Chess24 Sopiko Scotch

Corus Wijk aan Zee 2010 (8)

Kramnik moves second after beating Nakamura

Kramnik defeated Nakamura in Round 8. Photo © Michiel Abeln.

Kramnik defeated Nakamura in Round 8. Photo © Michiel Abeln. |

Vladimir Kramnik moved into second place alongside Magnus Carlsen who held the leader Alexei Shirov with black in Round 8. Notes and photos by Michiel Abeln.

There were four white wins in the day in round 8 of the Corus tournament in Wijk aan Zee. Hikaru Nakamura lost second place after only a day when he lost to Vladimir Kramnik who replaces him in that position. Magnus Carlsen had a theoretical dual ending in a draw against the leader Alexei Shirov and he remains half a point behind also. There were wins for Leko, Karjakin and Caruana also. Notes and photos by Michiel Abeln with additional reporting by Mark Crowther.

Vladimir Kramnik demolished Hikaru Nakamura's Dutch Defence in Round 8. Photo © Michiel Abeln.

"Where did all my pawns go? I left them on the table a minute ago, and now they're gone." This could very well have been the thought of Hikaru Nakamura as his impressive pawn centre disintegrated after good play, and then a one move blunder, exploited by his opponent Vladimir Kramnik. Nakamura saw his whole centre collapse completely in just 7 moves. The Dutch Defence has long had a bit of a dubious reputation positionally. However good energy from black (helped by it's rarity at this level too) can often justify the structure. Nakamura built up an impressive pawn centre and optically looked to have Kramnik under pressure early on. However this was deceptive and Kramnik soon started to eat away at the edifice. However Nakamura's position might still have been playable until 23...Be6?? (rather he should have played 23...fxg3 or the post-mortem suggestions 23...Bf5 but he is still a lot worse) when the trivial tactic 24.Nxf4 destroyed the remains of his pawn structure leaving Kramnik two pawns up for no compensation whatsoever.

Kramnik,Vladimir - Nakamura,Hikaru [A88]
Corus A Wijk aan Zee NED (8), 24.01.2010
[Michiel Abeln]

1.d4 f5

as predicted by Kramnik yesterday when he started to prepare

2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.c4 Bg7 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Nf3 d6 7.0-0 c6

Around 3 am last night Kramnik got annoyed that he could not find anything against the Dutch, but then he found

[7...Qe8 is the main line, but c6 is very solid]


In his preparation Kramnik realized that


is not threatening anything, not clear what black's next is


[The main theoretical line is 9.Nxe4 fxe4 10.Nd2 d5 11.e3 is nothing special for white]

9...Nxc3 10.bxc3 e5

Hikaru Nakamura


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 10...e5

end of preparation


[11.a4 was also a reasonable alternative]

11...e4 12.Ng5

black would be ok if the b-file was still closed

12...h6 13.Nh3 g5 14.f3 d5

[14...exf3 15.exf3 better for white]

15.Nf2 Kh8 16.cxd5 cxd5 17.c4

Hikaru Nakamura


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 17.c4

[17.e3 a bit slow]


[17...Nc6 18.e3 exf3 19.Bxf3 dxc4 20.Qxc4+/-]


[18.Bxe3 f4]

18...Nc6 19.Bxe3

[19.Ne5 Nxe5 20.dxe5 f4 black might be able to survive because of the bad bishop on g2]


[19...Qe7 20.Bf2 Nxd4 21.Nf4 gxf4 (21...Nxc2 22.Ng6+) 22.Rxd4 fxg3 23.hxg3; 19...Qe8 20.Qc1 dxc4 (20...Nxd4 21.Nf4) 21.Ne5 Nxe5 22.dxe5 Qxe5 23.f4]

20.Bxd4 Bxd4+ 21.Kh1 f4 22.Rb5

[22.Nxf4 gxf4 23.Rxd4 Bf5 24.Qb2 Bxb1 25.Rxf4+ d4 26.Rxf8+ Qxf8 27.Qxb1 Re8 is not so much for white; 22.cxd5 Bf5]

22...Qf6 23.Rxd5 Be6?

Hikaru Nakamura


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 23...Be6

[23...Bf5 24.Qb3 Be6+/-; 23...fxg3 24.hxg3 Be6 25.Rd6 Rad8 26.c5 might be savable MC]

24.Nxf4! gxf4

[24...Bxd5 25.Ng6+ Kg8 26.Nxf8 Bc6 27.Ne6 (27.Nd7 Bxd7 28.Qd2) 27...Bb6 28.Bh3]


Game over, white is two pawns up

25...fxg3 26.hxg3 Rg8 27.Rf4 Qg5 28.Rh4 Rg6 29.Qc3+ Kh7 30.f4 Qxg3 31.Qxg3 Rxg3 32.Bxb7 Rb8 33.Be4+ Kg7 34.Kh2 Re3 35.Rg1+ Kf7 36.Bg6+ Ke7 37.Bd3 Rb2 38.Rg2 Rxa2 39.Rxh6 Bf7 40.Rh7 Kf6 41.c5 Ra4 42.c6 Rxf4 43.c7 Re8 44.Rxf7+ 1-0

Alexei Shirov and Magnus Carlsen drew a very sharp struggle in Round 8. Photo © Michiel Abeln.

