World Cup: Granda Beats Leko in First Game Round 2
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After Tuesday's tiebreak turmoil, the Tromsø World Cup's second round started with a relatively quiet day. Out of the 32 games, 20 ended in draws and six of these lasted 24 moves or less. There was one big upset: Julio Granda Zuniga of Peru defeated Peter Leko of Hungary with the White pieces. Top players such as Fabiano Caruana, Alexander Grischuk, Hikaru Nakamura, Gata Kamsky and Leinier Dominguez started with White wins while Levon Aronian, Vladimir Kramnik, Sergey Karjakin, Boris Gelfand, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Ruslan Ponomariov and Peter Svidler all started with a draw with Black.
In the playing hall - the Scandic Hotel's conference room - the two top boards are placed on a podium that looks down on the rest of the boards. Obviously this is where the final will be played between the two last men standing (or rather sitting), between August 30th and September 2nd. So far this has been the special arena for the two top seeds: Levon Aronian and Fabiano Caruana.
Aronian, who won both of his round 1 games despite suffering from a nasty cold, was one of the many players who seemed to be happy with a draw today. He equalized with a solid Nimzo-Indian and when the queens came off, he and Igor Lysyj started repeating moves. Caruana, however, was playing the White pieces which more or less forces one to play for a win in such mini-matches. With quiet play he managed to keep an edge against Yu Yangyi, who blew up his own position with 47...e5?, probably missing Caruana's beautiful queen sacrifice.
Vladimir Kramnik also drew his game, but not until after defending for a long time against his compatriot Mikhail Kobalia. Alexander Grischuk, who was again sitting right next to Kramnik, scored a nice, quick win in a Sicilian as Dariusz Swiercz fell into a trap based on his weakened kingside.
Krishnan Sasikiran and Sergey Karjakin drew a tough game that started as a King's Indian Attack. Hikaru Nakamura defeated Eltaj Safarli, who had qualified from yesterday's tiebreak with some luck. Black's remarkable third move was invented by Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who introduced it in January of this year in Gibraltar:
There was more American success, as Gata Kamsky defeated Aleksandr Shimanov of Russia in a Steinitz French. The endgame that was reached came from a very theoretical line, and Black probably shouldn't have to lose. One idea is 49...Ree2 and Houdini doesn't see a clear win for White.
Alexander Onischuk couldn't join the fun as he got outplayed by Leinier Dominguez of Cuba in a Ruy Lopez. After the strong move 31.Qf3! Black's position suddenly collapsed.
An amazing fight was Wang Hao vs. Alexey Dreev, where Black spoilt an excellent position around move 45. For example, 46...f5! or 46...Rc3! both win. At the end, Wang Hao made a mistake that showed that even 2700 GMs don't know all the rules or regulations exactly. The Chinese grandmaster claimed a draw by three-fold repetition, but because he had already written down his move, his opponent got three minutes extra on the clock. At the very next instance, Wang claimed the draw correctly!
Julio Granda Zuniga is a legend. The 46-year-old Peruvian grandmaster suddenly came out of nowhere and joined the world's top 30 in the 1990s with non-theoretical openings. He couldn't keep up that level, but stabilized around roughly 2640 and more recently got up to 2660. Today he showed that his natural talent is still there, as he outplayed former world championship contender Peter Leko with White. The Hungarian doesn't like to take risks, but tomorrow he'll have to, in what is a must-win game for him!
Alexander Morozevich defeated Rafael Leitao of Brazil with White and it looked like a smooth game, but in fact both players missed a tactic on move 35. Can you spot what it was?
Ray Robson, who played such wonderful chess in his first match with Andrey Volokitin, faced another Ukrainian but one of a different level. Interestingly, Vassily Ivanchuk repeated Volokitin's choice of the Petroff, and Robson then decided to deviate as early as move three but was outclassed both on the board and the clock.
Isan Reynaldo Ortiz Suarez knocked out Judit Polgar in the first round, and was almost reponsible for another upset on Wednesday. The Cuban GM outplayed Biel winner Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, but must now be banging his head against the wall for missing the Frenchman's combination in the endgame. The move Rb6 on move 41 or 42 would have won relatively easily.
