World Cup R4: Youngsters out, experience rules

12/2/2009 – The three youngest players – the darlings of chess fans – were knocked out in the tiebreaks in Khanty-Mansiysk. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, 19, lost to Boris Gelfand, 41; Fabiano Caruana, 17, was eliminated by Vugar Gashimov, 23; and Wesley So, 15, lost all three games to Vladimir Malakhov, 29. Jakovenko knocked out Grischuk, and Ponomariov Bacrot. Interviews with Grischuk and Shirov.

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The FIDE World Chess Cup is taking place in Khanty-Mansiysk from November 20th to December 15th 2009. It is a seven-round knockout event with six rounds of matches comprising two games per round, with the winners progressing to the next round. The final seventh round consists of four games. The time control is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an addition of 30 seconds per move from move one. Games start at 15:00h local time, which is GMT +5 hours = 11:00 a.m. European time = 5 a.m. New York. The World Chess Cup is an integral part of the World Championship Cycle 2009-2011.

Round four tiebreaks

Caruana,F (2652) - Gashimov,V (2758) [C42]
World Cup Khanty-Mansiysk RUS (4.3), 02.12.2009
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Nc3 Nxc3 6.dxc3 Be7 7.Be3 Nc6 8.Qd2 0-0 9.0-0-0 Ne5 10.h4 Re8 11.Nxe5 dxe5 12.Bd3 Bd6 13.Be4 f5 14.Bd5+ Be6 15.Bxe6+ Rxe6 16.Qd5 Qc8 17.g4 f4

18.Bxf4!? exf4 19.Rhe1 Kf7 20.Rd4 c6 21.Qb3 (Fritz prefers 21.Qf5 Rf6 22.Qd3) 21...Kf6

The downfall in this event came for Fabiano Caruana with his decision here to sacrifice an exchange: 22.Rxd6 Rxd6 23.g5+ Kg6 24.h5+ Kxg5 25.h6 Qe8! 26.Rg1+ (26.Rxe8 Rxe8 with the deadly threat of 27...Re1#) 26...Kxh6 27.Rh1+ Kg6 28.Qxb7 Qf8 29.Rg1+ Kf6 30.Qb4 g5 0-1. Sorry young man, you have nothing. It's over. [Click to replay]

In the second game Fabiano started a go-for-broke attack on Gashimov's white king:

Gashimov,V (2758) - Caruana,F (2652) [C80]
World Cup Khanty-Mansiysk RUS (4.4), 02.12.2009
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.Nbd2 Nc5 10.c3 Be7 11.Nd4 Nxe5 12.Bc2 Qd6 13.N2b3 Ne4 14.Bf4 g5 15.Bxe5 Qxe5 16.Re1 Bd6 17.g3 Qf6 18.Bxe4 dxe4 19.Rxe4 0-0 20.Nxe6 fxe6 21.Qe2 e5 22.Kg2 h5 23.Nc1 g4 24.Nd3 Qf3+ 25.Qxf3 Rxf3 26.Nxe5 Rf5 27.Nd3 Raf8 28.Rf1 Kg7 29.Rfe1 c5 30.c4 bxc4 31.Rxc4 Rd5 32.Nc1 Be5 33.Re2 Bd4 34.Nd3

It's interesting to play through the follow lunge-and-parry phase: 34...h4 35.Nf4 h3+ 36.Kf1 Rd6 37.b4 Rf5 38.bxc5 Bxc5 39.Ne6+ Rxe6 40.Rxe6 Rxf2+ 41.Ke1 Rxh2 42.Rxc5 Rh1+ 43.Kf2 1-0. [Click to replay]


The third game was drawn and Fabiano Caruana was out of the World Cup


Maxime Vachier-Lagrave had chances in the rapid games against Boris Gelfand,
but failed to take them and then lost the second blitz game to exit the World Cup


Wesley So, the 16-year-old Philipino who had electrified chess fans by his performance
in Khanty, went down 0-3 against the experienced Russian GM Vladimir Malakhov in the rapids.


Etienne Bacrot had drawn his regular and three rapid games against Ruslan Ponomariov, with some really dramatic action (see interview with Grischuk below). In rapid game four the French GM came a cropper:

Ponomariov,R (2739) - Bacrot,E (2700) [D19]
World Cup Khanty-Mansiysk RUS (4.6), 02.12.2009
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bxc4 Bb4 8.0-0 Nbd7 9.Nh4 Bg4 10.Qb3 a5 11.f3 Bh5 12.g4 Nd5 13.Ng2 Bg6 14.e4 N5b6 15.Be2 Qe7 16.Be3 f6 17.Nf4 Bf7 18.Nd3 e5 19.d5 Bxc3 20.Bxb6 cxd5 21.Bf2 Bd4 22.Qxb7 0-0 23.Rac1 Rab8 24.Qc7 dxe4 25.fxe4 Bxf2+ 26.Rxf2 Qd8 27.Bf1 Rc8 28.Qxd8 Rfxd8 29.Rxc8 Rxc8 30.b4 Be6 31.bxa5 Ra8 32.a6 Bc4 33.Nb4 Bxf1 34.Kxf1 Nc5 35.Rc2 Nxa6 36.Nd5 Kf7 37.Ke2 Ra7 38.Kd3 Ke6 39.Rc8