Magnus Carlsen played the sharp Pelikan, Chelyabinsk variation against Alexei Shirov and a really complex position ensued with both players at risk of losing. However on move 29 both players started to find a way of repeating the position and the draw was agreed on move 33.

Shirov,Alexei - Carlsen,Magnus [B33]
Corus A Wijk aan Zee NED (8), 24.01.2010
[Michiel Abeln]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.Nd5 Bg7 11.Bd3 Ne7 12.Nxe7 Qxe7 13.c4 f5 14.0-0 0-0 15.Qh5 Rb8 16.exf5 e4 17.Rae1 Bb7 18.Qg4 Rfe8 19.cxb5 d5 20.bxa6 Bc6 21.b3 Kh8 22.Nc2 Bc3

A prepared improvement by Carlsen over their previous encounter

[22...Be5 23.Be2 d4 24.Bc4 Rg8 25.Qh3 Rg7 26.g3 Rbg8 27.Qh6 Qc7 28.Nb4 Ba8 29.Nd5 Qd8 30.Rxe4 1-0 Shirov,A-Carlsen,M/Sofia 2009/CBM 131/[Rogozenco]]

23.Qh3 Qf6

The white extra pawns are not so relevant at this point, they cannot move. The question is whether black can advance his center.

24.Be2 d4 25.Bc4 Rg8 26.g3

Magnus Carlsen


Alexei Shirov

Position after 26.g3

It looks quite dangerous for white, but in fact Shirov was always in control


[26...Rg5 27.Rd1 Rxf5 28.Nxd4]


from now on everything is pretty forced

27...e3 28.fxe3 dxe3 29.Be2 Re4 30.Qg2 Re7 31.Qh3 Re4 32.Qg2 Re7 33.Qh3 1/2-1/2

Viswanathan Anand made no progress against Vassily Ivanchuk's Sicilian in Round 8. Photo © Michiel Abeln.

Of course almost every round is a tough round at Wijk aan Zee. Viswanathan Anand had white against Vassily Ivanchuk who lost very easily in the previous round against Magnus Carlsen. World Champion Anand has drawn every one of his games so far and hasn't really looked like winning. Today he could have temporarily sacrificed a piece in the final position with a probable edge but instead chose to repeat the position. This syndrome of players being a bit off on the run up to a world title match has long been known. Anand's mind is clearly on the battle against Topalov ahead, his play hasn't been particularly bad, but it hasn't been all that great either.

Anand,Viswanathan - Ivanchuk,Vassily [B36]
Corus A Wijk aan Zee NED (8), 24.01.2010
[Mark Crowther]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 d6 7.Be2 Nxd4 8.Qxd4 Bg7 9.Be3 0-0 10.Qd2 a5 11.0-0 a4 12.Bd4 Bd7

[12...Qa5 13.Qe3 Be6 14.Nd5 Bxd5 15.exd5 b5 16.b4 Qc7 17.Rac1 bxc4 18.Bxc4 Qb7 19.a3 Rfc8 20.Ba2 Rxc1 21.Rxc1 Rc8 22.Rxc8+ Qxc8 23.Qc3 Qf5 24.f3 h5 25.b5 Bh6 26.b6 Nxd5 27.Qc4 Nxb6 28.Bxb6 e6 29.Qxa4 Qe5 30.Qd1 Be3+ 31.Bxe3 Qxe3+ 32.Kh1 Qxa3 33.Bb1 Qa1 34.h3 d5 35.Qc2 Kg7 36.Kh2 Qe5+ 37.Kg1 Qd4+ 38.Kf1 Qb4 39.Ke2 Qb5+ 40.Qd3 Qb2+ 41.Bc2 Qe5+ 42.Qe3 Qb2 43.Qd2 Qe5+ 44.Kf2 Qb2 45.g4 h4 46.f4 Qb6+ 47.Qe3 Qb2 48.Qe5+ Qxe5 49.fxe5 Kh6 50.Kf3 Kg5 51.Bd3 f5 52.gxf5 gxf5 53.Bc2 Kh5 54.Kf4 Kg6 55.Ba4 d4 56.Bc2 Kh6 57.Bd3 Kg6 58.Bc2 Kh6 59.Bb3 d3 60.Bxe6 d2 61.Bb3 Kg6 62.Bd1 Kf7 63.Kxf5 Ke7 64.e6 Ke8 65.Kf6 Kf8 1-0 Balogh,C (2616)-Leon Hoyos,M (2535)/Beijing CHN 2008/The Week in Chess 728]

