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  1. It's sad to see Anand losing 2 games in a row. His next tournament will be the candidates and if he scores badly for the rest of the tournament (he still has to play against Carlsen!), I doubt he'll be able to recover psychologically for that event. Vishy had doubts about taking part in it to begin with, although he did confirm that he'd be taking part. Truth be told, Nakamura played a formidable game against him... Meanwhile Carlsen didn't get much out of the opening against Aronian and had to fight for the draw. Gelfand-Nakamura was a very interesting draw. Gelfand seemed a little worse at several points, but ended up a pawn up, although Fabiano was never in serious danger or losing. First game is annotated. You can view the other games by clicking on the menu above the little board. [pgn][Event "Zurich Chess Challenge 2014"] [site "Zurich SUI"] [Date "2014.01.31"] [Round "2.2"] [White "Anan d, Viswanathan"] [black "Nakamur a, Hikaru"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2773"] [blackElo "2789"] [Annotator "I.M. Javier Gil"] [PlyCount "72"] [EventDate "2014.01.30"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 {Javier: I guess Anan d is keeping his anti-Berlin preparation for the candidates...} Bc5 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. h3 (6. Nxe5 $4 Qd4 7. Be3 Qxe5 8. d4 Qxe4 9. dxc5 Qxg2 10. Rf1 Bh3 11. Nd2 O-O-O $19) 6... Be6 7. Nc3 {Javier: A new move in this position, but it's unlikely to catch on given the result this game...} Qd6 8. O-O O-O-O 9. a3 Nh5 10. Na4 Bb6 11. Nxb6+ axb6 12. a4 {Javier: White's position looks a little bit more comfortable to play.} f6 13. Be3 (13. Ng5 fxg5 (13... g6 14. Nxe6 Qxe6 15. Be3 Nf4 16. a5 b5 17. a6 b6 18. Bxf4 exf4 {Javier: And although the chess engines give white the advantage here (+0.89), I very much doubt this will amount to anything serious. }) 14. Qxh5 h6 $11) 13... Nf4 {Javier: If white keeps still, black will play .. .g5 and things could get nasty for white on the Kside.} 14. a5 b5 15. d4 $2 { Javier: Missing an excellent opportunity with 15.a6!.} (15. a6 $1 b6 (15... bxa6 16. Rxa6 g5 17. Qd2 Rhg8 18. Rfa1 g4 19. hxg4 Rxg4 20. g3 $16 {Javier: And white's attack is far more dangerous than black's.}) (15... g5 $2 16. a7 Kd7 17. d4 $1 $18) 16. Bxf4 exf4 17. Re1 {Javier: White's got better chances here.} Kb8 18. e5 fxe5 19. Nxe5 $16) 15... Nxh3+ $1 16. gxh3 Bxh3 17. dxe5 (17. Re1 Qd7 $1 18. Nd2 exd4 19. Bf4 g5 20. Bh2) 17... Qe6 (17... Qb4 18. Nd2 Bxf1 19. Kxf1 fxe5 20. a6 b6 $13) 18. Nd2 Bxf1 19. Qxf1 Qxe5 {Javier: Objectively, white's still doing ok here, but the position is unbalanced and black's not without chances on the Kside.} 20. c3 Kb8 21. a6 b6 22. Qg2 Rd6 23. Nf1 $2 { Javier: Too passive.} (23. Qxg7 {Javier: This daring move is perhaps not as risky as it seems, as white's King will be pretty safe on f1.} Rdd8 24. Kf1 Rhg8 25. Qh6 Rxd2 $5 {Javier: Makes sense, as white's N is what's keeping white's position together.} (25... Qd6 26. f3 Qd3+ 27. Kf2 Qc2 28. Rg1 Rxd2+ 29. Bxd2 Rd8 30. Ke1 Qb1+ 31. Bc1 Qc2 32. Bd2 Qb1+ 33. Bc1 $11) 26. Bxd2 Qxe4 27. a7+ Ka8 28. Re1 Qd3+ 29. Re2 Re8 30. Be3 Rg8 {Javier: And black will have no trouble getting a draw here, as Qb1+ and Qd3+ is basically unstoppable.} 31. Qxf6 Qb1+ 32. Re1 Qd3+ $11) 23... f5 $1 {[%cal Gd6g6] Javier: Threatening Rg6. Yes, white will block on g3 with his N later, but then black will advance his h P and white's going to need to start defending, which is not a good sign...