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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Comments concerning 2nd Nanjing Pearl Spring 2009:Round 2

In round 2, Leko faced Radjabov,with Leko having the white pieces. Leko began the game by playing 1.e4 and Radjabov answered aggressively by playing the Sicilian Defense. The game entered the Sicilian Dragon variation on move 5, and Leko chose the most aggressive variation against the Dragon, that being the Yugoslav attack with 7.f3 8.Qd2 and 9.O-O. The two players played the main line theory of the Dragon until move 12, when Radjabov decided to play the simplifying capture 12...Bxd4 (The most popular continuation is to play 12...e5), and on move 13 he offered to simplify by exchanging queens,   when he played  13...Qb6. On move 15 Radjabov continued by playing the rarely played 15...Qc7. According to my research this move was first played in a correspondence game from 2001.  It was on Leko's response to Radjabov's 15th move ,in which the game took on a whole new character, as his idea of 16.Re1 had never been played before. Radjabov continued by playing the move 16...Nb6 (which offered to exchange knights). However, Leko declined the offer and spent a tempo to avoid the exchange by playing 17. Nc3. On move 15 Leko offered to exchange queens, by playing 18.Qe5. Leko has been critized by some professional chess journalists and fans for his willigness to draw games instead of trying to win them. In this case, according to Deep Rybka 3, the move 18.Qe5 was not the strongest one he could have played. Instead, the program evaluated the move 18.h4 as strongest. However, Deep Rybka then suggested on  move 20, the move 20.Qe5 (offering to exchange queens), so Leko cannot be criticized for offering queens on move 18 can he? The interesting aspect of Deep Rybka's analysis was that for the entire game it analyzed the position as being completely equal (= 0.00) a phenonenom I have never seen before when I used the program to analyze a game!

The Magnus Carlsen-Topalov game was played in the King's Indian Defense opening.  Carlsen played the classical variation using the move Nf3, however he avoided playing the main line on move 6 (which is 6.Be2). Instead he played the move 6.h3 first played in a game in 1855 by Cochrane.  Topalov played a less common idea on move 6...Na6. Carlsen then avoided playing the main line which is 7.Bg5. Instead he chose 7.Be3 however when Topalov played 7...e5 the game went back to the main line. On move 8.Carlsen decided to close the center by playing 8.d5 and Topalov answered by playing the rarely played 8...c6. Carlsen began to play aggressively on move 9, with 9.g4. This move was first played in a game in 1989 between Grivas and Maki (both were over 2400 elo).  On move 11 Carlsen chose to play an idea rarely seen in this variation, that being 11.a3 (I found only two games had been played in this variation in my database). Topalov's 11...Nfd7 is a theoretical novelty for the position. Carlsen then made  key decision when he decided to castle on the queenside on move 14. Topalov was able to find  a way to generate presssure against Carlsen's king when the Bulgarian GM played 15...cxd5 and 16...Rc8. On move 17 Carlsen offered to exchange light-squared bishops when he played 17.Bb5 which Topalov accepted.

It was on move 21 that Topalov seemed to lose the  thread of the position when he played 21...Na8? Deep Rybka 3 gave a poor evaluation to this idea, because it cost Topalov a pawn after 22.Bxc5 Rxc5 23.Qxa4.
Instead of 21...Na8? according to Deep Rybka 3 analysis, the Bulgarian GM could have played 21...Nb3
and play might have continued:

22. Nxb3 axb3 23. Qxb3 Nc4 24. Nb5 Nxe3 25. fxe3 Be7+/=


Topalov was able to infilitrate into Carlsen's kingside with his queen when Topalov played 25...Qh3. However after Carlsen moved his queen on move 26 with 26.Qf3, Topalov, still down a pawn could not afford to exchange queens. On move 30, Carlsen must have found a very promising continuation, because he offered to give back the pawn to Topalov with the move 30.h5. This was due to the fact that Topalov's 28th move of 28...f6?! was not the best according to the analysis of Deep Rybka 3. ( Better was  28...Kg8 which would have allowed Topalov to coordinate his queen and rook via 28...Kg8 29.Rgc1 f6 30.gxf6 Rxf6).

On move 31 Topalov could have chosen to regain material equality by playing 31...hxg6?? however he realized this would have been a mistake after Carlsen played 32.Rxg6+ due to this variation: 32...Kxg6 33.Qg3+ which would have regained his piece and would have  left Carlsen two pawns up. On move 35 Topalov blundered according to Deep Rybka 3. The move 35...Nc4?? . However when Carlsen continued 36.Ne3 he missed the following continuation Deep Rybka 3 found:

37. Qh3 Nd2+ 38. Ka2 Rh8 39. Qxh8+ Kxh8 40. Rh1+ Kg7 41. Rh7+

Topalov resigned the game on move 41 because his  40th move was a blunder. The move 40...Re8 loses to 41.Rc1Qf3 42.Rc7+ Kg8 43.Qh6 Qd1+ 44.Rc1


The other game in round two was between GM Jakovenko and GM Wang Yue.  Jakovenko opened the game with 1.e4 and the game became a Petroff's defense after 1...e5 .Nf3 Nf6. Jakovenko played the less common idea of 3.d4. On move 5 Wang Yue played the less common 5...Nc5 avoiding an exchange of knights via 5...Nxd2 (the main line). On move 6 Wang Yu played the rarely-played 6...Ne6. Javoneko then offered to exchange knights by playing 7.Nbd4 and after Wang Yue played 7...Nxb4 Jakovenko then played a theoretical novelty on move 8 with 8.Qxd4. The players  quickly exchanged off a  a pair of  knights and then a pair of bishops,and this resulted in Wang Yue having to play with an isolated d-pawn. On move 13 Wang Yue played the interesting 13...Be7 which was the sacrifice of a pawn which Jokovenko accepted by playing 14.Qxg7. Jakovenko was left with a position where he was unable to castle and Wang Yue elected to castle on the queenside. On move 19 Wang Yue recovered his pawn, however this allowed Jakovenko to exchange queens on his 20th move, and on move 22 the players exchanged a pair of rooks, making  the position very drawish. The players decided to repeat moves and the game was a draw on move 35.

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Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being



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Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.