Sunday, October 22, 2006

Essent: Mamedyarov - Topalov

Today the first round in the Crown Group of the 2006 Essent was played. Key game was the first performance of Topalov after he lost his world title to Kramnik two weeks ago.

Mamedyarov played an excellent game, keeping Topalov under pressure troughout the game. Especially after the less accurate 22... f5?! Topalov had to defend with precision. Mamedyarov seemed to squeeze out a win until he played 28 Bg5?!. It looked spectacular but the key variations all led to a draw. Instead 28.Qh5! would have held the initiative.

However, Topalov cracked under the pressure after having found most of the forcing drawing line. Move 35... Nf4? was a clear blunder and Mamedyarov finished the game with computer like precision.

Judit Polgar returned from maternity leave and beat Sokolov in a long manouvering game. Actually Sokalov lost after producing two weaker moves and a blunder in an equal position (42... Ng7?! instead of Rd8!=, 43... Qe7?! instead of Qc7!= and 45... h5?).

(10) Mamedyarov - Topalov [D47]
Essent Chess Tournament Hoogeveen (1), 22.10.2006

Analysis with Rybka 2.1o 32-bit

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Nf3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 Bb7 9.e4 b4 10.Na4 c5 11.e5 Nd5 12.Nxc5 Nxc5 13.dxc5 Bxc5 14.0-0 h6 15.Nd2 0-0 [15...Nc3!? Diagram

is still theory but Rybka strongly prefers it 16.Qc2 (16.bxc3 Qxd3 17.cxb4 Bd4! 18.Rb1 Bxe5= ) 16...Qd5 Topalov would like this position for black 17.Nf3 Rd8 18.Ne1 Bd4 19.Be3 (19.Bd2 is in the books 19...Nb5 20.Bxb4 Bxe5 ) 19...Bxe5 20.Rc1= ]

16.Ne4 Bd4 17.Nd6 Bc6 18.Bh7+ Kxh7 19.Qxd4 f6 20.Bd2 Qd7 this is the novelty according to my book, normal is [20...fxe5 ]

21.Rac1 a5 22.Qd3+ [Rybka prefers: 22.Rfe1 Ne7 23.Qd3+ Kg8 24.Bf4 fxe5 25.Bxe5 Nf5 26.Red1 Nxd6 27.Qg3 Bd5 28.Bxd6 Rfc8 29.Bc7 Ra6 30.h4 Rc6 31.Rxc6 Qxc6 32.Be5+/= ]

22...f5?! Not liked by Rybka, f5 is the destination for the black knight in some variations (eg Ne7 - f5) [22...Kg8+/= ]

23.Rc5! Ne7 [23...Bb7 24.Rfc1 Ba6 25.Qd4 Be2 26.h3+/= ]

24.Rfc1+/- Ra7 25.Be3 Rfa8 [25...Rc7 26.Qc4 Ra8 (26...Rb8 27.Rxa5 Nd5 28.Rc5 Nxe3 29.fxe3 Rb6 30.Qd4+/- ) 27.h4+/- ]

26.Qe2 [26.h4 a4 27.Qc4 b3 (27...Ra5 28.Rxc6 Nxc6 29.Qxc6 Qxc6 30.Rxc6 a3 31.b3 Rxe5+/- ) 28.a3 Bd5 29.Qb4 Nc6 30.Qf4 Ra5 31.R5c3 Rg8 32.Qg3 ]

26...Ra6 [26...Bd5 27.R5c2 Ra6 28.Rc7 Qd8 29.Qb5 (29.Qh5 Rc6 30.R1xc6 Bxc6 31.Bb6 Rc8 32.Rxe7 Qxe7 33.Nxc8 Qb7 34.Bxa5 Qxc8 35.Bxb4 Qb7 36.a3 Bxg2 37.Qe2 g5= ) ; 26...a4 27.R5c4 (27.Qh5 Ra6 ) 27...Bd5 28.Bxa7 Bxc4 29.Rxc4 Qxa7 30.Rxb4 Rb8 31.Rxb8 Qxb8 32.h3+/= ]

