Adams, Bacrot, Navara, Ponomariov, Wang Hao Also Leave World Cup
On Friday the FIDE World Cup in Tromsø, Norway had to say goodbye to quite a few well-known grandmasters: Michael Adams, Etienne Bacrot, David Navara, Ruslan Ponomariov and Wang Hao all did not survive the tiebreaks of the second round. The biggest upset was Ponomariov losing to the 17-year-old Russian talent Daniil Dubov, who won with white in the Armageddon game. Other surprises included local hero Jon Ludvig Hammer eliminating David Navara of the Czech Republic, and Yuriy Kryvoruchko of the Ukraine beating Michael Adams of England.
Although not everyone is too happy with the format of two classical games followed by rapid and blitz (see the Kramnik interview below), especially the tiebreak days produce a lot of excitement. The idea that, at the end of the day, one of the two players has to go home is well known in other sports of course. A few years ago Rustam Kasimdzhanov argued that to make chess more interesting for spectactors, every single tournament game that ends in a draw should be followed by a rapid game, to force a decision. Maybe he had a point there!
Top seed Levon Aronian, one of the 30 players who had to play a tiebreak, is not only a very strong chess player, but also a master of psychology. As he explains in the interview with ChessVibes below, he felt he needed to provoke his opponent a bit, and that worked well. The Armenian took over the initiative in the ending and scored the full point. Afterwards the computer showed that White could have drawn with a nice variation: 47. Nxh6! Be6 48. Nf5 a4 49. Ne3+ Kd4 50. Nc2+.
Aronian also won the second game but only because Lysyj resigned in an equal position where he knew he would never win. Here's the interview:
Kramnik drew his first game with Mikhail Kobalia very quickly and then beat his compatriot in the second. The game looks like a convincing victory, but Kobalia could have defended better and besides, Kramnik missed a much quicker win with 27. Bxe6.
Here's a very interesting interview with Kramnik by ChessVibes. The former World Champion declares that he doesn't like it at all that he has to play this event:
Gata Kamsky won his minimatch with Alexandr Shimanov with a 2-0 score. In the first game the U.S. Champion won a double rook ending, and then he completely demolished Shimanov's Hippopotamus Defence:
Aleksey Dreev's 2-0 win over Wang Hao might be an upset rating-wise but of course the 44-year-old Russian grandmaster is damn good. In the 1980s he was considered to be an even bigger talent than Vassily Ivanchuk! Here's Dreev's first win:
Last month Mickey Adams played what was arguably the (round-robin) tournament of his life in Dortmund, but in Tromsø he got eliminated as early as the second round. Yuriy Kryvoruchko seems to have a very similar style as the Englishman; look at how the 26-year-old GM from Lviv slowly outplays Adams as White:
Another surprising result was Jon Ludvig Hammer's 2-0 win over David Navara. Here's the first game:
On Friday there were 15 matches; almost half of the field had played 1-1 in the two classical games. Of these 15 matches, 13 had been decided after the two rapid games. Only Teimour Radjabov vs. Lazaro Bruzon and Daniil Dubov vs. Ruslan Ponomariov played 1-1 again. Radjabov then beat Bruzon 2-0 in the two games with 10 minutes plus 10 seconds increment.
Dubov and Ponomariov drew four more games rather quickly, and so after about three and a half hours of play, they were the only two players left in the playing hall. An Armageddon game was to decide this match, with 5 minutes on the clock for White against 4 minutes for Black who had draw odds. Quite a few grandmasters left their hotel rooms and went down to the playing hall to watch the action, e.g. Anish Giri, Jan Smeets, Baskaran Adhiban, Hikaru Nakamura, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Alexander Grischuk.
As one of the most successful players ever in knockout events, Ruslan Ponomariov was the clear favourite. He picked a black pawn from the arbiter's pocket; after so many draws, that was probably the color both players preferred! However, 17-year old Dubov just outplayed his opponent with the white pieces, starting with 1.b3!
The pairings for the third round, which starts on Saturday at 3pm local time, are: Aronian-Tomashevsky, Malakhov-Caruana, Kramnik-Areshchenko, Le Quang Liem-Grischuk, Karjakin-Eljanov, Adhiban-Nakamura, Gelfand-Moiseenko, Hammer-Kamsky, Mamedyarov-Wei Yi, Vachier-Lagrave-Dominguez, Dubov-Korobov, Andreikin-Dreev, Svidler-Radjabov, Ivanchuk-Kryvoruchko, Granda Zuniga-Giri and Vitiugov-Morozevich.
FIDE World Cup 2013 | Round 2 Tiebreak Results
|Bruzon Batista, Lazaro||2698||½||½||½||½||0||0||2|
|Hammer, Jon Ludvig||2605||½||½||1||1||3|
|Le, Quang Liem||2702||½||½||½||1||2.5|
|Vallejo Pons, Francisco||2706||½||½||½||0||1.5|
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.