The second game of the second round will be played on Thursday, again at 3pm, and then Friday will be another tiebreak day for all matches that end in 1-1.
FIDE World Cup 2013 | Round 2, game 1
|1||Lysyj, Igor||RUS||2648||½-½||Aronian, Levon||ARM||2813|
|2||Caruana, Fabiano||ITA||2796||1 - 0||Yu, Yangyi||CHN||2662|
|3||Kobalia, Mikhail||RUS||2651||½-½||Kramnik, Vladimir||RUS||2784|
|4||Grischuk, Alexander||RUS||2785||1 - 0||Swiercz, Dariusz||POL||2654|
|5||Sasikiran, Krishnan||IND||2660||½-½||Karjakin, Sergey||RUS||2772|
|6||Nakamura, Hikaru||USA||2772||1 - 0||Safarli, Eltaj||AZE||2660|
|7||Filippov, Anton||UZB||2630||½-½||Gelfand, Boris||ISR||2764|
|8||Kamsky, Gata||USA||2741||1 - 0||Shimanov, Aleksandr||RUS||2655|
|9||Matlakov, Maxim||RUS||2676||½-½||Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar||AZE||2775|
|10||Dominguez Perez, Leinier||CUB||2757||1 - 0||Onischuk, Alexander||USA||2667|
|11||Dubov, Daniil||RUS||2624||½-½||Ponomariov, Ruslan||UKR||2756|
|12||Wang, Hao||CHN||2747||½-½||Dreev, Aleksey||RUS||2668|
|13||Bologan, Viktor||MDA||2672||½-½||Svidler, Peter||RUS||2746|
|14||Adams, Michael||ENG||2740||½-½||Kryvoruchko, Yuriy||UKR||2678|
|15||Granda Zuniga, Julio E||PER||2664||1 - 0||Leko, Peter||HUN||2744|
|16||Morozevich, Alexander||RUS||2739||1 - 0||Leitao, Rafael||BRA||2632|
|17||Ragger, Markus||AUT||2680||½-½||Vitiugov, Nikita||RUS||2719|
|18||Giri, Anish||NED||2737||1 - 0||Li, Chao b||CHN||2693|
|19||Robson, Ray||USA||2623||0 - 1||Ivanchuk, Vassily||UKR||2731|
|20||Radjabov, Teimour||AZE||2733||½-½||Bruzon Batista, Lazaro||CUB||2698|
|21||Nguyen, Ngoc Truong Son||VIE||2625||½-½||Andreikin, Dmitry||RUS||2716|
|22||Korobov, Anton||UKR||2720||1 - 0||Jobava, Baadur||GEO||2696|
|23||Ortiz Suarez, Isan Reynaldo||CUB||2609||0 - 1||Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime||FRA||2719|
|24||Shirov, Alexei||LAT||2696||½-½||Wei, Yi||CHN||2551|
|25||Hammer, Jon Ludvig||NOR||2605||½-½||Navara, David||CZE||2715|
|26||Bacrot, Etienne||FRA||2714||½-½||Moiseenko, Alexander||UKR||2699|
|27||Adhiban, B.||IND||2567||½-½||Fier, Alexandr||BRA||2595|
|28||Jakovenko, Dmitry||RUS||2724||½-½||Eljanov, Pavel||UKR||2702|
|29||Vallejo Pons, Francisco||ESP||2706||½-½||Le, Quang Liem||VIE||2702|
|30||Areshchenko, Alexander||UKR||2709||½-½||Felgaer, Ruben||ARG||2586|
|31||Fressinet, Laurent||FRA||2708||½-½||Malakhov, Vladimir||RUS||2707|
|32||Tomashevsky, Evgeny||RUS||2706||1 - 0||So, Wesley||PHI||2710|
Held every two years, the World Cup is part of the World Championship cycle. The winner and the runner-up will qualify for the 2014 Candidates Tournament. The World Cup takes place August 10th-September 3rd in Tromsø, Norway. Photos by Paul Truong courtesy of the official website; games via TWIC.