I’m quite busy with my job during these days (I work in a local newspaper, do you remember?): that’s way I didn’t write anything yesterday and I will write just a relatively short post today. All is quiet on the Western (and Eastern) front, anyway. And the only interesting event has just finished some hours ago in Yerevan, Armenia, where local hero Levon Aronian beat 4-2 the Fide World champion Vladimir Kramnik in a rapid match. The Russian won the first game (do you remember his Marshall "refutation"?), but Aronian stroke back with three wins in a row, drwaing the last two games in the final day (today). A good result for the Armenian player in view of the Fide candidates matches, which will start in Elista in three weeks. Official site: http://www.aroniankramnik2007.am/.
Quiet times will not last long, anyway. Two events will soon draw attention of the Italian chess fans to the Eastern front.
The day after tomorrow a rapid game Brunetti-Topalov will be played in Sofia (at 17.30 GMT time, 18.30 in Italy). Brunetti - a candidate master from Como who won the game “Guess Topalov’s move” last year - has promised to write a special report for Messaggero Scacchi (www.messaggeroscacchi.it), my Italian site, with pictures and comments on his Bulgarian adventure. So… stay tuned! I’m sure he will be a tough opponent for Veselin (who will play blindfold and with Black pieces)…
A strong Italian selection will play the 2007 Mitropa Cup, which will take place in Szeged (Hungary) May 8 to 16. Italian champion GM Michele Godena, young prodigy IM Fabiano Caruana (two GMs norms), IMs Sabino Brunello, Roberto Mogranzini and Giulio Borgo will make up one of the strongest teams competing in the men event. Top seed Hungary will have GMs Robert Ruck, Zoltan Varga, Hoang Thanh Trang, IM Viktor Erdos and FM Miklos Nemeth. Nine rounds to be played, games will start at 3 PM local time each day (last round at 9 AM). The ifficial site hasn’t been announced yet, but I found some useful informations at this address: http://web.t-online.hu/passant/sakkversenyek/.
And now here is an amazing endgame from the Aronian-Kramnik duel: this was played in the last game and Vlad had already lost the match.
It looks that Black is winning, and actually the position is lost for White according to Rybka. But Aronian is a great fighter… Watch the game on the chess viewer and focus your attention on the position arising after move 44.
Aronian,L (2759)-Kramnik,V (2772), Yerevan 6.5.2007
White has no serious improvements. And after all this move leads to a very complicated position (remember this was a rapid game!)…
Missing a forced mate: after 45...Ng4! 46.c7 Rxf2+ 47.Kg1 Qe2 48.c8=Q+ Kh7 White has no defence.
What else? After 46.Qd4 Ne1+ White loses immediately.
46...Qxd3 47.cxb7 Re8??
Black misses his only chance to fight for a win and plays a losing move! After 47…Qd8! 48.bxa6! Qb6! 49.Nd4 (the best try) 49…Re8 50.Rb5 Qxd4 51.b8=Q Rxb8 52.Rxb8+ Kh7 Kramnik would have had a big advantage.
48. bxa6 Qb3 49. Rc5 Kh7 50. Rc8 Rg8 51. Nd4 Qb6 52. Rxg8
52.b8=Q! would have been a very good alternative, e.g.: 52…Qxb8 53.Rxb8 Rxb8 54.a7 followed by Nb5, Kf3, Ke4 etc. is almost without hope for Black.
52… Kxg8 53. Kg1??
Aronian returns favour! After 53.a5 Qc7 54.Kh2 Kh7 55.Nc6 Qxc6 56.b8=Q Qxa6 57.Qb6 White is simply winning.
53…Kh7 54. Nc6 Qb1+
Now Black has perpetual check.
55. Kg2 Qe4+ 1/2-1/2
I think this is a rare case in which one knight and three pawns are more dangerous than a Queen! A really exciting endgame!