World Cup R5.2: Radjabov equalises, Polgar and Gashimov eliminated

9/11/2011 – Azeri GM Taimour Radjabov lost his first game against veteran Vassily Ivanchuk; in the second he struck back and equalised, forcing a tiebreak on Sunday. David Navara and Alexander Grischuk are also tied and meet in the tiebreaks. Peter Svidler tricked Judit Polgar and Ruslan Ponomariov won a black game against Vugar Gashimov. Both are now in the semi-finals. Illustrated report.

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The tournament is taking place in the Ugorian Chess Academy in the very heart of Khanty-Mansiysk, which has hosted three previous World Cups: 2005, 2007, and 2009. The 128 participants hail from 46 different countries, and are playing for a total prize fund of US $1.6 million. In addition the first three finisher get tickets to the Candidates tournament in the next World Championship cycle.

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Round five game two

After losing his first game to Vassily Ivanchuk, Taimour Radjabov (picture above) made a fairly quick comeback, winning the second game in about three hours. Ivanchuk has a reputation of an incredibly knowledgeable player, so Radjabov wisely decided to avoid theoretical discussions, and selected a modest setup, aiming for a lengthy maneuvering battle. However, already on the tenth move White exploded the position, sacrificing a piece for two pawns. It is hard to say if the sacrifice was objectively correct, but it worked excellently in the game.

Such a turn of events was a very unpleasant surprise for Ivanchuk (above). The Ukrainian started to make mistakes. First he made a wrong bishop trade, giving up the dark squares, and then made a poor choice on the 16th move, selecting the worst recapture on c6. Soon Radjabov obtained material advantage and successfully converted it. The players will continue fighting on tie-breaks.

[Event "FIDE World Cup 2011"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2011.09.10"] [Round "5.2"] [White "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Black "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A37"] [WhiteElo "2744"] [BlackElo "2768"] [PlyCount "55"] [EventDate "2011.08.28"] 1. Nf3 c5 2. g3 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. Bg2 Nc6 5. Nc3 e6 6. d3 Nge7 7. h4 h6 8. Bd2 b6 9. h5 g5 {This is where Radjabov launches his explosive attack.} 10. Nxg5 $5 hxg5 11. Bxg5 Bxc3+ 12. bxc3 Bb7 13. Qd2 Qc7 14. Bf6 O-O-O 15. O-O-O Rhg8 16. Bxc6 dxc6 {Capturing with the knight or bishop would have been better.} 17. h6 Rg6 18. h7 Rxf6 19. h8=Q Rxh8 20. Rxh8+ Kd7 {Count the material: White has a rook and pawn for two minor pieces. But he is definitely calling the shots.} 21. d4 Qd6 $2 {The final and decisive mistake.} 22. Qg5 Rf5 23. Qh4 cxd4 24. Rxd4 Rd5 25. cxd5 Qa3+ 26. Kb1 cxd5 27. Rh7 Qxc3 28. Rxf7 {and there is no perpetual or any other hope of survival.} 1-0

Peter Svidler was first to advance to the semi finals, defeating Judit Polgar with the black pieces. In a Scheveningen Sicilian Black quickly won a pawn, but White's compensation was sufficient, as she had a strong bishop and good piece arrangement. According to Svidler, a draw would have been the logical conclusion to this game. However, Polgar overestimated her chances and was caught into one of the traps that had been set by her tricky opponent. Black's passed pawn gained a lot of strength and decided the outcome of the battle.

