Baku 5.TB: Russians advance

by Alejandro Ramirez
9/25/2015 – Russia went 2/2 today as both Peter Svidler and Sergey Karjakin pass to the semi finals. Svidler certainly outplayed Wei Yi in most games, but comically in the game that he did win and was decisive he stood worse for more than half of it! Karjakin struck first in the quick rapid time control, and Mamedyarov was simply unable to recover. Tomorrow is the first rest day.

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World Cup

10th September – 5th October

Baku, Azerbaijan

Round Five - Tiebreaks

Both tiebreaks today started with draws in the rapids, but they were also both decided in the quick time controls.

The duel between Svidler and Wei Yi seemed to favor the Russian all throughout. Even though the first two games ended in draws, it was clear that Svidler was the one pushing for the advantage.

Svidler put pressure from the get go

[Event "FIDE World Cup 2015"] [Site "Baku AZE"] [Date "2015.09.25"] [Round "5.3"] [White "Svidler, Peter"] [Black "Wei, Yi"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D97"] [WhiteElo "2727"] [BlackElo "2734"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "111"] [EventDate "2015.09.11"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Qb3 dxc4 6. Qxc4 O-O 7. e4 Be6 8. Qd3 c5 9. d5 Bg4 10. Ng5 h6 11. h3 Bc8 12. Nf3 e6 13. dxe6 Bxe6 14. Be3 Qe7 15. Rd1 Nc6 16. Qd6 Qxd6 17. Rxd6 {A typical Grunfeld position. Black has some problems with his c5 pawn at the moment, but he is definitely better developed than White.} c4 (17... Na5 18. Bxc5 Rfc8 19. Be3 Rxc3 $1 {With strong counterplay.}) 18. Rxe6 {An obvious exchange sacrifice. White does get enough compensation for the lost material, but it is unlikely that it is any more than that.} fxe6 19. Bxc4 Rfe8 (19... Kf7 $1) 20. Nb5 Na5 21. Bd3 {Black has some issues since a7 is hanging and there is a fork that is being threatened on c7.} Rec8 22. Ke2 Nc4 $5 {The start of an unusual series of trades.} (22... a6 23. Nd6 Rd8 24. e5 Nd7 25. Bxg6 $14) 23. Nxa7 $1 Nxe3 24. Nxc8 Nxg2 25. Ne7+ $1 (25. Rc1 Nf4+ 26. Ke3 Nxh3 $15) 25... Kf7 26. Nxg6 $1 {A nice detail. Because the knight covers f4, it cannot be ignored.} Kxg6 27. Rg1 Rxa2 (27... Nd7 28. Rxg2+ Kf7 {was probably better, gunning for the b2 pawn and taking control of e5.}) 28. Rxg2+ Kf7 29. Ne5+ {White emergest upa a pawn and retains winning chances.} Kf8 30. Ng6+ Kf7 31. Nf4 Rxb2+ 32. Ke3 Bf8 33. Bc4 Rb6 { Black is just in time to defend his pawn, but even that endgame is unpleasant.} 34. Nxe6 Rxe6 35. e5 (35. f4 Ke7 36. Bxe6 Kxe6 37. Kd4 Nd7 $1 {seems close to a draw as well.}) 35... Nd7 36. f4 b5 $1 37. Bxe6+ Kxe6 38. Rd2 b4 $1 39. f5+ Kxf5 40. Rxd7 Kxe5 {White has an extra exchange, but because of the powerful passed b-pawn and the reduced number of pawns there is nothing Svidler can do to win.} 41. Kd3 Kf6 42. Rd5 Ke6 43. Rb5 Kf6 44. Ke4 Be7 45. Kf4 Bd6+ 46. Ke4 Be7 47. Kf4 Bd6+ 48. Kg4 Ke6 49. Kh5 Kd7 {White captures the pawn on h6, but now the b-pawn is dangerous.} 50. Kxh6 Kc6 51. Rf5 b3 52. Rf1 Kc5 53. h4 b2 54. Rb1 Be5 55. Kg6 Kc4 56. Rxb2 1/2-1/2

Yet the Chinese prodigy kept holding on. He was even much better in the second quick tiebreak, where his pair of bishops dominated the board and his queenside play was superior to his opponent's, but slowly things went wrong and Svidler won a pawn. In the endgame, Wei Yi finally cracked:

The Russians advance!

