Sunday, February 26, 2006

"These games are crazy"

I'm supposed to be preparing against a former world title challenger and writing an article for Intchess (a Singaporean chess magazine) but my attention is completely occupied by today's round 6 from Morelia, Mexico. Such awesome fights. As I write these words, at any moment now Topalov should resign! He is being smacked by Vallejo.

And what better way to observe the games than through my brand new Fritz 9? The multiboard view when logged on to playchess is fantastic. Just take a look at the screenshot below.

But while I observe the games on playchess, I find the webcast on ICC an absolutely must. Hosted by IM Bill Paschall and GM Greg Kaidanov, ICC's coverage completes an excellent overview of some ideas, plans, tactics and so on.

Anyway, to the games. With a draw against Aronian, Leko maintains the lead on 4.5 points. For those who consider Leko a complete bore, like moi, maybe we'll all end up eating our words when this tournament is concluded in Spain.

In Ivanchuk - Svidler, the Ukrainian played the only way he knows how - exciting chess.

Linares - Morelia
Vassily Ivanchuk
Peter Svidler

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Bg5 Ne4 5. Bh4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 dxc4 7. e3 Be6 8. Qb1 c5 A novelty 9. Qxb7 Why not? As IM Paschall observed, theory has b7-b6, so Qxb7 must definitely be a threat. 9...Bd5 10. Qb5+ Nd7 11. Nf3 Rb8 12. Qa4 cxd4 13. cxd4 Qc8 14. Rc1 e6 15. Bxc4 Rb4 (15... Bb4+ 16. Kd1 (16. Kf1?? Bxc4+) 16... Bxf3+ 17. gxf3 Qb7)

After 15...Rb4

16. Qa6 Bb7! (16... Qc7 17. Ne5 (17. Bg3?? Bxc4) 17... Rb6) 17. Qa5 f6 18. Nd2 Bxg2 19. Rg1 Qc6 20. Rxg2 Qxg2 21. Bxe6 Bd6 22. Rc8+ Ke7 23. Rxh8 Kxe6 24. Qd8 Qg1+ 25. Ke2 1-0

In Radjabov - Bacrot, the Frenchman didn't manage to achieve anything out of the opening phase. Radjabov just piled on the pressure which eventually culminated in the win of a piece in the endgame phase.

And did the current FIDE Champion, Topalov, approach this game with too much confidence? He played too quickly and it seems this was one factor that contributed to his loss. Or, as the ICC commentators speculated, maybe we're seeing the same illness that befell both Spassky (apparently known as the "Lazy Bear") and Kramnik. Once these guys achieved greatness, it was all downhill from there.

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