[Event "FIDE World Cup 2011"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2011.09.10"] [Round "5.2"] [White "Polgar, Judit"] [Black "Svidler, Peter"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2699"] [BlackElo "2739"] [PlyCount "90"] [EventDate "2011.08.28"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e6 7. f4 b5 8. Qf3 Bb7 9. Bd3 Nbd7 10. O-O Rc8 11. f5 e5 12. Nde2 Nc5 13. Rad1 b4 14. Nd5 Bxd5 15. Bxc5 Rxc5 16. exd5 Rxd5 17. Ng3 Rc5 18. Ne4 Nxe4 19. Bxe4 Be7 20. Bc6+ Kf8 21. Bd5 Bf6 22. Bb3 Qb6 23. Kh1 Ke7 24. Rd5 Qc6 25. Rfd1 Rxd5 26. Rxd5 Rc8 27. Qh5 h6 28. Ra5 Rf8 29. Qe2 Ra8 30. h3 Ra7 31. Qe3 Rc7 32. Rd5 Bg5 33. Qf3 Qb6 34. Rd1 Qc6 35. Qh5 Kf8 36. Rd5 e4 37. Qe2 e3 38. Rd4 a5 39. h4 Bf6 40. Rc4 Qa6 41. Qg4 Re7 42. Re4 Qf1+ 43. Kh2 Be5+ 44. g3 Qf2+ 45. Kh3 Bxg3 0-1

David Navara of the Czech Republic was also very close to his goal. He obtained a small advantage after the opening, increased the pressure and eventually won a pawn. However, he made a single careless move, and Alexander Grischuk (Russia), known for his amazing defensive skills, found a saving resource. Instead of losing two pawns, equalized the material balance. The game ended in a draw.

[Event "FIDE World Cup 2011"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2011.09.10"] [Round "5.2"] [White "Navara, David"] [Black "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D37"] [WhiteElo "2722"] [BlackElo "2746"] [PlyCount "107"] [EventDate "2011.08.28"] 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Be7 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Bf4 O-O 6. Rc1 c5 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. e3 Nc6 9. a3 a6 10. cxd5 exd5 11. Be2 d4 12. Na4 Ba7 13. exd4 Nxd4 14. Nxd4 Qxd4 15. Qxd4 Bxd4 16. O-O Bd7 17. b3 Bb5 18. Rfd1 Bxe2 19. Rxd4 Bb5 20. Nc3 Bc6 21. Bg5 Rfe8 22. Bxf6 gxf6 23. f3 Re5 24. Kf2 Rae8 25. b4 Kg7 26. Rc2 a5 27. Rcd2 Rc8 28. Rd8 Rxd8 29. Rxd8 axb4 30. axb4 f5 31. Ne2 Rb5 32. Rd4 Kf6 33. Nc3 Re5 34. Rh4 Kg7 35. Kg3 Re1 36. Rd4 Rc1 37. Nd1 Kf6 38. Kf4 Ke7 39. Kxf5 Bd7+ 40. Kf4 Be6 41. g4 h6 42. h4 Rb1 43. Nc3 Rb2 44. h5 Rc2 45. Ne4 Rc6 46. b5 Rc2 47. Rd6 Rb2 48. Rb6 Bd5 49. Ke5 ({One feels that} 49. Nc3 {had to be winning for White.}) 49... Bc6 50. g5 Rxb5+ 51. Rxb5 Bxb5 {[#] White is still winning, but now comes the careless move mentioned in the summary.} 52. g6 fxg6 53. hxg6 Bd3 {and all winning chances have dissipated.} 54. Nc5 1/2-1/2

Former world champion Ukrainian GM Ruslan Ponomariov (above) played the Berlin Variation of the Ruy Lopez against his opponent, Vugar Gashimov (Azerbaijan). It was a typical game for the Berlin: White maintained pressure, Black patiently defended and traded pieces. Vugar Gashimov probably made a mistake by trading his second knight for a bishop, after which Black seized the initiative. The game was very nervous, both players made mistakes, but Gashimov made the last one and eventually succumbed. Ruslan Ponomariov advanced to the semi-finals, where he meets Peter Svidler.

