Konstantin Aseev GM Konstantin Aseev annotates online the games of the 8th round:

July, 20 2001

Hello dear chessfriends
I am glad to the possibility once more tell you about today's round so, that it would be at least little interesting for you.
Naturally will start with a mini-prediction.
Kramnik-Adams .
It's obviously, that against Vladimir plays a chessplayer, who still has not win any game. But will he managed to hold the black color? This is rather difficult problem and Kramnik should has a good reserve of energy to break the resistance. As well as to the rest chessplayers.
The chances for a success for the Russian is certainly obviously higher.
What can Anand make with such an unhappy tournament situation and bad form? And playing against the leader. But the white color - is a white color. So, the fate sent to Hindu a test one more time.
Will he managed to break an unhappy line?
Or if you got in such situation you should endure this hard time with a minimum losses? I hope that we will see a long interesting fight.
It's obviously that here will be a live game and Morozevich will try to take from this meeting the maximum. Such a predator as our young Russian will make an attempt to coutch his "fish" but will agree Leko on this role? Maybe he just wait this chanse? Nevertheless the chances of Alexander are higher. Let we wish him good luck and not to get in the mouth of more big "cachalot".
So, we are waiting the development of the events.

Was outplayed the Queen's Indian Defence. After 11.e4 (just before the castle) Black's reply 11...Bb7 seems to me not correct since either 12.e5 and 12.0-0 gives White better chances. After 13.Rfe1 White has created a good pressure and his position obviously preferable because of even the providing of a liberation c6-c5 don't solve all problems.
After 18.e5 followed an unexpected agree on a draw. It is difficult to reproach the rivals in unwillingness to fight. Most likely Kramnik considered that will be very difficult to overcome Adams's redoubt and decided to economize the forces. But it forsake a feeling that during 13-18 moves one could look for some other decisions which arise more problems. But all this is a hypothetic reasoning. The result is fixed. Whether Kramnik's decision was right or no we 'll know after the ending of the game Anand-Topalov where goes on a tangled, saturated fight.

The first surprise - in Sicilian Anand has chosen 3.Bb5 - what is this - an attempt to avoid theoretical discussions or a result of a special prepare just to this meeting? Only the questions.
In my opinion it was well to play 8...e5 (insted of 8...e6). The move 9...Nd7 insted of a natural 9...Be7 looks completely pretentiously.
The feeling is that White's position is better although to players is easy to see because they are completely in the game and see significantly more. But after b4 I will dare to predict that Black will have an "Spanish torture". After 22 moves on the board is something incomprehensible. The battle goes on the whole board.
After 23.Nh4! it is necessary Qe8
After 25.ab6 in case of 25...Nb3? there is 26.ab3 Ra1 27.b7 Qf7 (27...Bf7 28.g6 Bg6 29.b8Q Qxb8 30.Ng6+-) 28.Qc2 with an idea 29.Qc7 and it seems White wins. But it is interesting also 26.b7!? Nd2 27.baQ Qa8 28.Ng6.
Naturally Veselin don't get in such tricks.
Suggest itself 28.Be3 Rb6 29.Bc5 dc5 30.Reb1 but there is a reply 30...Rf6. Then is possible to start with 29.Rbe1
After 30...g4 Black has a dangerous counterplay.
After 37...Qh6 White's king is under the attack.
Is there a salvation?
After 42.Kh1 suggest itself 42...g5
After 42...Qh2 43.Kh2 Rf6 there is a clumsy defence
44.Bh1 This why with the same idea is possible 43...g5.
Nevertheless the defence should be find - very few the material.
Very hard to follow the quick-changed event on the boards. It seems that Anand played until a lost position at 60th move. So after 60...Rg2 61.Rg2 Kf3 Black probably lose.
But Topalov decided to force no the position with the control move considering that he will be able to return to this position.
After 67th White's move - does Topalov will has enough forces and energy?
And although today it's not the most successful day for white pieces during the last 15 minutes has take place some changes in both games which allowes them to hope for a draw. Did Kramnik was so perspicacious when he tested no the fortune today with white.
First time during the last few years Anand shows such an inexpressive play. The attempt to break an unhappy tournament's situation has not led to something good. Veselin Topalov turned out to be stronger today winning and becoming an alone leader.

When plays Alexander we always wait some surprises. Today he playes an old Bishop Opening, which don't promise for White any advantage but Morozevich has his own view on the theory and he constantly looks for something new and often finds it. However here I think Black has not any problem. We 'll see is it right. 13.h3 - a play for a preventive measures. White should prevent the d6-d5. To double the Rooks on d-file, then is possible Qf3 following by Nf5.
Black should find the solution to not to gasp.
15...b5!? A brave pawn sacrifice but it is clearly that Leko will not stay and look as a rabbit on a boa.
Also the variation 16.ab5 ab5 17.cb5 d5 18.bc6 d4 promise him an excellent compensation. But followed an unexpected 18.b6!? - such a move can be missed.
It is outlined a tactical skirmish and the result of the duel is unclear. After 19.Na4 there is 19...Qa5. Just so it was played.
Still one could not coutch on the material advantage.
21.Rfd1 - this is a retreat. After 21...f6 White has to look a hard way to a draw. Black stands significantly better and Leko quite could now expect a success.
After the time control Leko has an extra pawn and chances to win. So, since the 21st move White "failed to drive" and got in result a difficult position. But maybe White remains some chances to draw?
After 44.Qe4 Qe4 45.fe4 we see a realisation of the material advantage which don't presents any technical difficulties.
64.c6 - now is an obvious draw. Hope that now Alexander will not lost his chances. Leko after this meeting should improve his technic.