World Cup R6.2: Peter Svidler through to final

9/13/2011 – Former FIDE world champion Ruslan Ponomariov played a rare line of the Grunfeld, which allowed Peter Svidler to play very sharply and get a queenside pawn avalanche. The St Petersburg grandmaster refused a draw offer and forced a win in 43 moves. With this Svidler moves into the final. On the other board Ivanchuk and Grischuk drew an equally sharp game. Illustrated report.

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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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Round six game two

The second game Ruslan Ponomariov vs Peter Svidler (above) was a Grünfeld in wich the Ukrainian GM selected a rather rare line on move seven. According to Svidler he was not quite ready for the opening dispute that ensued. Perhaps Ponomariov could have obtained a comfortable position with a small but lasting advantage, if he played 13.Rc1. Instead he went for 13.Rb1, and after Black castled long (a rare scenario in this opening), the game became very sharp. Black's pawn phalanx on the queenside looked very promising, and Svidler declined a draw offer by Ponomariov without hesitation. White did not defend in the most tenacious way and resigned soon after the 40th move.


Ruslan Ponomariov suffering in his final game at the Grand Prix

[Event "FIDE World Cup 2011"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2011.09.13"] [Round "6.2"] [White "Ponomariov, Ruslan"] [Black "Svidler, Peter"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D85"] [WhiteElo "2764"] [BlackElo "2739"] [PlyCount "86"] [EventDate "2011.08.28"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Qa4+ Bd7 8. Qa3 Nc6 {The new move, played by Svidler.} 9. Nf3 e5 10. Be3 exd4 11. cxd4 Qe7 12. Qxe7+ Nxe7 13. Rb1 (13. Rc1 {would have given White a small but lasting advantage, says the official bulletin.}) 13... O-O-O {A very unusual and sharp setup.} 14. Bc4 {[%csl Rf7]} f5 15. Ng5 fxe4 16. Nf7 Nf5 17. O-O ({Black had to calculate all the terribly sharp lines that follow after} 17. Nxd8) ({or} 17. Nxh8) 17... Nxd4 18. Bxd4 Bxd4 19. Nxh8 Rxh8 20. Bd5 b5 21. Bxe4 c5 22. g3 a5 23. Kg2 b4 24. Bd5 Kc7 25. Bc4 Kd6 26. Rfe1 a4 27. f3 Rb8 {Black has rejected a draw offer and is playing for a win.} 28. Re2 $2 ({White should have played} 28. g4 {to prevent Black's next move.}) 28... Bf5 29. Rd1 b3 30. axb3 axb3 31. g4 Bd7 32. Re3 b2 33. Rb3 Rxb3 34. Bxb3 Bb5 35. Ba2 Kc6 36. Rd2 Kb6 37. f4 Bc6+ 38. Kg3 Be4 39. Rd1 Kb5 40. Re1 Bd3 41. Re7 c4 42. Rd7 c3 43. Rd5+ Bc5 0-1

"I can celebrate this success properly," said Svidler in the press conference. "Two free days ahead, and my friends would not understand it if I spent this time alone."

Ukrainian GM Vassily Ivanchuk (above) and Alexander Grischuk (Russia) played a very sharp but extremely well-studied Vienna Variation. In a dynamically balanced position Grischuk tried to seize the initiative, spent a lot of time thinking, and missed some dangerous counterplay by White. Black had to give up a queen for a rook and a bishop. The compensation was probably not quite sufficient, but Ivanchuk, also being in time trouble, allowed Black to stabilize his position. Grischuk exchanged all the queenside pawns and built a fortress on the kingside, making a draw inevitable.


Grischuk preparing to set up a fortress (after Ivanchuk's move 34.c4)

[Event "FIDE World Cup 2011"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2011.09.13"] [Round "6.2"] [White "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Black "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D39"] [WhiteElo "2768"] [BlackElo "2746"] [PlyCount "85"] [EventDate "2011.08.28"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. Bg5 Bb4+ 5. Nc3 dxc4 6. e4 c5 7. e5 cxd4 8. Nxd4 Qa5 9. exf6 Bxc3+ 10. bxc3 Qxg5 11. fxg7 Qxg7 12. Qd2 O-O 13. Bxc4 Rd8 14. Qe3 Bd7 15. O-O Nc6 16. Nf3 Ne7 17. Ne5 Ng6 18. f4 Rac8 19. Be2 Bc6 20. Bf3 Bd5 21. Kh1 b6 22. a4 h6 23. Rae1 Nxe5 24. fxe5 Qg5 25. Qf2 Bc4 26. h4 Qg7 27. Re4 $1 {Black probably missed this dangerous counterplay.} Bxf1 28. Rg4 Bd3 29. Rxg7+ Kxg7 30. Bb7 Bf5 31. Bxc8 Rxc8 {White has a queen for rook and bishop, and should have good winning chances.} 32. Qd4 ({Grischuk:} 32. g4 {was the right move! To this Ivanchuk replied: "After} Bxg4 33. Qf6+ Kg8 34. Qxh6 Bf5 { there is no forced win either."}) {Grischuk: "After} 32... h5 {winning is very difficult for White."} 33. Kh2 Rc5 34. c4 Ra5 35. Qd7 Rc5 36. Qd4 Ra5 37. Qd8 Bg4 38. Kg3 Rxa4 39. Qc7 (39. Qf6+ {was the logical continuation, with White sustaining the attack. But Ivanchuk is in time trouble and allows Black back into the game.}) 39... a5 40. Qxb6 Rxc4 41. Qxa5 Bf5 42. Qd8 Rg4+ 43. Kf2 {and Black has managed to build a fortress that White cannot penetrate.} 1/2-1/2

Grischuk, in the press conference after the game: "I liked my position at first, but then I made some inexplicable moves, complete nonsense, and had to give up a queen in a very difficult position. I blundered, but the critical moment of the game occurred when Vassily took an exchange on c8."

Ivanchuk: "I had some advantage, but wasn't sure if I had anything real if the opponent defends accurately. I also was quite short on time, so I tried to play according to the position."

On Wednesday, September 14, Ivanchuk and Grischuk will play tie-break games and work out who will be the second finalist. The loser will meet Ruslan Ponomariov in a match for the third place, which is played under the same rules as the main final – four classical games plus tie-breaks.

Results of round six

Name
G1
G2
 R1
 R2
 r3
 r4
 B1
 B2
 SD
Tot
 Svidler, Peter (RUS)
½
1
             
1.5
 Ponomariov, Ruslan (UKR)  
½
0
             
0.5
 
 Grischuk, Alexander (RUS)
½
½
             
1.0
 Ivanchuk, Vassily (UKR)
½
½
             
1.0

Remaining schedule of the World Chess Cup 2011

Date Day Time   Rounds
Players
14.09.2011 Wednesday 15:00 Tiebreak
15.09.2011 Thursday   Free Day
16.09.2011 Friday 15:00 Round 7, game 1
2
17.09.2011 Saturday 15:00 Round 7, game 2
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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