Khanty-Mansiysk: Ponomariov, Shirov and Carlsen score

12/3/2007 – Round four is under way in the FIDE World Cup. Ruslan Ponomariov surprised everyone with a white win in game one of the round. Alexei Shirov did his usual firebrand thing, winning the first game with the black pieces. And the youngest player in the tournament, Magnus Carlsen, defeated veteran Michael Adams with white. Full report with commentary by GM Dorian Rogozenko.

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A total of 126 participants turned up on November 23 for the World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, located about 1400 miles (2250 km) east of Moscow. The competition is taking place from November 24 to December 18. The winner of the World Cup receives the right to challenge the former world champion Veselin Topalov in a match.

Round four Game one (Monday, December 3rd)

The free wins today were achieved by the participants whose playing strength is increasing every round. Carlsen, Ponomariov and Shirov convincingly outplayed Adams, Sasikiran and Akopian respectively. The other games ended in draws.

Round four results

No.   Name Nat Rtng
G1
G2
R1 R2 B1 B2 SD Tot.
01  Karjakin, Sergey UKR 2694
½
            0.5
 Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter   ROU 2668
½
            0.5
02  Cheparinov, Ivan BUL 2670
½
            0.5
 Wang, Yue CHN 2703
½
            0.5
03  Ponomariov, Ruslan UKR 2705
1
            1.0
 Sasikiran, Krishnan IND 2661
0
            0.0
04  Aronian, Levon ARM 2741
½
            0.5
 Jakovenko, Dmitry RUS 2710
½
            0.5
05  Akopian, Vladimir ARM 2713
0
            0.0
 Shirov, Alexei ESP 2739
1
            1.0
06  Svidler, Peter RUS 2732
½
            0.5
 Kamsky, Gata USA 2714
½
            0.5
07  Carlsen, Magnus NOR 2714
1
            1.0
 Adams, Michael ENG 2729
0
            0.0
08  Alekseev, Evgeny RUS 2716
½
            0.5
 Bareev, Evgeny RUS 2653
½
            0.5


Free wins by strong players

Commentary by GM Dorian Rogozenko


The stage in round four of the FIDE World Cup


The start of the game of the day Carlsen vs Adams

Carlsen,M (2714) - Adams,Mi (2729) [E36]
World Cup Khanty-Mansiysk RUS (4.1), 03.12.2007

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 dxc4 7.Qxc4 b6. A move invented by Nigel Short. Black tries to use the exposed position of the white queen. 8.Bf4. The most principled answer. 8...Ba6. Earlier this year Carlsen achieved advantage in a blitz game against Onischuk after 8...Nd5 9.Bg3 Ba6 10.Qa4+ Qd7 11.Qc2 Qb5 12.Nf3 Nc6 13.Rc1 Nde7 14.b4 Qh5 15.Qa4 Bb5 16.Qb3 Qd5 17.Qxd5 exd5 18.e3 Bxf1 19.Kxf1 Rc8 20.Ke2 Carlsen,M (2710)-Onischuk,A (2650)/Biel 2007 (blitz). 9.Qxc7! Qxc7 10.Bxc7








According to opening theory Black has compensation for the pawn in this variation thanks to the lead in development. However, Carlsen defended precisely, reminding that the development advantage can be just a temporary factor. 10...0-0. A novelty. Short played 10...Nc6 11.Nf3 Rc8 12.Be5 Nxe5 13.dxe5 Nd7 14.b4 Bb7 15.e3 Bxf3 16.gxf3 Nxe5 17.Bb5+ Ke7 18.f4 Nd7 and Black soon achieved a draw in Baburin,A (2590)-Short,N (2670)/Port Erin 1998. His life would have been more difficult had White played 12.Bf4 instead of 12.Be5. 11.Nf3 Rc8 12.Bf4 Nbd7 13.Nd2 Rc2 14.Rb1 Rac8








Adams has succeeded in achieving visible activity, but Carlsen finds a great defensive plan: the knight goes to a1 in order to control square c2. 15.Nb3! Bc4 16.Na1! Ba2 17.Nxc2 Bxb1 18.Na1 Nd5 19.Bd2








