R7: Carlsen holds on to lead

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Today round 7 of the Corus Chess Tournament, in which numbers 1-3 have Black, and the start of the Honorary Four.

Carlsen defends his lead against Topalov and there's Aronian-Radjabov and Ivanchuk-Kramnik too.

Update 16:32h Eljanov managed to find a position in which g2-g4 is still a novelty. His 9th move in the a6-Semi-Slav against Van Wely does look shiny and new, and his 12.Nb5! even more. In the meantime White has a plus in an ending. Polgar-Anand follows Adams-Granda Zuniga, Turin (OL) 2006, or in other words the quiet line with 6.Be3 e5 7.Nf3. Not much to say yet, although we have the feeling Vishy is going for a win today.

The Benoni is doing quite allright. It's now also Radjabov's choice when White opts for g3 against his KID (today Aronian). An exciting fight awaits. Topalov avoided Carlsen's Marshall by folowing Ivanchuk-Svidler, Amber (blindfold) 2007. In this line it's pretty difficult to actually get anything with White, and Topalov didn't achieve much more, against the young leader of the field.

You could almost call it surprising that there are still players who try it against Kramnik's Petroff, but Ivanchuk couldn't care less apparently. Still, this game will end in a draw soon. Against Adams, Mamedyarov went for his good old Deferred Steinitz again, and he's actually playing in the style of the first world champion. And not worse than that chap did a 120 years ago. Gelfand-Leko is a quiet Closed Catalan and, well, that's about it.

In B the leader Bacrot already drew his game against l'Ami and Spoelman got his second half point against no-one less than Short.

Update 17:22h Almost forgetting about the Honorary Four! Korchnoi-Portisch, a Queen's Gambit with Bf4, seemed to become a thematical minority attack, but suddenly Black allowed e3-e4. After the time control. White still has the initiative but it's not clear if he can win it. Ljubojevic-Timman was a complicated Modern Benoni and because of slight timetrouble, Ljubojevic went wrong tactically - he'll resign soon.

Update 20:12h Carlsen managed to draw his ending against Topalov, and because of Kramnik's draw and Radjabov's loss, he'll hold on to his clear first spot. Here's Magnus, a bit tired, but he agreed to give a short comment on today's game:

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World champion Anand had to wait seven rounds before scoring a victory. Today he beat Polgar with Black - her 28th, 29th and 30th move were slightly dubious and resulted in the loss of a pawn. Black's queen and knight cooperated well, as they always do, and Vishy finished the game without difficulty. Aronian played a good game, except for one idea (40.Qb2 was played with the intention to play 40...Na4 41.Qa1 Nb6 42.Qa7, but Black plays 41...c3! 42.Qxa4 Rxf2!) but he was still winning. In his press conference you will learn more about this game.

Both Gelfand-Leko and Adams-Mamedyarov can be put in the category "correct, high-level GM draws" and the latter was the most interesting of the two. The phase around move 40 looked a bit messy but Rybka more or less agreed on the whole thing.

In B, a bit of an upset was Smeets-Hou Yifan 0-1. 25.f3 didn't look good and from there Black finished the game in impressive style. Nepomniachtchi drew his game against Harikrishna by defending a R vs RB ending perfectly for 50 moves. After his loss against Krush, Caruana is back on the winning track in group C. The other leader, Braun, got defeated for the first time, by Grivas. The young German IM, by the way here in Wijk aan Zee accompanied by quite a strong second (GM Georg Meier), now needs 1 out of 2 for his last GM norm.

Korchnoi managed to convert his initiative into a full point after some very neat tactics starting from move 47. Definitely worth replaying.




Grandmastergroup A
P. Eljanov - L. van Wely ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ? M. Adams - S. Mamedyarov ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ? L. Aronian - T. Radjabov 1-0 V. Ivanchuk - V. Kramnik ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ? J. Polgar - V. Anand 0-1 V. Topalov - M. Carlsen ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ? B. Gelfand - P. Leko ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?

Grandmastergroup B
W. Spoelman - N. Short ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ? S. Movsesian - D. Stellwagen 1-0 J. Smeets - Y. Hou 0-1 Nepomniachtchi - Harikrishna ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ? E. L'Ami - E. Bacrot ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ? H. Koneru - M. Krasenkow G. Sargissian - I. Cheparinov ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?

Grandmastergroup C
P. Negi - I. Krush 1-0 Z. Peng - F. Nijboer ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ? M. van der Werf - A. Ushenina 0-1 D. Ruijgrok - S. Li ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ? Reinderman - Van der Wiel ?Ǭ?-?Ǭ? E. Grivas - A. Braun 1-0 F. Caruana - P. Carlsson 1-0


Results Honorary Four:

Round 1 - Saturday the 19th
L. Ljubojevic - J. Timman 0-1
V. Kortchnoi - L. Portisch 1-0
Round 2 - Sunday the 20th
V. Kortchnoi - J. Timman
L. Portisch - L. Ljubojevic
Round 3 - Tuesday the 22nd
J. Timman - L. Portisch
L. Ljubojevic - V. Kortchnoi

Round 4 - Wednesday the 23rd
J. Timman - L. Ljubojevic
L. Portisch - V. Kortchnoi

Round 5 - Friday the 25th
L. Portisch - J. Timman
V. Kortchnoi - L. Ljubojevic

Round 6 - Saturday the 26th
J. Timman - V. Kortchnoi
L. Ljubojevic - L. Portisch



New photos by forest:

Ljubojevic - TimmanKorchnoi - Portisch
Eljanov-Van WelyTopalov - Carlsen
GelfandIvanchuk
UsheninaKrush
Aronian - RadjabovIvanchuk - Kramnik



Complete schedule + results »

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