More excitement – Aronian-Ponomariov draw

by ChessBase
12/17/2005 – The fight for first place goes on in the FIDE World Cup in Khanty Mansiysk. The two "youngsters" Levon Aronian and Ruslan Ponomariov played another super-sharp game which was a joy to watch. Gata Kamsky equalised against Magnus Carlsen, so it all comes down to the tiebreaks tomorrow. Report, pictures and interviews.

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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 7 – Game two

The two big fighters in the final of this tournament: Ponomariov, Aronian

Aronian,L (2724) - Ponomariov,R (2704) [D58]
WCC Khanty Mansyisk RUS (7.2), 16.12.2005
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 0-0 7.e3 b6 8.Bd3 dxc4 9.Bxc4 Bb7 10.0-0 Nbd7 11.Qe2 Ne4 12.Nxe4 Bxe4 13.Bg3 Bd6 14.Bb5 Bxg3 15.hxg3 c6 16.Ba4 b5 17.Bc2 Bxc2 18.Qxc2 Qb6 19.Rac1 Rfc8 20.g4 Qd8 21.Qd3 a6 22.Rfd1 Qe7 23.Rc3 Rc7 24.a3 Nf6 25.Rdc1 Nxg4 26.Rxc6 Rac8 27.Rxc7 Rxc7 28.Rc3 Qd6 29.Qc2 Rxc3 30.Qxc3 Qd5 31.Ne1 Qd6 32.Kf1

True to the spirit of the previous game between these two players Ponomariov now decides to give up a pawn and go for a daring attack: 32...Qh2 33.Qc6 g5 34.Qxa6 Qh1+ 35.Ke2 Nh2 36.Qa8+ Kg7 37.Qe4 h5 (instead of 37...Qf1 and going for a draw) 38.Kd2 Nf1+ 39.Kd1 Qg1 40.Qf3 g4 41.Qf4 g3 42.Ke2 h4

Ever seen a position like this? 43.Nd3 gxf2 44.Qxh4 Nxe3 45.Qxf2 Qxf2+ 46.Kxf2 Nf5

White has come out of the mop-up slightly better, and is now going for a win. The spectators are treated to the second part of a compelling drama. This one you should replay and study – there is so much we can still learn about knight and pawn endings. 47.d5 exd5 48.Nb4 d4 49.Kf3 Nd6 50.b3 f5 51.Nc6 Kf6 52.Nxd4 Ke5 53.Ke3 f4+ 54.Kd3 Kd5 55.Ne2 Ke5 56.Nc3 Nf5 57.Nxb5 Nh4 58.a4 Nxg2.

Has Black played this correctly, can he hang on for a draw? 59.Nd4 Ne1+ 60.Ke2 Ng2 61.a5 Ne3 62.Kd3 Kd6 63.b4 Ng4 64.Kc4 Ne3+ 65.Kb5 Nd5 66.Nf3 Nc7+ 67.Kc4 Nd5 68.b5 Ne3+ 69.Kd4 Nf5+ 70.Kc4 Ne3+ 71.Kd3

71...Kc5 72.b6 Nd5 73.b7 Nb4+ 74.Ke4 Na6 75.Nd4 f3 76.Ne6+ ½-½. Black has actually made it and reached a courageous draw.

Remarkable defensive skills: Ruslan Ponomariov

Grischuk-Bacrot was a 13½ move draw, exactly the same as yesterday. We watch with anticipation if these two are going to fight it out in the rapids tomorrow, or wait for the blitz games to decide who gets bronze in this event.

Etienne Bacrot and Alexander Grischuk close to the end of their game

Bareev-Gelfand was 15 moves long, after yesterday's 14-mover. These two have also decided not to waste energy in the long games and go for a tiebreak solution.

Gurevich-Rublevsky was a must-win situation for Mikhail Gurevich, who was getting nowhere when he sacrificed an exchange for a kingside attack. This did not fully gel, and the game ended after 42 moves in a draw. Sergei Rublevsky is number seven in the final scores.