A rare case when White can be proud having a knight in the corner. Indeed, it controls the vital square c2 and cannot be disturbed there. The bishop controls the square c1, so in fact the yound Norvegian is just a healthy pawn up. White's position contains no weaknesses and he will soon complete development. 19...e5 20.e3! exd4 21.exd4 Nb8 22.f3 Nc6 23.Bc4 Rd8 24.Kf2 Bf5 25.Nb3. Carlsen plays extremely precisely. Everything is protected again and now the game enters in the phase of converting the extra pawn. 25...Be6 26.Rc1 f6 27.a4 a5 28.Bc3 Bf7 29.Nd2 Nde7








30.Bf1. White could have kept the extra pawn with a move like 30.Rd1, followed by the exchange on f7 and then Nc4, attacking b6. Carlsen decided to give up the d4-pawn in order to open the position, where his bishop together with the weakness of pawn b6 will also secure an advantage. 30...Nxd4 31.Re1 Ndc6 32.Nc4 Nd5 33.Rb1 Kf8 34.Be1 Ke7 35.Kg1 Nb8 36.Bf2 Nd7 37.Re1+ Kf8 38.Rd1 Ke7 39.Re1+ Kf8 40.Nd6 Ne5 41.Nxf7 Kxf7








In spite of material eqiality White's advantage is obvious. The bishops are much stronger than the knights. 42.Rd1 Ke7 43.f4 Ng4 44.Re1+ Kf8 45.Bd4 Rd6. 45...Nxf4 46.Bxb6 Rd5 loses: 47.b4! axb4 48.a5 and the knights can't fight against the marginal passed pawns. 46.h3 Nh6 47.Rd1 Nf5 [47...Nxf4 48.Bc5!] 48.Bf2 Ke7 49.g4 Nh6 50.f5 Nf7 51.Bg2 Nf4 52.Rxd6 Nxd6 53.Bxb6. In spite of Adams' efforts the inevitable has happened. Now the extra pawn secures a technical win. 53...Nc4 54.Bc5+ Kd7 55.Bf1 Nxb2 56.Bb5+ Kd8 57.Bb6+ Ke7 58.Kh2 Nd5 59.Bxa5 Kd6 60.Bd2 Kc5 61.Kg3 Nc7 62.Be3+ Kb4 63.Bd2+ Kc5 64.Bc1 Nc4 65.Bxc4 Kxc4 66.Bd2 Na6 67.a5 Kb5 68.Kf3 Nc5 69.Bc3 h6 70.Ke3 Kc4 71.Bd4 Na6 72.Ke4 Nb4 73.h4 Kb5 74.Bc3 Na6 75.Kd5 Nc5 76.Bd4 Nd3 77.Ke6 1-0. [Click to replay]


Ponomariov,R (2705) - Sasikiran,K (2661) [D20]
World Cup Khanty-Mansiysk RUS (4.1), 03.12.2007

After losing the first match games in the first two rounds and making a draw in the third round, Ponomariov finally starts a match with a win. 1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e4 e5 4.Nf3 exd4 5.Bxc4 Nc6 6.0-0 Be6 7.Bb5 Bc5 8.b4 Bb6 9.a4 a6 10.Bxc6+ bxc6 11.Nbd2 Nf6 12.Qc2 0-0 13.Qxc6 Re8 14.Bb2 Bd7 15.Qc2 Qe7 16.Nxd4 Qxb4 17.Bc3 Qc5 18.a5 Ba7 19.Rac1 Rac8 20.Rfe1 Qh5 21.Nf1 Ng4 22.f3 Ne5 23.Kh1








In contrast to the game Carlsen-Adams here we have a position where the knights are stronger than the bishops. White plans Ne3 and then a jump with the knight either to d5 or f5. It is difficult for Black to find a constructive plan. Perhaps he should have advanced the pawn to c4, hoping to create some dynamic play. However, the Indian GM already was short of time and took the unfortunate decision to cover squares d5 and c5 with pawns. 23...g6? The weakness of the long diagonal will sooner or later play its role. 24.Ne3. Now the jump to d5 will really hurt Black, therefore Sasikiran must make another passive and ugly move. 24...c6 25.f4 Ng4 26.Nxg4 Bxg4 27.Ba1 Bb8 28.Rf1 Qh6 29.Qc3








