The sensation of the eighth round was Sergey Karjakin’s crushing win over Vladimir Kramnik. Shipov’s report begins, “generational change is inevitable”. Other highlights include the awakening of the “lion” Shirov, and Nakamura and Gelfand paying tribute to Capablanca and Alekhine.
Grandmaster Sergey Shipov was giving his impressions at the Chess-News website. You can play through the games in the viewer at the end of the report.
Karjakin – Kramnik
Generational change is inevitable. It’s difficult for experienced chess players to fight young chess maniacs, armed to the teeth with computer-analysed lines, possessing excellent memories, accurate calculation and a great supply of energy.
Today Kramnik already committed a fundamental error during the home preparation stage. He didn’t manage to achieve the sort of calm, manoeuvring type of position that favours him. He rashly went for a battle in an extremely sharp line with opposite-side castling, in which all the titan’s experience and chess understanding counted for nothing. Everything was decided by preparation and calculation.
The knight sacrifice on g5 was absolutely correct. And it should have been accepted! There are a lot of lines there. Here are a couple of branches: 15…hxg5 16.hxg5 (or 16.g4 Bg6 17.hxg5 Qd7 – a different move order) 16…Qd7 17.g4 Bg6 18.Rdg1 Qe6! 19.f4 Be4 (alternatively – 19…Bxg5) 20.Rh3 (20.fxe5!? Bxh1 21.Rxh1 g6 22.c5! Qd5!) 20…Nxc4 21.Bxc4 Qxc4 22.Qh2 f5 23.g6 Qxc2+ 24.Qxc2 Bxc2+ 25.Kxc2 fxg4 26.Rxg4 Bf6 27.Rg2 Kf8 with an equal ending.
But Vladimir decided to deviate from the principled variations and, it seems, made a banal miscalculation – as a result of which he came under a crushing attack from White. Moreover, it was at no cost, without any sacrifices. Sergey didn’t act ideally (I found one blot – an inaccurate move order), but that could no longer alter the result of the game. Black was routed.
Mamedyarov – Wang Hao
The Chinese fighter is clearly tired. Today his play was lacking in accuracy and sharpness. The opening didn’t go badly for Black, but after 30 moves he began to commit inaccuracies – one after another. The first important moment: instead of the insipid 21…Rd6?! he should have chosen 21…Bh5! with the idea of 22. d5 Ne5! Instead of 24…Rf6?! it was stronger to play 24…Rxd5 25. Rxd5 g6.
And so on. In general, the game didn’t go well for him. But that’s to take nothing away from Mamedyarov, who vigorously seized his chance.
Shirov – Eljanov
As became clear, the lion hadn’t died, but simply laid down to rest. Today Shirov ripped his opponent into tiny pieces in his best style – with a powerful piece attack on all fronts, displaying a total contempt for pawns, structure and other such positional nuances.
Eljanov clearly made a mistake in his choice of opening variation. Strictly speaking, you can play like that against Shirov when he’s in very bad form. But today it turned out that he was in form! He’d had a good sleep, got in the right mood, and he’s no longer just a shadow of his former self.
Nakamura – Gelfand
It was as if we’d returned to the Buenos Aires of 1927. The look of the position and the scenario were a spitting image of the game Capablanca – Alekhine (I don’t recall which number)! It was in just the same way that White conceded the advantage of the two bishops to Black, while in exchange grabbing space and methodically laying siege to Black’s fortress. And it was in precisely the same way that Black seized the moment to activate his pieces. With the powerful Alekhinesque blows of 21…a5! and 24…c5! Gelfand opened up play and resolved all his problems. Nakamura turned out to be sufficiently prudent and didn’t start to press too hard. Clearly he also knows the classical legacy, and recalls what comes of stubbornness in such positions…
Aronian – Grischuk
The opponents played a known variation in which Black, according to current theory, has no problems. And they found a new means of achieving a draw. Short and elegant. Well done.
Game viewer by Chess Tempo