FIDE WCC R4-2: Favorites march on

6/28/2004 – Their baseball players may be leaving, but Cuba still has some fine chessplayers. The spirit of Capablanca was done proud when Lenier Dominguez (photo) upset Alexei Dreev. The 2700-club of Topalov, Adams, and Grischuk all moved on. Underdogs Nakamura and Kozul finally ran out of gas. Report, games, photos, and updated odds.

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Results of round four

1 Kozul, Zdenko (CRO) Topalov, Veselin (BUL) 0-1 0-1  
2 Smirnov, Pavel (RUS) Radjabov, Teimour (AZE) 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 0-1
3 Nakamura, Hikaru (USA) Adams, Michael (ENG) 0-1 1/2  
4 Grischuk, Alexander (RUS) Beliavsky, Alexander (SLO) 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/2 1-0 1/2
5 Almasi, Zoltan (HUN) Kasimdzhanov, Rustam (UZB) 0-1 0-1  
6 Krasenkow, Michal (POL) Akopian, Vladimir (ARM) 1/2 0-1  
7 Dreev, Alexey (RUS) Dominguez, Lenier (CUB) 1/2 1/2 1/2 0-1
8 Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter (ROM) Kharlov, Andrei (RUS) 1/2 1/2 1-0 0-1 1/2 1/2 0-1

With one close call, the three 2700s marched through the fourth round and into the quarterfinals without a casualty. Of the eight survivors only one, twenty-year-old Cuban Lenier Dominguez, could be called an outsider. He eliminated the experienced veteran Alexei Dreev. The quarters start on Monday and will see these pairings: Topalov-Kharlov and Kasimdzhanov-Grischuk on the top half of the bracket, winners to play in the semis, and Dominguez-Radjabov and Adams-Akopian on the bottom.

Here are the updated odds according to Jeff Sonas:

Three of the round four matches decided to postpone the fight to the rapid and blitz games, highlighting one of the weaknesses of the knockout format. The players simply agree to play short draws for the main games. This has the additional effect of guaranteeing a greater minimum prize for both players, since the distribution is different if you win in rapid or blitz. Three of today's games ended before move nineteen.

One of the relevant results was also a short draw. Hikaru Nakamura played the rare Alekhine's Defense for the first time in his life in a serious game in his must-win against Mickey Adams. This attempt to throw the Englishman off track didn't achieve much, although it is still a little surprising that the normally never-say-die Nakamura offered a draw on move 21 with plenty of pieces still on the board.

That ended a great run by the young American hope, who has clearly raised his game to a new level. (FIDE has posted an interview and photos with him here.) For Adams it was simply business as usual and he'll be fresh for his quarterfinal match against Akopian.

When he's at the board Vladimir Akopian of Armenia has a look on his face like his dog just died and maybe his opponent is the one who killed it. His fourth-round opponent, Poland's Michal Krasenkow, is a more affable type, but whatever karma he may hold didn't help him today against Akopian. The Armenian built up a nice central pawn mass and cashed it in for a winning rook endgame. A very smooth performance by Akopian. His quarterfinal match with Adams is a rematch of the 1999 semifinal won by the Armenian.

Speaking of business as usual, Veselin Topalov didn't shy away from a sharp game against Zdenko Kozul despite only needing a draw to reach the quarterfinals. The Bulgarian showed more of his devastating form to sweep the match 2-0.

The other match that didn't require tiebreaks was the other one that started with a loss for white. With a point in the bag and the white pieces it was difficult to imagine Rustam Kasimdzhanov messing this up against Zoltan Almasi. Trying to force a win with black against a world-class Grandmaster is a thankless chore.

Kasimdzhanov finished things off in fine fashion in the diagrammed position with 33.Qxf6+! Qxf6 34.Rd7+ Kh6 35.Rxf6 1-0.

The Uzbek's reward is a quarterfinal match against Grischuk, who put in considerably more time in his match win over veteran Alexander Beliavsky. They drew four games in a row before Grischuk scored with white in the first blitz game. Beliavsky was unable to strike back in the second game as his young opponent quickly swapped down to a completely drawn endgame.


Alexander Grischuk reached the semis in 2000.

Teimour Radjabov was again content to skip work at the board in the regular games in order to play rapid chess and blitz. His 22-year-old Russian opponent, Pavel Smirnov, was obliging and they put in 14 moves. It paid off for Radjabov, who had the better of every game until finally cashing in on a Smirnov blunder in the second blitz affair to take the match. Apart from his first-round mismatch, Radjabov has yet to win a game in regulation and the longest of those six draws went 27 moves.

There are two days of quarterfinals and then a rest day on Wednesday. The semifinal matches are of four games and the final is six.

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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