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Chessbase Magazine 135 (+DVD)
Publisher: Chessbase, 2010, DVD
In his first video survey GM Dorian Rogozenco looks back over the two great top tournaments in Wijk an Zee and Linares. He pays particular attention to two games of Shirov’s, which are good examples of his always sharp but in the long run not always lucky play in Wijk. At the same time Rogozenco characterises the differences between the performance of the two WCh protagonists Anand and Topalov. Unlike his future opponent in Wijk, the Bulgarian not infrequently took risks in Linares and was rewarded with victory in the tournament. Rogozenco cites as an example Topalov’s up-and-down victory over Grischuk.
In the second video Rogozenco presents the surprising victors of the Moscow and Aeroflot Opens. As yet unknown in the West, it was the Russian GM Chernyshov who, due to a greater number of victories, won in Moscow ahead of Bareev, Inarkiev and Le Quang Liem. The Vietnamese GM did not only manage a shared first place in the Moscow Open, but he also went on to win the Aeroflot-Open. At the end of his video, Rogozenco takes a look at the latest situation chess Bundesliga and at Werder Bremen’s victory over OSG Baden-Baden.
Wijk aan Zee
The Corus Tournament in Wijk an Zee in the Netherlands at the start of this year once more set the standard by which subsequent super-tournaments will be measured. Three of the really big beasts, Carlsen, Anand and Kramnik, were there and all of them played an important role in the struggle for victory in the tournament. And in addition Alexei Shirov showed just how good he was and with a start of 5 out of 5 looked like a winner. Finally, though it was once Magnus Carlsen who headed the table. ChessBase Magazine presents this tournament in a worthy fashion: six of the main protagonists (Carlsen, Anand, Kramnik, Shirov, van Wely and Short) have commented on their best games from Wijk, some even in video or audio format.
Karjakin,S - Carlsen,M
Magnus Carlsen sprung a real surprise on last year’s winner Sergei Karjakin. For the first time at this level he played the French Defence (with 3...Nf6) - and he then even took the full point with it. The Norwegian has annotated this game in detail on the DVD. In his notes, Carlsen gives Karjakin’s 17.Qh4 a question mark, less on account of the objective quality of the move than because of the fact that from that point on Karjakin felt uncomfortable with his position. Carlsen immediately exchanged black-squared bishops and with the thematic f7-f6 opened the f-file for his rooks. In the position on the board, the text move 22...Nc5 prepared the transfer of the strong black knight to the kingside, where it soon contributed to the victory.
Anand,V - Kramnik,V
World Champion Vishy Anand was the only player to remain undefeated in Wijk. However, at least in the first half of the tournament the Indian avoided unnecessary risks and even in his victory over Shirov it was his opponent who forced matters over the board. But in his duel with Vladimir Kramnik he played one of the best games in the tournament. The latter’s super-solid Petroff Defence had had to hold the fort against Shirov in the previous round. Anand chose in 17.Qc1 a different idea from the Spanish player. Kramnik had either forgotten his preparation for this move or was simply not prepared for it and chose a very passive continuation. Anand explains the game in classical audio format (the commentary comes to you automatically as you play through the game). In his analysis, he introduces, e.g., a clear improvement to his own handling of the opening. In the position on the board after 34.Be5 White is already clearly better thanks to Black’s weakened king position.
Smeets,J - Kramnik,V
Vladimir Kramnik was mostly in a good mood in Wijk and had good reason to be so. Before his defeat by Anand he was leading the field with Carlsen on +4, and a final shared second place is certainly not a disappointing result. At the same time he managed, with the black pieces, to get his revenge on Carlsen for London (Mihail Marin has provided extensive comments to this game). For the first time Kramnik has annotated in classic form for ChessBase Magazine and has selected for the occasion his game against the Dutch player Jan Smeets. The very choice of opening is surprising and draws the first exclamation mark: 1.e4 d6! In fact Kramnik came out of the opening with a slight advantage and quickly won a pawn with pressure play.
Shirov - Dominguez
Alexei Shirov had a dramatic tournament. Despite winning five games at the start, he had to surrender the lead after 10 rounds. Many of his games were marked by Shirov’s typical fighting spirit. And in the final round, when he had the chance to close on the leader Carlsen with a victory, he agreed a draw in a winning position. In his video analysis of this game Shirov shows himself to be remarkably unphased by this circumstance. As he looks back the critical distance he displays to his own play is too important. He is severely critical of his handling of the opening (a Najdorf with 6.Bg5 and the rare 6...Nbd7). And he also explains how Dominguez could have won the game with the correct continuation in the middlegame. You must not miss the numerous tactical and strategic themes which are highlighted in Shirov’s analysis.
Shirov - Carlsen (Video)
In his last great tournament success in Sofia 2009, Shirov had secured his first place with a victory over Magnus Carlsen in the final round. In Wijk these two had the same colours for their encounter. At the start of his video analysis of this game, Shirov goes over his considerations about the choice of opening and explains why he decided to make use of the same variation he had played in Sofia. And in fact Carlsen - to Shirov’s surprise – accepted his offer. It was only on move 22... Bc3 (see diagram) that the Norwegian struck out in a new direction – a profound move, for which Shirov is full of praise in his analysis. The idea behind it does not come to light properly for a few moves. In this highly complex position, Shirov did not manage to find over the board an adequate defence to Black’s attack and to keep the position level.
