Khanty-Mansiysk: First games in semifinals drawn

by ChessBase
12/12/2005 – Both the semifinal games of the FIDE World Cup were drawn, one uneventfully and one with a bit of excitement. In the matches for the places 5-16 there were two decided encounters: Boris Gelfand beat Mikhail Gurevich by refuting his over-ambitious attack; and Konstantin Sakaev spoilt a very nice game against Dreev with a capital blunder. Report and interviews.

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


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 1

Grischuk-Ponomariov was an uneventful 16-move draw (naturally a Petroff). Bacrot-Aronian was beginning to look interesting when at move 23 the French GM suddenly went for a threefold repetition.

Bacrot,E (2725) - Aronian,L (2724) [C89]
WCC Khanty Mansyisk RUS (6.1), 12.12.2005
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.d3 Bd6 13.Re1 Bf5 14.Qf3 Qh4 15.g3 Qh3 16.Bxd5 cxd5 17.Be3 Bxd3 18.Qxd5 Rad8 19.Qf3 Bc4 20.Nd2 Be6 21.Bd4 Bb8 22.Ne4 Bd5

23.Bxg7 Kxg7. Black could have tried 23...f5 24.Bxf8 Bxe4 25.Rxe4 fxe4 26.Qxe4 Rxf8, when he has a piece for three pawns, but Aronian did not fancy this double-edged continuation. 24.Qf6+ Kg8 25.Qg5+ Kh8 26.Qf6+ Kg8 ½-½.

In the fight for the places 5-8 Rublevsky and Bareev played a Caro-Kann which ended in a 19-move draw. The other game in this section was far more interesting:

Gurevich,M (2652) - Gelfand,B (2717) [D31]
WCC Places 5-8 Khanty Mansyisk RUS (6.1), 12.12.2005
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c6 4.e4 Bb4 5.cxd5 exd5 6.exd5 cxd5 7.Bd3 Nc6 8.Nge2 Nge7 9.Qc2 Bd6 10.a3 h6 11.Be3 0-0 12.0-0 Be6 13.f4 f5 14.Kh1 Nc8 15.g4 fxg4 16.f5 Qh4 17.Nf4 Bf7 18.f6 gxf6 19.Bf5 N8e7 20.Bxg4 Kh8 21.Nb5 Bb8 22.Be6 a6

With his knight under attack Gurevich goes for the decisive kingside assault: 23.Rf3!? Bxe6 24.Nxe6 Qg4! The attack is cooly refuted by Gelfand. 25.Qf2. 25.Qg2 Qxg2+ (25...Qxe6? 26.Rh3) 26.Kxg2 Rg8+ 27.Kh1 axb5 28.Rxf6 was an only slightly less unpleasant alternative. The rest looks a bit frightening, but Boris Gelfand had everything under full control. 25...Qxe6 26.Bxh6 Rg8 27.Qh4 Rg6 28.Bf8+ Kg8 29.Re1 Qg4 30.Qxg4 Rxg4 31.Bxe7 axb5 32.Bxf6 Bd6 33.Rh3 Kf7 34.Be5 Bxe5 35.dxe5 Rag8 36.e6+ Ke7 0-1.

Experienced and unflappable: Boris Gelfand

Going down in flames: Mikhail Gurevich

In the third group Malakhov vs Carlsen was a 56-move maneuvering English game, with all four bishops struggling for tangible advantage. But the game ended in a draw. We are as usual amazed by the chess maturity displayed by the 15-year-old Norwegian.

Keeping an eye on this kid: FIDE President Kirsan
Ilyumzhinov kibitzing in a Magnus Carlsen game

Kamsky vs Vallejo was a rest day ten-move draw. The American come-back will face a tough task tomorrow against the upbeat Spaniard, who has been performing at a 2720 level so far in this event.

In the group for 13-16 Lautier-van Wely ended in a 15-move draw. The second game also looked like it was heading for the same result after 38 moves, but then disaster struck:

Dreev,A (2694) - Sakaev,K (2668) [D31]
WCC Places 13-16 Khanty Mansyisk RUS (6.1), 12.12.2005
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 e6 4.e4 dxe4 5.Nxe4 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Qxd4 7.Bxb4 Qxe4+ 8.Be2 Na6 9.Ba5 f6 10.Nf3 b6 11.Bc3 Ne7 12.0-0 0-0 13.Re1 e5 14.b4 Bf5 15.Qa4 Nc7 16.Rad1 Ne6 17.Rd6 Rfd8 18.Nd2 Qh4 19.Rxd8+ Nxd8 20.Bf3 Ne6 21.Qa6 Ng5 22.Qb7 Re8 23.Be2 Ne6 24.g3 Qh6 25.Qxa7 Nd4 26.Qxb6 Nxe2+ 27.Rxe2 Qh3 28.f3 h5 29.a4 h4 30.Qf2 hxg3 31.hxg3 Bd3 32.Re1 Qe6 33.b5 cxb5 34.cxb5 Rc8 35.Bb4 Nd5 36.Ba5 Rc2 37.b6 Rb2 (after ...Ba6 and ...Qc6 Black would have had a clear advantage) 38.Qd4

Black is fine, he can pick up the b-pawn (incidentally with 38...Qxb6) and face no danger. Inexplicably Sakaev, who after a somewhat shaky opening has outplayed Dreev, now blunders badly: 38...Qh3?? This simply hangs a piece. 39.Qxd5+ 1-0. Our only explanation is that the 31-year-old Konstantin Sakaev overlooked the check in the last move and intended to play 39...Qxg3+ 40.Kh1 Qxe1 with a winning position.