[Event "FIDE World Cup 2015"] [Site "Baku AZE"] [Date "2015.09.25"] [Round "5.6"] [White "Wei, Yi"] [Black "Svidler, Peter"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A01"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/8/2p1k1p1/rpB1n1n1/8/1B4P1/7P/5RK1 b - - 0 50"] [PlyCount "37"] [EventDate "2015.09.11"] 50... Nc4 51. Kg2 Ra8 52. Bb4 (52. Bc2 Ra2 53. Rf2 Rxc2 $5 54. Rxc2 Kd5 55. Bf2 b4 56. Rc1 $1 {Looks risky but is holdable.}) 52... Ne4 $1 {The knights are doing an excellent job of controlling the bishops now.} 53. Re1 Kd5 54. Rd1+ Ke5 55. Re1 Kd4 56. Rd1+ Ke3 57. Rc1 {Black's made real progress, and now Svidler goes in for the kill.} c5 58. Re1+ Kd4 59. Rd1+ Ke5 60. Bxc4 bxc4 61. Be1 Ra3 62. Kf1 Ra2 63. Rc1 Kd4 64. Rd1+ Ke3 65. Rc1 Kd3 66. Rd1+ Nd2+ {Black is simply too active. The pawn rolls forward.} 67. Bxd2 Rxd2 68. Ke1 c3 {Black threatens Ke3, Rxh2 and there is nothing White can do about it.} (68... Rxd1+ 69. Kxd1 Ke3 {is actually also winning.}) 0-1

And with that, Wei Yi goes home

In the other semi final things started with two solid draws. Neither player could create any real chance for an advantage. Mamedyarov defended comfortably in a Berlin first, while Karjakin's Nimzo-Indian held without problems.

Action under way

A big crowd supporting Mamedyarov

Karjakin went for an anti-Berlin in the first quick game, and it worked wonders:

[Event "FIDE World Cup 2015"] [Site "Baku AZE"] [Date "2015.09.25"] [Round "5.5"] [White "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2762"] [BlackElo "2736"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "72"] [EventDate "2015.09.11"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 d6 5. O-O Be7 6. c3 O-O 7. Re1 a6 8. Ba4 b5 9. Bc2 d5 10. Nbd2 d4 11. h3 Nd7 12. Bb3 Bb7 13. Bd5 dxc3 14. bxc3 Bd6 15. Nb3 Nb6 16. c4 Na4 17. Bd2 Qe7 18. Qc2 {White has a very nice advantage. His pieces are obviously in better squares, he has targets in Black's pawn structure and Black doesn't have a good plan.} bxc4 19. dxc4 Bb4 {Black's pieces are so uncoordinated that White has decisive blow already.} 20. Bxc6 ( 20. c5 $1 {The pawn is taboo, but also there is no good way of preventing a3!} Bxc5 (20... Nxc5 21. Bxc6 Nxb3 22. axb3 Bxc6 23. Qxc6 $18) (20... Rab8 21. a3 Bxd2 22. Nbxd2 Nxc5 23. Rac1 {wins a piece anyway.}) 21. Nxc5 Nxc5 22. Rac1 $18 ) 20... Bxc6 21. Bxb4 Qxb4 22. Nxe5 Qd6 23. Nxc6 Qxc6 24. Nd4 Qc5 25. Nb3 Qe5 26. Rad1 {White is up a pawn with a good position, but in such fast time control anything can happen...} Rfe8 27. Re3 Rab8 28. Rd5 Qb2 29. Qxb2 Nxb2 30. c5 Nc4 31. Re2 a5 32. Rd4 a4 33. Rxc4 axb3 34. axb3 Rxb3 35. Rd2 Kf8 36. f3 Rb5 {It seems like Mamedyarov is hanging on like a champ. The rook endgame is by no means easy to win. Black is active and if he can somehow trade off the c-pawns he will be in great shape to hold a 4v3 draw. However, Mamedyarov flagged! With this loss he was forced to win the next game.} 1-0

Mamedyarov was against the wall, having to win his game with White. The Russian set up a position on the dark squares that was simply impossible to penetrate. Mamedyarov kept maneuvering around, trying to probe for weaknesses, but in severe time trouble he tricked himself, lost a piece and was forced to resign.

The Azerbaijani was unable to break through his opponent's defenses

Tomorrow is the first rest day in Baku, which the players certainly need!

