Svidler, Ponomariov Reach The Semis
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On the second day of the World Cup quarter-finals, two matches were decided and two will need tie-breaks tomorrow.
Judit Polgar pushed too hard for a win with white against Peter Svidler and paid dearly for her ambition. So the strongest female player in the world is out of the World Cup after a great run.
Teimour Radjabov needed to beat Vassily Ivanchuk to stay in the match, and he did it in fine style with an aggressive early piece sacrifice which paid dividends. Radjabov is better known as a counter-attacking player with black, but his comparatively poor record with white seems to be improving recently!
David Navara built up a promising position against Alexander Grischuk in the Russian's habitual time-trouble, but missed a tactical trick and had to concede a draw and tie-breaks tomorrow.
Finally, Ruslan Ponomariov showed his determination, patience, and endgame skill to grind out an amazing victory with the Berlin against Vugar Gashimov in the last game of the day to finish.
So Peter Svidler and Ruslan Ponomariov will meet in one of the semi-finals, but the other pairing is still up for grabs in the tie-breaks tomorrow.
The quarter-final scores:
|Round 5 Match 01|
|Svidler, Peter (RUS)||½||1||1.5|
|Polgar, Judit (HUN)||½||0||0.5|
|Round 5 Match 02|
|Ivanchuk, Vassily (UKR)||1||0||1|
|Radjabov, Teimour (AZE)||0||1||1|
|Round 5 Match 03|
|Grischuk, Alexander (RUS)||½||½||1|
|Navara, David (CZE)||½||½||1|
|Round 5 Match 04|
|Ponomariov, Ruslan (UKR)||½||1||1.5|
|Gashimov, Vugar (AZE)||½||0||0.5|
Peter Svidler and Judit Polgar at the post-match press conference
Teimour Radjabov had to be brave and creative to beat Vassily Ivanchuk
David Navara let a golden chance slip against Alexander Grischuk
Vugar Gashimov (left) was eliminated after a long struggle with Ruslan Ponomariov
The winner, runner-up and third placed player in the World Cup will qualify for the Candidates tournament to determine a challenger for the winner of the Anand v Gelfand world championship match next year.
Each round starts at 15:00 local time (09:00 UTC). The time control for the regular games is 40 moves in 90 minutes followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with a 30 second increment from the start. Rapid games are at 25 minutes plus 10 second increment, and if scores are still level then 10 minutes plus 10 second increment, 5 minutes plus 3 second increment, and finally sudden-death 5 min v 4 min with a 3 second increment after move 60.
The official website with live coverage and commentary in Russian and English is here.
Photos from the official website.