Thursday 27 November 2014

Not according to plan

Having gushed a little about Kramnik's decision to play in the Qatar Masters, I can see why he might be having second thoughts about the whole excursion. Normally the first round of any swiss is a bit of a massacre, but for such a strong event like the Qatar Masters, this isn't always the case.
For Kramnik, used to knowing his opponents (and their openings) in advance, Stelios Halkias (2519) might have been a bit of an unknown quantity. Doubly so when Halkias played the Evans Gambit, still a popular choice for club hackers, and the odd World Champion (G. Kasparov).
It turned out to be an inspired choice, as Kramnik never got more than equality in the game, and Helkias was possibly a bit better when he went for a draw by repetition. As a result of the slow start Kramnik ends up on Board 31(!) for the second round, and it may be a few rounds before he catches up with the leaders.

Halkias,Stelios (2519) - Kramnik,Vladimir (2760) [C51]
Qatar Masters Open Doha (1.2), 26.11.2014

1 comment:

Garvin said...

I do often wonder how would the top professionals generally go, and hence also their ratings, if they regularly had to compete in open swisses 'all' the time, such as Kramnik is doing here?