2009 World Cup: Round #2

Yu Yangyi of China.

Key matchups are on tap for the FIDE World Cup. While most of the top seeds moved on, they will face stiffer tests in round two. Judit Polgar will start her first match today against Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu of Romania. This tournament may see the rise by a number of young players.

By contrast, players like Teimour Radjabov and Ruslan Ponomariov seem like veterans compared to some of the participants. One such player to watch is the unheralded 15-year old Yu Yangyi of China (right). Yu has slipped under the radar since being elevated from an untitled straight to the GM title. He has done so by quietly scoring good results since 2004.

Photo by Galina Popova courtesy of FIDE. Gallery link, ugra-chess.ru.

Results: https://cup2009.fide.com/results.php
Games (PGN): (all)

18 Comments

  1. Upsets Galore!!

    The second round has started off with a rash of upsets highlighted by two young and talented Asian players. Several top-seeded players scored wins in the first game and will only need to score a draw to move onto the next round. The following upsets were:

    Tomi Nyback (Finland) beating Peter Svidler (Russia)
    Viktor Laznicka (Czech Rep.) beating Alexander Morozevich (Russia)
    Konstantin Sakaev (Russia) beating Teimour Radjabov (Azerbiajan)
    Wesley So (Philippines) beating Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine)
    Yu Yangyi (China) beating Bartel Mateusz (Poland)

    There is yet another game to play tomorrow and the veterans will fight to stay alive!

  2. BTW, Polgar was my favorite player before she turned into a semi-professional after child-rearing. She was a ferocious tigress! She has lost a bit of edge, but is still dangerous.

    I wonder how long people will continue to talk about rating inflation. I don’t believe it. I believe younger players are simply getting stronger at a faster rate because of the amount of information that is now available… also the number of outlets to play. You have many servers and a chess engine that is 2700 strength in your house. There may be slight inflation, but there is a good reason all the age records for rating are being shattered. It happens in all sports.

    IMO, someone as dishonorable as Tomi Nyback does not deserve to go through. Anyone who grabs a piece during a game, hovers the piece over a square, puts it back and moves another piece, deserves no respect. This “takeback” happened at the 2006 Olympiad against Jamaica’s Shane Matthews. Absolutely horrible!

  3. Younger player are certainly getting stronger faster. Too fast for rating inflation to have a say. Chess software has revolutionised junior chess.

    I have been a victim of a take-back myself (against a top ugandan player). It’s an unnatural feeling to experience.

  4. Read that olympiad takeback article. Looks like this ‘Tommy Takeback’ fellow must have insisted he did nothing wrong. Sometimes team mates should own up if their guy did a mistake. There is nothing much one can do when this happens.

  5. What happened was a shame. The Finnish team captain stood up for him even though he wasn’t there. Finland stood to draw or lose the match. Listen to Shane’s commentary, a very personable and likable fellow. I was too disgusted to interview Takeback.

    Click the icon to play directly or the link to open into your own media player.

    Shane Matthews interview (2006) https://www.thechessdrum.net/tournaments/Olympiad2006/interviews/Shane_Matthews.mp3

  6. Top Seeds Exit!!

    Alexander Grischuk trying to avoid the fate of his high-rated compatriots. He was successful and will go on to round three after defeating Vladislav Tkachiev. Wesley So (background) may have his eyes set on Grischuk.

    Alexander Grischuk trying to avoid the fate of his high-rated compatriots. He was successful and will go on to round three after defeating Vladislav Tkachiev. Wesley So (background) may have his eyes set on Grischuk. Photo by Galina Popova courtesy of FIDE. Gallery link, ugra-chess.ru.

    The worst fears have been realized. Several of the top names in chess have been ceremoniously eliminated from the FIDE World Cup. Alexander Morozevich, Vassily Ivanchuk and Teimour Radjabov are three of the biggest names in the field and were mentioned as favorites. Morozevich lost to Viktor Laznicka while Ivanchuk fell to Filipino sensation Wesley So. Russia’s Konstantin Sakaev vanquished Azerbaijani star Radjabov.

    The usually affable Wesley So is all business here. He went on to topple Vassily Ivanchuk, one of the pre-tournament favorites.

    The usually affable Wesley So is all business here. He went on to topple Vassily Ivanchuk, one of the pre-tournament favorites. Photo by Galina Popova courtesy of FIDE. Gallery link, ugra-chess.ru.

    Both Peter Svidler and Alexei Shirov staved off elimination by beating Tomi Nyback and Sergey Fedorchuk and will go to rapid tiebreaks. Yu Yangyi completed his “upset” over Poland’s Mateusz Bartel and will join compatriots Wang Yue and Wang Hao in round three… the Wangs (unrelated) have perfect scores thus far. Li Chao evened the score against Yannick Pelletier and will attempt to advance.

    Chinese Dragons, Li Chao, Yu Yangyi and Wang Hao have a lot to smile about.

    Chinese Dragons, Li Chao, Yu Yangyi and Wang Hao have a lot to smile about. Photo by Galina Popova courtesy of FIDE. Gallery link, ugra-chess.ru.

    There are a number of tiebreaks scheduled. The biggest tiebreak may be Judit Polgar facing Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu in an even matchup. Both players have daring style and the games should be exciting. Fabiano Caruana faces Lenier Dominguez in another marquee matchup. Caruana has played well in the past year and Dominguez will be in his element at the faster time control. Varuzhan Akobian will face former knockout champion Ruslan Ponomariov but may hope that the match does not go another sixteen games when fatigue would be deadly against a strong opponent.

