Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wijk 09: Kramnik beats Carlsen, leads with Shirov

In his distinguished career, Vladimir Kramnik has never yet won Wijk aan Zee, but today he took a giant step towards doing so, by beating Carlsen with Black. A fascinating battle ended with a colossal time-trouble blunder by the world number one.
Carlsen,M (2810) - Kramnik,V (2788) [E04]
Corus A Wijk aan Zee NED (9), 26.01.2010
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3. An interesting choice, confronting Kramnik with one of his own favourite weapons. 4...dxc4 5.Bg2 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 a5 7.Nc3 0–0 8.a3 Be7 9.Qa4 c6 10.Qxc4 b5 11.Qb3 Ba6 12.Bg5 Nbd7 13.Bxf6 gxf6 14.Qc2 b4 15.Na4 Rc8 16.0–0 c5

17.d5. A very interesting pawn sacrifice. 17...exd5 18.Bh3 Bb5 19.axb4 axb4 20.Rfd1 d4 21.Bf5 Ne5 22.Bxh7+ Kg7 23.Nxe5 fxe5 24.Bf5 Rc6 25.Qe4 Rh8 26.Qxe5+ Bf6 27.Qe4 Re8 28.Qg4+ Kf8 29.Be4
Fritz 12 strongly prefers 29...Qd6. 30.Bxc6 Bxc6. At this point, Carlsen had just two minutes, plus increment time, to reach move 40 – little enough in any position. In this one, I am sure, he would have preferred a couple of hours. 31.Qh5 Re5 32.Qh6+ Ke7 33.e4 d3 34.Qe3 Bxe4
And now, with his flag tottering (yes, I know digital clocks don't have flags – it's called poetic licence...), the World Blitz Champion, clearly in turmoil, produced the horror blunder. 35.Nb6?? and a piece was lost after 35...Bb7. The game ended 36.Qf4 Qxb6 37.Qxc4 Re2 38.Rf1 0-1.
Kramnik's win, his third in four rounds, took him to +4 and a share of the lead. Earlier in the afternoon, Shirov had achieved the same score, after notching the easiest of draws against Ivanchuk, with a remarkable piece of computer-based preparation.

source: Chessbase

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