39...h5?! A very risky idea by Bacrot, who has been doing okay in this hard-fought game. 40.gxh5 f5 41.Rc6+ Kd7 42.Rg6 fxe4+ 43.Kxe4 (Fritz gives 43.Ke3+–) 43...Nc5+ 44.Kxe5 Ke8 45.Rc6 Nd7+ 46.Kd6 Rxa4 47.Rc8+ Kf7 48.Kxd7 Rh4 49.Rc2 Rxh5 50.Kd6 Kg8 51.Ke6 Kh7 52.Rg2 Kh6 53.Ne7 Ra5 54.Nf5+ Kh5 55.h4

The death trap. Black will be mated if he cannot force a perpetual. He cannot. 55...Ra6+ 56.Ke7! (watch it: 56.Kf7 Rf6+=!) 56...Ra7+ 57.Kf8 Ra8+ 58.Kf7 Ra7+ 59.Kg8 Ra8+ 60.Kh7 (the safe house) 1-0.

Alexander Grischuk and Dmitry Jakovenko played 14 and 12-move draws in their regular games, with a bit more fight in the well-balanced four rapid chess games.


Grischuk in action in the rapids

Then came the blitz phase, where Grischuk was the clear favourite. But it was Jakovenko who won both games – in the first he missed a forced mate (play through the game from move 36) but won anyway, in the second he actually mated the opponent:

Jakovenko,D (2736) - Grischuk,A (2736) [B51]
World Cup Khanty-Mansiysk RUS (4.8), 02.12.2009
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Nc6 4.Bxc6+ bxc6 5.0-0 Bg4 6.c3 Nf6 7.d3 Nd7 8.Nbd2 e6 9.Re1 Be7 10.Qa4 Qc7 11.e5 Bh5 12.exd6 Bxd6 13.Qh4 Nf6 14.Ng5 Be7 15.Nge4 Bg6 16.Nxf6+ Bxf6 17.Qc4 Rd8 18.Ne4 Rd5 19.Nxf6+ gxf6 20.d4 cxd4 21.cxd4 Rg8 22.g3 h5 23.Qc3 h4 24.Bf4 Qb6 25.Rac1 Kd7 26.b3 hxg3 27.fxg3 Qxd4+ 28.Qxd4 Rxd4 29.Red1 Rxd1+ 30.Rxd1+ Kc8 31.Kf2 Be4 32.h4 Rh8 33.b4 a6 34.a3 Bd5 35.Be3 Kd7 36.Rd2 e5 37.Rc2 f5 38.Rc5 Kd6 39.Ra5 Bc4 40.Rc5 Bb5 41.Bd2 f6 42.Rc1 Ke6 43.Be3 f4 44.gxf4 Rxh4 45.fxe5 fxe5 46.Rg1 Kf5 47.Bc5 Rc4 48.Rg3 Rc2+ 49.Ke1 Ra2 50.Rf3+ Ke4 51.Re3+ Kf4 52.Rc3 e4 53.Be3+ Kf3 54.Bc1+ Kg2 55.Re3 Bd3 56.Kd1 Ra1 57.Kd2 Ra2+ 58.Kd1 Rf2 59.Bd2 Rf5 60.Be1 Rd5 61.Kd2 Rd4 62.Rg3+

Grischuk is attacking with everything he has (left), but this is what happens: 62...Kf1? 63.Ke3 Rd5?? 64.Bf2 and it is mate in two with Rg1. 1-0 – traumatic. There is an interview with Grischuk in the section below. [Click to replay]


On to round five: Russian GM Dmitry Jakovenko

Photos by Galina Popova courtesy of FIDE

Results of round four

 Players  G1  G2  R1  R2  R3  R4  B1  B2   Tot
 Vachier-Lagrave, Max. (FRA)
½
½
½
½
½
½
½
0
1.0
 Gelfand, Boris (ISR)
½
½
½
½
½
½
½
1
1.0
                   
 Gashimov, Vugar (AZE)
½
½
1
1
½
     
3.5
 Caruana, Fabiano (ITA)
½
½
0
0
½
     
1.5
                   
 Shirov, Alexei (ESP)
0
½
           
0.5
 Svidler, Peter (RUS)
1
½
           
1.5
                   
 Laznicka, Viktor (CZE)
0
½
           
0.5
 Mamedyarov, Shakh. (AZE)
1
½
           
1.5
                   
 Karjakin, Sergey (UKR)
½
1
           
1.5
 Vitiugov, Nikita (RUS)
½
0
           
0.5
                   
 So, Wesley (PHI)
½
½
0
0
0
     
1.0
 Malakhov, Vladimir (RUS)
½
½
1
1
1
     
4.0
                   
 Bacrot, Etienne (FRA)
½
½
½
½
½
0
   
2.5
 Ponomariov, Ruslan (UKR)
½
½
½
½
½
1
   
3.5
                   
 Grischuk, Alexander (RUS)
½
½
½
½
½
½
0
0
1.0
 Jakovenko, Dmitry (RUS)
½
½
½
½
½
½
1
1
1.0

