Levon Aronian, 4th seed, has 1.5/2. Photo Peter Doggers courtesy of www.chessvibes.com
Round two of the Corus Chess Festival (Wijk Aan Zee, Holland, January 12-28) was a thrilling slugfest, with rivals Vladimir Kramnik(Russia), Viswanathan Anand (India)and Veselin Topalov(Bulgaria) all winning. Peter Svidler (Russia), Levon Aronian (Armenia) and David Navara (Czech Republic) also won, creating a seven way tie for first after two rounds. Keep checking Chess Life Online for future updates on Wijk, including on site reports by Ian Rogers and Macauley Peterson.
Round Two Game Highlights
Kramnik won in minimalistic style against Alexei Shirov. He had a dominating positional edge when Shirov blundered with 34...Rb7, and resigned before Kramnik had a chance to reply 35.Rxe6!. According to Kramnik's recent interview with New In Chess, such victories are just as aesthetically appealing to him as crushing attacks.
Meanwhile, Topalov broke through local hero Loek Van Wely's defenses. This kind of win may bring back former Topalov fans turned off by his escapades in Elsita.
Anand made defending the Poisoned Pawn variation of the Najdorf look easy against Alexander Motylev (Russia), the lowest rated of the tournament at 2647!
Standings after two rounds
1. V. Topalov, D. Navara,V. Anand, L. Aronian, P. Svidler,V. Kramnik and T. Radjabov 1½
8. S. Karjakin
9-13- A.Shirov, S.Tiviakov, R.Ponomariov,M.Carlsen, A.Motylev .5/2
14-L. Van Wely- 0