Monday, June 04, 2007

FIDE candidates matches: Aronian - Shirov preview

Carlsen's openings with Black weren't as solid as I thought. He put up a fantastic fight though, and what a great match it was. Magnus Carlsen lost, but he should be proud anyway. He is improving very fast still. On the 23rd of June we can look forward to see him in Dortmund (with Kramnik, Anand, Leko, Mamedyarov, Gelfand, Naiditsch and Alexejew).

It is really sad that we won't see any more candidates matches in the next cycle of the world championship. I think the matchplay is making the candidates very exciting. The FIDE president says that there weren't any sponsors, but why not give Global Chess a shot at finding a sponsor?

But lets enjoy the next four matches as long as we have the chance.

Aronian - Shirov

Against Aronian's 1.d4 Shirov is much more consistent in his openings than against 1.e4. He plays the Slav, and sometimes the Grunfeld. He has abandoned the King's Indian for several years now, as most top players have.

After 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Shirov has played all the moves 4..e6, 4..a6, and 4..dxc4.

I expect we will see a theoretical duel in the Slav, unless Shirov has prepared more surprises.

Shirov - Aronian

Adams did play the Marshall only once in his match against Shirov, and that was in the very last game of the match in the tiebreak, when Adams needed a win with Black. Adams played two other Spanish lines, and one Petroff, and once Shirov played 1.d4. I still think Adams should have played the Marshall in all the games.  Maybe Shirov has prepared something, but maybe that was not so dangerous. Then Adams would have been able to stand still like a wall and let Shirov become frustrated and try some other openings.

That is what Aronian did in his match against Carlsen, and what I expect him to do again.

Carlsen of course played 1.e4 only once and then tried 1.d4 and 1.Nf3 for the rest of the match, with more success.

Shirov played the Anti-Marshall in the last game against Adams, but there he only needed a draw to win the match. So I guess Shirov will try 1.e4 only if he has really prepared something against the Marshall, otherwise he will play 1.d4.

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