In Kamsky-Carlsen the American GM needed to win to stay in the match. But Gata demonstrated that after so many years away from the chessboard he has lost none of his grit and determination.

The battle of the prodigies – Kamsky vs Carlsen

Kamsky,G (2690) - Carlsen,M (2570) [B33]
WCC Places 9-10 Khanty Mansyisk RUS (7.2), 16.12.2005
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Nd5 Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.c3 Bg5 12.Nc2 Ne7 13.Ncb4 0-0 14.a4 bxa4 15.Qxa4 a5 16.Bb5 Nxd5 17.Nxd5 Be6 18.Bc6 Rb8 19.Ra2 Qc8 20.0-0 Bd8 21.b4 Kh8 22.Rd2 Qa6 23.b5 Qa7 24.Qa3 Bxd5 25.Qxd6 Be7 26.Qxd5 Rfd8 27.Qa2 Rxd2 28.Qxd2 a4 29.Qa2 a3 30.Qxf7

Kamsky has played very well and is set to nurse an extra pawn to victory. But the Norwegian kid is defending tenaciously and may be able to secure a long, intricate draw. However at this point he misses a little tactical point: 30...Rf8?? 31.b6 and Black cannot defend the bishop. 1-0.

In Vallejo-Malakhov the Spaniard needed to win, and fought gamely for the point. But it was not to be and after 49 moves in a clearly worse position (two pawns down) he conceded a draw. This means that Malakhov gets the lottery ticket for the 2007 FIDE World Championship.

Dreev-van Wely saw the Russian outplay the Dutch champion to equalise after the loss in game one. And Lautier-Sakaev played four moves less than yesterday's 19 to score a second draw in this final round of the event.


Round 7, Game two – Friday, December 16, 2005

For places 1-2
1  Ponomariov, Ruslan (UKR)
½-½, ½-½
 Aronian, Levon (ARM)
For places 3-4
2 Bacrot, Etienne (FRA)  
½-½, ½-½ 
 Grischuk, Alexander (RUS)
For places 5-6
3  Gelfand, Boris (ISR)
½-½, ½-½
Bareev, Evgeny (RUS)
For places 7-8
4 Rublevsky, Sergei (RUS)
1-0, ½-½ 
 Gurevich, Mikhail (BEL)
For places 9-10
5  Carlsen, Magnus (NOR)
1-0, 0-1
 Kamsky, Gata (USA)
For places 11-12
6  Malakhov, Vladimir (RUS)
0-1, ½-½
 Vallejo Pons, Francisco (ESP)
For places 13-14
7  Van Wely, Loek (NED)
1-0, 0-1
 Dreev, Alexey (RUS)
For places 15-16
8  Sakaev, Konstantin (RUS)
 ½-½, ½-½
 Lautier, Joel (FRA)


Alexander Grischuk: It would have been outrageous if I have not been invited to Khanty Mansyisk

  • In the first round I beat Needleman of Argentina, who became famous after the well-known scandal at the American Continental Championship, very easily. Then I managed to beat Istratescu in both games. The match versus Shulman was much harder for me. We had two draws and then the tie breaks The next was Kamsky, high-class chess player, but of course ten years of non-playing affected his performance, though he kept his perseverance with him.

  • After the tiebreak with Gelfand I got very tired, that’s why I did not want to have the same story as in Tripoli. There I lost the first game to Kasimdzhanov in the wonderful position, after that I managed to recover. But in the tiebreak I played unprofessionally and was out of the tournament. Here, fortunately, I have time to collect my strength.

