Andreikin & Vachier-Lagrave Also Reach World Cup Semi-Finals
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The World Cup in Tromsø said goodbye to two big names on Sunday as top seed Fabiano Caruana and 2011 World Cup winner Peter Svidler lost their tiebreak matches to Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Dmitry Andreikin respectively. Both matches were decided in the two rapid games: Vachier-Lagrave drew as Black and then won as White, while Andreikin first won his white game and then agreed to draw in a better position.
That was a surprising Sunday in Tromsø, with the two highest rated players getting eliminated in just about two hours! And it must be said that both Andreikin and Vachier-Lagrave won deservedly.
Andreikin repeated his special weapon, the Torre Attack, to deal with Svidler in the first rapid game. Black's setup was very solid, and so after about twenty moves the game seemed to be heading for a draw. But the Svidler took some slight risk with 20...f5 and 21...Kf7, two moves that would backfire soon. With 27...d5 28.Re5 Kg8 Black could have limited the damage; in the game it was quickly over.
Recently Svidler has played 1.d4 and 1.c4 quite often, and perhaps one of the two would have been a better choice for his second rapid game. Andreikin's 3...c5 worked very well for the second time, and it was Black who got a big advantage. Out of courtesy, Andreikin repeated moves in the end and so, after Tomashevsky, another underdog (and another Saratov resident!) reaches the World Cup semi-finals.
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave started with a solid draw with the black pieces against Fabiano Caruana in a Slav. This game was fairly balanced from start to finish.
In the second game, Caruana surprisingly went for the Dutch Defence, which reached a Stonewall structure after an irregular start. There was lots of maneuvering, and it wasn't really clear if White's advantage was big or small.
Basically I was just looking for some sharp middlegame,
said Vachier-Lagrave. When the Frenchman finally succeeded in pushing e3-e4, all the tactics worked in White's favour and he didn't give Caruana any chance to get back into the game.
This means that Evgeny Tomashevsky vs. Dmitry Andreikin is one semi-final, and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs. Vladimir Kramnik is the other. Both matches, which start on Monday at 15:00 CET / 09:00 EDT, will produce one finalist, but both these finalists will also get a ticket to the 2014 Candidates Tournament. No doubt Sergey Karjakin is rooting for Kramnik tomorrow becaue if Kramnik wins, Karjakin will qualify for the 2014 Candidates Tournament on rating.
FIDE World Cup 2013 | Round 5 Results
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.