GM Ruslan Ponomariov (2727) defeats fellow Ukrainian GM Vassily Ivanchuk (2717) by a score of 4½-2½ and thus, becomes the 16th World Champion and the youngest in history! The two battle-tested Ukrainians are the nation's #1 and #2 players and should receive a warm homecoming upon their return. The championship took place from January 16-26 in Moscow, Russia at the Hotel Metropol. Both had to fight through a tough field to play for the crown. Following are the respective paths to the final for both players:
GM Ruslan Ponomariov (UKR) beat:
China's IM Li Wenliang (2494) Netherland's GM Sergei Tiviakov (2618) Bulgaria's GM Kiril Georgiev (2695) Russia's GM Alexander Morozevich (2739) Russia's GM Evgeny Bareev (2719) Russia's GM Peter Svidler (2695).
GM Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR) beat:
Russia's IM Baatr Shovunov (2348) Poland's GM Bartlomiej Macieja (2588) Israel's GM Emil Sutovsky (2651) China's GM Ye Jiangchuan (2677) France's GM Joel Lautier (2675) India's GM Viswanathan Anand (2797)
Ponomariov (UKR) vs. Ivanchuk (UKR)
The FIDE Championship evolved from a seven-round knockout match for 128 players. The first six rounds were November 27-December 14, 2001. The first five rounds had matches of two games; round six had four games; the final match will be eight games. The clocks will start with 90 minutes, 30 seconds are added on each move. Ties will be broken by games at faster time controls. The games start at 5:00am EST, 10:00am GMT, and 1:00pm Moscow time. China's GM Zhu Chen won the 64-player FIDE Women's Championship by defeating WGM Alexandra Kosteniuk of Russia last month. The win extended the dominance of Chinese women as GM Zhu now wears the crown that her compatriot, GM Xie Jun vacated.