Khanty-Mansiysk: Shirov, Carlsen, Adams through

12/1/2007 – Today we celebrate the first round three wins with the black pieces, by Alexei Shirov (who else) against Alexander Onischuk. Magnus Carlsen beat Dominguez Perez, Michael Adams and Ivan Cheparinov drew to advance. Ten players are through to round four, six matches go into tiebreaks tomorrow. We bring you a full report with extensive commentary by Dorian Rogozenko.

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A total of 126 participants turned up on November 23 for the World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, located about 1400 miles (2250 km) east of Moscow. The competition is taking place from November 24 to December 18. The winner of the World Cup receives the right to challenge the former world champion Veselin Topalov in a match.

Round three Game two (Saturday, December 1st)

The second day of the third round brought five wins again (4-1 for White). From yesterday's losers nobody could level the score. Thus ten matches are already decided. Cheparinov, Shirov, Adams, Alekseev, Carlsen, Kamsky, Akopian, Jakovenko, Ponomariov and Wang are through to the next round. Twelve players will face tiebreak matches.

After the World Championship in Mexico earlier this year Grischuk said: "Ninety per cent of my opening preparation was spent on variations that never occurred in a single game. Not only in my games, but in any game". In chess that means a very bad luck. The Muscovite struggled well in Mexico, but he finished on the last place. In Khanty-Mansiysk the tension and level of the games reached the point where avoiding your opponent's opening preparation is highly important. And if you succeed in catching the opponent on your well prepared and solid opening ground, then you can certainly call yourself a lucky guy.

Round three results

No.   Name Nat Rtng
G1
G2
R1 R2 B1 B2 SD Tot.
01  Ivanchuk, Vassily UKR 2787
½
½
          1.0
 Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter ROU 2668
½
½
          1.0
02  Cheparinov, Ivan BUL 2670
1
½
          1.5
 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar AZE 2752
0
½
          0.5
03  Macieja, Bartlomiej POL 2606
½
½
          1.0
 Sasikiran, Krishnan IND 2661
½
½
          1.0
04  Inarkiev, Ernesto RUS 2674
½
½
          1.0
 Aronian, Levon ARM 2741
½
½
          1.0
05  Shirov, Alexei ESP 2739
½
1
          1.5
 Onischuk, Alexander USA 2674
½
0
          0.5
06  Rublevsky, Sergei RUS 2676
½
½
          1.0
 Svidler, Peter RUS 2732
½
½
          1.0
07  Adams, Michael ENG 2729
1
½
          1.5
 Zhou, Jianchao CHN 2566
0
½
          0.5
08  Fressinet, Laurent FRA 2654
½
0
          0.5
 Alekseev, Evgeny RUS 2716
½
1
          1.5
09  Grischuk, Alexander RUS 2715
½
½
          1.0
 Bareev, Evgeny RUS 2653
½
½
          1.0
10  Dominguez Perez, Lenier CUB 2683
½
0
          0.5
 Carlsen, Magnus NOR 2714
½
1
          1.5
11  Kamsky, Gata USA 2714
1
½
          1.5
 Georgiev, Kiril BUL 2649
0
½
          0.5
12  Malakhov, Vladimir RUS 2690
½
0
          0.5
 Akopian, Vladimir ARM 2713
½
1
          1.5
13  Jakovenko, Dmitry RUS 2710
1
½
          1.5
 Almasi, Zoltan HUN 2691
0
½
          0.5
14  Tomashevsky, Evgeny RUS 2646
½
0
          0.5
 Ponomariov, Ruslan UKR 2705
½
1
          1.5
15  Wang, Yue CHN 2703
1
½
          1.5
 Bu, Xiangzhi CHN 2692
0
½
          0.5
16  Karjakin, Sergey UKR 2694
½
½
          1.0
 Bacrot, Etienne FRA 2695
½
½
          1.0


Five wins again, ten players are out

Commentary by GM Dorian Rogozenko

Gata Kamsky played many nice games on the Black side of the Gruenfeld Defense, including wins against players like Karpov or Gelfand. But that happened in the second millennium. These days Kamsky usually sticks to the very solid Slav Defense, which actually suited well for his match situation versus Georgiev, where the American needed just a draw to win the match. Nevertheless in reply to 1.d4 Kamsky went for his old love – the Gruenfeld Defense.


