World Cup 6.3: MVL, Tomashevsky collapse

8/28/2013 – Vachier-Lagrave collapsed in his game against Kramnik and basically gave away a free point with white in the first rapid game. Kramnik didn't forgive and finished off the match easily. In a bizarre decision Tomashevsky did not trade queens in the second game which allowed a swift attack by Andreikin who will play Kramnik in the finals. Express report and GM Analysis of MVL's debacle.

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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), then two blitz games (5min + 3sec) 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 six tiebreaks

MVL fears things to come...

In the first game Maxime Vachier-Lagrave was annihilated by Vladimir Kramnik. Despite playing Black, Kramnik played confidently, quickly and aggressively and immediately took advantage of White's awkward placement of his pieces. In only twenty moves White's position had collapsed.

[Event "FIDE World Cup 2013, tiebreak"] [Site "Tromsø"] [Date "2013.08.28"] [Round "6.3"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C45"] [WhiteElo "2719"] [BlackElo "2784"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "44"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] [EventCountry "NOR"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Bb4+ 5. c3 Bc5 6. Be3 Bb6 {White has tried a series of moves in this position. Qg4 has become the most popular way of putting pressure on Black, though Nf5 and Bc4 still score relatively well. MVL's move here has only been seen before once.} 7. Bd3 Nf6 (7... Nge7 $6 8. O-O O-O 9. Re1 Ne5 10. Bc2 {Kovalenko-Kharlov 2012.}) 8. O-O O-O 9. Nxc6 bxc6 10. e5 Nd5 11. Bd2 d6 {Black's position is already rather pleasant as he has activated his pieces favorable and he will have good activity to compensate for his only very slightly worse pawn structure.} 12. c4 Ne7 13. Qc2 Ng6 14. exd6 cxd6 (14... Qxd6 $5 {trying to utilize the bad positioning of White's bishops was also interesting. The way Kramnik plays is more logical though.}) 15. Nc3 Qh4 16. Rae1 Ne5 17. Re4 $6 {A strange decision to put this rook in the middle of the board.} (17. Ne4 {the e4 square was better for the knight.} Nxd3 18. Qxd3 d5 $5 19. cxd5 cxd5 20. Ng5 $1 {And chances should be around equal.}) 17... Qh5 18. Be2 $6 {White is chasing Black's queen to a very threatening square.} Qg6 19. Qd1 Bh3 $1 {Very precise! White's bishop is a target on f3 where it is being lured to.} 20. Bf3 Bf5 21. Rh4 $2 {The decisive mistake.} (21. Rf4 {defending the f3 bishop.} Bc2 22. Qc1 Bd3 23. Rd1 $1 { White's position is obviously worse but he is holding on.}) 21... Bc2 {Now Black will at least win an exchange.} 22. Qxc2 (22. Qe2 Bd3 23. Qd1 Bxf1 24. Kxf1 Rae8 {is also completely lights out.}) 22... Nxf3+ {squashing any vague hopes of counterplay.} (22... Qxc2 23. Be4 Qxd2 24. Bxh7+ Kh8 25. Bf5+ Qh6 { was also completely winning. A sad game for MVL who has played excellent chess. Fatigue and pressure in this tournament is unlike any other, so it is understandable people make mistakes like this, regardless of their strength.}) 0-1

In the first game Evgeny Tomashevsky obtained a superior pawn structure but Black's activity was considerable. Move by move it became clear that it was impossible for White to make any progress, while Black's position became more and more comfortable while his pawns could simply not be attacked. However Black's attack also came to an end as White's position was solidly held to gether by his knights on e2 and g3.

The second game saw Tomashevsky interestingly employ a variation which had been used against him earlier in the tournament. The exact position from Tomashevsky-Ramirez was reached, a game in which Black comfortably held a draw. Black also obtained a fabulous position in this case and seemed that he would at least hold a comfortable draw. However Black made a considerable mistake by consistently delaying the trade of queens, something which he should have done from the very beginning, and eventually his exposed king position and especially the weakness on f7 proved to be fatal and Andreikin wins another tiebreak to move on and play Kramnik in the finals.

In the most sacred of traditions, the players choose the colors in the old fashioned way

When all is said and done...

...the ex-World Champion begins the four-game match with the white pieces

All photos by Paul Trong

All results of the sixth round games

Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Andreikin, Dmitri 2716
½
½
½
1
          2.5
Tomashevsky, Evg 2706
½
½
½
0
          1.5
Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Vachier-Lagrave, M 2719
½
½
0
½
          1.5
Kramnik, Vladimir 2784
½
½
1
½           2.5

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Topics Tromso, World Cup
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