} 24. exf5 Qxf5 25. Ng3 Qd7 26. Qe4 Ka7 27. Kg2 h5 $1 28. Qf5 Qe8 {Javier: Black avoids the exchange of QQ, as white's K is vulnerable and he'll need all his pieces to attack.} 29. Qe4 Qf7 30. Kh1 h4 31. Ne2 Re8 32. Qg4 Rg6 33. Qh3 $2 ( 33. Qf4 Qd5+ 34. f3 Qd7 {Javier: Protecting c7 and threatening ...Qh3.} 35. Ng1 {Javier: This was white's best chance, but I doubt he can survive here.}) 33... Qd5+ 34. Kh2 Rxe3 $1 35. fxe3 Qd2 36. Qf1 Rf6 {Javier: And Anan d resigned. A mighty exhibition of strength by Nakamura...} (36... Rf6 37. Qg2 Qxe3 38. Rf1 h3 $1 $19) 0-1 [Event "Zurich Chess Challenge 2014"] [site "Zurich SUI"] [Date "2014.01.31"] [Round "2.1"] [White "Gelfan d, Boris"] [black "Caruan a, Fabiano"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteTitle "GM"] [blackTitle "GM"] [WhiteElo "2777"] [blackElo "2782"] [ECO "A88"] [Opening "Dutch"] [Variation "Leningrad, main variation with c6"] [WhiteFideId "2805677"] [blackFideId "2020009"] [EventDate "2014.01.30"] 1. d4 d6 2. Nf3 g6 3. c4 f5 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. g3 Bg7 6. Bg2 O-O 7. O-O c6 8. b4 e5 9. dxe5 dxe5 10. e4 Be6 11. exf5 gxf5 12. Nxe5 Qxd1 13. Rxd1 Nfd7 14. Nxd7 Nxd7 15. Bb2 Nb6 16. Rac1 Bxc4 17. Ba1 Rad8 18. Rxd8 Rxd8 19. Bh3 Bd3 20. Nd1 Nc4 21. Bxg7 Kxg7 22. Bf1 Bxf1 23. Kxf1 Rd4 24. Ke2 Kf6 25. f3 Na3 26. Rc3 Nb5 27. Rb3 Rc4 28. Kd3 Rc1 29. Nc3 Rf1 30. Ke3 Re1+ 31. Kd3 Rf1 32. Ke3 Re1+ 33. Kd3 a6 34. a4 Nd6 35. Rb1 Rxb1 36. Nxb1 b5 37. axb5 axb5 38. Kd4 Nc4 39. Kc5 Ne5 40. Nd2 h5 41. f4 Nd3+ 42. Kxc6 Nxb4+ 43. Kxb5 Nd3 44. Nf3 Nf2 45. Kc6 Ng4 46. Kd6 h4 47. gxh4 Ne3 48. Ne5 Ng2 49. Nd7+ Kg7 50. Ke5 Nxh4 51. h3 Kf7 52. Nb8 Kg6 53. Nc6 Nf3+ 54. Ke6 Ng1 55. Ne5+ Kh5 56. Kxf5 1/2-1/2 [Event "Zurich Chess Challenge 2014"] [site "Zurich SUI"] [Date "2014.01.31"] [Round "2.3"] [White "Carlse n, Magnus"] [black "Aronia n, Levon"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteTitle "GM"] [blackTitle "GM"] [WhiteElo "2872"] [blackElo "2812"] [ECO "A29"] [Opening "English"] [Variation "four knights, kingside fianchetto"] [WhiteFideId "1503014"] [blackFideId "13300474"] [EventDate "2014.01.30"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nb6 7. O-O Be7 8. a3 O-O 9. d3 Re8 10. b4 Bf8 11. Rb1 a5 12. b5 Nd4 13. e3 Nxf3+ 14. Bxf3 a4 15. Qe2 Ra7 16. Bb2 Be6 17. Rfc1 Qd7 18. Ne4 Ba2 19. Ra1 Bd5 20. Bg4 Qd8 21. Bc3 Nd7 22. Bf3 b6 23. Bb4 Bxb4 24. axb4 Qe7 25. Nc3 Bxf3 26. Qxf3 Nf6 27. Rxa4 Rxa4 28. Nxa4 Qxb4 29. Nc3 Qb2 30. Qd1 Rd8 31. Kg2 h6 32. h3 Rxd3 33. Qxd3 Qxc1 34. Qd8+ Kh7 35. Qxc7 Ne4 36. Qxe5 Nxc3 37. Qf5+ Kg8 38. Qc8+ Kh7 39. Qf5+ Kh8 40. Qc8+ Kh7 1/2-1/2[/pgn]
  2. The Zurich 2014 Super Chess Tournament has just begun ( January 29 to February 4 ) with an average ELO of 2801. (BTW , I've looked it up and to get an IM norm in this tournament, you'd only need 0.35 points (!!), which is like showing up for the games! XD ) Is this the strongest tournament ever . In my opinion, no, not even close!. The reason is that only 5 slow games will be played . The other 5 will semi-rapid , and the remaining 5, a blitz tournament. But not just that, there are big names missing: Kramnik or Topalov are much tougher than Gelfand (and they have a higher rating). Still, a pretty tough tournament! The preliminary blitz tournament was won by Carlsen (equal first with Aronian). Magnus began like legendary Tal used to, with a loss in the first round (Later Carlsen said: , quote: "I have almost never played as badly as I did in the beginning here. It was so bad that I could not even get mad" ) , but then he got a couple of draws and ended up with two wins against Anand