27.h4! Qd8 [27...a4 28.Qc4 Rb6 29.h5 Raa6 30.Bd2 Nd5 31.g4!? Ba8 32.gxf5 (32.Kh2 Rxd6 33.exd6 Rxd6 34.g5 hxg5 35.Bxg5 Bb7 ) 32...exf5 33.Rc8 Rc6 34.Qd3 Rxd6 (34...Rxc8 35.Rxc8 Rxd6 36.Rxa8 Rb6 ) 35.exd6 Rxd6 36.Rd8!! Qxd8 37.Qxf5+ Kh8 (37...Kg8 38.Rc8 Nf6 39.Rxd8+ Rxd8 40.Qa5 Rxd2 41.Qxa8+ Kf7?! 42.Qa7+ Rd7 43.Qxa4 ) 38.Rc8 Nf6 39.Rxd8+ Rxd8 40.Qa5 Rxd2 41.Qxa8+ Kh7 42.Qxa4 Rxb2 43.Qa5 ]

28.Bg5?! Diagram

[28.Qh5! Holds the initiative 28...Be8 29.Qf3 Nd5 30.g3 Rxd6 31.exd6 Qxd6 ]

28...hxg5 29.Qh5+ Kg8 30.Qf7+ Kh7= 31.Qh5+= Kg8 32.Qf7+ Kh7 33.hxg5 Ng6?! white has nothing after eg [33...Be8! 34.Qxe6 Qd7= 35.Qc4 Rxd6 36.exd6 Qxd6 37.Re1= ]

34.Rxc6 Qxg5 35.Rc8 Diagram

35...Nf4? a blunder after having been pressured since 22... f5?! [35...Rxc8 36.Rxc8= Nxe5 37.Qxe6 Qg6 38.Qg8+ Kh6 39.Qh8+ Kg5 40.f4+ Kxf4 41.Qh2+ Qg3 42.Qxg3+ Kxg3 43.Nxf5+= ; 35...Rxd6 also leads to a draw 36.exd6 Rxc8 37.Rxc8 Qd2 ]

36.g3 Rxc8 [36...Ne2+? 37.Kg2 Nxc1 38.Qg8+ Kg6 39.Qxe6+ Kh5 (39...Kh7 40.Rc4+- ) 40.Rc4+- ]

37.Rxc8 Qg4 38.Qg8+ Kg6 39.Qe8+ Kh7 40.Qh8+ Kg6 41.Rc7 Qd1+ [41...Ne2+ 42.Kg2 Nf4+ 43.Kh2 Qh5+ is same as main line]

42.Kh2 Qh5+ 43.Qxh5+ Nxh5 44.Re7+- Rc6 45.Rxe6+ Kh7 46.Nf7 Rxe6 47.Ng5+

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Kramnik - Deep Fritz

Kramnik will have little time to rest on his laurels after winning the world title. On November 25 he will play his first game in a six game match against Deep Fritz, one of the strongest chess computers in the world. The last 'Man-Machine' encouter dates from 2003 when Kasparov tied a six game match with Deep Junior, another very strong chess program. In 2002 Kramnik played a 6 game match against Deep Fritz which also ended in a tie (3-3). In that match, however, he had taken a 2-0 lead and only lost two later games because he abandoned his positional style and tried to beat the computer with its own weapons; tactics. This time Kramnik will have learned his lesson and steer all his games into positional waters. So to make a prediction about the outcome of the match we have to consider both Fritz' improvement in playing strength as well as its positional understanding over the past four years. As far as playing strength is concerned, the new Deep Fritz program will probably perform at an ELO rating of around 2900. This is stronger than any human player ever. To get an idea of the improvement in positional understanding, however, I have used Fritz 9 to analyze Kramnik's first win with white in Bahrain in 2002. Fritz 9 can be regarded as Deep Fritz' little brother, with an Elo rating of 2811 according to the official Swedish rating list.

(1) Kramnik,Vladimir (2807) - Comp Deep Fritz [D27]
Bahrain Brains m Manama (2), 06.10.2002

Analysis with Rybka 2.1o 32-bit

1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Bxc4 c5 6.0-0 a6 7.dxc5 Qxd1 8.Rxd1 Bxc5 9.Kf1!? An interesting move, taking the computer out of its book and steering the game into positional waters

9...b5 10.Be2 Bb7 11.Nbd2 Nbd7 12.Nb3 Bf8?! [Fritz 9 prefers the more natural 12...Be7]

13.a4 b4 14.Nfd2 Bd5 [Fritz 9 still doesn't like his bishop on f8 and prefers playing 14...Bd6, also keeping the options for Bb7 open. ]

15.f3 Bd6 16.g3 e5 17.e4 Be6 18.Nc4 Bc7 [Fritz 9 prefers keeping an eye on c5 with 18...Be7 ]

