World Cup R4 tie-break: Polgar eliminates Dominguez in blitz

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(FULL REPORT) Judit Polgar, Vassily Ivanchuk, Ruslan Ponomariov, Vugar Gashimov and Alexander Grischuk qualified for the World Cup's quarter-finals after winning their tie-break matches on Thursday. The pairings for the quarter-finals, which start tomorrow, are Polgar vs Svidler, Ponomariov vs Gashimov, Ivanchuk vs Radjabov and Navara vs Grischuk.

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

 

Tie-breaks round 4

 

After her dramatic victory with Black on Wednesday most chess fans were following Judit Polgar's tie-break closely. Would the world's best female chess player pull it off? Would she manage to get through to the next round, thereby eliminating the strongest of the two Cuban chess players left in the competition, Leinier Dominguez? One thing was clear: online commentator Anna Sharevich didn't try too hard staying neutral, and expressed her admiration towards Polgar more than once during the broacast.

In a tie-break match where she seemed to avoid theoretical lines, Polgar started well. She used the Grand Prix successfully in the first game, after she didn't get anything with White last Tuesday against Dominguez' Najdorf. However, in the return game the Cuban levelled the score equally convincingly. In this game Polgar tried the 3...Qd6 Scandinavian. In her White game she allowed the Najdorf again, and started attacking furiously:

Polgar-Dominguez
Khanty-Mansiysk, 2011

19. Nce2!?
Basically sacrificing the knight on d4, as after Black's next move it doesn't have a good square.
19…e5 20. f6 Bd8 21. Nf5!?
Fully going for the attack. Objectively speaking the sacrifice is not correct, but practically it's offering good chances. 21. Nf3? Qxe4.
21... gxf5 22. Nc3 Kh8 23. Qh3 Nf4
23... Nxf6! 24. gxf6 Rg8+ 25. Kh1 f4 was the simplest defence.
24. Bxf4 exf4 25. Rxf4 Rg8 26. Rh4 Rxg5+ 27. Kf1

27…Bxf6?
27... Kg8! 28. Rxh7 (28. Nd5 fxe4) 28... Bxf6 29. Nd5 Bg7! was the last moment where Black could still win.
28. Nd5! Much stronger than 28.Rxh7+ which transposes to the previous line.
28… Qxb2?
Now it’s White who's winning! 28... Be5 29. Rxh7+ Kg8 30. Ne7+ Kf8 31. Qh6+ Kxe7 32. Qxg5+ and White has at least a draw while Houdini comes up with the remarkable 28... Rg1+!! 29. Kxg1 Rg8+ 30. Kh1 Bxh4 31. Qxh4 Rg6=.
29. Rxh7+ Kg8

30. Qh6! Bd8 31. e5!
That's it.
31…Rg1+ 32. Kxg1 Qd4+ 33. Kf1 1-0

But again Dominguez tied by winning his white game as well (another 3...Qd6 Scandinavian), and the match continued with a very tense draw. Both players smiled here and there, realizing how crazy things were getting! In the final blitz game, with the Armageddon looming, Polgar returned to the Sicilian and then and there, her opponent collapsed:

Dominguez-Polgar
Khanty-Mansiysk, 2011

17. h4
Online GM Konstantin Landa expected 17. Qg3 d6 (just to avoid ...d5) 18. h4 but this fails to 18… Nxf3! 19. Qxf3 Bxe4 and wins.
17... d5! 18. exd5 Rxd5 19. h5?!

19… Nxf3!
A nice trick that works in all lines.
20. Qg3
20. Bxc7 Nxe1; 20. Nxf3 Qxc2+.
20... e5
It’s suddenly completely over.
21. Bg2 exf4 22. Qxf3 Rxd4 23. Nxd4 Bxf3 and Black won.

