No surprises. Ivan Cheparinov and Magnus Carlsen won Sigeman & Co. and Gausdal Classics respectively: they both finished undefeated with 7 points out of 9. Three players shared second place at 5.5 in each tournament: Dutch Jan Timman and Swedish Tiger Hillarp Persson and Emanuel Berg in Malmo (http://www.sigeman-chess.com/), Lituanian Eduardas Rozentalis, Hungarian Lajos Portisch and Polish Michal Krasenkow in the Norwegian event (http://www.bergensjakk.no/gausdal/classics2007/). So two young players, 20 and 16 years old, succeed in outclassing the old generation, well represented by Timman (former World championship runner up, born in 1951) and Portisch (one of the best players in the ’70 and ’80, born in 1937).
A nice surprise, instead, comes from Cutro Festival, Italy. Indian WGM Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi leads the main open group with a perfect score after round 4: up to now she has beaten Russian GM Igor Naumkin, Ukrainian GM Sergei Krivoshey and Elo favourite GM Evgenij Agrest from Sweden. Vijayalakshmi, 28 y.o., is ranked only eleventh in the tournament, but she seems really resolute to obtain the first place and a GM norm. Tomorrow she will face (with White pieces) GM Milan Drasko from Montenegro: another tough battle or a short draw? Live top games on the officiale site: http://scacchicutro.no-ip.info.
Vladimir Kramnik has finally took the lead in his rapid match against Peter Leko, which is taking place in Miskolc (Hungary). After two draws, the World champion won the third game, then another draw came: the result is now 2.5-1.5 in Vlad’s favour with 4 more games to be played. Official site: http://www.lekokramnyik.hu/eng/.
Only three days ago I made a list of the many matches already planned for the next month. Now I have to add another one: a two games blitz duel will be played in Porto Vecchio (south of Corsica), on May 18, between Azeri GM Teimour Radjabov and Norwegian GM Magnus Carlsen. The so called “Match of the hopes” comes after last year “Match of the Legends”, which opposed former world champions Anatoly Karpov and Boris Spassky. The rate of play is 10 mins + 3 secs increment per move (if the scores are level, more tie-break blitz games shall be played). Details on www.corse-echecs.com/porto-vecchio/porto_vecchio2007.html. Live games: http://www.echecs.asso.fr/.
I’m still waiting for the book on which my “Immortal” game is published, extensively commented by a (quite) famous chess Author and English GM. I bought it on Amazon.com two weeks ago, but Italian delivery of mail is well known for its delays, so I’m afraid I will have to wait for it some more days :-(
I’m also waiting for your suggestions about questions I should ask to Kasparov next June. You can post them in News comments or send an email to email@example.com. There’s a lot of time, anyway, so you can think hard on this matter without any hurry.
And now here is the win by Kramnik against Leko in the third game of their rapid match.
Kramnik,V (2772)-Leko,P (2738) [E15], Miskolc 26.04.2007
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Ba6 5. b3 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Be7 7. Bg2 c6 8. Bc3 d5 9. Ne5 Nfd7 10. Nxd7 Nxd7 11. Nd2 O-O 12. O-O Rc8 13. e4 c5 14. exd5 exd5 15. dxc5 dxc4 16. c6 cxb3 17. Re1 b2 18. Bxb2 Nc5 19. Nc4 Bxc4 20. Qg4 Bg5 21. Qxc4 Nd3 22. Be5 Nxe1 23. Rxe1 Bf6 24. Bxf6 Qxf6 25. c7 Qd6 26. Rc1 b5 27. Qc2
I was sure I had already seen this position in another recent game, and I finally found it. The game is Radjabov-Aronian, Monte Carlo (Blindfold) 2007.
Armenian superGM played 27…g6, but after 28. Bb7 a5 29. Qc5 Qxc5 30. Rxc5 b4 31. Kf1 Rfe8 32. Bxc8 Rxc8 33. Ke2 Kf8 34. Kd3 a4 35. Rc4 b3 36. a3 Ke7 37. Kc3 g5 38. Rxa4 Rxc7+ 39. Kxb3 he reached a very difficult endgame and resigned on move 69.
28. Bb7 g6 29. h4 Rfe8?
This seems to be a mistake. The day after his loss to Radjabov, Aronian improved his play by h5 30. Kf1 a5 31. Qc5 Qxc5 32. Rxc5 a4 33. Ke2 b3 34. axb3 axb3 35. Kd3 Rfe8 36. Kc3 Kf8 37. Kxb3 Ke7 38. Kc4 Kd6 39. Bxc8 Rxc8 40. f4 Rxc7 41. Rxc7 Kxc7 42. Kd5 Kd7 43. f5 Ke7 44. Ke5 f6+ 45. Kf4 gxf5 46. Kxf5 Kf7 and here a draw was agreed, Ivanchuk-Aronian, Monte Carlo (Rapid) 2007
30. Qa4! Qd2 31. Qc6 a5 32. Bxc8 Rxc8 33. Kg2 Kg7 34. Rc2 Qd3
Better was 34….Qd4
35. Rc5 a4 36. Qxa4 Qe4+ 37. Kh2 Qd4 38. Qc2 h5 39. Kg2 Qd6 40. Qb2+ f6 41. Qc2 Kf7 42. Qc4+ Kg7 43. Rc6 Qd7 44. Qc5 Kf7 1-0
After 45.Rd6! Qxc7 46.Qd5+ Black is completely lost.