World Cup 3.3: Grischuk and Giri out

8/19/2013 – The stakes are higher and the pressure is increasing - a fact that is noticeable especially in tiebreak situations. Many blunders decided the fate of today's matches, but at the end most of the favourites passed to the next round. Noticeable exceptions to that were Julio Granda Zuniga knocking out Anish Giri and Le Quang Liem doing the same to Alexander Grischuk. Big tiebreak report.

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The FIDE World Cup is a knockout, starting with 128 players, with two games (90 min for 40 moves + 30 min for the rest, with 30 seconds increment) between pairs of players. The tiebreaks consist of two rapid games (25 min + 10 sec), then two accelerated games (10 min + 10 sec), and finally an Armageddon. The winner and the runner-up of the World Cup 2013 will qualify for the Candidates Tournament of the next World Championship cycle. The venue is the city of Tromsø, which lies in the northern-most region of Norway, almost 400 km inside the Arctic Circle. You can find all details and links to many ChessBase articles on Tromsø here. The World Cup starts on Sunday, August 11th and lasts until September 3rd (tiebreaks, closing ceremony). Each round lasts three days, while the final will consist of four classical games. Thursday August 29 is a free day. A detailed schedule can be found here.

Round three tiebreaks

Fabiano Caruana (right) was completely outplayed by Vladimir Malakhov. The Russian player understood the position better and got to a better endgame after pressuring the queenside. In the moment of truth, a pawn race ensues in which Black queens first.

Caruana,Fabiano (2796) - Malakhov,Vladimir (2707) [C45]
FIDE World Cup 2013 Tromso NOR (3.3), 19.08.2013

In the above position the computer announces forced mate in seven, but with the clock ticking Malakhov was not only unable to find the checkmate, he let White's king escape and suddenly Caruana was a full rook ahead! At this point the computer evaluations are always irrelevant. The clock is ticking down, the pressure has piled up, and sometimes it is impossible for even the strongest players to find continuations that a computer can find in microseconds. The game ended 57.Ka2 Rf2+ 58.Ka3 Qa1+ 59.Kb4 Rf4+ 60.Kb5 Qe5+ 61.Kb6 Qd4+ 62.Kc7 Qe5+ 63.Rd6 Rc4+ 64.Kd7 Qf5+ 65.Kd8 Qc5 66.Rbd7 Qg5+ 67.Re7 Qc5 68.Qg2+ 1-0.

Addendum: Some readers – and a very, very strong chess player – have complained that indeed the mating pattern starting with 58...Qa1+ 59.Kb4 Rb2+! and then checkmating by moving the queen and rook down towards the kingside while checking the white king is rather basic. Although this is true, the problem in the position is that Black, maybe more naturally, instead of scaring the king away, first looks at doing the same pattern on the third, second and first ranks, which is impossible. With his flag hanging he plays a random check, and the rest was history.

The second game was completely one-sided, with Malakhov needing to win but Caruana always being the one in control. Caruana converted his position and won the series 3-1.

Vladimir Kramnik (right) positionally destroyed Alexander Areschenko. The former World Champion seems immune to the consistent blunders that everyone is suffering from sheer nervousness. Similar to Caruana's match, Kramnik also outplayed Areschenko with black and converted to move on with a 3-1 score.

Le Quang Liem outplayed Grischuk with black in a Gruenfeld in which he was simply better from the opening. The Russian was forced to win, and he came with incredibly fighting spirit. The match boiled down to Grischuk having a rook and a knight against Le Quang Liem's lone rook, a theoretical draw in which the stronger side has few practical chances. The Vietnamese defended accuaretly and after more than 100 moves Grischuk conceded the draw and was knocked out.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (right) went for a crazy sacrifice against Wei Yi, which almost backfired. The Chinese fourteen-year-old had the better side of a piece versus three pawns battle, but Mamedyarov was able to trick him with clever tactics, and suddenly it was White who was winning. In an interesting second game the Chinese eventually blundered, and Mamedyarov instead of converting his advantage calmly forced a perpetual and moved through.

