World Cup 5.2: Tomashevsky, Kramnik advance

8/24/2013 – Evgeny Tomashevsky took advantage of some time pressure mistakes by Gata Kamsky to create a surprising and swift mating attack on his opponent's king. This victory with black seals the pass of Tomashevsky to the semi-finals. Another Russian secured his placement in the top four as Kramnik barely held his game today against Korobov and won the match. Svidler-Andreikin and Vachier-Lagrave-Caruana go to tiebreaks. Report with GM commentary

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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.

Some of the players concentrate pre-game different then others. Some walk around, and some meditate over the board for a few minutes before the game starts.

Round five game two

Anton Korobov had excellent chances against Vladimir Kramnik despite being out-prepared from the opening. Black's position was quite good but the Russian decided that some simplifications were in order to obtain an opposite colored bishop endgame with rooks on the board. However he underestimated how powerful these bishops coupled with the rooks and the better structure could become, and Korobov slowly but surely built a winning advantage. However due to a couple of inaccuracies and sheer tenacity from the ex-World Champion Black was able to hold the position, almost miraculously, and advance to the semi-finals.

Svidler checks out the games of potential opponents like a hawk

Dimitri Andreikin's (standing) Caro-Kann maybe didn't solve all of his opening problems directly, but it was sufficient to equalize in the long run and the players agreed to a draw on move 20 in which the chances were roughly equal.

Gata Kamsky (with the white pieces) came to the game with one result in mind: victory. He avoided Evgeny Tomashevsky's preparation in the Marshall, but the second was insistent on sacrificing a pawn regardless! White's extra pawn came at a dangerous prize as his pawn structure in front of his king was shattered. In mutual time pressure Kamsky retained his extra pawn, but with a slightly vulnerable king and a passed h-pawn that Tomashevsky was running down the board it became difficult to play. The American blundered by thinking he could stop this pawn with the king, when in fact the sacrifice of this pawn, done by promoting it, lifted any protection that the king might have had and it fell into a mating net that cost white his queen, the game and the spot in the semi-final.

Tomashevsky attributes his good results by focusing on playing 'for fun' and not pressuring himself into thinking about results.

[Event "World Cup"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2013.08.24"]
[Round "5.2"]
[White "Kamsky, Gata"]
[Black "Tomashevsky, Evgeny"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C88"]
[WhiteElo "2763"]
[BlackElo "2709"]
[PlyCount "80"]
[SourceDate "2013.08.24"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. h3
Bb7 9. d3 d5 10. exd5 Nxd5 {Tomahevsky had already employed this system
against Yu Yangyi last year, so it is unclear why Kamsky's opening wasn't
particularly well prepared. Despite the fact that the move 8.h3 is
specifically made with the idea of avoiding the Marshall, Black players have
found ways of sacrificing a pawn for counterplay anyways.} 11. a4 {unusual.
Taking the pawn is the main line and the critical continuation.} Nd4 12. Nbd2
Nxb3 13. Nxb3 Nb4 $1 {An interesting novelty that shows that Tomashevsky is
prepared in every variation. Karjakin had employed f6 previously with success,
but the engines insist this is a stronger move. Taking the pawn on e5 is
possible.} 14. axb5 Bxf3 15. gxf3 axb5 (15... Qd7 $5 16. bxa6 Qxh3 {looks
dangerous for White.}) 16. Rxa8 Qxa8 17. Rxe5 Bd6 18. Rxb5 {White is up two
pawns, but with his weak kingside and discoordinated pieces he must be very
careful against any kind of aggression.} Re8 (18... Nxc2 $5 19. Qxc2 Qxf3 {is
actually interesting, and its very likely the game ends in some sort of
perpetual.}) 19. Kg2 h6 {This is the point in which Kamsky maybe should have
tried to kick back some of black's pieces.} 20. Nc5 (20. c3 $1 Nd5 21. Ra5 $1
Qb7 22. Nc5 {and White is in a better position than in the game.}) 20... Nd5
21. Ne4 Qc6 22. Nxd6 $6 (22. c4 $1 Nf4+ 23. Bxf4 Bxf4 24. Ng3 {White hasn't
fully consolidated but at least with the strong knight on g3 the defense on of
the kingside is much easier.}) 22... Qxd6 23. c4 c6 24. Rb3 Nf4+ 25. Bxf4 Qxf4
{Unlike the other variation we saw earlier, here White's king is completely
exposed and Black will have a draw by perpetual in many variations.} 26. d4
Qg5+ 27. Kf1 Qh5 28. Re3 $5 {Keeping the game alive. Black probably wouldn't
have had anything better than repetition had white protected his h3 pawn.}
Qxh3+ 29. Ke2 Rb8 30. Qc2 h5 $5 {Interestingly, this pawn becomes quite
dangerous even though it seemed non-threatening from h6.} 31. b3 $6 {a little
bit of a waste of tempo - but more important than that the weakening of the
second rank gives Black extra chances.} Ra8 32. d5 cxd5 33. cxd5 Qd7 34. Qd1
Ra6 35. b4 $6 (35. Qd4 $1 {stopping the pawn on the h-file and taking control
of a1 looks risky because of Ra2+, but it actually keeps the balance in the
position.}) 35... h4 $1 36. Qd4 $6 {too late} h3 $1 37. Kf1 {Kamsky thinks he
can stop the pawn... and he can, but at a huge price.} h2 38. Kg2 h1=Q+ $1 39.
Kxh1 {the h-pawn has vanished, but now White's king falls to a swift attack.}
Qh3+ 40. Kg1 Rg6+ {The game really turned in the time pressure in which Kamsky
greatly overestimated his chances. Tomashevsky shows great tenacity and
patience and was able to capitalize on Kamsky's time-pressure induced mistakes.
} 0-1



The players were very gracious in their postmortem commentary with the commentators, here the host of the show Nigel Short and Fabiano Caruana

Fabiano Caruana and Vachier-Lagrave (notating his latest move) had an interesting game in which White had slight positional advantages but were never enough to put Black in real danger. The players fought hard but when they ran out of real resources they agreed to a draw.

All results of the fifth round games

Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Tomashevsky, Ev. 2706
Kamsky, Gata 2741
½               0.5
Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Vachier-Lagrave, M 2719
Caruana, Fabiano 2796
Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Kramnik, Vladimir 2784
Korobov, Anton 2720
Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Andreikin, Dmitry 2716
Svidler, Peter 2746

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Topics Tromso, World Cup
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