Leko & Shirov Eliminated in Second Round World Cup
On the second day of the FIDE World Cup's second round, two famous grandmasters were eliminated: Peter Leko of Hungary and Alexei Shirov of Latvia. Leko, who lost his first game with White against Julio Granda Zuniga on Wednesday, didn't come close to an advantage with White and eventually had to accept his fate in a pawn ending. Shirov's loss today was even more unexpected as his opponent is only 14 years old, but according to China's number one player Wang Hao, Wei Yi is already playing at at least 2700 level...
"It's time for me to start studying his games," said Alexei Shirov, after he heard that he would be playing the world's youngest grandmaster in the second round of the World Cup. As it turned out, 14-year-old Wei Yi also made a good study of Shirov's games, and made good use of it. The Chinese grandmaster copied a game Bologan-Shirov, Edmonton 2005 and it was Shirov who deviated with 14...Bxd6. An ending was reached where White had three pawns for a piece, but it was rather unclear. After a few inaccurate moves, Shirov lost another pawn and from that moment he never got back into the game. Wei Yi played the endgame brilliantly and so he was responsible for Shirov's sensational exit!
After his game, Peter Leko lamented that he "cannot play normal chess at World Cups". He could only draw his White game with Julio Granda Zuniga, and so the Hungarian is out too. "Yesterday I made a mistake on move 11, today I made one on move 10," he said, referring to 10.Qc2 which allowed 11...Nh5!. Black was (more than) OK for the rest of the game.
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave looked a bit shaky in the first game and in fact he should have lost that one. But "the Frenchman with two names" played a model game with White against Cuba's Isan Reynaldo Ortiz Suarez (see below) and then talked to ChessVibes:
The game between Aleksandr Shimanov and Gata Kamsky was just crazy. In a must-win situation, Shimanov started with that ancient romantic weapon, the King's Gambit! Kamsky sank into a deep thought for about fifteen minutes, took on f4 and then Shimanov even played the Bishop's Gambit with 3.Bc4 instead of the more usual 3.Nf3!
White's opening was quiet successful, and there was even a win as early as move 19. (Bxf7) as the engines point out. While that might have been a typical computer tactic, Shimanov's 20.Rf2?? was a horrific blunder and 20...Qxh2+! was surely something Kamsky should have seen. But when GM Ian Rogers asked him about it after the game, Kamsky just smiled and replied: "Really?" Shimanov, on his turn, said that he had seen it and quickly went to the toilet because otherwise his face would reveal too much! More crazy things happened, but from move 32 onwards Shimanov didn't let go of the win.
Alexander Onischuk needed to beat Leinier Dominguez to stay in the match, and so it seemed a bit strange for the American grandmaster to agree to a draw as early as move 21. However, there was more to it: Onischuk had missed the tactic 21.b5?! axb5 22.axb5 c5! which meant that Black had time for Nf5-d6, killing all possibilities for White to make progress. Here's the game and an interview with Dominguez:
After a draw in the first game, Nikita Vitiugov crushed Markus Ragger with the White pieces in a sharp Grünfeld. 11...e6 was a novelty by Ragger, but look how it was answered by Vitiugov:
The many fans of Wesley So have to wait a while before they'll see their hero back in the World Championship cycle. Here's how the Filipino GM lost his first game to Evgeny Tomashevsky on Thursday:
In the second game, So accepted Tomashevsky's invitation to play the main line of the Marshall Ruy Lopez but as it turned out the Russian had better knowledge there. In the video below he explains why (the game was drawn after 23 moves):
Baadur Jobava needed to win and the way he did it needs to be included in this report; a fine game that started as a Grand Prix:
Baskaran Adhiban of India celebrated his 21st birthday by beating Alexandr Fier of Brazil. The Indian grandmaster proved to be an excellent defender:
17 players have already qualified for the World Cup's third round: Caruana, Grischuk, Nakamura, Gelfand, Dominguez, Granda, Morozevich, Vitiugov, Giri, Ivanchuk, Andreikin, Vachier-Lagrave, Wei Yi, Adhiban, Eljanov, Areshchenko and Tomashevsky. Slightly surprisingly, Aronian, Kramnik and Karjakin need to play the tiebreak on Friday, together with 27 other players.
FIDE World Cup 2013 | Round 2 Results
|10||Dominguez Perez, Leinier||g||CUB||2757||1||½|
|50||Granda Zuniga, Julio||g||PER||2664||1||½|
|47||Li, Chao b||g||CHN||2693||0||0|
|45||Bruzon Batista, Lazaro||g||CUB||2698||½||½|
|85||Nguyen, Ngoc Truong Son||g||VIE||2625||½||0|
|87||Ortiz Suarez, Isan Reynaldo||g||CUB||2609||0||0|
|89||Hammer, Jon Ludvig||g||NOR||2605||½||½|
|36||Vallejo Pons, Francisco||g||ESP||2706||½||½|
|29||Le, Quang Liem||g||VIE||2702||½||½|
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.