2009 World Cup: Round #3

Round Three

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

Pivotal Round today in Siberia. Boris Gelfand will try to hold onto the board #1 position against Judit Polgar in what may be the marquee matchup of round #3. A deep field means that Polgar is the #32 ranked player at 2695 ELO. Wesley So is playing above his grade and will have a tough matchup in Gata Kamsky, the lone American survivor.

The overachieving Chinese will try to make it to the “Sweet Sixteen” and then advance to the quarterfinals. Li Chao and Yu Yangyi have shined in their respective debuts. Both Azerbaijan and France still have half of their of entrants in the mix (2/4). Both nations have reasonable chances of making it to the finals… Vugar Gashimov and Shahkiyar Mamedyarov for Azerbaijan and Etienne Bacrot and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave from France.

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


  1. Wesley So soars!

    Wesley So
    Photo by Frits Agterdenbos, ChessVista.

    The Filipino chess community is celebrating after Wesley So’s victory over Gata Kamsky. Still riding high from his win over Vassily Ivanchuk, So outplayed the former championship contender and is within a draw of entering the quarterfinals. Humble in his win over Ivanchuk, So stated,

    Honestly I was lucky when playing against Ivanchuk, – starts So. – I admire this chess player and I know that he plays much far better than me. In first game he was in time trouble and maybe that is why I was lucky. The second game was a draw, but Vassily had a real chance to win at some point during the game. (Interview)

    While he may not admit to his good fortunate, many have mentioned that the young Filipino has a very bright future. He is not mentioned in the same light as Magnus Carlsen (rightfully so), but of course he has proven that he has immense talent. He has reached his current level without a trainer and without financial support.

    So’s young compatriots have also fared well. Li Chao is pitted against Vugar Gashimov while Yu Yangyi is grappling with another peer in Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Yu lost the first match but looks to extend the match. Wang Hao has a very tough match against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and also dropped the first game. Regardless of the outcome, these young players have made quite an impression and it should be know that Asian is the fastest rising region in the world.

    Bacrot of France pondering his strategy against China's Wang Yue.

    Etienne Bacrot of France pondering his strategy
    against China’s Wang Yue, ½-½.

    Russia's Evgeny Alekseev squaring off against Fabiano Caruana.

    Russia’s Evgeny Alekseev squaring off against Italy’s Fabiano Caruana, ½-½.

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

  2. Li Chao had to have been winning at some point in the game against Vugar Gashimov. Peter Doggers of Chessvibes reported,

    Gashimov had an angel on his shoulder today. At several points the world’s number 6 player was cleaely lost. First, the Azeri GM went for a known to be dangerous pawn grab against the nowadays rare 6.f4 Najdorf. But Li Chao missed 25.Qd8. Then a slip of the finger allowed 45.Bxf5!, but Li Chao missed 47.Qxh5. And then later on in the game Li Chao missed 72.h7, and perhaps even still 73.Rc2 might be winning. The Chinese must be having trouble sleeping tonight…

  3. Wesley So eliminates Gata Kamsky! Polgar rallies to even series with Gelfand in a kingside crush! China’s Wang Hao and Yu Yangyi were eliminated by Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave respectively. There will be 10 tiebreaks starting tomorrow with the rapid games.

  4. This vachier-lagrave (what a mouthfull!) plays some pretty good chess. Wesley So is so 2700…who is he playing in the quarters?

  5. Sweet Sixteen!

    Five Russians move onto the “Sweet Sixteen”, but just as impressive is France and Azerbaijan holding their positions and continuing on. Both nations entered only four players and have maintained a 50% rate. The Ukraine also has two players moving on.

    The big losers in round #3 was China whose remaining four participants exited after Wang Yue and Li Chao lost in tiebreaks against Etienne Bacrot and Vugar Gashimov, respectively. There was a controversy when the Chinese players arrived minutes late for the second rapid tiebreak and were promptly forfeited. Here is an excerpt from the main site:

    An interesting fact: they both agreed that the decision of the Chief Arbiter was fair. “We were smoking in the smoking room. Someone came in and said that we are late for the game. We rushed into the playing hall but it was already too late, – says disappointed Wang Yue. – It is terrible! But there are rules and we agree that everyone should follow them”.

    The new FIDE rule does allow for some flexibility of the organizer. A bright spot for China was fifteen-year old Yu Yangyi who has gained some valuable experience and will be one to watch in the coming years.

    A dejected Wang Yue (seated) and Li Chao in arbiter's room after being assessed a forfeit for the second rapid game. Zhou Jianchao discusses situation with arbiter.

    A dejected Wang Yue (seated) and Li Chao in arbiter’s room after being assessed a forfeit for the second rapid game. Zhou Jianchao discusses situation with arbiter. Photo by Galina Popova courtesy of FIDE. Gallery link, ugra-chess.ru.

    Apart from a few outliers such as Fabiano Caruana (2652), Wesley So (2640) and Viktor Laznicka (2637), all the remaining players are of the 2700 variety. All will be tested but will be looking to move on in round #4. So has been the story of the tournament thus far. The Sweet Sixteen matchups are:

    Bracket “A”


    Bracket “B”


  6. Mehul,

    So plays Vladimir Malakhov. He’s a very solid player… tough to beat. So will have to have a steady hand. The way Malakhov beat Pavel Eljanov will make you believe that he is in great form. I believe So can surprise once again, but the Russian player will be on alert.

  7. Malakhov is a very strong player. He is as underated as Wesley. This will be a challenge for Mr. So. I will consider beating Malakhov a bigger upset than beating Ivanchuk or Kamsky!

    By the way Kamsky was pretty forthright and honest about his defeat and also Wesley So’s strength of play in his inteview. Not like Ivanchuk…though Ivanchuk is certainly the more emotional man and perhaps his outburst was understandable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button