Khanty-Mansiysk: The prodigies are through

12/15/2005 – All three are famous chess prodigies: Gata Kamsky drew attention to himself in the late eighties, 22-year-old Ruslan Ponomariov became a grandmaster at 14, and Magnus Carlsen is at 15 one of the hottest commodities in chess today. All three went through in the FIDE world cup in Siberia. Tomorrow it's prodigy vs prodigy.

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The FIDE World Chess Cup is being staged from November 26th to December 18th, 2005, in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. This 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 – Tiebreaks


An evening photograph of the venue by Frits Agterdenbos

The first game Grischuk-Ponomariov was a slugfest, with White getting two bishops for a rook and pawn, and in addition nice attacking chances. But then he lost the thread and the former FIDE World Champion was all over him.


Going for gold: Ruslan Ponomariov

Grischuk,A (2720) - Ponomariov,R (2704) [E15]
WCC Khanty Mansyisk RUS (6.3), 14.12.2005
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 6.Nf3 0-0 7.0-0 c6 8.Qc2 b6 9.Bf4 Ba6 10.b3 Nbd7 11.Rd1 Rc8 12.Nc3 Qe8 13.e4 dxc4 14.bxc4 Bxc4 15.Nd2 Ba6 16.Qa4 Bd3 17.Ndb1 b5 18.Qxa7 Bxb1 19.Raxb1 b4 20.Ne2 Ra8 21.Qc7 Rxa2 22.Nc1 Rc2 23.Nd3 Qc8 24.Qxc8 Rxc8 25.Nxb4 Bxb4 26.Rxb4 c5 27.Rb7 cxd4 28.e5 Nc5 29.exf6 Nxb7 30.Bxb7 Rd8 31.fxg7 Rc5 32.Bh6 Rh5 33.Be3 Rb5 34.Bf3 e5 35.Bg5 Rdb8 36.Be4 Kxg7 37.g4 h6 38.Bh4 h5 39.h3 hxg4 40.hxg4 Rb4 41.Kg2 Ra4 42.Be7 d3 43.Kf3 Rh8 44.g5 Rh4 45.Bf6+ Kg8 46.Bc6 Rac4

47.Bb5. Abandoning the f2-pawn. 47...Rcf4+ 48.Ke3 Rh3+ 49.Kd2 Rxf2+ 50.Kc3 d2+ 51.Kc2 e4 52.Rxd2 e3 53.Re2

And now Ponomariov finishes him off: 53...Rhh2 54.Kd1 Rh1+ 55.Kc2 Re1 56.Rxf2 exf2 57.Kd2 f1Q 58.Bxf1 Rxf1 59.Ke2 Rf5 60.Ke3 Kh7 61.Ke4 Kg6 62.Bd8 Rxg5 0-1.


Alexander Grischuk, floored 2-0 by Ponomariov

In the second game Grischuk, playing the black side of a Pirc, had to take risks. The result: he was cut down by his Ukrainian opponent and had to resign in 32 moves. Ponomariov's statistics are now +9, =44, –0 against average opposition of Elo 2636, which translates to a performance of 2855. This young man is going for higher things. We remind you that on the day before Levon Aronian had made it through to the final after Etienne Bacrot had resigned in what we today know was a drawn position.

Bareev-Rublevsky ended with an iron victory by Bareev, who then cooly drew the second to move into the final for places 5-6. There he meets Boris Gelfand, who won 2-0 in his regular games in round six.

We come to the group playing for the places 9-12, where the hottest item is a 15-year-old Norwegian lad named Magnus ("the magnificent") Carlsen.


Norwegian chess prodigy Magnus Carlsen [Foto: EPA/Scanpix, TV 2]

Malakhov,V (2670) - Carlsen,M (2570) [C55]
WCC Khanty Mansyisk RUS (6.3), 14.12.2005
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 Be7 5.0-0 0-0 6.Bb3 d6 7.c3 Be6 8.Bc2 d5 9.Nbd2 dxe4 10.dxe4 Nd7 11.Qe2 Qe8 12.Nc4 f6 13.Ne3 Qf7 14.Rd1 Rfd8 15.Nd5 Rac8 16.Be3 Bc5 17.Bxc5 Nxc5 18.Qb5 b6 19.b4 a6?

It doesn't look as though the queen can take the knight, does it? 20.Qxc6! Rd6 And how does she get out of that? 21.Nxf6+! gxf6 22.Rxd6 cxd6 23.Qxb6 Nd7 24.Qxd6 Rxc3 25.Bb3 and White has come out two pawns ahead and a winning position. 25...Bxb3 26.axb3 Rxb3 27.h3 Nf8 28.Rxa6 Ng6 29.Ra8+ Kg7 30.Rc8 Kh6 31.Rc7 Rd3 32.Qc6 Qf8 33.b5 1-0.

In the second rapid game the 15-year-old was back and he was angry. Take a look at how he demolishes the Kramnik second in a kingside assault.


