World Cup 4.2: Caruana, Kramnik, Kamsky through

8/21/2013 – But the big news was that Hikaru Nakamura lost his game to Anton Korobov and was eliminated after four rounds. Kramnik and Caruana had no serious problems settling matters, the former with a draw against Vassily Ivanchuk, the latter with a win against Julio Granda Zuniga. Four matches go into the tiebreaks on Thursday. Round four game two report.

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The FIDE World Cup is a knockout, starting with 128 players, with two games (90 min for 40 moves + 30 min for the rest, with 30 seconds increment) between pairs of players. The tiebreaks consist of two rapid games (25 min + 10 sec), then two accelerated games (10 min + 10 sec), and finally an Armageddon. The winner and the runner-up of the World Cup 2013 will qualify for the Candidates Tournament of the next World Championship cycle. The venue is the city of Tromsø, which lies in the northern-most region of Norway, almost 400 km inside the Arctic Circle. You can find all details and links to many ChessBase articles on Tromsø here. The World Cup starts on Sunday, August 11th and lasts until September 3rd (tiebreaks, closing ceremony). Each round lasts three days, while the final will consist of four classical games. Thursday August 29 is a free day. A detailed schedule can be found here.

Round four game two

Vassily Ivanchuk tried to create complications against Vladimir Kramnik with 1.Nf6 b6!? However The Russian was his usual rock solid self. Ivanchuk might not have been too displeased with the result of the opening, but the fact was that White's position was still very hard to breach. In the final position White might even be a smidgeon better, but of course Kramnik only needed a draw and he was happy with the result.

Kramnik (above in the press conference with Susan Polgar and Lawrence Trent) had originally bought his ticket out of Tromso for the 20th (after the third round), but of course he survived that. Then he changed his ticket to the 23rd! Now that he has won his game, he will change it to the 26th. "Superstition", the first person to pass to the quarter finals said was the reason for changing the ticket one match at a time.

In Anton Korobov against Hikaru Nakamura (above left) the American placed nearly all his pawns in a white square, creating a long stonewall set-up. The problem with this set-ups is always the lack of activity of the light-squared bishop. This game was simply no better than usual for this minor piece, and White was practically playing with an extra piece. The issue intensified as more and more pieces got traded off and White's advantage kept increasing.

Black's light-squared bishop had no participation in the opening of the kingside;
Korobov (above) collected the full point and the ticket to quarter finals.

Julio Granda Zuniga vs Fabiano Caruana was a strange attempt by the Peruvian to take the highest rated remaining player of the tournament out of book. This try completely backfired as Caruana locked the position quickly and winning chances were completely impossible to find... at least for White. Black had the better pieces and the better position. White sacrificed an exchange to try to create counterplay, but it was to no avail. Caruana even won the game and advances 2-0.

Peter Svidler (above right) tried the exchange Slav against Le Quang Liem, trying to pressure the Vietnamese with absolutely no risk. However in chess usually no risk means no reward, and Le Quang Liem held his game with no problems and forced a tiebreak.

Sergey Karjakin (above right) faced a very soild but passive French from Dmitri Andreikin. White held a very slight edge throughout the entirety of the game. At some point Black's h-pawn was too weak and it fell to White's pressure, but that still did not give Karjakin a huge advantage, as his own h-pawn then came under pressure and was difficult to advance. Andreikin managed the draw and they go to a tiebreak.

If yesterday's Kamsky-Mamedyarov was the game of the day, today's Mamedyarov-Kamsky was the game of the tournament. The opening was a crazy Gruenfeld in which Black's king was quite exposed but he had a strong queenside. The game changed radically, as Black gave back some of his queenside to obtain quick development and some unusual but strong counterplay. On top of that, Gata was playing with only five minutes on his clock (plus increment) starting on move 17! It seemed like he was consistently in trouble, but amazingly he kept finding the most impressive resources, even to the point of simply ignoring White's d-pawn that queened! Black sacrificed a rook and was able to still create counterplay against White's exposed king and the strong c-pawn. A perpetual sealed the deal in what was a miraculous draw, and Kamsky advanced.

Game of the tournament: Gata Kamsky, left, in the press conference

Boris Gelfand (above) kept a small but persistent pressure against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave's unusual version of the e3 Slav. However the position of MVL was quite manageable and Gelfand could not puncture through his defenses. An exchange sacrifice gave the Israeli a strong passed pawn but it was not enough, the game ended in a draw.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Susan Polgar, Lawrence Trent and Boris Gelfand in the postmortem

Evegeny Tomashevsky (above) used a clever move order in the King's Indian Defense to reach a Fianchetto variation. He obtained a slight advantage from the opening and kept pressuring Morozevich's position which became more and more uncomfortable with every move. However Black kept finding resources and eventually was able to even equalize the game, and the two Russians go to a tiebreak.

Pictures provided by Paul Truong in Tromsø

All results of the fourth round games

Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Morozevich, Alex. 2739
½
½
              1.0
Tomashevsky, E. 2706
½
½
              1.0
Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Caruana, Fabiano 2796
1
1
              2.0
Granda, Julio 2664
0
0
              0.0
Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Ivanchuk, Vassily 2731
0
½
              0.5
Kramnik, Vladimir 2784
1
½
              1.5
Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Le, Quang Liem 2702
½
½
              1.0
Svidler, Peter 2746
½
½
              1.0
Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Andreikin, Dmitry 2716
½
½
              1.0
Karjakin, Sergey 2772
½
½
              1.0
Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Nakamura, Hikaru 2772
½
0
              0.5
Korobov, Anton 2720
½
1
              1.5
Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Vachier-Lagrave, M 2719
½
½
              1.0
Gelfand, Boris 2764
½
½
              1.0
Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Kamsky, Gata 2741
1
½
              1.5
Mamedyarov, S. 2775
0
½
              0.5

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Video reports from Tromsø


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Topics Tromso, World Cup
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