World Cup 4.1: Kamsky, Kramnik, Caruana victorious

8/20/2013 – The round of sixteen started with a bang as many games were wild and interesting. Kamsky played a dazzling piece sacrifice that shocked Mamedyarov, who didn't respond in the best way and lost. Ivanchuk cracked under Kramnik's pressure while Julio Granda simply blundered against Caruana. Gelfand and Vachier-Lagrave played a crazy game that ended in a perpetual. Round four day one 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 four game one

Dmitri Andreikin (right) and Sergey Karjakin ended in an uneventful
draw after Karjakin's position become completely unbreachable.

Hikaru Nakamura (right) tried an unusual approach against Anton Korobov's Najdorf, more of a positional style in which White tries to regroup to take advantage of the weak d5 square. However at some point White's regrouping became stagnant and with no way of making progress the players agreed to a repetition.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (right) and Boris Gelfand had a wild affair, although it is clear that at least one player had prepared the entirety of the game. We are slightly mystified by the official website's clock, which made it seem as if Gelfand was the one playing instantly, when by looking at the video and from the Playchess timestamp it was clear that MVL was the one blitzing the moves. The game was very theoretically important, with Gelfand playing the 16...a6! novelty that started a long forcing variation. Gelfand had to play many forced moves, but he found them all and at the end White won a rook but had to allow a perpetual check.

Fabiano Caruana (right) obtained a complex position against Julio Granda Zuniga. The Italian pointed to 16...Bxc3 as an innacuracy, but it seems that Black's position was manageable until his blunder with 20...f5?? Black counted on a pin to discourage the en passant, but simple tactics allowed White to capture this pawn and immediately win the game as Black had nothing better than to resign since the pin was nothing but a ghost.

Peter Svidler (left) can count his lucky stars after he survived a horrible position against Le Quang Liem. The position was almost completely symmetrical, but Black was unable to castle and his attempt to do so artificially backfired as White was able to create a lot of central and kingside pressure. White had several important chances in the position, but the most important was 23.Rxd5! instead of 23.exd5 as in the resulting position the trade of rooks would have been a huge improvement for White. As it was in the game Black obtained compensation for the pawn and at the end was even the one thinking of continuing the game to try to win, but White's rook was just about active enough to prevent that from happening.

Gata Kamsky (right) against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was arguably the game of the tournament so far. In a position where the American was running the risk of being positionally worse, he did the Sicilian thing to do and sacrificed material to start a strong attack. The attack looked really strong, but Black had an extra piece and White's three pawns were not completely compensating for this fact because they were quite blocked and if pieces ever got traded they would have been picked off easily. The game was really unclear until Mamedyarov's mistake 23...Kg7? After this Kamsky's moves were accurate and deadly. Every move came with a threat and Mamedyarov eventually made another mistake which allowed the American to finish him off in elegant style.

Vladimir Kramnik mentioned that he was influenced by a game between Aronian-Giri in which Aronian won with White, but he was able to obtain a good position in this game. Ivanchuk panicked in a position he was still alright, and started getting into difficulties as Black obtained a strong passed d-pawn. Ivanchuk managed to stabilize his position, but made a decisive blunder by putting his queen on the b-file, which allowed Black to switch gears and sacrifice a pawn for a decisive attack with a queen and a rook. White's king was helpless against this type of firepower and Kramnik scored a very important win with Black, and will only need to hold a draw tomorrow to advance. Kramnik noticed his opponent was nervous when Black held the advantage, and this led him to mistakes.

The battle between Russians was a very long affair. Evgeny Tomashevsky (left) was able to obtain a good position from the opening, but Alexander Morozevich slowly but surely was able to get a more pleasant position. Both sides shuffled for a long time, White trying to create some kind of progress while Black was consistently parrying his opponent's threats while retaining some counterplay on the kingside. The players didn't see anything for either side and agreed to a draw in a position that still had some life in it.

Pictures provided by Paul Truong in Tromsø

All results of the fourth round games

Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Morozevich, Alex. 2739
½
                 
Tomashevsky, E. 2706
½
                 
Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Caruana, Fabiano 2796
1
                 
Granda, Julio 2664
0
                 
Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Ivanchuk, Vassily 2731
0
                 
Kramnik, Vladimir 2784
1
                 
Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Le, Quang Liem 2702
½
                 
Svidler, Peter 2746
½
                 
Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Andreikin, Dmitry 2716
½
                 
Karjakin, Sergey 2772
½
                 
Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Nakamura, Hikaru 2772
½
                 
Korobov, Anton 2720
½
                 
Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Vachier-Lagrave, M 2719
½
                 
Gelfand, Boris 2764
½
                 
Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Kamsky, Gata 2741
1
                 
Mamedyarov, S. 2775
0
                 

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Video reports from Tromsø


Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.


Topics Tromso, World Cup
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