Svidler wins FIDE World Cup, Ivanchuk finishes 3rd

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(FULL REPORT) Peter Svidler won the FIDE World up 2011 after drawing the 4th game of the final against Alexander Grischuk today. The grandmaster from St. Petersburg set the final score at 2.5-1.5 and clinched the title and US $120,000 first prize. Vassily Ivanchuk managed to draw a difficult ending for the second time against Ruslan Ponomariov and finished third, qualifying for the next FIDE Candidates.

General info

The 2011 FIDE World Cup is a 128-player knock-out taking place August 27-September 20 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Siberia. The tournament delivers three participants for the next Candidates tournament/matches, as part of the new World Championship cycle. Except for the final, all rounds have 2-game matches at the FIDE time control: 90 minutes for 40 moves followed by 30 minutes to finish the game, with a 30-second increment from the first move. In case of a 1-1 tie, on the third day of the round there's a tie-break with rapid games and if necessary blitz games and an Armageddon. More info here.
Tournament bracket

Finals, day 4

I'd like to say that, in regards to my opening, I sort of crawled over the finish ribbon. My courage was over, my hands started shaking!

said a happy Peter Svidler at today's press conference. Smiling modestly, the grandmaster from St. Petersburg seemed to need a bit of time to get adjusted to the idea that he just reached his career's best performance: victory at the 2011 FIDE World Cup. He agreed with the interviewer that winning in Khanty-Mansiysk was his biggest sporting achievement, which came just a month after his 6th Russian title. His friend and opponent in the final Alexander Grischuk didn't disagree either, and joined the journalists who applauded for Svidler at the start and end of the press conference. But let's first look at the game!

Despite being nervous, Svidler played pretty confidently:

Svidler-Grischuk
Khanty-Mansiysk (04), 2011

 
 

Asked about his most memorable moment in Khanty-Mansiysk, Svidler answered:

It's hard to point out one moment. Despite the fact that I have won more than one classical game, it was never easy. Maybe the second game against Kamsky and if not that one, we must look at the 2007 edition.

Despite losing the fight for the highest prize, Grischuk joined the press conference as well:

I was very happy after the opening because all my pieces are still alive and in fighting positions. (...) After I played the ridiculous move 18...Nh7 I didn't have any real chances. Peter played very energetically; maybe he could have achieved even more but all he needed was a draw and he achieved it easily. Of all the participants Peter definitely played the best and deserved the victory.

For the second time, Vassily Ivanchuk managed to draw a very difficult ending against Ruslan Ponomariov:

Ponomariov-Ivanchuk
Khanty-Mansiysk (04), 2011

 
 



As TWIC's Mark Crowther pointed out, Ivanchuk qualified for the Candidates for the first time since 1991 (!) when he was eliminated by Artur Jussupow. At the press conference, the Ukrainian said:

Yes, I feel very happy, but I was feeling happy before as well. Of course it's always pleasant to win! My opponent outplayed me today; I had a very difficult position. Ruslan came close to winning this game.
(...) In three days another tournament starts: the Grand Slam Masters Final. I'm a bit tired but I'm going to fight further!

Peter Svidler officially won US $120,000 but if we don't take into account the 20% that's going to FIDE, he actually pocketed 'only' $96,000. Grischuk won net $64,000, and both Ivanchuk and Ponomariov net $40,000. The four players can enjoy another 'rest day' as the closing ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday evening.

And so after three gruelling weeks the World Cup, with all its great games and superb video coverage, is finally over. But, as Svidler noted today, the whole circus just continues.

Now everyone is off to Slovenia. Absolutely no rest for the wicked!

The World Cup winner was referring to the European Club Cup which starts already next Sunday in Slovenia. It's going to be terribly strong, with not only e.g. Boris Gelfand and the complete Armenian squad, but also three of the World Cup finalists: Grischuk, Ponomariov and Svidler. A day later, Vassily Ivanchuk starts in the Grand Slam Masters Final in Sao Paulo, Brazil together with Vishy Anand, Levon Aronian, Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura and Paco Vallejo.

Results finals

NameG1G2G3G4R1R2r3r4B1B2SDTot
Final. Match for the 1st place
Grischuk, Alexander (RUS)0½½½       1.5
Svidler, Peter (RUS)1½½½       2.5
Final. Match for the 3rd place
Ivanchuk, Vassily (UKR)½1½½       2.5
Ponomariov, Ruslan (UKR)½0½½       1.5

Photos © FIDE | Official website

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