Corus R5: Shirov also beats Van Wely

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CorusAlexei Shirov also defeated Loek van Wely today and now leads the Corus Chess Tournament with 5 out of 5. The Spaniard is 1.5 points ahead of Carlsen, Nakamura and Ivanchuk. Giri is in sole lead in the B group again, and so is Robson in the C group.

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 5



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Round 5

14:59 CET Yesterday was the first of three rest days and for the TV program De Wereld Draait Door a football match between Holland and Norway was organized, in which both teams played with the official shirts. Unfortunately I couldn't be there but it's not clear if it had made a difference since the DWDD team didn't even allow official Corus photographer Fred Lucas to shoot on the scene. I did hear that that Kjetil Lie is a fantastic footballer and that he basically decided matters by himself, with 4 goals in a match that was won 5-1 by the Norwegians.

Today it's chess again, and the first that catches the eye is Vladimir Kramnik's opening choice with Black against Jan Smeets. A) Not the Petroff, and B)... the Pirc. Yes, the opening that's not considered to be a real test to 1.e4, and the opening that's mainly used by GMs who want to beat weaker opponents during the first few rounds of 9-round Swisses. Kramnik might well be trying to win this one, since in his (only) previous game against Smeets, he was easily held to a draw in a Scotch, when the ex-World Champion played for Groningen in the Dutch league in March 2007.

In the top encounter Nakamura-Carlsen White goes for ultra-solid play with a Delayed Exchange against the Ruy. Tiviakov is in a similar mood (his usual mood) and tries his pet Qe2 against Karjakin, who makes it look totally harmless. Caruana went for 1.d4 against Dominguez and it looks like he has to be careful already in a Grünfeld. Short has successfully managed avoid theoretical waters and has a classical, tiny edge against Ivanchuk's IQP position.

Corus

Leko and Anand are in a very unclear, queenless middlegame arising from a 4...Bc5 Ruy Lopez while Shirov continues aggressively against Van Wely. About his move 9...g4, which we've seen in a similar position in the Korchnoi-Spassy match last month, Jon Speelman said on the Chess.FM broadcast (with typical native British accent): "What a hero, what a hero!" Host Mig said "it seems like these days this is a move before breakfast".

16:32 CET Except for a quick draw between Leko & Anand and So & Harikrishna in group B, all games are still running. We were wrong about Caruana-Dominguez: after the strong move 20.Re6! it's Black who is in danger. At the moment of writing Caruana is thinking about his 24th move, where Qd8! seems close to winning.

Corus

Short is still trying to get more than an edge, now in an ending, and after Van Wely's exchange sacrifice against Shirov it looks about equal there as well. In Smeets-Kramnik, 8.e5 looks dubious as it leads by force to an ending where Black is fine, if not already better. The youngest of the three Dutchmen is under pressure there. For a while Nakamura seemed to have serious pressure against Carlsen, with a menacing knight on f5, but with some cool defensive moves Carlsen avoided real problems. The long line Nakamura went for, starting with 23.Qh4, looks risky. Tiviakov and Karjakin seem to be heading to a draw, although Black might be more comfortable.

Naiditsch-Nisipeanu is an interesting Panov Caro-Kann in group B where the complications seem to favour White.

Corus

Giri is doing well again, in a better ending against Sutovsky. Peng-Robson from C is another good one to follow today.

18:07 CET Anish Giri also beat Emil Sutovsky and is now on a fantastic 4/5. Ni Hua probably won't win today, and so the reigning Dutch champion will take the sole lead in the B group again. A good reason to have him doing the press conference! This just finished in the press room, and Anish explained his success as follows: "They just make some mistakes and then I win." Press officer: "OK, but this group is stronger than the Dutch Championship. They have 2700." Giri: "Yes, but they also make mistakes."

Corus

Meanwhile, Naiditsch beat Nisipeanu in a very powerful game, and in C Robson beat Peng with Black. Kramnik outplayed Smeets in the ending, and to the question why he went for the Pirc, the Russian answered that he was was sure Smeets would refute it. "The problem is I'm playing the Petroff for a very long time already and I had no doubt he was going to refute the opening and then I thought: I still have a long career and if he's going to refute it, what am I going to do. For this game I thought: I can do it with Anand, but not with this guy."

20:01 CET Van Wely collapsed against Shirov, and so the Spaniard is now on an amazing 5/5. "I believe that he definitely shouldn't take on c6 immediately. After that all the time I have this idea of ...c5 and doing something on the diagonal", the tournament leader said after today's game. He thought first Re1 would have been better, after which it's roughly equal.

Nakamura pressed a lot today, and "deserves credit for declining my draw offer", as Carlsen said after the game. The American eventually reached an ending with rook, two knights and two pawns against rook, bishop and three pawns, but it was impossible to win this ending. Caruana was disappointed as he was almost sure he missed a win against Dominguez. He thought 24...Bf6 was an adequate answer to 24.Qd8, but then 25.Rc1 Bxe7 26.Rxc6 Bxd8 27.Rc8 wins a piece.

Short also had to be satisfied with a draw, and he complimented his opponent Ivanchuk for his great defence. "Against any other GM I would have won this." In our opinion the Englishman is playing fine so far, and fully deserves his return into the A group. Tiviakov easily survived Karjakin's bit of pressure. In B, Howell beat Ni to take over clear second place. The Englishman is half a point behind Giri.

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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 5 Standings Grandmaster Group A




    Corus 2010 | Round 5 Standings Grandmaster Group B




    Corus 2010 | Round 5 Standings Grandmaster Group C




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