Ivanchuk Leads World Rapid After Day 2
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Vassily Ivanchuk is the sole leader with five rounds to go at the World Rapid Championship in Doha, Qatar. Among others, the Ukrainian legend defeated Magnus Carlsen on the second day.
Ivanchuk defeated Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in round 10. | Photo Maria Emelianova.
The tournament is far from over yet, but many chess fans will be happy to see Ivanchuk doing well. He's not been among the elite consistently in recent years, but every now and then he demonstrates what a world class player he can be when in good form.
In the seventh round Chuky defeated Carlsen, who had ended Benjamin Bok's unbeaten streak in round six. It was a rather smooth win, with Ivanchuk getting a slight edge straight out of the opening and keeping the pressure throughout the game.
The Ukrainian legend might have spent more time on draughts than on chess lately (more on that below); he certainly hasn't forgotten how to play chess!
Ivanchuk: "For me, I want to say, it's always a big pleasure to play against Magnus." | Photo Maria Emelianova.
Ivanchuk had started with a win against one of his oldest rivals, Alexei Dreev. After beating Carlsen, he drew with Anton Korobov, who had started with 5/5 but lost to Aronian in round six.
Chuky finished day two with two more wins, against Levan Pantsulaia and then Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, who was leading the tournament at that point.
Mamedyarov was the leader after nine rounds, but not anymore.
Ivanchuk told Chess.com: "After the opening I had a worse endgame, but he wanted to beat me and he probably underestimated my counter-chances."
The Ukrainian decided to play a draughts tournament during the last Olympiad. He also followed the recent draughts world championship closely.
"Of course!" said Chuky. "It was a really interesting fight. They have very different styles but maybe for a match the style of [draughts champion] Boomstra was more suitable."
And then Chuky also explained why he likes draughts: "In the draughts competition I have the opportunity to see complete other people!"
At the start of the eighth round there was some confusion. The players were entering the hall again and sitting down at their boards—even Carlsen was already adjusting the black pieces—when the chief arbiter suddenly announced that, due to some wrong results, new pairings had to be made.
After a five-minute delay, Carlsen could then also adjust the white pieces because that was his new color. He defeated Dmitry Jakovenko, but not that convincingly. The Russian GM missed a perpetual check:
The top boards during the 10th round.
That was an important win for the world champ, and the following victory even more. Beating Alexander Grischuk as Black was crucial to stay in contention.
Carlsen drew his last game of the day with Levon Aronian, and both of these players are now on seven points, together with five other colleagues. Two have 7.5 points: Mamedyarov and Ian Nepomniachtchi.
The reigning world rapid champion goes into the last day a point behind Ivanchuk.
World Rapid Championship 2016 | Round 10 Standings (Top 20)
|5||51||GM||Vidit Santosh Gujrathi||2643||7||2743||54||56,2|
|10||6||GM||Dominguez Perez Leinier||2803||7||2677||51,5||4,2|
|11||47||GM||Li Chao B||2648||6,5||2758||57||48,6|
(Full standings here.)
Aronian was all colors today.
Two games that included queen sacrifices need to be mentioned here. For starters, don't miss this great one by Teimour Radjabov, in his game with Olexandr Bortnyk. Just a lovely way to finish the game.
A very enjoyable game for Teimour Radjabov.
And then this one, by David Howell. It reminds a bit of Carlsen's last move in his title match last month.
And finally there's the following funny finish in the game Pantsulaia vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.
Vishy Anand, who was watching from the side, made a gesture of worship towards the players after this happened:
MVL is on plus-two after two days. At the start of day two, he told Chess.com: "It's very difficult in this tournament to be warmed up immediately, especially when you start playing a 2600 player, in my case even a 2700. I have even higher ambitions in the blitz, but if I could score big in the rapid [I] would not prevent myself from doing!"
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is more ambitious for the blitz tournament.
Anna Muzychuk is on 7/8 and increased her lead in the women's section to 1.5 points. Three players are on 5.5 points—two expectedly, and one big surprise.
Alexandra Kosteniuk and Kateryna Lagno are where they should be, but IM Sarasadat Khademalsharieh is doing quite well so far! This is round eight:
IM Sarasadat Khademalsharieh is on an excellent 5.5/8.
World Rapid Championship 2016 (Women) | Round 8 Standings (Top 20)
(Full standings here.)
Games from TWIC.
Each day, the action starts at 3 p.m. local time, which is 1 p.m. in Central Europe, noon London, 7 a.m. New York, 4 a.m. Pacific and 11 p.m. Sydney. You'll be able to follow the (op games in Live Chess and watch the live show with commentary by GM Evgeny Miroshnichenko and IM Anna Rudolf on Chess.com/TV.