Magnus Carlsen Maintains Top Position
Carlsen has 2.5/3 points after today’s fighting draw the ever-dangerous Alexander Morozevich. Carlsen attempted to play a Grunfeld, however had to switch gears after Moro’s 4. Bg5. Carlsen emerged from the opening with a space advantage and pawn storming attack against white’s king. While Morozevich is reknown for his attacking prowess, he is also an experienced and cool-headed defender. He reduced black’s pressure by sacrificing a pawn with 33. d6!? and exchanged pieces while winning back the pawn on c4 (39. Rxc4). It seemed that a draw was likely as the players reached the time control at move 40, however Morozevich attempted to push forward due to his good knight vs Carlsen’s bad dark-squared bishop. Carlsen defended accurately and Morozevich forced a perpetual check, ending the game in 52 moves.
Shirov Explodes Caruana from Bishop’s Opening
Alexei Shirov is one of my all-time favorite players, continuing Mikhail Tal’s tradition of playing creative, exciting, and above all – attacking chess. His “take no prisoners” style has backfired lately, as he has been in a slump with poor results. During this game, I was amused by Hikaru Nakamura’s online commentary about Morozevich and Shirov:
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– GM Susan Polgar