and Nakamura, the one against Anand in just 21 moves ( ! ). I don't think Anand has ever been beaten up like this, not even in a blitz game... here are my notes to the game: [pgn][Event "Zurich CC Blitz 2014"] [site "Zurich SUI"] [Date "2014.01.29"] [Round "4.2"] [White "Carlse n, Magnus"] [black "Anan d, Viswanathan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A06"] [WhiteElo "2872"] [blackElo "2773"] [Annotator "I.M. Javier Gil"] [PlyCount "41"] [EventDate "2014.01.29"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. b3 c5 3. e4 {Javier: This is a reversed Budapest Gambit with the extra tempo b3, which is a rather useful move in these positions.} dxe4 4. Ng5 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bc4 e6 7. Bb2 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Ncxe4 Nxe4 10. Nxe4 e5 $6 { Javier: Yes, this cuts off the long diagonal, but reopens the other one, c4-g8, and makes f4 possible.} (10... b6 $1 {Javier: This seemed like the correct choice here.} 11. Qg4 Nd4) 11. f4 $1 exf4 12. Qh5 $6 (12. Rxf4 $1) 12... Nd4 $2 (12... Be6 $1 13. Rxf4 (13. Bxe6 fxe6 14. Qg4 Nd4 {Javier: And black is doing just fine.}) 13... Bxc4 14. bxc4 Nd4 15. Ng3 $11) 13. Rxf4 $16 g6 14. Qe5 $1 b6 15. Raf1 Bf5 16. g4 (16. Rxf5 {Javier: This would have been very strong also.} gxf5 17. Rxf5 $18 {Javier: White has 2 basic ideas in this position, either to attack f7 by means of Ng5 or Rf4-g4.} b5 (17... Rc8 18. Ng5 Qe8 (18... Rc6 19. Nxf7 $18) 19. Nxf7 Rxf7 20. Bxf7+ Qxf7 21. Rxf7 Kxf7 22. Bxd4 cxd4 23. Qf5+ $18 ) (17... h6 18. Rh5 Kh7 19. Qf4 $18) 18. Rf4 $1 Qb6 19. Rg4+ Qg6 20. Rxg6+ hxg6 21. Bxb5 $18) 16... Be6 17. Bxe6 fxe6 18. Rxf8+ Bxf8 19. Nf6+ Kh8 (19... Kf7 20. Nxh7+ $18) 20. c3 (20. Ne8+ $1 {Javier: Not that it matters much, but this was more accurate.} Kg8 21. Qh8+ $3 Kxh8 22. Rxf8#) 20... Nc6 21. Ne8+ 1-0[/pgn] Tournament's official website: http://zurich-cc.com/
  3. After his triumph in London, a new event appears in the Norwegian GM´s calendar in January: The 75th Tata Steel Chess Tournament: from 11 to 27 January in Wijk aan Zee. Here's the list of players: GM Carlsen, Magnus NOR GM Aronian, Levon ARM GM Caruana, Fabiano ITA GM Anand, Viswanathan IND GM Karjakin, Sergey RUS GM Nakamura, Hikaru USA GM Wang, Hao CHN GM Leko, Peter HUN GM Giri, Anish NED GM Harikrishna, Pentala IND GM van Wely, Loek NED GM Sokolov, Ivan NED GM L'Ami, Erwin NED GM Hou, Yifan CHN Besides Kramnik, other big names missing are Radjabov, Topalov, Mamedyarov ... it would have been nice to have seen the taking part in this event. What I like about this event is how the organisers are quite willing to sacrifice the tournament category and instead prefer to promote local chess, a concept which not everyone understands (I remember some editions of the Linares tournament without a single Spaniard!). Also interesting is how the inclusion of a female player is now becoming a norm: Hou Yifan, with 2606, is ranked below the 200th spot on the FIDE list... but so what?? In any case, this new edition (75th!!) of a real classic tournament will be interesting. We will have to look closely at Caruana´s performance. Will Aronian prove that his result in London was accidental? maybe. Will Anand wake up this time? I don't think so. An unexpected victory for Chinese Chess by Wang Hao? unlikely. Will this be Nakamura´s tournament? I doubt it. Will Carlsen improve his rating? impossible! Here's the link to the official website, but not much info is available yet: http://www.tatasteelchess.com/
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