29...f6. Temporarily closing the long diagonal, but weakening the other one: a2-g8. Black's position was already lost anyway. 29...Bxf4 loses due to 30.Rxf4! Qxf4 31.Ne6] 30.Qb3+ Kg7 31.e5! c5 [31...fxe5 32.Nxc6+-. 32.Qb7+ Rc7 33.Qb6 Rf7 34.Nc6 Bc7 35.Qxc5 Qh4 36.exf6+ Kh6 37.Ne7 Bd8 38.Qc4 Rff8 39.Ng8+ Kh5 40.f7 Re7 41.Bf6 1-0. [Click to replay]


Trying something new: a win in game one! Ruslan Ponomariov


Akopian,Vl (2713) - Shirov,A (2739) [B30]
World Cup Khanty-Mansiysk RUS (4.1), 03.12.2007

Shirov and Akopian started to play each other long ago, in the Soviet junior competitions. They are almost of the same age (Akopian is one year older) and both attended the famous Botvinnik-Kasparov school. Each of them must have learned very well the strengths and weaknesses of the other. However, Akopian succeeded to win against Shirov only once, almost 20 years ago, while before Khanty-Mansiysk Shirov beat Akopian ... eleven times! The course of their first match game at the World Cup confirmed that Shirov is a highly inconvenient opponent for the Armenian. 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 e6 4.0-0 Nge7 5.b3 a6 6.Bxc6 Nxc6 7.Bb2 b5 8.c4 bxc4 9.bxc4 Rb8 10.Bc3 d6 11.Na3 e5 12.Nc2








If you consider White's opening choice to be harmless, ask Mr. Kasparov about that. From this position Kasparov made 13 more moves on the black side and resigned against ... Akopian. True, it was a rapid game. 12...g6!N. A good novelty. In such structures the dark-squared bishop is a headache for Black, so Shirov brings it to the diagonal c1-h6 in the quickest possible way. 12...Be7 13.Ne3 0-0 14.d3 Qe8 15.Rb1 Rxb1 16.Qxb1 Bd8 17.Nd2 g6 18.Nd5 f5 19.exf5 gxf5 20.f4 Rf7 21.Qe1 Rg7 22.Nf3 Qg6 23.g3 Rf7 24.fxe5 f4 25.exd6 fxg3 1-0 Akopian,V (2678)-Kasparov,G (2838)/Moscow (rapid) 2002. 13.Ne3 Bh6 14.Qa4. Here or at the next move Nd5 looks better. 14...Bd7 15.Rfb1 Bxe3 16.fxe3 [16.dxe3 Nd4=] 16...Nd4 17.Qxa6 Ne2+ 18.Kf2 Nxc3 19.dxc3 Ke7








Shirov's positional pawn sacrifice led to a position with a highly unusual pawn formation. Black has great compensation due to the fact that White doesn't have good squares for the knight (which would happily come to d5, but what to do with those pawns on c3 and e3?) 20.Nd2 Ra8 21.Qb7 Qa5 22.Qb2 Rhb8 23.Qc2 Rxb1 24.Nxb1 Rb8 25.Nd2 Qa4 26.Rc1 Qxc2 27.Rxc2 Ba4 28.Nb3 Bc6 29.Nd2 Ba4 30.Nb3 h5 31.Ke1 h4 32.Kd2 Bc6 33.Kd3








33...f5! The best way to increase the advantage. Black opens more files and diagonals for his pieces. In spite of still having an extra pawn, White's position is strategically completely lost. 34.exf5 gxf5 35.Rf2 Ke6 36.Ke2 Ra8 37.Ke1 Ra4 38.g3 hxg3 39.hxg3 Be4 40.Rh2 Rxc4 41.Kd2 Ra4 42.Kc1 c4 43.Na1 Ra8 44.Rd2 Rg8 45.a4 Rxg3 46.Nc2 Bxc2 47.Rxc2 Rxe3 48.a5 Kd7 49.a6 Kc7 0-1. [Click to replay]


In trouble against nemesis Shirov: Vladimir Akopian


Alekseev,Evgeny (2716) - Bareev,E (2653) [D43]
World Cup Khanty-Mansiysk RUS (4.1), 03.12.2007

