2011 World Cup: Semi-Finals

2011 World Cup
August 26th-September 21st, 2011
(Khanty Mansiysk, Russia)
Semi-finals
#
Name
Flag
Nation
Result
Name
Flag
Nation
1 Svidler, P
RUS
1½-½
Ponomariov, R
UKR
2 Ivanchuk, V
UKR
2½-3½
Grischuk, A
RUS
Pairing Tree

Official Site: https://chess.ugrasport.com/
Games: Main Site, PGN (TWIC)
Drum Coverage: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2011/08/25/2011-world-cup-khanty-mansiysk-russia/

Daaim Shabazz

Daaim Shabazz is the founder of The Chess Drum, while serving as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds a B.S. Computer Science from Chicago State University, an MBA in Marketing and a Ph.D. in International Affairs & Development, both from Clark Atlanta University. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

5 Comments

  1. Semi-Finals – Game #1
    Monday, 12 September 2011

    Short draws today… hopefully not a sign of endless draws.

    The Russia vs. Ukraine match commenced today as Ruslan Ponomariov faced off against Peter Svidler and Vassily Ivanchuk took on Alexander Grischuk. The games today were very cautious and no doubt drew on hours of preparation. It was this type of cautiousness that caused the consternation of the Candidates Matches where there were only a few decisive games.

    After drawing the two games, the Ukrainian GMs will get white. However, this tournament has shown that black is winning some crucial games. It is a wonder whether both sets of Grandmasters are sharing notes to help in preparation. The Ukrainians are trying to create a 10-year anniversary rematch from 2002 when Ponomariov beat Ivanchuk to win the 2001 World FIDE Championship.

    Official Site: https://chess.ugrasport.com/
    Games: Main Site, PGN (TWIC)
    Drum Coverage: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2011/08/25/2011-world-cup-khanty-mansiysk-russia/

  2. Semi-Finals – Game #2
    Tuesday, 13 September 2011

    Svidler advances… Ivanchuk-Grischuk square off on tiebreaks

    Going, Going, Gone. Ponomariov is eliminated while Ivanchuk has a fighting chance. Photos from https://chess.ugrasport.com/.

    Ruslan Ponomariov had showed good form in this tournament and had an idea to return to the final of the knockout. Only Peter Svidler stood in his way. “Peter the Great” played up to his name by dismantling Ponomariov with his patented Grunfeld Defense. Svidler sacrificed an exchange early, but got a strong queenside majority. Once the pawns started to roll they were like an avalanche and ultimately flattened Ponomariov. The Ukrainian conceded and will only hope that his compatriot will go through to avoid an all-Russia final.

    Vassily Ivanchuk entered a rather tactical opening against Alexander Grischuk. The position was very unbalanced and the result was heading toward a draw until Grischuk sacrificed his queen for two strong pieces. Ponomariov left his totally lost game to take a peek at the game. Despite having the stronger piece, Ivanchuk could not find a way to play for more than endless checks. A draw was agreed once Grischuk set up a fortress.

    Official Site: https://chess.ugrasport.com/
    Games: Main Site, PGN (TWIC)
    Drum Coverage: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2011/08/25/2011-world-cup-khanty-mansiysk-russia/

  3. Semi-Finals – Tiebreaks
    Wednesday, 14 September 2011

    Ivanchuk collapses… Grischuk joins Svidler in All-Russian Final…
    Ivanchuk and Ponomariov battle for 3rd qualifying spot.

    The agony of defeat. Ivanchuk’s meltdown in the third tiebreak had fans scratching their heads. Photo from ChessBase.

    All of the chess fans were anticipating the tiebreak match between Vassily Ivanchuk and Alexander Grischuk. Peter Svidler had already beaten Ruslan Ponomariov so there were those looking for Ivanchuk to avenge his compatriot’s loss. It was not to be. In the tiebreak match, Grischuk started with a win in what was seen as a probable drawn position. However, Ivanchuk leveled the score with a resounding victory against Grischuk’s listless play against the English. The black side got pushed off the board when white sacked an exchange and got an iron grip on the light squares. The score was knotted at one and they would go to 10-minute tiebreaks.

    The position before 33…Rc7?? There is no telling why Ivanchuk didn’t see the bishop on g5. The squares b1, c1 and d1 are covered. To his defense, Ivanchuk was tremendous time pressure during this final sequence.

    The third tiebreak game will be memorable for so many reasons, but mostly for what could have been. Grischuk initiated an attack on the dark squares against the French, but Ivanchuk countered in the center and took control. Then disaster struck. On the verge of victory, Ivanchuk went in for the kill, but forgot a major point of his 33…Rc7?? On 34.Qxg6 the Ukrainian played 34…Rc1+ to the horrors of thousands of onlookers. Was this an error in the relay? No it was simply an oversight. Grischuk simply played 35.Bxc1 and Ivanchuk resigned in disgust. Had the bishop NOT been on g5, then black finishes with 34…Rc1+ 35.Bf1 Rxf1+ with mate to follow. However, you get no credit for flawed ideas. While no one knows what was in the mind of Vassily Ivanchuk, he may have one more championship run if he can get past Ponomariov.

    Official Site: https://chess.ugrasport.com/
    Games: Main Site, PGN (TWIC)
    Drum Coverage: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2011/08/25/2011-world-cup-khanty-mansiysk-russia/

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