Things were quite tense as well in the match between Ruslan Ponomariov and Lazara Bruzon. The Ukrainian started with a good win with White but then the Cuban made it 2-2, and then even 2-3. Ponomariov had to win, and did it, starting with 1.Nf3 g6!? 2. e4 c5 3.d4 Bg7!? and eventually winning a nice ending with the bishop pair. The seventh game between these players ended in a draw, and then Ponomariov won the final one:

Ponomariov-Bruzon
Khanty-Mansiysk, 2011

Black has just pushed his pawn to g5 which wins material, but in a very risky way.
15. Nxf7!
Ponomariov didn't seem much affected and played this quickly.
15… Kxf7 16. Bxg5 Qd7?
This quickly loses a third pawn; better was 16... Nc7.
17. Qh4! Qf5 18. Bxf6 Qxf6 19. Qxh7+ Qg7 20. Qf5+ Qf6 21. Bxd5+ Bxd5 22. Qxf6+
22. Qxd5+ Kf8 23. Qb7! Nb4 24. a3 Reb8 25. Qh7 Na6 (25... Nc6 26. b4) 26. Qd3 Nc7 27. Ne4 followed by 28.b4 would have decided the game immediately but OK, it's a typical computer line.
22... Kxf6 23. Nxd5+ Kf7 24. e3 With four pawns for the piece this should normally be winning too and Ponomariov did win it at move 54.

Peter Heine Nielsen was knocked out by Vugar Gashimov. After five games all won by the white player, the score was 3-2 for the Azerbaijani and then he won with Black too:

Nielsen-Gashimov
Khanty-Mansiysk, 2011

18.Be2?
Black was already putting pressure on White's position, but this drops a piece immediately, with the unpositional swap of the fianchetto bishop for the knight:
18… Bxc3! 19. Bxc3 Qc7 20. Rc1 Rc8 and Black won.

Vassily Ivanchuk beat Bu Xiangzhi 2-0 and made it look easy. However, at the press conference the Ukrainian denied this: "No, I cannot say this is the case. One can see that my opponent was not that lucky in rapid games, but my victory was not an easy one, because I had to calculate a lot of variations during the game itself."

Alexander Grischuk also needed just two games to beat Vladimir Potkin. The first he drew with White, and then in the next game Potkin made a huge error in a pawn ending:

Potkin-Grischuk
Khanty-Mansiysk, 2011

48. Kb3?
After 48. b5 the position is a draw.
48... Kb5 49. Kc3 e3! 50. Kd3 Kxb4 51. Kxe3 Kc3

The opposition decides the pawn ending.
52. Ke2 Kc2 53. Ke3 Kd1 54. Kf2 Kd2 55. Kf3 Ke1 56. Ke3 Kf1 57. Kf3 Kg1 0-1
 

Games tie-breaks round 4

 
 

 


FIDE World Cup 2011 | Round 4 results
NameG1G2R1R2r3r4B1B2SDTot
Round 4 Match 01
Polgar, Judit (HUN)011010½1 4.5
Dominguez Perez, Leinier (CUB)100101½0 3.5
Round 4 Match 02
Bu, Xiangzhi (CHN)½½00     1
Ivanchuk, Vassily (UKR)½½11     3
Round 4 Match 03
Zherebukh, Yaroslav (UKR)00       0
Navara, David (CZE)11       2
Round 4 Match 04
Bruzon Batista, Lazaro (CUB)½½0110½0 3.5
Ponomariov, Ruslan (UKR)½½1001½1 4.5
Round 4 Match 05
Gashimov, Vugar (AZE)101011   4
Nielsen, Peter Heine (DEN)010100   2
Round 4 Match 06
Potkin, Vladimir (RUS)10½0     1.5
Grischuk, Alexander (RUS)01½1     2.5
Round 4 Match 07
Radjabov, Teimour (AZE)1½       1.5
Jakovenko, Dmitry (RUS)0½       0.5
Round 4 Match 08
Svidler, Peter (RUS)11       2
Kamsky, Gata (USA)00       0

Photos © FIDE | Official website

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