Corus 2008, Round 1 – Carlsen, Radjabov and Aronian chalk up wins

Radjabov deposes World Champion Anand. Carlsen outwits Mamedyarov. Topalov loses his way and is ground down by Aronian. Gelfand’s position contains sufficient resources to defuse Adams’ initiative. Polgar plays a solid game to neutralise Ivanchuk’s initiative. Van Wely holds Kramnik. Leko is very solid against Eljanov.

Radjabov – Anand

Radjabov plunges fearlessly into Anand’s speciality – the Anti-Moscow Gambit of the Semi Slav, following Kramnik – Anand from last year’s World Championship. Radjabov adopts Inarkiev’s novelty against Aronian from the World Cup last month, but Anand delves into new territory with 14… Bf8. Anand’s extra pawn becomes a protected passed pawn, but Radjabov is just getting started: he’s prepared a powerful pawn thrust through the centre, that thanks to a number of tactical threats creates a strong protected passed d-pawn. Anand’s queen finds itself in an uncomfortable position, so he forces the queen exchange. Anand’s play to encircle the White e-pawn is stymied and Radjabov takes a strong hold of the position and forcing his way into Anand’s position via the a-file. This nets Radjabov the exchange and the game heads into a tricky two rooks versus rook and bishop with pawns endgame. Anand fights hard to counter his material deficit and Radjabov keeps plying up the pressure and finds the right plan to convert his extra material

Mamedyarov – Carlsen

Mamedyarov opts for a closed Sicilian. Carlsen reacts with an accelerated Dragon setup and hits the White centre from the queenside flank and plays against the dark-squares. White runs into a little trouble defending the weak b2-square, and so Black gains the initiative on the queenside. Mamedyarov has a slight advantage, but must deal with Carlsen’s counterplay. Carlsen’s knights find great squares in the centre. As the pieces come off Carlsen’s position grows stronger and stronger thanks to his better placed pieces. Carlsen finishes off by trapping the white bishop, and White cannot prevent material loss.

Aronian – Topalov

Topalov surprised Aronian with a Grunfeld Defence, after Aronian fianchettos instead of heading right into a full blooded King’s Indian battle. Aronian’s position is a little awkward, and Topalov takes advantage by boldly sacrificing a pawn for the initiative. Aronian throws caution to the wind and offers an exchange to demolish Black’s queenside pawn structure. But Topalov finds a neat twist and takes a more advantageous exchange. Topalov throws the dice and sacrifices his queenside pawns for activity, but Aronian, with a sniff of an opportunity grounds Topalov’s activity to a halt. Aronian’s extra pawns outweigh the lost exchange, and in a long endgame fight converts the rook and pawns endgame.

Adams – Gelfand

Adams gets a tiny advantage out of a Russian variation of the Petroff. But he gets a little overambitious on the kingside and misses a key Gelfand resource. With nothing much to play for the players agree a draw.

Ivanchuk – Polgar

Ivanchuk grabs the advantage out of a Queen’s Indian but Polgar’s stubborn defence forces Ivanchuk to retreat and regroup. With the play quickly running out both players agree to a draw.

Kramnik – van Wely

Kramnik side-steps a main-line Semi-Slav against his regular second and heads into an Exchange Slav type position. Van Wely weakens his kingside and Kramnik’s solid play nets him the advantage in the opening. Van Wely solidly defends against Kramnik’s kingside initiative and subdues Kramnik’s advantage. Draw agreed.

Eljanov – Leko

Leko’s Queen’s Indian is solid. The position transposes into a Queen’s Gambit like structure. The two bishops give Leko the upper hand, which is enough to convince Eljanov to take a draw.

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This entry was posted in Adams, Anand, Aronian, Carlsen, Chess, Corus, Gelfand, Ivanchuk, Kramnik, Leko, Mamedyarov, Polgar, Radjabov, Topalov, van Wely. Bookmark the permalink.

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