Polgar, Grischuk, Ivanchuk, Gashimov and Ponomariov through to World Cup Quarter Finals

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Polgar, Grischuk, Ivanchuk, Gashimov and Ponomariov through to World Cup Quarter Finals

Post by ciccio on Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:23 pm

The favourites made it through to the quarter finals of the World Cup but there were obviously some tired bodies out there in a round with more than its fair share of errors. Judit Polgar against Leinier Dominguez featured the closest matched players and they mixed the good with the bad before Polgar won an attractive blitz game in the Sicilian. Ruslan Ponomariov lost two games in a row against Lazaro Bruzon playing badly but pulled himself together in time to go through. Both Cubans could easily have gone through in the longest and most dramatic matches. Ivanchuk, Gashimov and Grischuk had less trouble. It has been a long day Dennis Monokroussos also summarises play at his Chess Mind site and probably has a different view than myself. The quarter finals are: Polgar-Svidler, Ponomariov-Gashimov, Ivanchuk-Radjabov and Navara-Grischuk. Heavyweight struggles all. My summary plus the games below.
Judit Polgar beat Leinier Dominguez Perez 3.5-2.5
A huge part of the day's drama was in the match between Judit Polgar and Leinier Dominguez Perez that went down to the blitz playoff. The pair were evenly matched throughout the contest and it turned into a battle of wills rather than chess as mistakes began to creep in.

Rapid Game 1. Polgar won after Dominguez lost his c-pawn for no compensation.

Rapid Game 2. Polgar played the Scandinavian Defence as a surprise weapon, Dominguez got a nice position and beat Polgar without any particular problem

10m10spm Game 1: "First 10 minute game it kind of seems I killed him but I played extremely badly." - Polgar. Although she finished it nicely Polgar was in a horrible mess out of the opening where Dominguez seemed better prepared (she went all in with 21.Nf5 as going back would have been pretty bad, and after 27...Kg8 Dominguez would have won, instead 27...Bxf6 left only a single path to a draw 28...Rg1+ 29.Kxg1 Bxh4 30.Qxh4, instead 28...Qxb2 lost in an attractive manner).

10m10spm Game 2: Another of Judit's Scandinavian experiments. This one was a little better but this whole position doesn't suit her style and she was eventually outplayed by Dominguez.

"You try to make surprises, sometimes it works out very well and sometimes it doesn't." - Judit Polgar on her Scandinavian Defence experiment.

5m 3spm Game 1: Polgar-Dominguez. A draw after a lively struggle

5m 3spm Game 2: Polgar returns to the Sicilian which is more her style. Dominguez just pushed his pawns on the kingside apparently without looking what Polgar was doing allowing 17...d5 and then then winning 19...Nxf3. Perhaps he tried to speed up after being in time trouble throughout. Polgar made no mistake.

Vassily Ivanchuk beat Bu Xianzhi 2-0
Vassily Ivanchuk was the first player in the playoffs to go through to round 5 and a meeting with Teimour Radjabov. He won his match against Bu Xiangzhi 2-0.

Rapid Game 1. A Reti where 8...e4 seems new and active and Ivanchuk quickly obtained a decisive advantage.

Rapid Game 2. Ivanchuk easily won the second game too where Bu sacrificed his Queen on move 17 in an already lost position.

I would not say it was that easy for me, I was calculating a lot. Ivanchuk

Ruslan Ponomariov beat Lazaro Bruzon 3.5-2.5
Ruslan Ponomariov came very close to elimination before qualifying in the 5 minute blitz against Lazaro Bruzon.

Rapid Game 1: Ponomariov won the first game out-manoevering his opponent with white.

Rapid Game 2: Ponomariov lost game two from a position that looked tricky at first sight but which in fact he had a straight forward winning advantage (35...b4) and after trading queens he should have held (42...Ke7?? instead of Rc8 getting active).

10m 10spm Game 1: It may have been a hangover from the last game but Ponomariov was unrecognisable as he was crushed with white in the first 10 minute game with white with his pieces reduced to complete passivity. A nice game from Bruzon.

10m 10spm Game 2: Ponomariov did all that he could in a must win game with black he kept things closed and retained the two bishops right through to an ending his opponent couldn't hold.

5m 3spm Game 1: A fairly dull draw with Bruzon as white.

5m 3spm Game 2: Ponomariov qualified in a rather strange game where Bruzon encouraged him to sacrifice a knight for two pawns (soon three) and opening up his king. Ponomariov decided to simplify and count that his four kingside pawns for a piece would win in the simplest way and this proved to be the case.

Vugar Gashmov beat Peter Heine Nielsen 2.5-1.5
I managed to push Vugar quite a bit but unfortunately not enough to make him tumble. - Nielsen.

Peter Heine Nielsen is famous for his opening expertese but as he pointed out, Vugar Gashimov has won every game with white and he will go a long way if he continues that.

Rapid Game 1: Nielsen even got an advantage as black but need to get on with Queenside play, in defending on the kingside he actually encouraged a big attack.

Rapid Game 2: Most people play the Modern Benoni when they need a win in this event, not a draw but Gashimov did and for a while it looked like it was going to work (42...Rh3 would probably have ended the match with a draw) but having failed to find this draw following an exchange sacrifice he was eventually just the exchange down for nothing.

10m 10spm Game 1: Nielsen got another good position with black but again was slowly outplayed.

10m 10spm Game 2: Nielsen got in a horrible mess just out of the opening and after 18.Be2 could resign as he got in a deadly pin on the c-file.

In principle the match was a high level match, it seems that my opponent made the last mistake. Gashimov.

Alexander Grischuk beat Vladimir Potkin 1.5-0.5
Rapid Game 1: Grischuk-Potkin: Sicilian Drawn in 54 moves.

Rapid Game 2: Potkin-Grischuk: Averbakh Variation where Grischuk's novelty of 8...Qd5 didn't turn out to be the surprise Grischuk hoped it would be. Grischuk did take the initiative, eventually chose to swap into a King and Pawn ending which he said he didn't know what the correct result was but he at least couldn't lose. Potkin could have held after 48.b5 instead it turned out to be an easy win and qualification for Grischuk.

Potkin and Grischuk are friends and Grischuk had given him one or two pieces of advice, not purely chess in earlier rounds. Grischuk said jokingly that after losing the first game of the standard part of the match the phrase "No good deed goes unpunished" came to mind.


pgn games: http://www.chess.co.uk/twic/assets/files/pgn/wcup11_4_3.pgn

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