As you may have guessed already, I am a strong believer in the equality of outcome, otherwise I would not pay money to host this website. People like me are delighted whenever they can watch games like following. Reproducing 30 moves of computer theory is exactly what such events should be all about. It provides an incentive to kids all over the world to study hard and do their homework.
This tournament was just awesome. Lots of interesting game and of course the Carlsen show which was simply unbelievable. For young Keymer his first big tournament came to an end as well. I am happy for Leko, because he doesn’t have to watch any longer.
Back in the day beating the Benoni felt much easier. It depends on the opponent, but playing like an engine certainly helps the cause.
This game is very instructive, because MVL got “nothing” from the opening, shuffled his rooks around on the third rank and finally managed to trick his young opponent in time-trouble. Did he really get nothing from the opening? I don’t think so. He got an equal position that could be played until the 50-move rule kicks in, or until black makes the decisive mistake. Note: Keymer took 30 minutes to play theoretical moves that he could have blitzed out. That is a huge leak, especially for a player with known time-trouble issues.
Also note: There is something weird about Keymer, because he looking somewhere like every 10 seconds. I have never seen such behavior before. How can you concentrate on the game like that? I mean many top players show some sort of weirdness. Anand is constantly fumbling around in his face. Ivanchuk is massaging his left eyebrow. Gelfand is flipping pieces in his left hand. Svidler is thinking with closed eyes like he is meditating or switching into a deep think mode. These guys somehow remind me of X-Men.
On a sidenote: Carlsen is scoring like mad with black since switching to the Sveshnikov. Caruana decided to copy him, and why not? Finally it should be mentioned that true to style Svidler allowed mate with a smile. I doubt that Garry would have acted like that.
What do you do if you have to act in a professional way, but still don’t want to hurt the feelings of your young opponent, the audience and the sponsor? You could give shit, like Carlsen, Caruana, Anand and Naiditsch, but you could also show heart like Meier and Aronjan. Nice guy Peter Svidler decided to stay somewhere in the middle. He didn’t committ suicide in the opening, which isn’t his style anyways, and he didn’t allow a forced draw either. Instead he went for a transposition into a line of the Catalan that – according to Leko in the commentary – Keymer plays himself. The resulting game was dry and uneventful. Both sides developed, black played c5, everything got exchanged, draw. This game could have been played in the 1st Bundesliga, the 2nd Bundesliga, the Oberliga and on board 99 of an open tournament next to the guy with the BYE.
The next opponent is MVL, which is the acid test for Leko, because MVL plays a narrow repertoire of absolute mainlines.
Carlsen played some offbeat crap, Anand chose to play a certain structure, Caruana played a position out of Carlsen’s book, Naiditsch tried moveorder tricks, Meier went for a forced loss, let’s see how Aronjan is approaching the problem of beating the child. He tries to outprepare Leko’s preparation. Well, good luck with that…
As we can see, there was no magic, no deep concepts, no brilliant combinations. It was straight preparation and the solutions to concrete problems followed by a well executed technical phase. As I have written before, it is the first flawless game by Keymer and that’s a good sign, even though it has to be said that he didn’t get many chances to go wrong. Aronjan played against Keymer like he plays against a world class player. I can’t tell if that’s a sign of respect for Keymer or a sign of disrespect to Leko’s preparation. We will never find out, because Aronjan likes to bullshit interviewers.
For some reason I have the feeling that Lev showed a good heart and I am really curious how nice guy Peter Svidler follows this up.
On a sidenote: Aronjan tried a fianchetto Scheveningen against Keymer. The resulting position involved a lot of concrete calculation and no build-ups whatsoever, so he played right into Keymer’s strengths. Nevertheless it was the first flawless game by Keymer.
Play it safe!