FIDE WCC R3-2: Another favorite exits

6/25/2004 – But it wasn't a victorious Teimour Radjabov. Vassily Ivanchuk became the second 2700 to leave the field in Libya, ko'ed by Kasimdzhanov. Other top seeds Topalov, Adams, and Grischuk moved on. America's Nakamura is becoming quite a story as the teen moved into the fourth round. See our report on who else made it into the sweet sixteen.

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Sweet Sixteen

Results of round three
1 Topalov, Veselin (BUL) Movsesian, Sergei (SVK) 1-0 1/2  
2 Aronian, Levon (ARM) Smirnov, Pavel (RUS) 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 0-1 1-0 0-1
3 Adams, Michael (ENG) Hamdouchi, Hichem (MAR) 1-0 1/2  
4 Filippov, Valerij (RUS) Grischuk, Alexander (RUS) 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 0-1 0-1
5 Ivanchuk, Vassily (UKR) Kasimdzhanov, Rustam (UZB) 1/2 1/2 1/2 0-1
6 Zvjaginsev, Vadim (RUS) Krasenkow, Michal (POL) 1/2 0-1  
7 Dominguez, Lenier (CUB) Tkachiev, Vladislav (FRA) 1-0 1-0  
8 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar (AZE) Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter (ROM) 1/2 1/2 1/2 0-1
9 Kharlov, Andrei (RUS) Leitao, Rafael (BRA) 1-0 1/2  
10 Sakaev, Konstantin (RUS) Dreev, Alexey (RUS) 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1-0 0-1 0-1
11 Akopian, Vladimir (ARM) Moiseenko, Alexander (UKR) 1-0 1/2  
12 Almasi, Zoltan (HUN) Ye, Jiangchuan (CHN) 1-0 1/2  
13 Anastasian, Ashot (ARM) Beliavsky, Alexander G (SLO) 1/2 0-1  
14 Nakamura, Hikaru (USA) Lastin, Alexander (RUS) 1-0 1/2  
15 Bacrot, Etienne (FRA) Radjabov, Teimour (AZE) 1/2 1/2 1/2 0-1
16 Rublevsky, Sergei (RUS) Kozul, Zdenko (CRO) 0-1 0-1  

It's time for the sweet sixteen, although the winners are feeling anything but sweet after a grueling six straight days of fast-paced chess. Knowing that a single loss almost guarantees doom tends to take the sweetness right out of you. Then there is the money. Everyone who made it to the fourth round is guaranteed $22,000. The winners will add at least another ten thousand to that. No pressure!

Another round, another high-rated casualty. This time it was Vassily Ivanchuk, the fourth seed. He was ousted by the unpredictable young Uzbek Rustam Kasimdzhanov in the first tiebreak set. In the last KO Chukky went all the way to the final, where he lost to his compatriot Ruslan Ponomariov. Ruslan, Rustam, maybe something in a name?

Kasimdzhanov had a brief flirtation with the top ten three years ago and has since dropped back. He didn't have to work too hard in the decisive game because Ivanchuk pulled one of his famous early resignations, walking away on move 27 in a pawn-down endgame. Sure it was lost, and we can't speak for humans, but we know Fritz would have played on!

Second seed Mickey Adams of England has the cool nerves and solid style required for these events. His record in the previous KOs is truly formidable. He's so calm he can nap right up until his clock is started, as we see above. He had no troubles in drawing his second game against Morocco's Hamdouchi to move through to the fourth round, where he will meet one of the sensations of the event.

We're talking about American teenager Hikaru Nakamura. The youngest and lowest-rated player left in Tripoli has been a considerable rating underdog in all three of his matches so far, but has only had to go to tiebreaks once! After winning game one with white Nakamura somehow held on to draw game two against a terrifying attack by 2002 Russian champion Alexander Lastin.

Many of Nakamura's games seem to involve holding on. He hasn't exactly dominated his opponents, but he's tougher than a bag of hammers, doesn't blunder, plays quickly, and never stops finding resources.

He is also only the second American ever to reach the fourth round in a FIDE KO world championship! Gulko reached round four in New Delhi in 2000 where he was ousted by Bareev in rapids.

Nakamura isn't the only teen left in the field. Teimour Radjabov is a few months older and has an extra hundred rating points, but he hasn't been making it look easy. He just squeaked by Bacrot in a clock-banging nightmare of a rapid game that had pieces flying everywhere. In these events you aren't supposed to look at the chessboard, only the scoreboard! Above we see the dapper young Azerbaijani predicting victory at the opening ceremony last week.

Radjabov will face Pavel Smirnov, who defeated Aronian in one of two matches to go the maximum distance of seven games. Smirnov is one of the beneficiaries of the last-second drop-out of Alexander Morozevich, who would have been the second seed and in Smirnov's bracket.

