Corus R10: as internet drops, Anand beats Shirov

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CorusAlexei Shirov lost his pole position in a dramatic game against Viswanathan Anand today. The Spaniard reached a winning position against the World Champ, but as both players missed an important tactic, the game went on and Anand eventually won. Carlsen defeated Karjakin with Black in a French and Kramnik and Ivanchuk drew.

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 10



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Round 10

13:12 CET Another great round is ahead of us, with Anand-Shirov , Kramnik-Ivanchuk and Karjakin-Carlsen in A, Giri-Naiditsch in B and Swinkels-Li Chao as today's main attractions.

14:21 CET Ivanchuk played the Vienna against Kramnik's 1.d4 and the two have already reached quiet unfamiliar territory after eleven moves. Kramnik's Qe2 & Rad1 concept seems to be new, and Ivanchuk is thinking now.

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Against Karjakin, Carlsen went for the French. A surprising choice since according to the database the Norwegian played this defence only once before, when he was 11 and rated 2214! Karjakin decided to play it safe and castled kingside.

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Anand doesn't want to risk too much either against Shirov and closed the queenside with 10.a5 in another Archangelsk Ruy Lopez. Dominguez and Nakamura are still in a well-known Accelarated Dragon position while Caruana and Van Wely are also looking at a familiar middlegame position - there it's a Sicilian Scheveningen.

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Smeets got Tiviakov thinking after11...Nxc5, which is still known however, e.g. from J.Polgar-Skembris, Moscow OL 1994. Nigel Short tried the Alekhine against Leko; an opening played by 'people with a difficult childhood and by Short', as I heard in the press room, but that's how we used to describe the opening two decades ago. In the 90s Ivanchuk sometimes tried it, and these days it's slightly more popular. Recently Carlsen defeated Topalov with Black using 1...Nf6.

15:28 CET Nakamura came up with an interesting pawn sacrifice on move 14 and instead of trading on c1, 18...Bxd5 followed by 19..Ne4 was possible as well. It seems that Shirov still hasn't equalized completely against Anand, who will probably try to get something going against the black king. Kramnik seems to be thinking in that direction too, but Ivanchuk's manoeuvering looks solid enough. Not much excitement on the other boards so far.

In the B group, Giri and Naiditsch already drew in a Semi-Tarrasch. The game of the round is l'Ami-Nisipeanu; a King's Indian in which the always creative Romanian GM sacrificed a piece for two pawns and an attack. In C, Swaminathan-Grandelius is very sharp and Li Chao looks already more than fine with Black against Swinkels.

03:52 CET The talk of the town was not about chess this time, but about the sudden failure of the internet connection in the venue, including the press room. The boards were not transmitted correctly to the press room, and some TV screens in the playing hall also showed wrong positions. Besides, the tournament website was down for a long time as well (at the time of writing it still is, but that's simply because the ISP cannot be contacted before 9 AM). And so nobody exactly knew what was going on, sometimes players would suddenly finish their games and journos would ask what had happened, this time wondering not only about the course of the game, but also about the result.

Shirov suffered a terrible loss against Anand - terrible, because for one moment he could have won. As Anand showed at the press conference (without having looked at a computer), 39.Ne6? could have been met by 39...Ng3! - a tactic he had seen before in a slightly different version, but one which both players missed in that exact position.

Carlsen defeated Karjakin with surprising ease but left the playing hall quickly anyway, like his opponent, so the exact details of this game will have to be checked by the computer. Although he thought for about an hour in the opening phase while the position was still known, Tiviakov did beat Smeets, who basically tricked himself.

In B, Giri kept his slim lead because both l'Ami and Ni Hua drew, while in C Li Chao is very close to tournament victory after beating one of his rivals, Robin Swinkels. The young Chinese GM leads by 1.5 point.

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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 10 Standings Grandmaster Group A




    Corus 2010 | Round 10 Standings Grandmaster Group B




    Corus 2010 | Round 10 Standings Grandmaster Group C




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