Corus R6: Shirov draws, Dominguez, Leko, Kramnik win

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
CorusAlexei Shirov was held to a draw easily by Nigel Short in round 6 of the Corus Chess Tournament. Besides a few quick draws, Leko beat Caruana, Dominguez beat Tiviakov and Kramnik beat 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 6

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Round 6

15:10 CET Despite the "friendly request" from the organizers to avoid short draws, Ivanchuk and Nakamura repeated moves in a Slav after 14 moves and then shook hands. Nakamura's explanation after the game: "The thing is that oddly enough I had prepared this variation, looked at everything except 13.a5. I looked at about four other lines and then I overlooked this 13.a5 line and after this 13.a5 I more or less have to force a draw I think, because otherwise I am significantly worse. If I had the choice between playing a worse position with Black againt Ivanchuk or taking a draw obviously I'm gonna take a draw in that situation.

Not long after that, Anand and Carlsen also split the point. Carlsen left the venue quickly but Anand was happy to give some explanation: "I wanted to try. He surprised me with this opening; I've been checking lots of other stuff but exactly this Dragon I didn't expect from him. (...) It seems that I just have to force the draw with 19.Qh4. He goes 19...e5, takes, bishop takes, swap everything down, Qe7, Qe5 and it seems to be a draw. (...) My problem is that if I don't force the draw where I did, on the 19th move, then it takes very little for me to be worse. Either his e-pawn comes to e5 and if I don't force the draw I'm just worse because my bishop is really bad now. It's only good if I can keep this pawn on e7. I must have missed something in the opening."


The main other attraction, of course, is Shirov-Short. The Latvian seems to have real chances of improving his position slowly; might become a tough afternoon for Short! Leko-Caruano is a sharp, interesting fight in a theoretical Arkhangelsk Ruy Lopez. The current evaluation is anyone's guess and the clocks also don't give hints in this case. The same can be said of Kramnik-Van Wely (a difficult KID) and Karjakin-Smeets, It's clear the two Dutchmen will have to work hard for their points but so far they seem to have avoided yesterday's disasters. Their compatriot Tiviakov has a solid position against Dominguez. For not-so-mysterious reasons, we bet on a draw in this game.

in Group B, Anish Giri faces Tommy Nyback - we'll come back to the game in a later stage - and in C, Ray Robson will surely try to increase his lead against Bok. Look out for the endgames Reinderman and L' Ami are playing - potential instructiveness is in the air.

17:03 CET As far as the A group is concerned, this 6th round is not too exciting so far. Short quite easily held Shirov to a draw, and received a "Congratulations!" whisper from Vladimir Kramnik on stage, to which the Englishman answered: "Thank you, it's one of the best achievements in my career!" Soon afterwards Smeets and Karjakin also drew their game.

Much more fun are the B and C groups. Giri's move 21...Kd6! was praised by the journos in the press room and one of them was reminded by the games of ex-World Champion Tigran Petrosian. Nyback might well become Giri's next victim today.


Ni Hua-Muzychuk is a good one as well, where the Chinese GM gave a bishop, knight and rook to win the opponent's queen and three pawns. As a result a highly rare material imbalance is left on the board. Howell and Sutovsky are in for a long game today and in C, Gupta-Vocaturo has gotten quite sharp. Bok seems to have more than enough compensation for the exchange he lost to tournament leader Robson.

17:20 CET Just after that last update, Bok missed a trick by Robson, who is now leading C with an amazing 5.5/6. Giri also won again and will do the press conference also today. Who doesn't want to hear Anish' own thoughts about his 21st move?

19:56 CET It turned out to be another bad day for the Dutchies in the A group. Tiviakov did win a pawn against Dominguez but his position remained very passive. The Cuban managed to keep his opponent's queenside locked and in the ending his better pieces and passed pawn decided the game immediately. Kramnik played the - these days popular - Gligoric System against Van Wely's KID, and had a good answer to Black's g5-g4: a strong white-squared bishop and control over the b-file in the ending. The ex-World Champion kept on playing strongly and eventually forced resignation in a knight ending. Leko scored his first win of the tournament against Caruana after winning a piece for two pawns in a complicated Archangelsk middlegame.

In B, Giri's win meant that the Dutchman increased his lead because Howell is defending a most probably lost queen ending. Ni Hua keeps chances for promotion as well after winning that umbalanced middlegame against Muzychuk. In C, Li Chao is only half a point behind Robson thanks to a black victory against Lie.

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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 6 Standings Grandmaster Group A

    Corus 2010 | Round 6 Standings Grandmaster Group B

    Corus 2010 | Round 6 Standings Grandmaster Group C


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