Top seed Veselin Topalov (above, right) cruised through against Slovakia's Sergei Movsesian. On the bright side, Movsesian was the first player to hold Topalov to a draw. Topalov will now face the streaking Zdenko Kozul of Croatia. (That is, he's on a hot streak, not naked.)

Kozul beat Russian Olympiad veteran Sergei Rublevsky two-nil and has yet to go to tiebreaks. It's beginning to look a little like Vegas. Three of the four semifinalists from the 1999 KO are still in the hunt. Adams, Akopian, Nisipeanu.

Another one of the favorites, Alexander Grischuk (below), needed rapids and blitz to dispose of countryman Valerij Filippov. He'll meet the always tough Alexander Beliavsky in the fourth round. Big Al defeated Anastasian in classic draw with black, win with white fashion. Kasparov analyst Andrei Kharlov knocked out Brazil's Rafael Leitao in two games. That leaves Lenier Dominguez of Cuba as the last of the Latin American contingent.

One of the most attractive games of the tournament was Hungarian Zoltan Almasi's pseudo-sacrificial win over the last Asian player, Ye Jiangchuan. Almasi left his rook where it could be captured by a pawn for ten moves! By the time it was finally removed from the board the Chinese player was down a piece.

In this position White played 23.Rf5. If Black captures the rook it's mate on g7. Black prepared to bring in his bishop for defense with 23...Rfe8 and Almasi shifted to the h-file with 24.Rh5! Nine moves later it was still sitting there on h5.

Almasi will face Kasimdzhanov in the fourth round. Dominguez will face veteran Alexey Dreev, who needed to win a sudden-death blitz game to get by fellow Russian Konstantin Sakaev. Who will be the next 2700 to fall? There are only three left: Topalov, Adams, and Grischuk.

The above pictures are from the event's picture gallery page and are brought to you be courtesy of FIDE (© FIDE.com)


General information

The FIDE site, which is being hosted by Libya Telecom And Technology, looks well equipped to handle live coverage of the event. The schedule, list of players, results tree and games are all in place, there are reports and picture galleries. The start page is http://wcc2004.fide.com and http://wcclibya2004.com.

Live coverage

The live game transmission from Tripoli, apparently of all games, requires you to have Java Virtual Machine installed on your PC. This program is distributed free of charge by Sun Microsystems (and is useful for many other applications). Visit the Java check page to see if you have everything required for the live coverage and install Java if you don't. To follow the games click on "Live coverage" in the link list above. There is a "View" button behind each pairing of players. Many of the key games will also be covered and discussed on the Playchess.com server.

Schedule

Note that local time in Tripoli is the same as in Central Europe. The start of the games is generally at 14:30h, which is GMT + 2 and translates to 13:30 London, 8:30 a.m. New York, 16:30 Moscow, 18:00 New Delhi, 20:30 Hong Kong, 21:30 Tokyo, 22:30 Melbourne, and 03:00 a.m. (on the next day) in the French Polynesia-Marquesas Islands of Taiohae.

World Chess Championship 2003-2004
18 June - 13 July 2004 – Schedule
Date Day Events Games Time
18 June Friday Opening Ceremony
Players' Meeting
18.00
22.30
19 June Saturday Round 1 Game 1 14.30
20 June Sunday Round 1 Game 2*
14.30
21 June Monday Round 2 Game 1 14.30
22 June Tuesday Round 2 Game 2*
14.30
23 June Wednesday Round 3 Game 1 14.30
24 June Thursday Round 3 Game 2* 14.30
25 June Friday Rest Day
26 June Saturday Round 4 Game 1 14.30
27 June Sunday Round 4 Game 2* 14.30
28 June Monday Round 5 Game 1 14.30
29 June Tuesday Round 5 Game 2* 14.30
30 June Wednesday Rest day
1 July Thursday Round 6 Game 1 14.30
2 July Friday Round 6 Game 2 14.30
3 July Saturday Round 6 Game 3 14.30
4 July Sunday Round 6 Game 4 14.30
5 July Monday Round 6 Tie-Breaks 14.30
6 July Tuesday Final Match Game 1 14.30
7 July Wednesday Final Match Game 2 14.30
8 July Thursday Final Match Game 3 14.30
9 July Friday Rest Day
10 July Saturday Final Match Game 4 14.30
11 July Sunday Final Match Game 5 14.30
12 July Monday Final Match Game 6 14.30
13 July Tuesday Final Match Tie-breaks 12.30
13 July Tuesday Closing Ceremony 18.00
* Tie-breaks at 20:30h

 


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