Corus R8: Kramnik beats Nakamura, now shared 2nd with Carlsen

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CorusVladimir Kramnik moved to shared second place in the standings of the Corus Chess Tournament. In round 8 the Russian defeated Hikaru Nakamura, who again went for the Leningrad Dutch. Alexei Shirov and Magnus Carlsen drew in a sharp variation of the Sveshnikov - the same as in their game in Sofia last year.

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 8



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Round 8

14:48 CET It's a very exciting round so far, with very interesting games in both Shirov-Carlsen and Kramnik-Nakamura, the numbers 1-4 in the standings. A good day for Mihail Marin, who's doing live commentary on our live page. Shirov and Carlsen repeat their hyper-sharp Svesh from the last round of MTel last year, while Nakamura again went for the Dutch Defence against Kramnik.

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Meanwhile, Giri seems close to winning already against Howell which would strengthen his lead even further in the B group.

22:13 CET It took a bit longer than necessary, but Giri did win that game and so he's now leading firmly with a score of 6.5/8. Shared second, with 1.5 points less, are Ni Hua, So and l'Ami, who had a narrow escape against Harikrishna. A blunder on move 26 cost him the exchange, but his opponent from India didn't handle the ending very well. "I only saw one clear win for him during the game," l'Ami said afterwards. "69...Rg3 followed by 70...Re5 and 71...Rf5 seemed winning. He repeated moves, but of course I didn't."

Back to the A group, where Kramnik won smoothly against Nakamura. He told the reporters that he until three o'clock last night, he didn't have a good answer to Nakamura's 7...c6 Leningrad Dutch, but that he found the 9.Qc2 and 11.Rd1 set-up during a late-night shower! He thought Black to be lost at move 26. "The position is about equal, but I'm two pawns up."

Shirov and Carlsen repeated their Sveshnikov of Sofia last year, and like then, it was the Norwegian who came with a novelty. Shirov reacted well, and might still be slightly better in the position where the two repeated moves. GM Mihail Marin's in-depth analysis of these two games, together with some notes to Giri-Howell, can still be replayed at the live page.

Leko managed to break down Smeets' Petroff. Right from the opening the Hungarian got pressure, and the Dutchman's pawn sacrifice didn't help. Karjakin-Short saw some very complicated tactics after move 30 where Short could probably have drawn with 35...R1e2! and White has to check on f6 at some point and give perpetual. The Englishman played for a win but the queen turned out to be stronger than the rooks. After his succesful first attempt with 1.d4, Dominguez switched back to 1.e4 against Van Wely but couldn't get a tangible advantage. Ivanchuk equalized even easier against Anand.

Caruana got his first win in the tournament against Tiviakov. White's bishop pair didn't seem to be a decisive factor, but when the black-squared bishops went off the board, White's light-squared bishop was much stronger than Black's knight. An excellent game by Caruana.

Reinderman got his first win as well, against Akobian, who is now on last place in the B group. In C, last seeded Plukkel held tournament leader Robson to a draw with Black in a Rauzer. Gupta and Li Chao were the last to finish, but eventually drew as well.

Monday is the second of three rest days, on which we'll post the press conferences of the last few rounds. Due to some internet connection problems we couldn't do that earlier.

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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 8 Standings Grandmaster Group A




    Corus 2010 | Round 8 Standings Grandmaster Group B




    Corus 2010 | Round 8 Standings Grandmaster Group C




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