Schedule of the World Cup 2009

Friday 20 November Opening Ceremony
Saturday 21 November Round 1- Game 1
Sunday 22 November Round 1 - Game 2
Monday 23 November Tiebreaks
Tuesday 24 November Round 2 - Game 1
Wednesday 25 November Round 2 - Game 2
Thursday 26 November Tiebreaks
Friday 27 November Round 3 - Game 1
Saturday 28 November Round 3 - Game 2
Sunday 29 November Tiebreaks
Monday 30 November Round 4 - Game 1
Tuesday 01 December Round 4 - Game 2
Wednesday 02 December Tiebreaks
 
Thursday 03 December Round 5 - Game 1
Friday 04 December Round 5 - Game 2
Saturday 05 December Tiebreaks
Sunday 06 December Round 6 - Game 1
Monday 07 December Round 6 - Game 2
Tuesday 08 December Tiebreaks
Wednesday 09 December Free Day
Thursday 10 December Round 7 - Game 1
Friday 11 December Round 7 - Game 2
Saturday 12 December Round 7 - Game 3
Sunday 13 December Round 7 - Game 4
Monday 14 December Tiebreaks / Closing
Tuesday 15 December Departures

FIDE interviews

Alexander Grischuk: "Jakovenko knew all my secrets!"

Destiny played a mean trick on the Russian chess player Alexander Grischuk. After he outplayed his friend Vladislav Tkachiev in Round Two, the French grandmaster stated in the press conference: “My friend Sasha knew all my secrets!” In Round Four Grischuk was unlucky the same way: his opponent Dmitry Jakovenko knew … all his secrets!

Grischuk: The match against Dmitry was not going well from the very beginning. I could not manage to get an advantage with white. And with black you don't get anything at all… I prepared several openings for the World Cup, but apparently I used all of them up to my match against Dmitry. And I had practically nothing to surprise Dmitry. So, this is what happened: I had no advantage during the whole match. I had slight hopes to do something in the rapid games. But my opponent played quite good in these games as well.

The decisive game was at the fourth rapid game. I played a usual variation, to my mind, but all of a sudden got into a trouble. I had to defense: in a long and agonizing way. I managed to make a draw, but the game took a lot of energy from me. I played blitz just awfully. In first game I changed all possible pieces and in the second I missed a mate in two moves.

There was an opinion that you tried to bring it to the blitz games. You are considered the best blitz player in the world…

I was considered. I could not get more than fifth place in the latest World Blitz Championship.

You have worked with Jakovenko before. Did this fact influence the match against him here?

Of course. We both knew what we can do. However it turned out that Dmitry knew more of my secrets than me.

Chess players have different opinion on the new tie breaks regulations. What is your opinion?

The tie breaks are too long now. I think they should be shortened. For example, the rapid games should have a time control 20 minutes for game. Something is not clear for me: why we play two classical games, four rapid and then again two blitz games? I would suggest another, more logical format: two plus four plus six and then Sudden death.

Who will win the Cup, to your mind?

There are few chess players left. They all have good chances.

Perhaps Dmitry Jakovenko?

Perhaps. But our performance during the match did not impress me. But it depends with what to compare. Have you seen the game Bacrot-Ponomariov of yesterday? The real miracles could be seen there.

Your wife Natalia Zhukova is playing in a tournament in Turkey now. Do you follow her games?

As far as I know, my wife is playing there even worse than me here. She could outplayed only one Turkish chess player who is not strong at all. And three losses…


Interview with Alexei Shirov

There is an irreplaceable loss of the Cup: the runner up of the last World Cup 2007 Alexey Shirov of Spain is leaving the tournament. He lost his match against the Russian chess player Peter Svidler – 0.5-1.5.

Shirov: Everything was clear after the first game when I lost with white. My position looked very threatening. But at one point I played inaccurately, got in time trouble and badly blundered. And then everything crashed after this. As a result I lost and got an almost desperate match situation.

[In the second game against Svidler] I played my traditional “Spanish” opening. I managed to get a quite good position, but only with equal chances. I was trying to get an initiative but Peter stopped it at once. In time trouble I blundered again. It is good that it did not lead to another defeat. In the final position Peter may have scored again a full point.

Did you believe that you could win after your loss in the first game?

I realized that many things depend on what position I will have after the opening. But I did not have illusions… At the end we had an almost equal position, but very complicated. I had some hopes, but unfortunately Peter was playing very convincingly.

You came to Khanty Mansiysk with a charming friend? Tell us about her.

[Here Alexey faltered – it was obvious that he was trying to find the correct words…] It is not easy to speak about a dear person. Olga's support is very important for me now. Almost priceless. I am very thankful to her for coming here! We are together for a short time, though we know each other for a longer period. After we met and I became more optimistic, in chess as well as in life.


Links

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