13.Rfe1 Bc6 14.Qe3 Nd7 15.Bxg7 Kxg7 16.Nd5 e6 17.Nc3 Qb6 18.Qd2 Rfd8 19.Rad1 Nf6 20.Bf1 h5 21.Re3 Rd7 22.h3 Rad8 23.Qc2 Kh7

Vassily Ivanchuk


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 23...Kh7


[24.Nd5 is available both here and in the final position. 24...Bxd5 (24...exd5 25.exd5 Qc5 26.Qd2 Kg8 27.b4 axb3 28.axb3 Bxd5 29.cxd5) 25.exd5 e5 26.Rb1]

24...Kg7 25.Re3 Kh7 1/2-1/2

Sergey Karjakin and Nigel Short at the start of Round 8. Photo © Michiel Abeln.

Nigel Short played his Keres (...Nd7) defence to the Ruy Lopez and obtained a fully satisfactory position. His opponent Sergey Karjakin let Short have two rooks for a queen and turned down the chance for perpetual check this left him with a position that turned out to suit the Queen and at least left Short with the harder work to do and in fact his passive position collapsed quite quickly.

Karjakin,Sergey - Short,Nigel [C96]
Corus A Wijk aan Zee NED (8), 24.01.2010
[Mark Crowther]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 Nd7 12.Nbd2 exd4 13.cxd4 Re8 14.d5 Bf6 15.Rb1 Ra7

[15...Nb6 16.Nf1 Nac4 17.Ng3 Ne5 18.Nh2 g6 19.Rf1 Bh4 20.Ne2 c4 21.Nd4 Nbd7 22.b4 Bb7 23.f4 Nd3 24.Bxd3 cxd3 25.Qxd3 Qe7 26.Ndf3 Bf6 27.Re1 Rac8 28.Ng4 Bg7 29.Bb2 Bxb2 30.Rxb2 h5 31.Nf2 Qf6 32.Qd2 Qc3 33.Re2 Nb6 34.Rc2 Qxd2 35.Rexd2 Kg7 36.Nd4 Rxc2 37.Rxc2 Rc8 38.Rxc8 Bxc8 39.g4 hxg4 40.hxg4 f5 41.gxf5 gxf5 42.a3 fxe4 43.Nxe4 Nxd5 44.f5 Nb6 45.Nxd6 Kf6 46.Kf2 Ke5 47.Nxc8 Nxc8 48.Ke3 Nd6 49.Nc6+ Kd5 50.Nb8 Nxf5+ 51.Kd3 Nd6 52.Nxa6 Nc4 53.Nc7+ Kc6 1/2-1/2 Short,N (2660)-Mecking,H (2565)/Bazna ROM 2008/The Week in Chess 707]

16.b3 h6 17.Nf1 Ne5 18.Bf4 Rc7 19.Ng3 Nxf3+ 20.Qxf3 Nb7 21.Nh5 Be5 22.Re3 Qh4 23.Bg3 Bxg3 24.Nxg3 Qg5 25.Rf1 Rce7 26.Qe2 f5 27.f4 Qf6 28.Nh5 Qb2 29.e5 dxe5 30.Rb1 Qd4 31.Rd1 exf4 32.Rxd4 Rxe3 33.Qd2

[33.Nf6+ gxf6 34.Qh5 with perpetual.]

33...Re1+ 34.Kh2 f3 35.Bd1 cxd4

[35...R1e2 equalises but it would be a very brave man to take on this variation.]

36.Bxf3 Nd6 37.Qxd4 R1e7

Black has by far the more difficult task in defending this position. The queen is very much better than the two rooks which are tied down.

38.Qb6 Ne4 39.Nf4 Rb7 40.Qc6 Nf6?

A final blunder in a terribly difficult position.


41.Nh5! Rf8 42.Nxf6+ gxf6 43.Qxa6 Kg7 44.d6 Rd7 45.Qxb5 Rxd6 46.a4 Kg6 47.a5 Rfd8 48.b4 Ba6 49.Bh5+ Kg5

[49...Kxh5 50.Qxf5+ Kh4 51.g3#]

50.h4+ Kf4 51.Qc5 Bd3 52.b5 Rd5 53.Qc7+ Ke3 54.b6 Be4 55.b7 Rg8 56.b8Q Rxg2+ 57.Kh3 Rd3 58.Qc4 Rg1 59.Qxd3+ Kxd3 60.Qb3+ Kd2 61.Qb2+ 1-0

Peter Leko against Jan Smeets in Round 8. Photo © Michiel Abeln.