He's back and he's very, very strong: Gata Kamsky knocked out Kiril Georgiev

Georgiev,Kiril (2649) – Kamsky,Gata (2714) [D98]
World Cup 2007 0:35.30-0:14.08 (32), 01.12.2007

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Qb3. The Russian Variation, played by Kiril Georgiev only once – 20 years ago. On the other hand the choice of the Bulgarian Grandmaster can be explained by the fact that in the past the Russian Variation caused many troubles to Kamsky. 5...dxc4 6.Qxc4 0-0 7.e4








The Smyslov's line, never used by Kamsky before. The American used to play 7...a6 or 7...Nc6. 7...Bg4 8.Be3 Nfd7 9.Rd1 Nc6 10.Be2 Nb6 11.Qd3. A rare move, which never caused Black any problems. In the present game the white queen won't be able to find good squares and will always offer Black some tempis for regrouping his pieces. The main continuation is 11.Qc5 which was met in the famous game Botvinnik,M-Fischer,R, Varna Olympiad 1962.








11...Qc8. An old and good move introduced by Korchnoi in 1984. Later Black started to play more often 11...Bxf3 followed by 12...e5, but Korchnoi's move is logical and enough for a good play – Black prepares ...Rd8 to underline the awkward position of the queen on d3. 12.Qc2 Rd8. 12...e5 13.d5 Bxf3 14.Bxf3 Nd4 15.Bxd4 exd4 16.Ne2 c6 was also good for Black in Andersson,U (2630)-Kortschnoj,V (2635)/London 1984. 13.d5 Bxf3 14.Bxf3 Ne5 15.Be2 c6 16.Qb3 Ng4 17.Bc1 cxd5 18.exd5 Nh6 19.0-0 Nf5








Black reached a pleasant equality. Further exchange of pieces is inevitable and there is little White can do in order to keep the tension. 20.Bd3 Nd4 21.Qb4 Nxd5 22.Nxd5 Rxd5 23.Qxe7 Re5 24.Qb4 Ne2+ 25.Kh1 Nxc1 26.Rxc1 Qd7 27.Bc4 Qe7 28.Qb3 Rd8 29.a4 b6 30.h3 Bf6 31.Rcd1 Rxd1 32.Qxd1 Kg7 33.b3 Re4 34.g3 h5 35.Kg2 h4 36.Qf3 Rd4 A disappointing draw for Georgiev, who never got the chance to complicate matters. 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


Onischuk,Alexander (2674) – Shirov,Alexei (2739)
World Cup 2007 0:36.03-0:33.18 (32), 01.12.2007

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c6 4.Nf3 dxc4. A clever choice by Shirov – the Noteboom Variation was never used by Alexey before. The good thing about this variation is that the resulting positions are very sharp and double-edged. Even with a good preparation it is difficult for White to achieve advantage here, but for Onischuk the choice of his opponent has certainly been an unpleasant surprise. 5.e3 b5 6.a4 Bb4 7.Bd2 a5 8.axb5 Bxc3 9.Bxc3 cxb5 10.b3 Bb7 11.bxc4 b4 12.Bb2 Nf6 13.Bd3 0-0 14.0-0 Nbd7 15.Re1 Ne4








16.Qc2. Onischuk deviates from his own game. In spite of a quick win then, Black has possibilities to improve. 16.Nd2 Nxd2 17.Qxd2 Qc7 18.c5 Rfb8 19.Rac1 Qc6? (After the correct 19...a4 it is rather White who should be worried about his position.) 20.e4 a4 21.Qxb4 Ba6 22.d5 exd5 23.exd5 and White won soon in Onischuk,A (2650)-Schneider,D (2486)/San Diego 2006. 16...f5 17.c5 Qc7 18.Bb5 Bd5 19.Qe2. Only this move is a novelty. The bad news for White is that Black's chances are at least not worse. I played once this variation and remember that after 19.Rec1 Ndf6 20.h3 I wasn't very happy with White's position and offered a draw, which was accepted, 1/2-1/2 Rogozenko,D (2562)-Apicella,M (2509)/Bucharest 2000. 19...Ndf6 20.h3 g5!