    (Note: GM Amon Simutowe commented on the Akobian-Trebugov match saying that perhaps the extra games may have sharpened Akobian. We shall see, but thus far he has done well.)

  7. So far the Polgar-Nisipeanu match up has proved to be a boring-fest with openings like Caro-Kann and petroff being essayed and add to that some play-safe technique. Hopefully the faster time controls bring out their true on-board personalities.

    The super gm’s who got eliminated just go to prove why Kasparov in his day avoided these knock-outs like the plague. Imagine the embarrasment of losing to someone hundreds of elo point lower than you! It’s russian roulette, maybe not good for chess in the long term but certainly very good for the spectators!

    Asian chess continue to produce the prodigies…Wesley So now taking his ‘long awaited’ sper-gm scalp.

  8. It’s fascinating to watch how some people fumble on the chessninja forum crying foul over the disappearance of their favourite ‘western’ Super GM’s. They are blaming the knock out format and are not fully appreciating that the Wesley So’s and Yu Yangyi’s may already be playing 2700+ chess. Is this deliberate blindness?

    It is similar to the soviet chess machine’s failure in the 60’s and 70’s to acknowledge the reason their best GM’s were losing to Fischer had nothing to do with anything else but Fischer’s complete superiority in the chess moves department.

    I think these Super GM knockouts are a sign of things to come in the World’s top 30 over the next 5 – 10 years i.e mass infestation of these spots by Chinese, Indian and other Asian GM’s.

    Asia was a untapped chess potential…the next revolution has logically got to come from Africa…Africa is the next large untapped chess resource.

  9. There is no way bloggers can blame the knock-out format. The favorites merely did not prepare for their opponents properly. Most of the upsets were made by relatively-unknown or obscure GMs.

    You have to remember, people who blog on chessninja are mostly follow chess in Europe and North America. There are only the speciality sites to resort to if you want news outside of these regions… the most popular sites and blogs ignores other regions.

    I remember having a debate at chessninja back in 2006 on China as a rising power. There were several people who argued that China was not a chess power and persisted even after I laid out the evidence. How could they not know that China was (at the time) #3 ranked federation in the world?

    The “Soviet School of Chess” has faded. The sooner people realize that, the sooner they will understand that players from other regions have arrived. I knew that Russia’s luster had faded once they started missing team medals in the Olympiad. When you have Olympiad teams averaging 2700 and cannot win a medal, something is amiss. I remember Kramnik complaining about the lack of training ground for young players.

  10. Cinderella stories end for a few… Svidler, Shirov move on!

    After falling behind against unfancied opponents, several top-seeded players rebounded and won tiebreaks after losing the first game. Peter Svidler had lost the opening game against Tomi Nyback of Finland and it appeared he would join fellow Russian Alexander Morozevich as an early departure. Svidler proceeded to trounce Tomi Nyback in the second game and scored another victory for the winning margin.

    Ponomariov set to face off against 'marathon man' Akobian.

    Ponomariov set to face off against ‘marathon man’ Akobian.
    Photo by Galina Popova courtesy of FIDE. Gallery link, ugra-chess.ru
    .

    Ruslan Ponomariov got past “marathon man” Varuzhan Akobian and fellow Ukranian Pavel Eljanov rallied to oust Ernesto Inarkiev. Sergey Karjakin makes the third Ukranian to advance after beating Artyom Timofeev. Russia is now down to seven participants from 27. There are a couple more tiebreaks to play including Russia’s Sergei Rublevsky versus the Ukraine’s Alexander Areshchenko.

    China's Li Chao reflects on the game just completed with Yannick Pelletier of Switzerland (standing). Maxime Vachier-Lagrave observes.

    China’s Li Chao reflects on the game just completed with Yannick Pelletier of Switzerland (standing). Maxime Vachier-Lagrave observes. Photo by Galina Popova courtesy of FIDE. Gallery link, ugra-chess.ru

    .

    Lenier Dominguez of Cuba still has a score to settle with Italy’s Fabiano Caruana. Li Chao is trying to become the latest of the Chinese Dragons to advance. He will have to beat Yannick Pelletier of Switzerland.

    Gelfand-Polgar will be a marquee matchup for round #3.

    GM-elect Ray Robson (USA) seems to be enjoying the atomosphere. Robson was eliminated in round #1 by Georgia's Baadur Jobava. He'll be back!

    America’s GM-elect Ray Robson seems to be enjoying the atomosphere. Robson was eliminated in round #1 by Georgia’s Baadur Jobava. He’ll be back! Photo by Galina Popova courtesy of FIDE. Gallery link, ugra-chess.ru

    .

  11. I think the North American and European folks don’t seem to realise the huge extent to which technology aka computers aka fritz has penetrated into Indian and Chinese societies. It’s a no brainer that Indians and chinese middle class are far more computer literate then their western counter parts. I even know of slum areas in Mumbai where families have computers and internet connection! Plus Anand’s home province is a technology hot spot.

    I think there is a direct and clear correlation between computer literacy and chess strength from middle class income groups upwards and this is something western players overlook. The Indians and Chinese are computer addicts. It kills off the gap created by ‘chess culture’ that western players so much rely on to claim their superiority over the rest of the world in chess.

  12. Li won his tiebreak over Pelletier. Caruana beat Dominguez and Areshchenko beat Rublevsky. China and the Ukraine both brought nine players and four have made it through to the third round. That is a decent percentage when compared to Russia (9/27) and the U.S. (1/10).

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