Aronian in the final – Winter in Khanty-Mansiysk

12/13/2005 – The only decisive game in the semifinals so far was Levon Aronian's victory over Etienne Bacrot. The Armenian GM proceeds to the final, while Ponomariov and Grischuk decide who faces him in the tiebreaks tomorrow. Gelfand beat Gurevich in the second group. Viktoria Abakumovskikh has sent us a lovely winter photo report.

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The FIDE World Chess Cup is being stage from November 26th to December 18th, 2005, in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. This the 128-player event replaces what was known as the "FIDE Knockout World Championship" and serves as a qualifier for the Candidates stage of the world championship. The prize fund is US $1.5 million, with President Ilyumzhinov providing $300,000 for organisational costs.

FIDE WORLD CUP, 2005 ROUND 6 – Game 2

Ponomariov-Grischuk, a Sicilian Najdorf, ended as a 17-move draw. Aronian-Bacrot, a D15 Slav, saw White winning a distant past pawn and trying to make something of it with opposite colored bishops on the board. On move 50 the game score suddenly says "1-0", indicating either that Bacrot overstepped the time or that he acknowledged a convoluted win, one we have failed to pick up in the admittedly short time we spent looking at the position.


Levon Aronian, the "senior" in the leading group

Aronian,L (2724) - Bacrot,E (2725) [D15]
WCC Khanty Mansyisk RUS (6.2), 13.12.2005
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.a4 e6 6.g3 dxc4 7.Bg2 c5 8.dxc5 Qxd1+ 9.Nxd1 Nc6 10.Be3 Nd5 11.0-0 Nxe3 12.Nxe3 Bxc5 13.Nxc4 Ke7 14.Rac1 Bd7 15.Nfe5 Nxe5 16.Nxe5 Bd6 17.Nxd7 Kxd7 18.Bxb7 Ra7 19.Bc6+ Ke7 20.b3 Rb8 21.Rb1 f5 22.e3 Rc7 23.Bf3 Rc3 24.Be2 Rcxb3 25.Rxb3 Rxb3 26.Bxa6 Ra3 27.Bb5 Be5 28.Kg2 Ra1 29.Rxa1 Bxa1 30.a5 Be5 31.a6 Bb8 32.h4 Ba7 33.Kf3 Kf6 34.g4 h6 35.h5 g5 36.hxg6 Kxg6 37.gxf5+ exf5 38.Bf1 Kg5 39.Kg3 Kf6 40.Bg2 Bb6 41.Kh4 Kg6 42.Bc6 Bd8+ 43.Kg3 Bb6 44.e4 Kf6 45.f4 fxe4 46.Bxe4 Ke6 47.Kg4 Kf6 48.Bg2 Ba7 49.Bh3 Bc5 50.f5 Ba7

1-0.

Whatever the reason, this puts 23-year-old Levon Aronian, grandmaster from Armenia, in the finals. His opponent will be determined in the tiebreaks tomorrow between Ponomariov and Grischuk.


Missed the final: Etienne Bacrot [Photos Frits Agterdenbos]

In the group for places 5-8 Bareev-Rublevsky was a 19-move draw, while Mikhail Guruvich had no chance against Boris Gelfand in this second must-win game, which he resigned after 64 moves. It is interesting to compare the average age between these two groups:

Group 1
ages
Group 2
ages
Grischuk
22
Rublevsky 
31
Ponomariov 
22
Bareev
39
Bacrot
22
Gurevich
46
Aronian
23
Gelfand
37
Average
22.25 
Average
38.25 

Carlsen-Malakhov was another Slav (how many were played today?) and it saw the young Norwegian pressing for 57 moves in a closed position. But the game ended in a draw and the tiebreaks will decide in this 9-15 group tomorrow. The same applies to Vallejo-Kamsky, a Slav, which ended in a draw after 21 moves.

Van Wely-Lautier was a Queen's Indian and a 17-move draw. Konstantin Sakaev needed to win against Dreev, and fought hard in a QGD. In the end, after 46 moves, he was already worse and had to accept the draw.

Results

Round 6, Game two – Tuesday, December 13, 2005

For places 1-4
1  Grischuk, Alexander (RUS)
½-½, ½-½
 Ponomariov, Ruslan (UKR)
1-1
2 Bacrot, Etienne (FRA)  
½-½, 0-1
 Aronian, Levon (ARM)
0.5-1.5
For places 5-8
3  Rublevsky, Sergei (RUS)
½-½, ½-½
  Bareev, Evgeny (RUS)
1-1
4  Gurevich, Mikhail (BEL)
0-1, 0-1
 Gelfand, Boris (ISR)
0-2
For places 9-12
5  Malakhov, Vladimir (RUS)
½-½, ½-½
 Carlsen, Magnus (NOR)
1-1
6  Kamsky, Gata (USA)
½-½, ½-½ 
 Vallejo Pons, Francisco (ESP)
1-1
For places 13-16
7  Lautier, Joel (FRA)
½-½, ½-½
 Van Wely, Loek (NED)
1-1
8 Dreev, Alexey (RUS)
1-0, ½-½
 Sakaev, Konstantin (RUS)
1.5-0.5

Winter in Khanty-Mansiysk

Pictorial essay by Viktoria Abakumovskikh


The centre of the city Khanty-Mansiysk


War monument in the Park at the centre of the city


Ice sculptures in the park


Ice sculputres in the park


More of them...


Light decorations in the city


Schedule
26 november Opening Ceremony   19:00
26 november Players' Meeting   21:00
27 november Round 1 Game 1 15:00
28 november Round 1 Game 2 15:00
29 november Tie-breaks   15:00
30 november Round 2 Game 1 15:00
1 december Round 2 Game 2 15:00
2 december Tie-breaks   15:00
3 december Round 3 Game 1 15:00
4 december Round 3 Game 2 15:00
5 december Tie-breaks   15:00
6 december Round 4 Game 1 15:00
7 december Round 4 Game 2 15:00
8 december Tie-breaks   15:00
9 december Round 5 Game 1 15:00
10 december Round 5 Game 2 15:00
11 december Tie-breaks   15:00
12 december Round 6 Game 1 15:00
13 december Round 6 Game 2 15:00
14 december Tie-breaks   15:00
15 december Round 7 Game 1 15:00
16 december Round 7 Game 2 15:00
17 december Tie-breaks   15:00
17 december Closing Ceremony   20:00


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