Black builds a strong attack and there is little White can do about that. 21.Ne5 g4 22.hxg4. 22.f3 gxf3 23.gxf3 Ng5 24.Kh1 Kh8 25.Rg1 Rg8 also doesn't solve White's defensive problems. 22...fxg4 23.Nd3. 23.Nxg4 Qg7 24.f3 Nxg4 is hopeless for White. 23...Qg7 24.Nf4 Qh6 25.Rf1 g3! 26.Nh3 gxf2+ 27.Rxf2. 27.Nxf2 Ng3 and mate on h1. 27...Nxf2 28.Nxf2 Bxg2! As usual bad things never come alone. 29.Kxg2 Ra7 30.Rh1 Qg6+ 31.Kf1 Ng4 32.Be8. Nice, but in vain. Black is completely winning. 32...Qb1+ 33.Kg2 Rxf2+ 34.Qxf2 Qxh1+ 35.Kxh1 Nxf2+ 36.Kg2 Nd1 37.Bc1 b3 38.e4 b2 39.Bxb2 Nxb2 40.Bb5 a4 41.d5 exd5 42.exd5 a3. A very painful defeat for Alexander Onischuk, who found himself in a lost position without making visible mistakes. On the other hand the game is a deserved victory for Shirov, who demonstrated a subtle opening preparation. 0-1. [Click to replay]


Mamedyarov,Shakhriyar (2752) – Cheparinov,Ivan (2670)
World Cup 2007 0:31.48-0:19.42 (32), 01.12.2007

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Qc2 Nbd7 6.Bd2 Bd6 7.e4. Mamedjarov needed to win, but this rare set-up cannot set any opening problems for Black. 7...Nxe4 8.Nxe4 dxe4 9.Qxe4 c5 10.dxc5 Nxc5 11.Qe3 0-0 12.b4 Nd7 13.c5 Be7 14.Rc1 a5 15.a3 axb4 16.axb4 Nf6 17.Nf3 Bd7 18.Ne5 Bc6 19.Bd3 Qc7 20.0-0 Rfd8 21.Rfd1 Ra3 22.Qe2 Ba4 23.Re1








23...Raxd3 This must have came as a shock for Mamedjarov, but in fact White can still find resources to play on. 24.Nxd3 Qd7 25.Ra1. 25.Rc3? Bb5-+. 25...Bc6








25...Bb5? loses in view of 26.Ne5; To equality leads 25...Qxd3 26.Qxd3 Rxd3 27.Rxa4 Rxd2 28.Ra7 Rd7 29.Rea1 but here too White can continue to play on. 26.Ne5? Probably disgusted with the turn of events, Mamedjarov made this move and offered a draw, which was accepted by Cheparinov, who thus won the match. Under other circumstances the Bulgarian would have most likely continued the game, since in the resulting endgame Black has material advantage and more active pieces. Stronger is 26.b5! and in comparison to 26.Ne5 here the pawns are not blockaded: 26...Be4 (perhaps better is 26...Bxb5 27.Ne5 Bxe2 28.Nxd7 Nxd7 29.Rxe2 Nxc5 and Black must be able to make a draw.) 27.Ne5 Qxd2 28.Qxd2 Rxd2 29.Ra8+ Rd8 (29...Bf8 30.c6 bxc6 31.bxc6+/-) 30.Rea1 with a completely unclear position; After 26.Ne5 a possible continuation is 26...Qxd2 27.Qxd2 Rxd2 28.Nxc6 bxc6 29.Ra6 Nd5 30.Rxc6 Nxb4 31.Rc8+ Rd8 32.Rxd8+ Bxd8 33.Rb1 (otherwise Black plays Nd5 and Bc7) 33...Ba5 34.Ra1 Nc6 and Black will soon regroup his pieces, with clear advantage. 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


Knocked out in round three: second seed Shak Mamedyarov


Carlsen,Magnus (2714) – Dominguez Perez,Lenier (2683)
World Cup 2007 0:54.42-0:30.11 (32), 01.12.2007


Seventeen years and one day: Magnus Carlsen with white in round three

Carlsen won the game in a very impressive style. So far Magnus is playing very strong in Khanty-Mansiysk. 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.Bg5 Be6 9.Bxf6 Bxf6 10.Qd3 Bg5 11.Rd1 Nc6 12.a3 Bxb3 13.cxb3 Nd4 14.b4 Rc8 15.0-0 0-0 16.Bg4 Rc6 17.g3 g6 18.f4 Bh6 19.Rf2 Bg7 20.f5 Qg5 21.Bh3 Bh6 22.Re1 b5 23.Kg2 Ra8 24.fxg6 hxg6