Struck down by a blunder: Konstantin Sakaev


Round 6, Game one – Monday, December 12, 2005

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

Interviews on the tournament web site

Florencio Campomanes: We don`t want to leave Khanty-Mansiysk!

FIDE Honorary President Florencio Campomanes spent some time visiting the museums of Khanty-Mansiysk, where he learned history of the region, traditions of the indigenous peoples of North. He was especially impressed by the ethnographic museum "Torum Maa", where he and his wife could see the peculiarities of Hanty’s and Mansy’s lives. The two love the town: "We don't want to leave that place," he enthused. "Everything here is organized on a high level. If we were to distribute prizes for hosting chess competitions according to the level of organization, Ugra would not get the last place!" [Full story]

Antoaneta Stefanova: I am trying not to forget that I am a woman

Excerpts from the press conference of the reigning Women's World Champion, which was given to a packed audience, with journalists wrestling for the microphone. The Bulgarian GM rejected a translater and spoke Russian and English.

  • The most important event for me will be a Women’s World Championship in Yekaterinburg in March. I will have to defend my title! There are many opponents there. First of all they are Chinese girls. Year by year there are more of them, and they are stronger and stronger. The Indian player Koneru Humpy is strong. Some Russian chess players are also strong: Kovalevskaya, Kostenuk, both Kosintseva sisters. I think it will be interesting in Yekaterinburg; almost 20 chess players have equal chances.

  • I began to play chess when I was five and I was fascinated by this game. Then I realized that chess as important for me as to breathe, I made a choice to continue to play professionally. I cannot imagine other life.

  • I was born and now live in Sofia. I live with my parents. My trainer during many years was my father. He is a professional artist, but he loves chess. We had a lot of books about chess at home, and when I was a kid I studied them.

  • Whether I like to play with men, women or computers? Only with humans! We need the computer to prepare and for analysis. With its help you can find some more variants, make a right decision due to analysis. And as for people, psychologically it is easier to play with men. You just play chess with them.

  • I understand that chess is not football; it will never have such popularity. To understand the beauty of our game you need to know some details. Nobody expects the same from you in football, where there is a ball and a goal.

  • Do I use any women's tricks during the game? I don’t really understand what you are talking about. If I thought of something like that I would lose more energy than my opponent when he faces with them. Only one thing I try to remember sitting at the chess board: that I am a woman!

  • Full interview

Ruslan Ponomariov: Losing a crown you don’t lose your life

Ruslan Ponomariov, former FIDE world champion, has been playing quietly in Khany-Mansiysk. Without any “noise” he has been winning one game for another. Recently he explained in a ChessBase interview how his match against Kasparov collapsed. Those were dark years for Ruslan, so he decided to shed some light on them. Excerpts:

  • Maybe I have been playing too much recently: first at the team championship in Beer Sheva, then against computers in Bilbao. During this time I was at home in Kiev only a few times. Also three hours time difference and a different climate influenced me. At first it was even warmer here than in Kiev, but now I realize what they call Siberian frost! It is good that I have already got used to it.

  • I lost my [2002 World Championship] title without playing. But my most important discovery is that the life is not over after that! I am still young chess player, I am only 22, I will aim for new results. I am not going to give up chess like Gata Kamsky, just because they didn’t give me a chance to become World Champion.

  • After I became World Champion, for some time I didn’t play at all. I was training to play against Kasparov, and solving some private problems.

  • What changed after I became World Champion? Nothing changed in me. But people started to behave differently. I started to become popular, people recognized me in the street. If you are walking down Krechatic Street somebody would certainly ask to sign an autograph. When I came to Kramotorsk after my victory against Ivanchuk, the whole city was there to meet me. They met me at the train station and carry me… A huge crowd of people – you cannot walk by or hide. But now I have got used to it, I am okay with it.

  • – Many people were surprised that you supported Yuschenko, and not Yanukovich who made a lot about to organize your match against Kasparov.

  • Was I impressed that Topalov, who was in my training team, became World Champion himself in 2005? No, I knew that Veselin could do that. Now I have to catch up with him. It is true that our work together was useful for him – who is that trainer who managed to overtake his pupil?!

  • Full interview

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

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register