I've simply got to win this one! – Carlsen vs Malakhov

Carlsen,M (2570) - Malakhov,V (2670) [D94]
WCC Khanty Mansyisk RUS (6.4), 14.12.2005
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 a6 5.e3 g6 6.Be2 Bg7 7.0-0 0-0 8.Qb3 dxc4 9.Bxc4 b5 10.Be2 Nbd7 11.e4 Nb6 12.Bf4 Be6 13.Qc2 Bc4 14.Rfd1 Rc8 15.Rac1 Bxe2 16.Qxe2 Qd7 17.h3 Qb7 18.Bg5 Rfe8 19.e5 Nfd5 20.Ne4 Nd7 21.Qd2 Qb8 22.Bh6 Bh8 23.h4 Nf8 24.Nc5 Qa7

25.h5 Nc7 26.hxg6 hxg6 27.Bxf8 Rxf8 28.Qh6 Bg7 29.Qh4 f6 30.Qg4 Kh7 31.Nh4 g5 32.Qh5+ Kg8 33.Nf5 Ne8 34.Qg6 1-0. Merciless.

In the blitz games Magnus took the first with the black pieces and held the second without too much trouble to advance to the next round. If we look at his stats we see that he has scored +10, =8, –4 with a 2751 performance. With his win over Malakhov Magnus has reached at least tenth place in this event and is thus guaranteed a place in the Candidates. The Norwegian Chess Federation called it "the greatest chess achievement" in Norway ever, mentioning that he will be the youngest player ever in the candidate matches. The federation wants to stage the Carlsen vs. Ponomariov/Aronian match in Norway.

We learn from our Norwegian contact Ole Valaker that Magnus is in Khanty without his father Henrik (also a chess player), who returned to Norway on Saturday. Magnus only has his second GM Peter Heine Nielsen. From his home in Lommedalen Henrik does send sporadic instructions: Magnus should be in bed by midnight, and he also keeps a sharp eye on his son's eating habits. Too much dessert loses games, Henrik believes, and sugar kills. He told this to TV 2 Nettavisen, which is covering this tournament like no other chess event in Norway's history. Take a look at their minute-by-minute coverage of today's games.


Back to chess: ex-prodigy Gata Kamsky [Photo Frits Agterdenbos]

Funny, in the same group for 9-12 there is another famous prodigy: Gata ("Ğataulla" in his native Tatar language) Kamsky. Born in 1974 he had won the Soviet under 20 championship twice before he was 15. In 1989 he moved to the US and won the US Championship in 1991, at the age of 17. Soon he advanced to number three in the world, and in 1996 he played Anatoly Karpov in the final of the FIDE World Chess Championship in Elista, Kalmykia. He lost 7.5-10.5 and gave up chess in order to study medicine. He did not play any competition games (except for one round of the FIDE Knockout in Las Vegas in 1999) until June 2004, when he took part in the New York Masters. Since then he has been staging a slow comeback to chess and is now ranked number 23 in the world.


Feeling the pressure from comeback-Kamsky: Francisco Vallejo Pons

In his first game against Spanish ace Francisco Vallejo Pons the now 31-year-old Kamsky suffered a traumatic loss with the white pieces. But he fought back in the second game and took it nicely with black. Those were rapid chess games. The first blitz tiebreak game saw Kamsky very close to victory, but Paco Vallejo hung on and the game ended in a 65-move draw. With the American audience close to a nervous breakdown on the Playchess server Gata convincingly outplayed his opponent in the second game to take this match. So tomorrow the two prodigies, one from now and one ex, will face each other – not something anyone will want to miss.

In the battle for places 13-16 Joel Lautier and Loek van Wely drew both their rapid games, then the Dutchman took the first blitz game with white and held on in the second to decide the match. Tomorrow he will play Alexei Dreev for place 13.

All pictures unless otherwise noted by courtesy of FIDE

Results

Round 6, Tiebreaks – Wednesday, December 14, 2005

For places 1-4
1  Grischuk, Alexander (RUS)
0-1, 0-1
 Ponomariov, Ruslan (UKR)
1-3
2 Bacrot, Etienne (FRA)  
 
 Aronian, Levon (ARM)
0.5-1.5
For places 5-8
3  Rublevsky, Sergei (RUS)
0-1, ½-½
  Bareev, Evgeny (RUS)
1.5-2.5
4  Gurevich, Mikhail (BEL)
 
 Gelfand, Boris (ISR)
0-2
For places 9-12
5  Malakhov, Vladimir (RUS)
1-0, 0-1, 0-1, ½-½
 Carlsen, Magnus (NOR)
2.5-3.5
6  Kamsky, Gata (USA)
0-1, 1-0, ½-½, 1-0
 Vallejo Pons, Francisco (ESP)
3.5-2.5
For places 13-16
7  Lautier, Joel (FRA)
½-½, ½-½, 0-1, ½-½ 
 Van Wely, Loek (NED)
1-1
8 Dreev, Alexey (RUS)
 
 Sakaev, Konstantin (RUS)
1.5-0.5

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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