Two draws on day 3 World Cup finals

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage

(FULL REPORT) On the third day of the World Cup finals both games ended in draws. This means that in both matches a fourth classical game will be played, and both Alexander Grischuk and Ruslan Ponomariov need to win on Monday to force tie-breaks on Tuesday.

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 3

Everything could have been decided on Sunday, if Vassily Ivanchuk and Peter Svidler had won another game. Two draws meant that the long struggle called World Cup will drag on at least one, and maybe two more days. The games on Monday will be exciting, as both Alexander Grischuk and Ruslan Ponomariov need to win. Will they still have energy left? As pointed out before, Grischuk has good reason to go "all in" with a US $120,000 first prize against a US $80,000 second prize. Ponomariov's paycheck will look quite different as well in the long run, if he still manages to qualify for the Candidates...

Svidler surprised his opponent already at move 3. The grandmaster from St. Petersburg had never played 3...Bc5 in the Ruy Lopez before! And then, at move 8, he came with surprise number 2, taking back on d6 where almost everyone always castles with Black. Grischuk chose to go for an ending where he had the better pawn structure, but again got into timetrouble. The Moscovite didn't find a way to get an advantage.

At the press conference, Svidler said:

This is not the first time I see this kind of situation. That’s why I don’t think it means something. Anyway I try to estimate the position objectively for I understand that he will not lose on time. More than that, he won't even play a bad move. That is why Grischuk’s time trouble does not mean a lot.


In the end of course I had a position closer to a loss than to a victory. But most probably it was close to a draw.

Then the interviewer asked:

Peter, it is amazing you did not win with Black today.

to which Svidler answered:

I am bitterly upset.

Still in good spirits: Svidler and Grischuk

Ivanchuk and Ponomariov played a line of the Grünfeld that was played in the famous game Botvinnik-Fischer, Varna 1962. In the 1980s the theoretical discussion continued in Karpov-Kasparov and Karpov-Timman games, but Ivanchuk deviated from these paths at move 14 with an interesting pawn sacrifice.

Continuing inaccurately, the oldest of the two Ukrainians ended up a clear pawn down in an endgame with opposite-coloured bishops and knights. Luckily for him the pawns were 3 vs 4 on the kingside, and all in all it wasn't too difficult to keep the draw.

Ponomariov resigns to a draw against Ivanchuk, knowing that he needs to win the last game

Games finals, day 3



Photos © FIDE | Official website


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