2009 World Cup: Semi-Finals
Will Ruslan Ponomariov win another knockout tournament?
Photo by Galina Popova courtesy of FIDE. Gallery link, ugra-chess.ru.
Only four players remaining. The top-seed is still playing, two Ukrainians stars and one unsung Russian will fight for the crown. Boris Gelfand has played solidly and has lost only one game thus far (Polgar). Ruslan Ponomariov and Sergey Karjakin are trying to advance for another all-Ukrainian battle. In 2002, Ponomariov beat Vassily Ivanchuk to with the FIDE World Championship.
Karjakin may finally get his chance to gain the spotlight. Vladimir Malakhov has overachieved, but it would be wrong to call his performance “lucky”. He is a strong player, solid and incredibly difficult to beat. Malakhov has not lost a single game in the tournament and he has also shown his strength in the rapids with 8.5/9!
Should be a great showdown! Only two tables will remain from the 64 that were arranged at the outset.
Games (PGN): (all)
If there is any more doubt that veterans such as Viswanathan Anand and Vassily Ivanchuk still have a bit left in the tank, Boris Gelfand should lay the argument to rest. Today, the Israeli easily defeated upstart Sergey Karjakin putting the Ukrainian at the brink of elimination in the short toe-game mini-match. Having only lost one game, Gelfand will take his solid style into tomorrow’s game and try to close out his young opponent.
In other action, Vladimir Malakhov and Ruslan Ponomariov decided to call a truce after a rather placid game. It will be interesting to see if Ponomariov is content to take the match to tiebreaks where Malakhov has been so tough.
Boris Gelfand has done what is so difficult to do… for a top-seed to hold on to his position the entire tournament. In a tournament of notable upsets, Gelfand’s steady play has gotten him a trip to the final of the 2009 FIDE World Cup. Gelfand destroyed Karjakin with a sacrificial attack.
Gelfand’s opponent has yet to be determined as Vladimir Malakhov and Ruslan Ponomariov are still playing in a game of imbalances. It appears that Ponomariov may equalize. Here is Gelfand’s gem:
Did Gelfand just play the game of the year?
Gelfand’s opponent still unknown
The Malakhov-Ponomariov match will go to tiebreaks after a tense draw. Both players are in top form, but Malakhov goes into the rapids with confidence. In rapid play, he has only yielded one draw. Ponomariov will be highly-motivated to repeat his success of 2002. Should be a great match. The four rapid games will be followed by 10 blitz games (if necessary).
Do these rapid games happen today?
Gelfand is showing the value of experience and being able to use his preparation. He is from the same generation as Anand is demonstrating blended learning.His generation is the one with a background of wide book reading and then adaptation to the internet/database era.
He has shown that he is blending deep understanding along with the massive information retrieval and collation skills required.In addition the experienced players know when to rest as opposed to preparing more.Makes you wonder what would happen if Kasparov came back and competed.Ivanchuk,Anand and Gelfand have been doing well.
No… the tiebreaks will continue on tomorrow. The schedule is here
On an aside, London Chess Classic:
“Players taking part:
Susan Lalic (England) IM 2310
Sabrina Chevannes (England) WFM 2042
Arianne Caoili (Australia) WIM 2206
Olivia Smith (Wales) WFM 2026
Arlette van Weersel (Netherlands) WIM 2193
Camille de Seroux (Switzerland) 1989
Elena Winkelmann (Germany) 2119
Maria Yurenok (England) WFM 1968
Maria Ikonomopoulou (Greece) 2065
Denise Frick (South Africa) WIM 1920”
Right… will post soon on London.
Russia’s Vladimir Malakhov takes on Ruslan Ponomariov in the FIDE World Cup semi-finals. Photo by Galina Popova courtesy of FIDE. Gallery link, ugra-chess.ru.
The Ukraine’s Ruslan Ponomariov had his back to the wall after losing the first game against a solid 2700 player in Vladimir Malakhov. Reminiscent of the fighter he is, he has reached down and gathered every morsel of strength to stave off elimination. In the four game match, he lost of the first game, but came roaring back to take the 4-2 victory.
With the match victory, he earns a match with Boris Gelfand for the FIDE World Cup. The two will have a rest day tomorrow and begin with a four-game classical match on the 10th.