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.0-0 Nbd7 11.Ne5 Bg7 12.Nxd7 Nxd7 13.Bd6 a6 14.a4. 14.Re1 was played yesterday in Inarkiev,E (2674)-Aronian,L (2741)/Khanty-Mansiysk 2007. 14...e5 15.d5 c5 16.b4 Qb6. So far White is unable to find anything real against this novelty introduced by Aronian in the second round in Khanty-Mansiysk. 17.bxc5 Nxc5 18.Bxc5 Qxc5 19.axb5 axb5 20.Rxa8+ Bxa8 21.Qa1 0-0 22.Qa5 Rb8 23.Rb1 Bf8








24.Nxb5. Bareev will neutralize very precisely this attempt to improve on the game Gustafsson-Aronian. 24.Rxb5 Rxb5 25.Qxb5 Qxb5 26.Nxb5 Bb7 27.Bxc4 Ba6 28.Kf1 Bxb5 29.Bxb5 Bc5 30.f3 Kf8 31.g3 Ke7 32.Kg2 Be3 33.Kh3 Bg1 34.Bc4 Kd6 35.Ba6 Kc7 36.Kg2 Be3 37.h4 gxh4 38.gxh4 Kd6 39.Kg3 Ke7 40.Kg4 f6 1/2-1/2 Gustafsson,J (2606)-Aronian,L (2741)/Khanty-Mansiysk 2007. 24...f5 25.Qa6 Kh8 26.Nc3 Rxb1+ 27.Nxb1 Qb4 28.Qxa8 Qxb1+ 29.Bf1 Qb4! Possibly Alekseev counted only on 29...Kg7 30.Qa7+ Kg8 31.Qa6 when Black still has to solve problems. For instance 31...Qxe4 32.Qg6+ Bg7 33.Qe6+ followed by d6 is just winning for White. 30.exf5 c3 31.Qc6 e4 32.h4 g4 33.g3 Qc5 34.Qf6+ Bg7 35.Qd8+ Bf8 36.Qf6+ Bg7 37.Qd8+ Qf8 38.Qc7 Qxf5 39.d6 Bd4 40.Qd8+ Kg7 1/2-1/2. [Click to replay]


Precision play by veteran Evgeny Bareev


Svidler,P (2732) - Kamsky,G (2714) [C95]
World Cup Khanty-Mansiysk RUS (4.1), 03.12.2007


Old rivals: Gata Kamsky and Peter Svidler

From the other draws I would mention the big fight between Svidler versus Kamsky, who also know each other since childhood. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Nb8 10.d4 Nbd7 11.Nbd2 Bb7 12.Bc2 Re8 13.Nf1 Bf8 14.Ng3 g6 15.b3 a5 16.a4 b4 17.cxb4 axb4 18.Bb2 Bh6 19.dxe5 dxe5 20.Bd3 Bf4 21.Qc2 Ra5 22.Rad1 Rc5 23.Qe2 Qe7 24.Nf1 Nb6 25.g3 Bh6 26.Bc1 Bxc1 27.Rxc1 Rc3 28.N1d2 Rd8 29.Rxc3 bxc3 30.Nb1 Qd6 31.Bc2 Qc5 32.Qe3 Qxe3 33.Rxe3








33...Bxe4 34.Bxe4 Nxe4 35.Nxc3 [35.Rxe4?? c2-+] 35...Nxc3 36.Rxc3 Rd1+ 37.Kg2 Nd5 38.Rc4 f6 39.a5 Ra1 40.Ra4 Rxa4 41.bxa4 Nc3 42.Nd2 Nxa4 43.a6 Nb6 44.a7








44...Kf7 45.g4 Ke6 46.Ne4 h6 47.h4 Na8 48.f3 f5 49.Ng3 c5 50.gxf5+ gxf5 51.Kf2 c4 52.Ke2 Nc7 53.Kd2 Kf6 54.Kc2 Kg6 55.Kb2 f4 56.Ne4 Kh5 57.Kc3 Nb5+ 58.Kxc4 Nxa7 59.Kd5 Kxh4 60.Kxe5 Nc6+ 1/2-1/2.


About the author

Dorian Rogozenko was born on 18.08.1973 in Kishinev, Moldova. He has been a grandmaster since 1995 and played several Olympiads for Moldova, and then for Romania.

Rogozenko has produced several CDs for ChessBase, and two chess books. He is the editor-in-chief of the Romanian chess magazine Gambit (since 2002).

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