25.Bd7! Rc4 26.b3 Rc7 27.Nd5 Rc1 28.h4 Rxe1 29.hxg5 Bxg5 30.Bg4 Ra1 31.a4 Kg7 32.Nc3 Ra3 33.axb5 axb5 34.Nxb5 Nxb5 35.Qxb5 Be3 36.Rf1 Ra2+ 37.Be2 R8a7 38.Kh3 Ra8 39.Bc4 Rh8+ 40.Kg4 Rh5 41.Rxf7+ Kh6 42.Qd7 1-0. [Click to replay]


Alekseev,Evgeny (2716) – Fressinet,Laurent (2654)
World Cup 2007 0:07.24-0:05.59 (32), 01.12.2007

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.Ne5 Nbd7 7.Nxc4 Qc7 8.g3 e5 9.dxe5 Nxe5 10.Bf4 Nfd7 11.Bg2 f6 12.0-0 Nc5 13.Ne3 Bg6 14.b4 Rd8 15.Ned5 cxd5 16.bxc5 Bxc5 17.Qb3N. 17.Rc1 b6 18.Bxd5 Bf7 19.Nb5 Qe7 20.Bxe5 Bxd5 21.Bd6 Rxd6 22.Rxc5 bxc5 1/2-1/2 Dorfman,J (2586)-Fressinet,L (2626)/Besancon 2006. 17...0-0 18.Rfd1 Kh8 19.Nxd5 Qf7 20.h3 Bf5 21.e4 Be6 22.a5 b6 23.axb6 axb6 24.Qc3 Rc8 25.Be3+/=








25...Ng6? Black should have no problems to make a draw after 25...Bxe3 26.Qxe3 Nc4 27.Qb3 f5. 26.Bxc5 bxc5 27.f4 Ne7 28.Ne3+/- f5? 29.Ra7 fxe4








30.f5!+- Nd5. 30...Bb3 31.Rdd7 Rfe8 32.Bxe4+-. 31.Rxd5 Qxa7 32.fxe6 Rcd8 33.Bxe4 c4 34.Kg2 Rde8 35.Rd7 Qa2+ 36.Bc2 Rf6 37.Nd5 Qa8 38.Kg1 1-0. [Click to replay]


Almasi,Zoltan (2691) – Jakovenko,Dmitry (2710)
World Cup 2007 0:29.57-0:37.24 (32), 01.12.2007


Scary? Dmitry Jakovenko, left, facing Zoltan Almasi

Once again White was unable to do anything against the Marshall Attack. Moreover, even such a strong theoretician as Almasi found himself in troubles. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.Re1 Bd6 13.g3 Re8. Usually Black prefers here 13...Qd7 in order to transfer the queen to h3. But Aronian said once about the Marshall Attack something like: "you should not remember the precise variations, just to feel the position". Black has sufficient compensation for the pawn and there is little to be done about that. 14.Rxe8+ Qxe8 15.d4 Ra7 16.Nd2 Re7 17.Nf3 f6 18.Kg2 Bg4 19.h3 Bh5 20.Bd2 Re2 21.g4








21...Bxg4! 22.hxg4 Qe4 23.Qh1 Rxd2 24.Re1 Qxg4+ 25.Kf1 Rxb2 26.Bxd5+ cxd5 27.Ne5 Bxe5 28.Qxd5+ Kf8 29.dxe5 Qh3+. 29...Qc4+ leads to a better rook endgame, but Jakovenko makes a draw in order to win the match. 30.Kg1 Qg4+ 31.Kf1 Qh3+ 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


Sasikiran,Krishnan (2661) – Macieja,Bartlomiej (2606)
World Cup 2007 0:19.14-0:06.13 (32), 01.12.2007

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d5 5.cxd5 Qxd5 6.Nf3 Qf5 7.Qxf5 exf5 8.a3 Bd6 9.g3 Be6 10.Bf4 Nd5 11.e3 Nxf4 12.gxf4 c6 13.0-0-0 Nd7 14.d5 cxd5 15.Nxd5 Rc8+ 16.Kb1 Rc5 17.Nc3 Ke7 18.Nd4 Nf6 19.Bg2 Bd7 20.Rc1 Rb8 21.Rc2 a6 22.Rd1 Rcc8 23.Nb3 b5 24.Rcd2 b4 25.axb4 Bxb4 26.Rxd7+ Nxd7 27.Nd5+ Ke8 28.Bf1 a5 29.Nd4 Bc5 30.Ba6 Bxd4 31.Bxc8 Bxb2 32.Bxd7+ Kxd7 33.Ka2 a4 34.Nb4+