Jan Smeets allowed a very nice combination winning a pawn with 16...0-0-0? Leko took his time but converted fairly confidently eventually trapping black's king rather than converting the pawn.

Leko,Peter - Smeets,Jan [C42]
Corus A Wijk aan Zee NED (8), 24.01.2010
[Michiel Abeln]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Nc3 Nxc3 6.dxc3 Be7 7.Be3 Nc6 8.Qd2 Be6 9.0-0-0 Qd7 10.Kb1 Bf6 11.h4 h6 12.a3 a6 13.Nd4 Nxd4 14.Bxd4 Qe7 15.Qf4 Be5 16.Qe4 0-0-0?

Jan Smeets


Peter Leko

Position after 16...0-0-0

Allowing a pretty nice combination.


17.Bxe5! f6

[17...dxe5 18.Bxa6; 17...f5 18.Qe3 dxe5 19.Bxa6 Kb8 20.Be2]

18.Qe3 fxe5 19.Qa7 Qf7 20.Qa8+ Kd7 21.Qxb7 Rb8 22.Qxa6 Qxf2

[22...Rb6 23.Qa4+ Ke7 24.Qa7 Kd7 25.a4 Rhb8 26.Bb5+ Kd8]

23.Bc4 Bf5 24.Bd3 Be6 25.Bc4 Bf5 26.Bb3 Qb6 27.Qxb6 Rxb6 28.Rhf1 g6 29.Bd5 c6 30.Bf3 Ra8 31.Kc1 Ke7 32.h5 d5 33.hxg6 Bxg6 34.Rh1 Rh8 35.b4 e4 36.Be2 Ke6 37.Rh3 Rb7 38.Rdh1 Rbh7 39.a4 Bf5 40.Rh4 Ke5 41.Rh5 Kf4 42.Rf1+ Ke3 43.Rhxf5 Kxe2 44.R5f2+ Ke3 45.Kd1 1-0

Leinier Dominguez Perez who played Loek van Wely in Round 8. Photo © Michiel Abeln.

Leinier Dominguez Perez and Loek van Wely drew a Sicilian Najdorf where Dominguez seemed to be getting the better of it at one stage but the game petered out to a draw in 45 moves.

Fabiano Caruana played Sergei Tiviakov in Round 8. Photo © Michiel Abeln.

Fabiano Caruana ground down Sergei Tiviakov's Centre Counter in the final game to finish in the A-Group.

Corus A Wijk aan Zee (NED), 16-31 i 2010 cat. XIX (2719)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4
1. Shirov, Alexei g ESP 2723 * ½ . 0 1 . . . . 1 ½ 1 1 1 6 2891
2. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2810 ½ * . ½ . . . 1 ½ . ½ ½ 1 1 2844
3. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2788 . . * 1 ½ ½ . . . ½ ½ ½ 1 1 2827
4. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2708 1 ½ 0 * . . . ½ ½ . 1 . 1 ½ 5 2826
5. Leko, Peter g HUN 2739 0 . ½ . * ½ ½ . ½ 1 . ½ . 1 2758
6. Dominguez Perez, Leinier g CUB 2712 . . ½ . ½ * ½ . ½ ½ . 1 ½ ½ 2752
7. Karjakin, Sergey g UKR 2720 . . . . ½ ½ * . ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 2739
8. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2749 . 0 . ½ . . . * ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 2747
9. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2790 . ½ . ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ . . . 4 2726
10. Caruana, Fabiano g ITA 2675 0 . ½ . 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ * . 1 . . 2692
11. Short, Nigel D g ENG 2696 ½ ½ ½ 0 . . 0 ½ ½ . * . 0 . 2600
12. Tiviakov, Sergei g NED 2662 0 ½ ½ . ½ 0 ½ ½ . 0 . * . . 2598
13. Van Wely, Loek g NED 2641 0 0 0 0 . ½ ½ 0 . . 1 . * . 2 2545
14. Smeets, Jan g NED 2657 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 . . . . . * 2492
Round 8 (January 24, 2010)
Shirov, Alexei - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 33 B33 Sicilian Sveshnikov
Kramnik, Vladimir - Nakamura, Hikaru 1-0 44 A88 Dutch Leningrad
Leko, Peter - Smeets, Jan 1-0 45 C42 Petroff's Defence
Dominguez Perez, Leinier - Van Wely, Loek ½-½ 45 B90 Sicilian Najdorf Variation
Karjakin, Sergey - Short, Nigel D 1-0 61 C96 Ruy Lopez
Anand, Viswanathan - Ivanchuk, Vassily ½-½ 25 B36 Sicilian Maroczy Bind
Caruana, Fabiano - Tiviakov, Sergei 1-0 69 B01 Centre Counter

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