, obviously not having seen the move 31.b4!!

Immediately after the game, Karjakin came up to him to tell him about it, but Shirov still couldn't believe it. However, it may just be his lucky day after all, since Carlsen's position against Caruana looks very, very bad, probably losing. This would mean Kramnik, Shirov and Carlsen will share first prize. Who would have thought?

On a more quiet note, Chao added another win to his successful tournament; the Chinese beat Peng. Robin van Kampen is best Dutchman in this group. In B, Erwin L'Ami lost his first game of the tournament against Naiditsch.

17:26 CET It's official: Magnus Carlsen drew his game with Caruana and has won the 72nd Corus Chess Tournament with 8,5/13. Alexei Shirov and Vladimir Kramnik share 2nd place with 8 points. In a tight knight ending, Carlsen defended successfully and now has added the most prestigious chess tournament to his victory list. Carlsen and Giri will be doing the press conference and we'll have coverage of that later on, of course.


17:55 CET Carlsen says the knight ending against Caruana should be a draw, although both players thought that Black had great winning chances during the game. According to Carsen, his best game of the tournament was against Karjakin. He also said Shirov reacted 'remarkably calm' to the fact he failed to grab 1st place by playing 31.b4, and that Anish Giri played 'great chess' in this tournament, especially in his game against Nisipeanu.

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    Corus 2010 | Schedule & results Grandmaster Group A

    Corus 2010 | Schedule & results Grandmaster Group B

    Corus 2010 | Schedule & results Grandmaster Group C

    Corus 2010 | Round 13 Standings Grandmaster Group A

    Corus 2010 | Round 13 Standings Grandmaster Group B

    Corus 2010 | Round 13 Standings Grandmaster Group C


    Magnus with the trophy and cheque


    Anish Giri, what will he do next year in group A?


    Li Chao, convincing winner of the  C group


    A surprising guest at the traditional closing party in Hotel Zeeduin was top soccer player Edgar Davids who came by because he likes chess and wanted to meet Magnus in person


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