19.Be3 a5 20.Nc5 Nxc5 21.Bxc5 Nd7 22.Nd6+ Kf8 23.Bf2 Bxd6 24.Rxd6 Ke7 25.Rad1 Rhc8 26.Bb5 Nc5 27.Bc6 Bc4+ 28.Ke1 Nd3+ 29.R1xd3 Bxd3 30.Bc5 Bc4 31.Rd4+ Kf6 32.Rxc4 Rxc6 33.Be7+ Kxe7 34.Rxc6 Kd7 Start of the key part of the game 35.Rc5 f6 36.Kd2 Kd6 37.Rd5+


Kc6? The strategic mistake, far behind Fritz' evaluation horizon. Black needs to develop counterplay on the kingside in order to keep drawing chances. [Fritz 9 clearly prefers 37...Ke6! with much better chances of holding the resulting endgame!
For instance: 38.Kd3 h5 39.Kc4 g5 40.h4 (40.h3 f5 ) 40...g4 41.fxg4 hxg4 42.h5 f5 43.exf5+ Kxf5 44.h6 Ra7 45.Rd6 Re7 46.Ra6 e4 47.Rxa5+ Kg6 48.Rd5 Kxh6 49.Kxb4 e3 50.Rd1 Re4+ 51.Kb3 Kg5 52.a5 Re5 53.Re1 Kf5 54.a6 Re8 55.a7 Ra8 56.Rxe3 Rxa7 and black has good chances of holding the rook ending with a pawn less]

The game continued: 38.Kd3 g6 39.Kc4 g5 40.h3 h6 41.h4 gxh4 42.gxh4 Ra7 43.h5 Ra8 44.Rc5+ Kb6 45.Rb5+ Kc6 46.Rd5 Kc7 47.Kb5 b3 48.Rd3 Ra7 49.Rxb3 Rb7+ 50.Kc4 Ra7 51.Rb5 Ra8 52.Kd5 Ra6 53.Rc5+ Kd7 54.b3 Rd6+ 55.Kc4 Rd4+ 56.Kc3 Rd1 57.Rd5+ 1-0

So it seems Fritz has significantly increased its positional understanding over the past four years, while having improved its playing strength by some 150-200 Elo points. A tough match for Kramnik indeed in which there is no room for error.

Chessbase will release Fritz 10, the new engine that will play against Kramink on November 15!

  • Kramnik Site

  • Official Match Site

  • Swedish Rating List

  • Chessbase Fritz 10 Announcement
  • Sunday, October 15, 2006

    Magical Morozevich

    Alexander Morozevich lead his team Tomsk-400 to a win in the European Club Cup 2006. Tomsk-400, seeded third with an average elo of 2654, defeated strong teams including the creme de la creme of European chess players such as Svidler, Grischuk, Radjabov, Gelfand and Rublevsky. Morozevich scored 4 out of 5, only losing to Radjabov who has a similar uncompromising style as "Moro". Morozevich is a highly talented and original player who rather depends on his own intuition than on books or teachers. He often dazzles his opponents with unorthodox moves that make them loose track. A nice example is his game against Kiril Georgiev, a strong grandmaster from Bulgaria. Morozevich gets little to nothing out of the opening but then at move 23 he defends his knight with a highly original move and starts his magic:

    (298) Morozevich,Alexander (2747) - Georgiev,Kiril (2680) [C45]
    22nd European Club Cup 2006 (3), 10.10.2006

    Analysis with Rybka 2.1o 32-bit

    1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Bc5 5.Be3 Qf6 6.c3 Nge7 7.Nc2 Bxe3 8.Nxe3 Qe5 9.Nd2 d5 10.Bd3 dxe4 11.Bxe4 Be6 12.Qc2 0-0-0 13.Nf3 Qb5 14.b4 Rhe8 15.a4 Qh5 16.0-0 f5 17.Bxc6 Nxc6 18.b5 Na5 19.Nd4 f4 20.Nef5 Bxf5 21.Nxf5 Qg6 22.Rae1 Kb8 Diagram

    23.Re4! and the Knight can not be captured because of mate or loss of the Queen ...f3 24.g3 b6?! [24...Nb3! was stronger, bringing the Knight into play] 25.Rf4 Re2 26.Qb1 Rdd2 27.Rxf3 Rb2 28.Qd1 Red2 29.Qa1 Ra2 30.Qe1 Re2 31.Qc1 Kb7 32.Qf4 and somewhere, somehow Georgiev has lost the initiative and has to face a counterattack instead ...Nb3 33.Rd3 Qe6 34.Rd8 Rad2 35.Rh8 Qe4 36.Nd6+ cxd6 37.Qf8 Qe8 38.Qxe8 1-0