World Cup Semi-Finals: Two More Draws, Tiebreaks Tomorrow
Tiebreaks on Wednesday will have to decide which players will reach the World Cup final (and with it a ticket to the 2014 Candidates tournament). Both games on Tuesday ended in draws: Tomashevsky vs. Andreikin after 29 moves and Kramnik vs. Vachier-Lagrave after 125.
With so much at stake, the two quick draws yesterday were quite understandable from the players' point of view. Today's big question was: would they do it again? Would the pressure, and the fear of making mistakes, result in two more short and peaceful games? Luckily, this didn't happen.
Tomashevsky-Andreikin was still drawn in less than 30 moves, but such games are quite normal: Black playing solid chess, and White just not making much ground. Andreikin showed that these days the Exchange Variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined isn't very dangerous when Black knows what to do.
Vladimir Kramnik vs. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave was a very different story. Soon after the opening (a Slav), the Russian GM won a pawn in an ending, and it was clear that he could start playing for a win. Vachier-Lagrave was putting up excellent resistance, but at move 58, after five hours of play, the engines were suddenly turning red. 58...Nd6! instead of 58...Rf1+? was correct. Kramnik failed to profit, and then tried to win the RN-R ending but didn't succeed, like Grischuk failed to win it earlier in the tournament against Le Quang Liem.
The way to profit from Vachier-Lagrave's mistake is not easy, and neither player saw it during the game. Can you find it?
The tiebreaks of the semi-final starts Wednesday at 15:00 CET / 09:00 EDT.
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.