34...Ke6?? 34...Ke8 35.Na6 Rb7 36.Nc5 Rc7 37.Nxa4 Bf6 would have secured a draw without the suffering from the game. 35.Na6. Now the knight comes to c5 with check and Black cannot keep the bishop. 35...Rc8 36.Kxb2 Rc4








White is winning, but accuracy is required, since the knight is away and Black plans to exchange many pawns. 37.Rd2. White is winning after this move too, but with little time it is anything but easy. The simplest way is 37.Ka3 Rc2 38.Rf1 followed by Nb4 and Kxa4. Black can neither activate the king, nor exchange many pawns. The rook will soon have to leave the second rank too (when White will approach his king), so the position is hopeless for Black. 37...f6 38.Ka3 g5 39.fxg5 fxg5 40.Nb4 Rh4 41.f3 f4 42.exf4. Better is 42.e4 Rh3 43.Rf2 Ke5 (43...g4 44.Nd3 Rxf3 45.Rxf3 gxf3 46.Kxa4+-) 44.Kxa4 Kd4 (44...g4 45.Nc6+ Kd6 46.Kb5 Rxf3 47.e5+ Kd5 48.Rd2++-) 45.Rd2+ Ke3 46.Rd3+ Ke2 47.e5 Rxh2 48.e6 Rh6 49.Rd6+-. 42...Rxf4 43.Rf2 g4 44.Re2+ Kf5 45.fxg4+ Kxg4 46.Nd3 Rd4 47.Re3 Kh4 48.Ne1 Kh5 49.Ng2 Rg4 50.Rh3+ Kg6 51.Ne3 Rd4 52.Rg3+ Kh5 53.Rf3 Rh4 54.Nf1 Kg4 55.Rg3+ Kf4 56.Rc3 [56.Kxa4 Rxh2=] 56...Kg5 57.Rc5+ Kg4 58.Kxa4 Kh3+ 59.Kb3 Rf4 60.Nd2 Kxh2








61.Kc3 Kg3 62.Kd3 Kg4 63.Ke3 Rf5 64.Rc4+ Kg5 65.Ne4+ Kg6 66.Rc6+ Kg7 67.Ng3 Ra5 68.Kf4 Kf7 69.Nf5 Ra1 70.Nd6+ Ke7 71.Ne4 Rh1 72.Ra6 Rh4+ 73.Kf5 Rh5+ 74.Kg4 Rh1 75.Nf6 Rg1+ 76.Kf5 Rf1+ 77.Ke5 Re1+ 78.Ne4 Kf7 79.Rb6 h5 80.Kf5 Rf1+ 81.Kg5 Rg1+ 82.Kxh5 Ke7 83.Ng5 Rh1+ 84.Kg4 Rf1 85.Nf3 Ra1 86.Kf5 Rf1 87.Ke4 Ra1 88.Rh6 Kd7 89.Ne5+ Ke7 90.Nc4 Re1+ 91.Ne3 Kd7 92.Rh3 Ke6 93.Kf4 Kd6 94.Rh6+ Kc5 95.Ke4 Rg1 96.Rh5+ Kc6 97.Kd4 Ra1 98.Rh6+ Kd7 99.Nf5 Ra4+ 100.Ke5 Ra5+ 101.Ke4 Ra4+ 102.Nd4 Ra1 103.Rb6 Rh1 104.Ke5 Rh5+ 105.Nf5 Rh1 106.Kd5 Rd1+ 107.Nd4 Ke7 108.Re6+ Kf7 109.Re2 Kf6 110.Rf2+ Ke7 111.Rf4 Rd2 112.Rf1 Rd3 113.Ra1 Kf6 114.Ra6+ Ke7 115.Rb6 Rd1 116.Rh6 Rd3 117.Rh1 Kf6 118.Ke4 Ra3 119.Rh6+ Kf7 120.Rb6 Ra1 121.Nf3 Ke7 122.Kf5 Rf1 123.Kf4 Ra1 124.Ke4 Rh1 125.Ke5 Rh5+ 126.Kf4 Rh1 127.Nd4 Rf1+ 128.Ke5 Re1+ 129.Kd5 Rd1 130.Rb3 Kf6 131.Rb2 Ke7 132.Re2+ Kd7 133.Rh2 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]

All pictures by Eugeny Atarov for the official World Cup web site

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