Andreikin & Kramnik Reach World Cup Final
Dmitry Andreikin and Vladimir Kramnik reached the World Cup final on Wednesday by beating Evgeny Tomashevsky and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave respectively in the tiebreaks of the semi-finals. Each player beat his opponent 1.5-0.5 in the two rapid games.
Having played a wonderful World Cup, and after surviving a difficult ending that lasted 125 moves on Tuesday, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave stumbled in Wednesday's tiebreak. The French grandmaster played below his usual level in the first rapid game, as he lost his concentration early on.
During the game he thought that 13.Qc2 was wrong, and that he should have taken on d6 first, but as Kramnik pointed out White is still fine after 16.Ne4. Probably affected by his "mistake", Vachier-Lagrave started to go really wrong: first a dubious rook manoeuvre, and then a blunder on move 21.
Kramnik then easily held the draw as White - in fact he was better at the end, but as soon as he saw a repetition of moves he went for it (and why not).
Vachier-Lagrave after the game:
"I played badly today, Vladimir played well, that's it."
Sergey Karjakin will be a happy man. The Russian GM has qualified for the 2014 Candidates Tournament on rating, because Kramnik has now qualified for this event via the World Cup.
The other match was one between two friends, Evgeny Tomashevsky and Dmitry Andreikin, who both play for the same team ("Economist"). The first game ended in a draw:
The second game seemed to be heading to a draw as well, but instead of trading queens, Tomashevsky gave away a full pawn as he missed a double attack. Andreikin won the pawn and kept the advantage by aiming everything at f7. Black might still have drawing chances with 39...Rh8; after 37...Qh7? it was quickly over.
"I have lots of experience with blitz on the internet, but I cannot say I was the favourite in the rapid match. Sometimes I play Grand Prix rapid tournaments in Russia, and my results can be very different. Maybe it's something about this place here!"
After a well-deserved rest day, Andreikin and Kramnik will return to the playing hall on Friday at 15:00 CET / 09:00 EDT for the first of four classical games. Kramnik has white.
FIDE World Cup 2013 | Round 6 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.