Corus R9: Kramnik beats Carlsen, shares lead with Shirov

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
CorusIn the 9th round of the Corus Chess Tournament Vladimir Kramnik defeated Magnus Carlsen in what he said was one of his best games ever. Hikaru Nakamura went down against Sergei Karjakin while Vassily Ivanchuk and Alexei Shirov drew quickly in an Archangelsk Ruy Lopez.

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 9

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Round 9

Before the round I went for a stroll over the beach and took a few pictures.


It's pretty cold again in Wijk aan Zee after a warmer period last week...


...and yes, it snowed again!


Ice and snow dancing together


Snow-covered beach I


Snow-covered beach II


Snow-covered beach III


Closer to the water the sand takes over


Snow and sea water mixed and turned into ice again

15:51 CET After the second rest day, the tournament continues today with the 9th round, and a very theoretical round it is. Ivanchuk and Shirov already drew in an Archangelsk Ruy Lopez which they also had on the board, with the same colours, in another game 13 years ago in Belgrade. It was also very similar to Leko-Caruana of round 6.

Tiviakov is trying his Alapin Sicilian against the World Champ and there 11.Qe3 seems to be new but not very dangerous. In a Hedgehog, Van Wely has compromised his pawn structure but has more space against Leko. Nakamura just repeated moves against Karjakin but then continued playing in a Nimzo that might get sharp. Carlsen, who was pondering for a while before making his first move, chose 1.d4 against Kramnik and just made an interesting pawn sac. Smeets and Caruana left theory quickly in a Taimanov Sicilian that's relatively quiet so far.

16:04 CET Right after his game against Shirov, Ivanchuk came into the press room and showed Cora, a longtime member of the Corus press team who likes chess problems, a mate-in-three problem. You can join Cora and try to solve it too:

Cora Cora

18:20 CET Vladimir Kramnik just gave another press conference after he defeated Magnus Carlsen. According to the Russian, who is now co-leader of the tournament together with Shirov, it was one of his best games ever. Remarkably, Carlsen thought for about two minutes before making his first move. "He probably had a big discussion with Garry before the game, who wanted to go 1.e4 and Magnus 1.d4, something like that," Kramnik joked.

Nakamura lost his second game in a row, this time against last year's winner Karjakin. After he avoided the quick draw, the American champion's king's position went from risky to probablematic, especially with Karjakin's very strong bishops. Short and Dominguez drew a rather dull and short game.

Lots of excitement in the other groups. For the first time in the tournament, Giri was probably lost at some point, against Muzychuk, but they're still playing (and White is still a pawn up). In C, Li Chao took over the lead in a direct confrontation with Robson, who blundered a mate in one, though 33...Kg8 34.Qc8+ Rf8 35.Qd7 looks terrible too.

23:28 Vishy Anand got his 9th consecutive draw today; despite first winning a pawn and then an exchange. The reason was that almost all pawns disappaered and there was just not enough material left. This minor Dutch success was followed by to major ones: Van Wely beat Leko and Smeets defeated Caruana.

Leko had liquidated to an opposite-coloured bishop position with an extra a-pawn for White, which seemed very drawish indeed but KingLoek could suddenly make lots of progress with the nice 36.f5! and then finished it off with excellent technique. Smeets' win was less straightforward. His position after 23 moves looked fantastic, but about 14 moves later he was a healthy pawn down. However, in the next phase Caruana gave it all away and even lost. In the B group, Erwin l'Ami was a bit lucky again. On Sunday he drew a lost ending and today he won a drawn ending, and now the Dutchman is shared second with Ni Hua, who beat Akobian with Black today. Li Chao has the sole lead in C and Robson is now shared second with Swinkels and Vocaturo.

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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 9 Standings Grandmaster Group A

    Corus 2010 | Round 9 Standings Grandmaster Group B

    Corus 2010 | Round 9 Standings Grandmaster Group C


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