  • In the Semifinals there was a fight between two generations: me, Aronian, Ponomariov and Bacro (we were all born in 1982-1983) were playing against Rublevsky, Bareev, Gelfand and Gurevich, who are between 31 to 46 years old. The second day we managed to win 4:0! We all grew up together. In the beginning Bacro was prominent. After that in 2000 I played in the World Championship’s Semifinal and became well known. A year later Ponomariov became World Champion – so far he is the only one of us who tried on the crown. And lately Aronian shows the brightest game and brilliant results. One can say that nowadays he is the leader of the generation.

  • As far as I understood the prize fund in the Super final of the Russian Championship has remained the same, but the organizers want to reduce the first prize sum. I know myself: if I don’t want to play, I play badly. It would be a torture for myself and for spectators as well. I think if the federation does not change its mind, I will not play, and one week before the first round it is possible to find many players who would agree to replace me.

  • I have enough invitations to participate in super tournaments, and I don’t complain. The organizers hold the tournaments and they decide whom they should invite, one cannot claim it. I am not the one who is not invited; it is stupid to talk about it. It is quite another matter if they had not invited me to Khanty Mansyisk, it would have been outrageous.

  • Full interview on the tournament site

Levon Aronian: I still enjoy chess

  • Beating Etienne Bacrot was simpler than I expected. The first game ended quickly: in the known theoretical position I used a novelty and my opponent preferred a forced draw. Next day I managed to get playing position with advantage. The final position there may be a draw, but I can only say that I did a lot in order to make Bacrot to blunder.

  • Ruslan Ponomariov is a great chess player with huge experience in participating in strong tournaments, including knockout ones. He is very strong in positional fight and in technical positions. Besides, he is my age. If I’m not mistaken, I have a positive balance against him, but it doesn’t mean anything. I can say that it was not by chance that he was a World Champion.

  • Honestly speaking, I’m not satisfied with my performance in this tournament. We should tell this straight, I played rather badly. In general, I can say that Ponomariov and Grischuk have a more stable style than me. I still have some vacancy in chess knowledge that should be filled…

  • The atmosphere of chess always inspires me. It is a great pleasure for me to be in the playing hall, to talk to my colleagues, most of them are nice people… Maybe that’s the reason why I am not nervous during games.

  • Full interview on the tournament site

Mikhail Gurevich: There is nothing to be done – computers beat us

I did not perform badly. I was playing against players who are younger than my eldest son. A new generation is here, we have successors! Of course the opening now takes almost 50 percent of the whole preparation, and such computer boys as Magnus have a huge advantage over others. They work hard with computers and they have an experienced coach who helps them comprehend new information, to memorize it.

The computer cannot substitute humans in everything. Such terms as position conception, experience, intuition, and skill to play an end game still exist. The computer cannot train for strategic struggle in a middle game either. When two high capacity computers with Junior9, Fritz9 and Shredder find incredible things! But in order to understand what is important out of all the material that is discovered and what is not, a strong grandmaster is needed. And the information that they produce is so vast that it is necessary to work a lot again.

There is nothing to be done: computers can beat us. But we should not be afraid of this. Chess still remains, people play in it, and it is still a creative game. There are positions still one should think over, one should understand, one should reflect on. I am a representative of the Soviet chess school. I always do creative work. Opening books are full with my games, my opening analyses. Nowadays I have to remake the new things invented by computers. I see no creative source in it. It is just mechanical hard work that demands an unbelievable amount of time and memory. To simply memorize is not interesting.

I have worked with many brilliant chess players – Kasparov, Anand, Topalov. All these players have worked for many years with computers; there is no way to escape from that. Vishy even has a Fritz program “installed” in his head. But he has remained a normal person. Other people might have gone crazy.

It is hard to believe but this is my first visit to Siberia! I have traveled all over the world, but have never been here. I like Khanty-Mansiysk. I thought Paris is the best city in the World, and it turned out that it is not so.

Tourist Ugra

The World Cup participants live in the complex of the Wellness Hotel «Yugorskaya dolina». It is surrounded by forest and situated next to Irtysh River. Here are some pictorial impressions.

All picturesby courtesy of FIDE

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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