Survey after round 7
Half of the tournament is over, and one can make certain conclusions from the score table already. The aggression of Alexei Shirov after his fiasco in the semi-final of the knock out Championship is apprehensible. His style is a big uproar with unpredictable middlegame zigzags. Piket, Van Wely and Topalov fell under his pressure. Kasparov and Kramnik are less dangerous, each of them having three victories now. Anand and Adams are rather peaceful with their scores 4/7. All these players stay unbeaten so far. Morozevich lost one game, but won three. Other participants promote the leaders properly. The inferior class of Fiodorov and Tiviakov is evident. Also Piket looks weak at this tournament. On the other hand, strong players are lucky. Kramnik escaped a defeat as if by a miracle in the game with Ivanchuk and even won it. In a wild time pressure Ivanchuk was the last one to mistake. Kasparov’s success is no sensation. The genius of the second millennium won seven victories in succession two years ago at the same event. This year he had a good start again, but after two triumphs he made four cheerless draws. It’s getting more and more hard to win. Still, he managed to defeat Topalov, despite certain problems and adventures. Ivanchuk’s game with Kramnik was also interesting.
Ivanchuk, V. - Kramnik, V.
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3?!
A novelty? Some 150 years ago this was the favourite weapon of a great German tactician Anderssen. At that time they knew little of chess theory, and after several moves a tactical fight would began in which White’s formation looked very solid. Later this variation was called the Berlin Wall. Bored with popular openings, Ivanchuk referred to the experience of the 19th century and posed new problems to the World Champion.
4... Bc5 5. c3 O-O 6. Bxc6 bxc6 7. Nxe5 d5
It seems that Kramnik does not count pawns. Development is more important. Still Ivanchuk also is not going to cling to his acquisitions.
8. Bg5 Re8 9. f4 dxe4 10. d4 Bb6
It’s hard to believe that White is OK, Black has so many open files and diagonals and can undermine the centre.
11. Nd2 c5 12. dxc5 Bxc5 13. Qe2 h6 14. Bh4 g5
It seems that Black was too impatient. It may be dangerous to ruin one’s own camp with such mettle. In several moves Kramnik will have a chance to make certain of this.
15. fxg5 hxg5 16. Bg3 e3 17. Nb3 Bb6 18. Qf3 Be6 19. Rd1 g4 20. Qe2 Qe7 21. Nc6 Qf8 22. Nbd4
White’s knights are mighty and dangerous, but the queen should not be occupied with such a minor task as blockade.
22... Qc5 23. Ne5 Nh5 24. Nxe6 Rxe6 25. Qxg4+ Ng7 26. Nxf7 Rf8 27. Ng5 e2 28. Rd4
Ivanchuk does not fear ghosts. So far White plays without h1-rook, it can be introduced into the play only after the e2-pawn falls. Still, Black may have a particular opinion about this question.
28... Rg6 29. h4 Qf5 30. Qxf5 Nxf5 31. Bf2 Nxd4 32. cxd4 Re8 33. a3 Rc6 34. Kd2 Rf6 35. Nf3 Rg6 36. Ng5 Rd6 37. Nf3 c5 38. Re1 Ba5+
There were many interesting events in this game, but Ivanchuk almost run out of time. After the queen exchange the position got dull. White’s last mistake was 38. Re1 instead of a mere 38. Kd3.
"He who fears an isolated queen's pawn should give up chess". Siegbert Tarrasch
"The most powerful weapon in chess is to have the next move"! David Bronstein.