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    Entries in Sadler (4)

    Sunday
    Oct092011

    Kasparov Beats Short, Sadler Wins Oslo, And More

    Garry Kasparov is still retired, only peeking up from time to time for little blitz events and/or rematches with former opponents. This time he played an eight-game blitz match (5' + 3" increments) against Nigel Short; it was their third match. The first was a rapid match in 1987 with six decisive games: Kasparov won 4-2, losing games 3 and 6. Then they played a world championship match in 1993, a 12.5-7.5 drubbing in Kasparov's favor that wasn't even as close as the lopsided score might suggest. (It was 10.5-4.5 after 15 games!)

    This time it was closer, a 4.5-3.5 squeaker for the former world champion. Kasparov generally had the better of it in the first three games, but they were all drawn. Games four and five were deserved Kasparov wins, and it looked like the rout was on. Surprisingly, it didn't materialize. Short won games six and seven to level the match, and had White for the final game. Fortunately for Kasparov and his fans, he rose to the occasion, as he almost always used to before his collapse in the second Deep Blue match in 1997. He won a very good game against 4.Ng5 in the Two Knights to eke out an overall victory.

    Another event finished today, the Swiss-system tournament in Oslo. As noted yesterday, Matthew Sadler had already clinched first place with a round to spare, but he finished in style by defeating the strong Russian GM Sergey Volkov. Sadler's score of 8/9 (2849 TPR!) gave him a 1.5 point margin of victory over Sipke Ernst and two full points over the next group of players. If he keeps this up, he might wind up in elite events again.

    There were three decisive games in the Governor's Cup in Saratov, Russia: Morozevich beat Vitiugov, Alekseev defeated Ponomariov and Ni Hua was upended by Alexander Moiseenko. The three winners co-lead the tournament with 1.5/2; as you may recall, all six games were drawn in round 1.

    Nothing happened today in the Karpov tournament in Poikovsky. That has been true for the most part even when they've had rounds, but this was a rest day so the players had an excuse.

    Saturday
    Oct082011

    Other Events: Draw, Draw, Draw, Draw, Draw, Draw, Draw...

    In Poikovsky, the players were up to their usual miserable tricks: four draws in five games, three of them very short. (23, 23 and 26 moves.) Only Bacrot decided to play a real game, and he was rewarded, grinding out a tough win against Caruana in 78 moves. After five rounds there have been five decisive games, and Bacrot, Karjakin and Efimenko lead with +1 scores. Twenty draws four rounds remain. Hopefully none of these guys gets invited back next year.

    Yesterday, I had expressed hope that the Governor's Cup in Saratov, Russia would prove more exciting. How could it not with players like Morozevich, Shirov and Ponomariov? Sure, Leko's playing, but he has been a pretty feisty player so far this year. So what happened in round 1? Six games, six draws. It's not as bad as it sounds, though. One game was a little short (30 moves), one a little long (57), and most went to around the time control on move 40. So there was an effort, just no wins.

    In Swiss events it tends to be different, and in Oslo the increasingly unretired Matthew Sadler continues to shine. He won in round 8 with Black against Elsness, the only player within half a point of him going into the round. Ironically, the four players in the next score group...you guessed it - drew - and now Sadler leads the next group (of 9 players!) by a whopping 1.5 points with one round to go. His TPR so far has been 2819, which bodes pretty well for his continued return.

    Thursday
    Oct062011

    Ongoing Events: Oslo and Poikovsky

    The Oslo Chess International wouldn't normally catch my eye, but as Matthew Sadler is participating it's interesting to see his unretirement unfold before our eyes. He's the second seed, behind Sergei Tiviakov, but after five of nine rounds he's in clear first with 4.5 points, half a point ahead of Jon Ludvig Hammer and Victor Mikhalevski. Tiviakov and seven other players have 3.5. (Round 6 is underway, and you can see the live games here.)

    The Karpov tournament in Poikovsky, Russia, hasn't exactly caught fire, but at least there were a couple of decisive games today. Three games were drawn, all in fairly short order (two in 27 moves and one in 33), but both wins were entertaining. Sergey Karjakin defeated Viktor Laznicka in a theoretically hot line of the Caro-Kann, and in short order (30 moves), while Zahar Efimenko's triumph over Alexander Motylev was an impressive display of cool defense. Efimenko had the long-term advantages, but had to put out the fire before he could hope to use them. Eventually Motylev's pieces lost their harmony, and just as Efimenko's counterattack was about to come crashing through Motylev gave up. After three of nine rounds, Karjakin, Efimenko and Fabiano Caruana lead with 2/3. (TWIC coverage here.)

    Sunday
    Aug282011

    Sadler Wins Sants Open

    Some players, like Gata Kamsky and Vladimir Kramnik, are planning to retire relatively soon; others, like Yasser Seirawan and now Matthew Sadler, are at least creeping out of retirement. Sadler played successfully in a couple of minor events fairly recently (at least one of which was rapid chess), but now he has managed to win a reasonably strong, deep (25 GMs) open Swiss event. His score of 8.5/10, with a last-round win over top seed Jan Smeets (Sadler was three points lower-rated) gave him clear first, ahead of four players on 8.

    During his full-time chess career Sadler was a very strong and entertaining player, and as he still isn't terribly old it would be nice to see him get back up there with the big boys again.

    Sants Open website here.