25 January 2009

Wijk aan Zee: Round Eight

Sergei Movsesian from Slovakia is one of the new stars in international chess. He is currently tied for first with Ukrainian Sergei Karjakin, the youngest grandmaster in history, after his victory over Vassily Ivanchuk yesterday. Today, Karjakin has Black against Ivanchuk; Movsesian has White against Jan Smeets, who also lost yesterday.

Mig Greengard explains in "Movsesian the Real Deal in Wijk aan Zee" how his faint praise of Movsesian was taken as criticism. He won the B group last year, and then shot up to number 10 on the rating list. Greengard asks, "has anyone else entered the top 10 for the first time after turning 30? In the last decade?"

Smeets is playing the Russian Defense. It has the reputation for being drawish, which makes it a sensible choice against a player that is hot.

Movsesian - Smeets [C42]
Corus Chess (8), Wijk aan Zee 2009

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.c4 Nc6 6.d3 Nf6 7.d4 Bg4 8.Be2 d5 9.c5 Be7 10.0–0 0–0 11.Be3 Ne4 12.Nc3 Bf6 Novelty

White to move

13.h3 Bh5 14.Qa4 Re8

Karjakin is playing a Sicilian Najdorf, a good choice for a player wanting to win with Black.

Ivanchuk - Karjakin [B92]
Corus Chess (8), Wijk aan Zee 2009

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.0–0 0–0 9.Be3 Be6 10.Qd2 Nbd7 11.a4 Qc7 12.Rfd1 Rac8 13.a5 Nc5 14.Nxc5 dxc5 15.Qe1 Rfd8 16.Rxd8+ Rxd8 17.f3 c4 18.Na4 Nd7 19.Qc3 Novelty

Black to move

19...f6 20.b3 Rc8 21.b4 Qc6 22.Qa3 f5

6:34am PDT, 3:34pm CET

If the Playchess game clocks are any where close to accurate, Karjakin's 22...f5 came after a long think, and Ivanchuk has lots of time.

Movsesian is ahead on the clock, and answered Smeet's 14...Re8 quickly.

Movsesian - Smeets

15.Rfe1 Qd7 16.Ne5 Nxe5 17.Qxd7 Nxd7 18.Bxh5 c6 19.Bg4 Nf8 20.Ne2 g6

White to move

21.g3 Re7 22.h4 Rae8

Perhaps Ivanchuk will manage his time today.

Ivanchuk - Karjakin

23.b5 axb5 24.Qxe7 bxa4 25.Rd1 Nf8

They are blitzing these moves

26.Rd6 Re8 27.Rxc6 Rxe7 28.Bc5

Ivanchuk appears to have compensation for the pawn, but no significant advantage. He does remain ahead on the clock with a dozen moves to go to make the time control.

Black to move

28...Rd7 29.Rb6 fxe4

7:35am PST; 4:35 CET

Ivanchuk seems determined to put Movsesian in the lead for the rest day. Of course, Movsesian must do some work of his own.

Movsesian - Smeets

23.Rad1 Bg7 24.Kg2 h5 25.Bf3 Kh7 26.Nc1 Nf6 27.Nb3 Ng8 28.Kf1 Nh6 29.Bxh6 Kxh6 30.Rxe7 Rxe7

Where the theory runs deeper, as in the Spanish and several lines of the Sicilian, the players get closer to the first time control before they need to think. Movsesian - Smeets departed early, and we may be in for a blitz demonstration.

According to the Playchess clocks, Movsesian has eight minutes to fifteen for Smeets. Fritz 9 thinks that Smeets has a slight advantage.

White to move

31.Rd3 Ne6 32.Bg2 1/2-1/2

Ivanchuk - Karjakin

30.fxe4 c3

Ivanchuk may have the advantage here, but he's now slightly behind on the clocks. The players will need to fire off a move per minute to reach the control.

31.Kf2 Ba2 32.a6 bxa6 33.Rb8 Rf7+ 34.Ke3 g6 35.Bd6 Rf6 36.Rd8 a3 37.Bxa3 Kg7 38.Bd6 Rf7 39.Bxe5 Kh6 40.Bxa6 Ne6 41.Rc8 1-0

Ivanchuk made the time control, scored his second win, and thrust Movsesian into the lead. Levon Aronian is still playing with a bishop and two pawns against Loek van Wely's rook. If the bishop can escort a pawn past the danger, he can catch catch Movsesian today.

Aronian - van Wely

after 42.Ke1

Black to move

42...Rc7 43.Bd8 Rxc5 44.e7 Rc1+ 45.Kf2 Rc2+ 46.Kf3 Re2 47.Bxa5

I think the game will end as a draw. Black's king is better positioned. The rook and king will stop the queenside pawns, ending Aronian's threat to join Movsesian in the lead. Loek van Wely's rook is not enough to make any progress, however. The bishop can hold White's position.

47...Rxe7 48.Bxb4 Re4 49.Bc3 Rxa4 50.Kg4 1/2-1/2

More than three hours ago, when I started this post, I typed the name Sergei Movsesian. He is now in sole lead in Corus for the next forty-eight hours, at least. Nostradamus was never that specific! But, neither did he get help from Mig Greengard.

1 comment:

  1. Movsesian a for now not really known player who makes his way thru the chessworld. But people will now know him and prepare for him. So the question is if he can live with the pressure of being a hunted 2700+ player? With other words, can he hold himself into the top 10?