Saturday, January 27, 2007

The King's Indian is back

Radjabov played two more King's Indians. Yesterday a draw against Kramnik, today a win against Motylev. That is 4.5 out of 5 with the King's Indian for Radjabov in Wijk aan Zee. The King's Indian is back in top level chess.

The King's Indian had rarely been seen in the elite events since Kasparov abandoned it after loosing two games against Kramnik in the 9.b4 "Bayonet" attack. But that was in 1997 and 1998, almost a decade ago, and one of the games was a Blitz game. Kramnik did not even dare to play the Bayonet against Radjabov, after Radjabov made things look easy for Black against van Wely and Shirov.

After today's win, Radjabov has catched up with Topalov. Tomorrow sees them in a last round show down. Lets hope they play a real game, and no early draw to split the point and 1st place. Radjabov has White. He was not very impressive with White so far, his first place is entirely because of the points collected with the King's Indian.

If both players want a fight, we could see another poisoned pawn. The line discussed in the games Motylev-Anand and Anand-van Wely was also invented by Radjabov. Anand repeating the line with White shows that it is not so easy for Black as it seemed against Motylev.

After

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Qb6 8. Qd2 Qxb2 9. Rb1 Qa3 10. e5 h6 11. Bh4 dxe5 12. fxe5 Nfd7 13. Ne4 Qxa2 14. Rd1

This is the move that Radjabov invented.

14..Qd5 15. Qe3 Qxe5 16. Be2 Bc5 17. Bg3 Bxd4 18. Rxd4 Qa5+ 19. Rd2 O-O 20. Bd6 Rd8

Motylev played

 21. Qg3 Qf5

and White's attack did not really take off, as Black was always threatening to exchange queens.

I think a possible improvement for White could be

21.c4

with the idea of playing c5, and Black's queen can no longer get to the kingside. One funny sample line I found against my Fritz:

21..Nc6 22.O-O b5 23.Qg3 e5 24.Bh5 f6 25.Rdf2

threatening Rxf6

25..Kh8 26.Qg6 Qb6 27.c5 Qa7 28.Bd1

and White wins.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Openings of the world championship revisited in Wijk aan Zee

Both Topalov and Kramnik are playing in the tournament in Wijk aan Zee. Since the world championship, Kramnik has played only his match against Deep Fritz. Topalov did play directly after the world championship match in the Essent tournament, where he probably was very tired.

Yesterday Kramnik played a fantastic game against Anand in the Catalan line that I recommended to Topalov in my game three and game five previews, but which Topalov never tried. Don't miss the video of Kramnik analysing the game for the public.

Today Kramnik repeated the Slav line from game six of the world championship against Aronian. Aronian went into the same endgame, but did not achieve anything, and a quick draw followed.

Topalov seems to be back in form and got his third win today. Against Ponomariov he played a King's Indian, which later transposed into a Benoni structure. He was probably inspired by Radjabov's example, who is the only top player using the King's Indian on a regular basis. Radjabov managed three points out of three games with the King's Indian so far (two impressive, one lucky) and he leads the tournament.

Round eleven will see Kramnik-Radjabov, and I hope this will be a King's Indian, too. In round twelve there is Topalov-Kramnik, which should be very interesting. And in the last round thirteen we have Radjabov-Topalov - lets hope none of these games will see a quick draw.