World Cup Finals: both games drawn, players under pressure

by ChessBase
9/18/2011 – Alexander Grischuk played his final white game against Peter Svidler aggressively, and came close to losing it in time trouble. But after 29 moves a draw was agreed. In the match for third place Vassily Ivanchuk, playing white, had serious losing chances against Ruslan Ponomariov, but saved the minor piece ending. In the last game Ponomariov and Grischuk are under tremendous pressure.

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The tournament is taking place in the Ugorian Chess Academy in the very heart of Khanty-Mansiysk, which has hosted three previous World Cups: 2005, 2007, and 2009. The 128 participants hail from 46 different countries, and are playing for a total prize fund of US $1.6 million. In addition the first three finisher get tickets to the Candidates tournament in the next World Championship cycle.

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Finals game three

The game between the two Russian grandmasters competing for the main prize ended first. However, unlike yesterday, the game was much more tense and lengthy.

Grischuk (above), playing White, once again started with e2-e4, and Svidler decided to deviate from the first game, opting for the Ruy Lopez instead of the Sicilian. On the third move Svidler surprised the opponent with a rare move 3…Bc5. Grischuk clearly did not expect it, so he started to think, but finally decided to go for the main line, where White aggressively breaks in the center.

Svidler (above) offered to exchange queens, accepting a worse ending. However, in the endgame, Grischuk's time trouble began to tell. He was unable to stabilize the position and gave up a pawn; however, White's pieces developed significant activity. Svidler also started to take his time, but did not find the way to play for a win, and accepted more exchanges, which made a draw inevitable.

[Event "FIDE World Cup 2011"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2011.09.18"] [Round "7.3"] [White "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Black "Svidler, Peter"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C64"] [WhiteElo "2746"] [BlackElo "2739"] [PlyCount "58"] [EventDate "2011.08.28"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d4 exd4 6. e5 Ne4 7. O-O d5 8. exd6 Nxd6 9. Re1+ Be6 10. Bg5 Qc8 11. Bxc6+ bxc6 12. Nxd4 Bxd4 13. Qxd4 O-O 14. Nd2 Qa6 15. b3 Qb6 16. Be3 Qxd4 17. Bxd4 Rfd8 18. Nf3 Bd5 19. Ne5 Nb5 20. Rad1 f6 21. Nd3 Bf7 22. Nc5 Rd5 23. Rc1 Nxd4 24. cxd4 Rxd4 25. h3 Rd2 26. Re7 Rxa2 27. Rxc7 Re8 28. Nb7 h5 29. Rxf7 Kxf7 1/2-1/2

Svidler said that Grischuk's time trouble did not tempt him to take additional risks in this game: "Sasha often plays under severe time pressure. I realize that he is not going to lose on time, or even make an inferior move, so I have to keep playing according to the demands of the position."

Alexander Grischuk: "Of course, my position was more pleasant, and the main question was whether I could develop my pieces and play c4. If I could do this, I would have had a big advantage. If not, I'd have nothing. In the end my losing chances were higher than my winning chances, but a draw was still the most likely outcome."

Vassily Ivanchuk and Ruslan Ponomariov played the Gruenfeld Defence is their match for third place. The transition from the opening to the middlegame was unsuccessful for Ivanchuk, who lost a pawn. Ponomariov tried to convert this advantage, but the game had clear drawing tendencies – the players had the opposite colored bishops, and all the remaining pawns were located on the kingside. In the end Ivanchuk constructed a fortress, and when Black tried to break it, he sacrificed a knight for the last two pawns, reaching a drawn ending with a bishop and a knight against a bishop, with no pawns left on the board.

[Event "FIDE World Cup 2011"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2011.09.18"] [Round "7.3"] [White "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Black "Ponomariov, Ruslan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D98"] [WhiteElo "2768"] [BlackElo "2764"] [PlyCount "164"] [EventDate "2011.08.28"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. d4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Qb3 dxc4 6. Qxc4 O-O 7. e4 Bg4 8. Be3 Nfd7 9. Rd1 Nc6 10. Be2 Nb6 11. Qc5 Qd6 12. e5 Qxc5 13. dxc5 Nc8 14. Bf4 Bxf3 15. Bxf3 Nxe5 16. Bxe5 Bxe5 17. O-O c6 18. Rfe1 Bg7 19. Rd7 Rb8 20. Ne4 Bxb2 21. g3 b6 22. Rc7 Rd8 23. Rxc6 bxc5 24. Nxc5 Bd4 25. Rd1 Nb6 26. Na6 Rbc8 27. Nb4 Bf6 28. Rxd8+ Rxd8 29. Rc7 Rd7 30. Rxd7 Nxd7 31. Nc6 a6 32. a4 Nc5 33. a5 Kf8 34. Be2 Bc3 35. Nb8 Bxa5 36. Nxa6 Nb3 37. Bd1 Nd4 38. Nc5 Bb4 39. Nd3 Bd6 40. f4 h6 41. Kf2 g5 42. Ke3 Nf5+ 43. Kf3 e6 44. Nf2 Ba3 45. Nd3 Ke7 46. Kf2 Bd6 47. Bh5 Bc7 48. Kg2 Ne3+ 49. Kf2 Nd5 50. fxg5 hxg5 51. Bf3 Bb6+ 52. Ke2 Nc3+ 53. Kd2 Nb5 54. g4 Kd6 55. h3 Bd4 56. Ke2 Bg1 57. Kf1 Nd4 58. Be4 Be3 59. Kg2 Bd2 60. Ba8 Be3 61. Kg3 Nb5 62. Bb7 Kc7 63. Bg2 Nd6 64. h4 gxh4+ 65. Kxh4 Kd7 66. g5 Ke7 67. Kg4 Bd2 68. Bc6 Kf8 69. Nc5 Bb4 70. Ne4 Nf5 71. Kh5 Ba3 72. Ba4 Bc1 73. Bc2 Kg7 74. Bd3 Nd4 75. Bb1 Nf3 76. Bc2 Be3 77. Bd3 Kf8 78. Bc2 Ke7 79. g6 f5 80. Nd6 Bd4 81. Nxf5+ exf5 82. Bxf5 Bg7 1/2-1/2

The game nears completion, both players know its going to be a draw

... and a draw it is. Ruslan is clearly unsatisfied with this result.

Ivanchuk, on the other hand, is one step closer to his goal...

... while Ponomariov is in a must-win situation in the final game

WGM Mariya Fominykh, who works in the press center

With three games over Both Svidler and Ivanchuk lead by 2.0-1.0 . The concluding classical games of the matches are scheduled for Monday, September 19. Grischuk and Ponomariov must win to tie the score. Grischuk will have to do it with black, Ponomariov will play white. If any of the matches are tied, the winners will be decided on tie-breaks.

Results of the finals

 Grischuk, Alexander (RUS)
 Svidler, Peter (RUS)
 Ivanchuk, Vassily (UKR)
 Ponomariov, Ruslan (UKR)  

Remaining schedule of the World Chess Cup 2011

Date Day Time   Rounds
18.09.2011 Sunday 15:00 Round 7, game 3
19.09.2011 Monday 15:00 Round 7, game 4
20.09.2011 Tuesday 11:00 Tiebreaks, Closing
21.09.2011 Wednesday   Departure


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