All Round 5.2 Games

Round five pairings

Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Peter Svidler (RUS) 2727
½
½
½
½
½
1
      3.5
Wei Yi (CHN) 2734
½
½
½
½
½
0
      2.5
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Anish Giri (NED) 2793
½
1
              1.5
M. Vachier-Lagrave (FRA) 2744
½
0
              0.5
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 2814
0
½
              0.5
Pavel Eljanov (UKR) 2717
1
½
              1.5
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
S. Mamedyarov (AZE) 2736
½
½
½
½
0
0
      2.0
Sergey Karjakin (RUS) 2762
½
½
½
½
1
1
      4.0

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Topics Baku, World Cup

Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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disneychannel disneychannel 9/27/2015 09:18
I predict:Giri will be the World Cup Champ.
Logos Logos 9/27/2015 06:04
@ DJones

"Catalan is not what you play looking to win."

That's quite a claim :-) I think Kramnik and many others would disagree ;-)
DJones DJones 9/27/2015 01:34
Blah blah blah blah blah I accused no one of anything. I said Eljanov is matching Stockfish at an alarming rate and that Nakamura would be lucky not to lose both games. Nakamura was definitely NOT playing suboptimal moves on purpose. Eljanov was playing like a machine. The Catalan is not what you play looking to win. Stop being so defensive that I brought up Eljanov's match rate with the computer. You made the connection to cheating, I DID NOT.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 9/27/2015 01:27
"So the semifinals has an interesting arrangement.
Svilder (Russia) vs Giri (who was formerly a Russian), and
Eljanov (Ukraine) vs Karjakin (who was formerly a Ukranian). " amarpan

The Soviet school of chess is quite well represented.
Aighearach Aighearach 9/26/2015 08:46
@DJones: "anti-computer play" of the sort that is visible without knowing all the lines they played backwards and forwards ended over a decade ago. Computers play awkward-looking tactical moves, but they aren't worse at something that humans are better at anymore. That was the whole basis of anti-computer lines and styles; to play not as good, but in a way the computer can't evaluate. Computers are stronger at everything now. There is no anti-computer lines. If you find good enough moves, you might hope to draw. If you swindled a computer, it is because you fiddled the settings. ;)

Also, the style is the same style Nakamura typically uses. It is similar to Tal and Carlsen, though Carlsen doesn't use it as often. He'll play an objectively worse move to create complications and get his opponent out of analysis. His position might be a quarter pawn worse, but he'll have half a pawn worth of analysis already memorized; and even if not, the game will be sharper and that is where he does his best work.

You can't get a computer out of analysis.

Stockfish is rated high enough that it matches super-GMs 90%+ anyways. You'll be shocked if you apply your false accusation method to other players; they'll all be using computers according to that.

The idea that Nakamura would need to play 1. e4 to try to win is also hilarious. This isn't the 1980s, e4 is a draw on move 12 at this level unless both players try to fight.
DJones DJones 9/26/2015 05:48
Nakamura played two Catalans against Eljanov. To me it looked more like anti-computer play than "blew up trying to win" He tried to win neither of the two encounters. He got outplayed by a player who is matching stockfish 90+ percent of the time in both games and was lucky to escape with only one loss. FRor Nakamura trying to win would involve 1.e4 or a KID on the black side.
amarpan amarpan 9/26/2015 05:30
So the semifinals has an interesting arrangement.
Svilder (Russia) vs Giri (who was formerly a Russian), and
Eljanov (Ukraine) vs Karjakin (who was formerly a Ukranian).
ChiliBean ChiliBean 9/26/2015 01:24
Mamedyarov flagging is a very disappointing way to lose a game after all the work he did in getting to the quarterfinals.
Aighearach Aighearach 9/25/2015 10:54
Svidler was once considered a serious world championship contender. There is no reason to assume a training problem if he outplays you, especially if he is also outplaying others in the event.

The moment of truth approaches for Eljanov. Nakamura went wild and blew up trying to win, but none of the remaining players are as aggressive.
Logos Logos 9/25/2015 10:10
@ qiqiangzhu

Perhaps, but here rapid chess may not be the cause. Wei Yi was outplayed in most games which could be attributed to Svidler's superior chess understanding. Wei Yi has demonstrated in previous games and tournaments that he is an excellent rapid player.
Camembert Camembert 9/25/2015 09:54
qiqiangzhu
Tiviakov and Van Kampen told me once that Chinese players play very, very tactically. Wei Yi took too much risks when having a superior position and Svidler, an old Fox, was over cautious and react once he was very confident in the soundness of his position.
IMO
For a sixteen years old boy, it's not bad !
oputu oputu 9/25/2015 08:27
Ding was better. He should have been the one playing here. His rook endgame is far superior to Wei Yi's
qiqiangzhu qiqiangzhu 9/25/2015 08:16
Chinese players should enhance their training level on rapid chess.
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