[Event "FIDE World Cup 2011"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2011.09.10"] [Round "5.2"] [White "Gashimov, Vugar"] [Black "Ponomariov, Ruslan"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C67"] [WhiteElo "2760"] [BlackElo "2764"] [PlyCount "206"] [EventDate "2011.08.28"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. Rd1+ Ke8 10. Nc3 Ne7 11. Nd4 Bd7 12. Ne4 Ng6 13. f4 Be7 14. Re1 c5 15. Nf3 Be6 16. Nfg5 Bxg5 17. Nxg5 Bf5 18. Ne4 b6 19. Ng3 Ne7 20. Nxf5 Nxf5 21. c3 h5 22. Kf2 Rd8 23. Be3 Ke7 24. Rad1 f6 25. exf6+ Kxf6 26. Rxd8 Rxd8 27. Bc1 a5 28. a4 c4 29. g3 Rd3 30. Ke2 Ke6 31. Bd2 Rd5 32. Rf1 g6 33. Rf3 Kf7 34. Rf1 Rd8 35. Bc1 Ke6 36. Re1 Rd3 37. Bd2 Rd8 38. Kd1+ Kf7 39. Re5 Nh6 40. Kc2 Ng4 41. Re2 Nf6 42. Be1 Rd6 43. h3 Rd3 44. b3 Rf3 45. bxc4 h4 46. gxh4 Rxf4 47. c5 Rxa4 48. cxb6 cxb6 49. Re5 Re4 50. Rxe4 Nxe4 51. c4 Ke6 52. Kb3 Kd6 53. Kc2 Ke5 54. Kd3 Kf4 55. Kd4 Kf3 56. Kd3 Nc5+ 57. Kd4 a4 58. Bb4 Ke2 59. Kc3 Ke3 60. Ba3 Ne4+ 61. Kb4 Kd3 62. Kb5 Kc3 63. Be7 Kb3 64. Kxb6 Kxc4 65. Kc6 Ng3 66. Kd7 Kd5 67. Ke8 Ke6 68. Ba3 Nf5 69. Kf8 Nxh4 70. Kg7 Kf5 71. Kh6 Nf3 72. Be7 Ke6 73. Ba3 Kf6 74. Bc5 Nh4 75. Bd4+ Kf5 76. Bc5 g5 77. Be7 Nf3 78. Kh5 Ng1 79. Bxg5 a3 80. Bc1 a2 81. Bb2 Nxh3 82. Kh4 Nf4 83. Kg3 Ke4 84. Ba1 Nd3 85. Kg2 Ke3 86. Kg3 Nc5 87. Kg2 Ke2 88. Kg3 Na4 89. Kg2 Nb6 90. Kg3 Nc4 91. Kg2 Ne3+ 92. Kg3 Nd1 93. Kg2 Ke3 94. Kg3 Kd2 95. Kf3 Kd3 96. Kf4 Kc2 97. Ke4 Nb2 98. Ke3 Na4 99. Ke2 Kc1 100. Kd3 Kb1 101. Kd2 Nb2 102. Kc3 Kxa1 103. Kc2 Nd3 0-1

Azeri GM Vugar Gashimov (left) was knocked out by Ruslan Ponomariov

Results of round five

 Svidler, Peter (RUS)
 Polgar, Judit (HUN)
 Ivanchuk, Vassily (UKR)
 Radjabov, Teimour (AZE)
 Grischuk, Alexander (RUS)
 Navara, David (CZE)
 Ponomariov, Ruslan (UKR)  
 Gashimov, Vugar (AZE)

Remaining schedule of the World Chess Cup 2011

Date Day Time   Rounds
10.09.2011 Saturday 15:00 Round 5, game 2
11.09.2011 Sunday 15:00 Tiebreak
12.09.2011 Monday 15:00 Round 6, game 1
13.09.2011 Tuesday 15:00 Round 6, game 2
14.09.2011 Wednesday 15:00 Tiebreak
15.09.2011 Thursday   Free Day
16.09.2011 Friday 15:00 Round 7, game 1
17.09.2011 Saturday 15:00 Round 7, game 2
18.09.2011 Sunday 15:00 Round 7, game 3
19.09.2011 Monday 15:00 Round 7, game 4
20.09.2011 Tuesday 11:00 Tiebreaks, Closing
21.09.2011 Wednesday   Departure


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