Anton Korobov (left) outplayed Daniil Dubov, but a huge blunder almost cost him the game. However in time pressure the Russian player was unable to see the correct continuation and gifted back the game with 53...Re2+?? instead of 53...Rg1! In the second game Korobov had a winning advantage and simply gave a draw to qualify to the next round.

Vassily Ivanchuk's powerful play in the Black side of the Rauzer easily wiped Kryvoruchko off the board. Kryvoruchko, not a stranger to needing to win with black as he had already done it twice with Negi in round one, played a powerful game and missed his chance by not playing the brilliant 25...Bxe4!! After that missed opportunity Ivanchuk gave him no respite to come back into the match.

In one of the biggest surprises of the day, Julio Granda Zuniga (above right) consistently applied pressure on Anish Giri who defended fiercely. However the Dutch cracked on move 52, fearing a phantom discovered attack on the seventh rank he moved his rook to interpose, giving White enough time to snatch a pawn and convert it to a win.

In the second game Granda became an unmovable object. His position was rock solid and Giri simply could do nothing about it. Draw and the Peruvian moves on.

Sergey Karjakin and Pavel Eljanov had two uneventful draws in the rapids. However in the ten-minute game Eljanov absolutely smashed Karjakin after the latter inexplicably allowed a quick mating attack on the kingside. Karjakin came back and grinded Eljanov in a long game, and forced the blitz tiebreak. In the blitz, Karjakin held easily with Black and then outplayed Eljanov in a clean game, winning the match.

Alexander Morozevich (left) vs Nikita Vitiugov was a very even affair throughout the entire series until the very last blitz game. The pressure on the players by the time that the blitz is reached is enormous, and the mind is simply not working as it is normally. This was obvious in the second blitz's endgame. In what would normally be a simple draw for any grandmaster, Vitiugov played the horrible blunder

Vitiugov,Nikita (2719) - Morozevich,Alexander (2739) [E46]
FIDE World Cup 2013 Tromso NOR (3.8), 19.08.2013

White played 53.Rh5?? giving away the game. Morozevich immediately gifted the draw back with 53...f5?? and after 54.Rh8 Ra2+ 55.Ke1 Rc2 56.Rc8 f3 Vitiugov played the absolutely inexplicable 57.c6?? which allowed Black to simply queen his pawn. Morozevich comes out alive again and moves to the next round.

Dmitry Andreikin (above right) used a nice trick to get the advantage in an endgame against Alexey Dreev, who was unable to hold the draw. Needing to win, Dreev found himself in a position up material but with his king under heavy fire. A miracle solution was possible with 40.Qc8+! and 41.Rxd4!, eliminating the powerful bishop from d4. Dreev didn't find this resource, and Andreikin won the game and the active playoff.

Pictures provided by Paul Truong in Tromsø

All results of the third round games

Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Malakhov, Vladimir 2707
½
½
0
0
          1.0
Caruana, Fabiano 2796
½
½
1
1
          3.0
Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Kramnik, Vladimir 2784
½
½
1
1
          3.0
Areshchenko, Alex. 2709
½
½
0
0
          1.0
Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Le, Quang Liem 2702
1
0
1
½
          2.5
Grischuk, Alexander 2785
0
1
0
½
          1.5
Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Karjakin, Sergey 2772
½
½
½
½
0
1
½
1
  4.5
Eljanov, Pavel 2702
½
½
½
½
1
0
½
0
  3.5
Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Mamedyarov, S. 2775
½
½
1
½
          2.5
Wei, Yi 2551
½
½
0
½
          1.5
Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Dubov, Daniil 2624
½
½
0
½
          1.5
Korobov, Anton 2720
½
½
1
½
          2.5
Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Andreikin, Dmitry 2716
½
½
0
1
1
1
      4.0
Dreev, Aleksey 2668
½
½
1
0
0
0
      2.0
Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Ivanchuk, Vassily 2731
½
½
1
1
          3.0
Kryvoruchko, Y. 2678
½
½
0
0
          1.0
Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Granda, Julio 2664
0
1
1
½
          2.5
Giri, Anish 2737
1
0
0
½
          1.5
Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Vitiugov, Nikita 2719
½
½
½
½
½
½
½
0
  3.5
Morozevich, Alex. 2739
½
½
½
½
½
½
½
1
  4.5

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Topics Tromso, World Cup
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