Shirov - Smeets
A good example of the luck that Shirov sometimes enjoyed in his voyage through the early rounds is his encounter with Jan Smeets. In his first ever game against the Dutch GM the variation chosen was a highly topical one from the Petroff Defence, which was also later up for discussion in Wijk in Shirov-Kramnik and Anand-Kramnik. In his video analysis Shirov spends a lot of time searching through his choice of opening for improvements for White, but come to the conclusion that his efforts to do so were apparently fruitless. And yet he was able to decide this game in his favour after his bishop strike on h6 - an incorrect sacrifice, to which Smeets was unable to find the correct reply in a highly tactical situation and with little thinking time left.
Short - Kramnik
At the beginning of March Nigel Short was in Hamburg, in order to record his ChessBase DVD "My Greatest Hits", and took the opportunity to venture a few personal reminiscences about Wijk for ChessBase Magazine. The English player was visibly dissatisfied with a result of 5 out of 13. But what was preying on him even weeks later was the fact that he had not been able to get a win in his game against Kramnik. In a video lasting over half an hour he analyses his Petroff (with 3.d4 Nxe4 4.dxe5) against the ex world champion in detail from the first to the last move. Short’s play was superb until move 43 when he had reached a clearly superior endgame with queen+knight against queen+bishop and an extra pawn. But from here on he played "like a total patzer" and gave away a win which was in no way technically demanding. Short’s capricious analysis of this game is one of the absolute highlights of this DVD.
by Mihail Marin
This year Wijk aan Zee once more had as well as lot of exciting encounters a lot of interesting games for opening theory. GM Mihail Marin systematically summarises the new developments in his openings report on the DVD. White opened the majority of games with e4, and key subjects in addition to the Ruy Lopez are the surprisingly vulnerable Petroff Defence, Tiviakov’s Scandinavian with 3...Qd6 and the Sicilian Najdorf. Here the classical variation with 6.Bg5 appears to be making a comeback. The closed openings were most often represented by the Queen’s Indian (Fianchetto Variation) and the Nimzo-Indian.
Compared to Wijk there were more draws and less excitement in Linares on account of the different style of tournament (6 participants and a double round event). Yet there was a series of spectacular games, above all thanks to the efforts of the tournament victor Veselin Topalov. Setting the tone for the success of the WCh challenger was his haul with the white pieces: Topalov won four out of five of his games with White and the only reason for the draw at the end of his game against Aronian was a tactical slip on the part of the Bulgarian. You will find all the games from Linares and a tournament report here. The most interesting games are annotated on the DVD by Mihail Marin, Igor Stohl, Lubomir Ftacnik, Michael Krasenkow and Leonid Kritz.
Aronian,L - Topalov,V
Unusual for a tournament of this category and class was the number of games in Linares with the Benoni. This fighting opening appeared five times, thanks above all to Gashimov, but Topalov tried it too. In Aronian,L - Topalov,V the Armenian chose the setup with g3 and Bg2, and then the opening continued with a struggle to get in the thrust b7-b5. With the help of the strong innovation 17.Rb1 Aronian prepared his own advance down the b-file. And when Topalov went for the freeing move with 22...b7-b5 it was basically only a pawn sacrifice without any compensation. Openings expert Mihail Marin annotates this game on the DVD and shows, e.g., how the Bulgarian should have continued instead of with that move. In the position on the board on the left, Black appears to already have his back to the wall, but Topalov still managed here to greatly simplify the position with the help of some tactical tricks. Doing so decisively brought to an end White’s advantage.
Topalov,V - Grischuk,A
The games between Grischuk and Topalov were also struggles that you really must see. In Topalov,V - Grischuk,A the positional sacrifice 21.Nf5 was too tempting for the Bulgarian (see diagram). But although the sacrifice is objectively unsound, the white position gained so much dynamic potential after 21...exf5 that after a few inaccuracies Grischuk first had to return the piece and finally acquiesce in a disadvantageous endgame, which he was not able to hold level. Revenge came in the last round but one. In a Queen’s Indian Grischuk quickly took up his position with 7.Nc3 and 8.Rc1. On account of the problems for Topalov which grew down the c-file, he gave up two pieces for the rook. Nevertheless, he managed to put pressure on the white position with his doubled rooks on the second rank. But, by exchanging the white queen for the black rooks Grischuk won the resulting endgame of rook, knight and bishop against queen with efficient technique. Lubomir Ftacnik has analysed the game Grischuk,A - Topalov,V for you on the DVD.
Position after 35...Bf4-d6+;
how does White win material?
From the opening trap to the endgame study
Training in ChessBase Magazine begins with the very first moves and covers all the phases of a game of chess. You can find an overview on the 13 up-to-date openings articles with their many ideas and suggestions for your repertoire below. The subtle opening trap (including its Fritztrainer video) of Rainer Knaak starts on move 5. You will also find in video format contributions on the opening by Adrian Mikhalchishin (Queen’s Gambit with 5.Bf4) and Valeri Lilov (Dutch Stonewall). These videos and other recordings in Chess Media Format can be accessed under the heading Fritztrainer. In Daniel King’s ever-popular Move by Move there is a game in the Dragon. And in the columns Tactics and Endgame Oliver Reeh and Karsten Müller have once more brought together for you the best from recent tournament praxis.
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Dit artikel is op zondag, 04 april 2010 toegevoegd.
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