Corus R4: Shirov on 4/4

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CorusAlthough not too convincingly, Alexei Shirov also won his 4th game in Wijk aan Zee, against Jan Smeets. Going into the first rest day, the Spaniard from Latvia leads with 4/4, a full point ahead of Carlsen, Nakamura and Ivanchuk, who defeated Loek van Wely.

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 4

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Round 4

15:04 CET It promises to be another very interesting round at Corus! All eyes are on Alexei Shirov, who can increase his lead even further if he manages to beat Dutchman Jan Smeets. However, Smeets' second GM Spike Ernst just told us he is reasonably happy in the theoretical Petroff they're playing so far. A razor-sharp 6.Bg5 Najdorf can be seen in Ivanchuk-Van Wely. Chucky played the underestimated line with 8.Qe2 against Van Wely's 7...Nbd7 and looks in excellent shape already.


Hikaru Nakamura bravely played the Dutch Defence against Vishy Anand and Nigel Short is no less adventurous with his Portugese variation of the Scandinavian. More conventional theory can be seen by Dominguez and Leko, grinding out one of the main lines of the Marshall Ruy Lopez. Finally, more subtle manoeuvring can be expected in Kramnik-Tiviakov and Karjakin-Caruana (which, by the way, might well end in a draw any minute).

In the B-group, Akobian is trying out another Tarrasch Defence against Erwin L'Ami which we'll be following closely, and we would also like to draw your attention to two games in the C-Group: Van Kampen-Plukken is a very interesting ' Shirov gambit' against the Philidor while Swinkels-Muzychuk started rather funny as well. Enjoy!

16:15 CET As expected, Van Wely quickly lost against Ivanchuk. There was some amazement in the press room when Ivanchuk didn't go for 24.Qc8+ and 25.Rd7+, winning the queen (as also pointed out in the comments), but in fact the line he played wins even quicker.


Anand and Nakamura drew their game. In the post-mortem Nakamura made a strong impression. Perhaps White had an edge but Nakamura defended without much problems. Meanwhile, Shirov is still pressing against Smeets. Leko and Dominguez are having fun it seems and Kramnik-Tiviakov seems to be a model IQP game. Will Tivi be able to hold? We expected a quick draw with Karjakin and Caruana, but they're still playing. Looks like Karjakin is trying hard to win the game. PD: Well, after all he has the classical Ruy Lopez Exchange pawn majority...

In the B Group, let's just note Dimitri Reinderman looks fine against Howell. In Group C, two games have finished already: Benjamin Bok crushed Niels Grandelius and Van Kampen's Shirov Gambit proved successful against Sjoerd Plukkel.

18:00 CET We just witnessed Shirov's press conference about his win against Smeets: he was quite lucky, as he admitted his ' attack' was just a bluff, though the audience surely didn't mind. The computer indicated that 33.Kh1 would have been better, but Shirov said he felt both king moves had their disadvantages and it was just impossible to evaluate which was the right one. In any case, Smeets' 33...Rcd8? ended the game immediately, where 33...Rce8 would have at least kept the balance in Black's favour. Asked about his ambitions for the rest of the tournament, Shirov said he mainly wanted to avoid missing moves like 27...Bh7. The entire press conference will be up later, of course.


The other games in Group A ended in a draw, although especially Tiviakov won't be happy with the result. In the press room, around move 25 a win for Black was predicted. Kramnik miraculously held the position.

In Group B, Harikrishna scored a win with the King's Indian Attack over Naiditsch. Reinderman is still suffering a bit against Howell; all other games ended in a draw as well. In Group C, the boys were separated from the men - in fact, there are no ' mercy draws' at all yet, although Muzychuk is still hanging in there. But then, after all, she is a lady.

01:27 CET Reinderman eventually lost the endgame against Howell and is on a terrible 0.5/4 now. Compatriots l'Ami (2.5) and Giri (3) started their Corus better. In C, with 3.5/4 Robson and Li Chao are a full point ahead of a pack of five players. Wednesday is the first of three rest days.

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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 4 Standings Grandmaster Group A

    Corus 2010 | Round 4 Standings Grandmaster Group B

    Corus 2010 | Round 4 Standings Grandmaster Group C


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