2011 World Cup: Finals

2011 World Cup
August 26th-September 21st, 2011
(Khanty Mansiysk, Russia)
FINALS
  Flag
-TIEBREAKS-
Pts.
Grischuk
0
½
½
½
Svidler
1
½
½
½
THIRD PLACE
  Flag
-TIEBREAKS-
Pts.
Ivanchuk
½
1
½
½
Ponomariov
½
0
½
½
Pairing Tree

Official Site: https://chess.ugrasport.com/
Games: 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.

11 Comments

  1. Finals – Game #1
    Friday, 16 September 2011

    Svidler breaks on top… Ukrainians make an intense draw

    Hard to believe this round once held 128 players.
    Photos from https://chess.ugrasport.com/.

    Six-time Russian champion Peter Svidler won the first of four classical games in the World Cup Final against compatriot Alexander Grischuk. The game was very interesting and featured strong preparation by Grischuk. On 10.e5! black could take the pawn at his own peril. After 10…Nxe5 11.Nxe5 Bxe5 12.Rxe5! Qxe5 13.Qf3 d5 14.Bf4 and white has strong initiative. Svidler immediately played 10…Bc7 either intuitively or because he had seen this possibility.

    Svidler played a sacrifice of his own and Grischuk took the bait with 17.Rxd7. After 17…Nd5, Grischuk was forced to sacrifice material, but the position was yet unclear. White still had three pawns for a piece with good space and a piece activity. As Svidler began to unravel his pieces Grischuk started to fall into time pressure and played the cautious 25.h3 to protect the queen (25.h4 Nc5!). Grischuk’s position collapsed after 26.Rd5? Bb6 27.Rd6 Nc4. Svidler has a remarkable score with black this tournament. In the post-game interview, Svidler remarked,

    Playing against a close friend is very difficult… I get many dubious positions as Black at the World Cup, but then the game develops in an inexplicable way, just like today.

    If a blazing battle is what fans expected of the Ivanchuk-Ponomariov match, then this game was not of that ilk. This game was a tense battle with several points in which the game could have turned for one player on the other. Looking at the engine Houdini, the game was fairly equal throughout, but the computer’s assessment doesn’t tell the whole story. With a very asymmetrical pawn structure, the game went into a positional battle with Ivanchuk being slightly better. In a key moment, Ivanchuk stated that he threw away chances with 41.Kf3 instead of simply playing 43.Bxf4. Shortly thereafter Ponomariov took three-fold repetition and Ivanchuk was left staring off analyzing the game in his head afterwards.

    Ruslan Ponomariov plays the drawing sequence.

    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. Finals – Game #2
    Saturday, 17 September 2011

    Ivanchuk mashes Ponomariov… Russians draw quietly

    Not much to say about the Svidler-Grischuk battle. It was a Najdorf, but Svidler decided to play the positional 6.a4. He got nothing and the game was drawn in 16 moves. Ivanchuk had to repel a wild opening and it appeared that 13.Nxe6 would make trouble, but he defended accurately an ended up with a better position. One of white’s rook was hemmed in and by the time Ponomariov played Kg1 and Kh2, black had snatched the initiative on the queenside. Ivanchuk pressed after which Ponomariov blundered with 37.Rxf5? instead of 37.Rxe2 (with chances to hold).

    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. Finals – Game #3
    Sunday, 18 September 2011

    Two tense battles… but peaceful endings

    Svidler uncorked an offbeat line against the Ruy Lopez with 3.Bc5!? and while the surprise did not give him an advantage Grischuk ate up a lot of time to figure out how to address the move. He played very aggressively, but Svidler held the balance in a tense game. Looking for a win, Ponomariov played the Gruenfeld and went throughout the middlegame with an extra pawn. There were chances with the 4+3 ending, but black could not make progress. Ivanchuk sacrificed a piece for two pawns and drew comfortably.

    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/

  4. Finals – Game #4
    Monday, 18 September 2011

    Peter Svidler wins FIDE World Cup…both Grischuk and Ivanchuk qualify

    Chances faded away for Grischuk.
    Photos from https://chess.ugrasport.com/.

    Peter Svidler won the FIDE World Cup tournament by completing an undefeated slate. The six-time Russian champion was clearly the most stable player and won the majority of his games marshaling the black pieces. This may prove that “having the white pieces” may be an overstated advantage.

    Grischuk had a chance to blast open the center with the classic 18…d5! The variations that follow appear to favor black.

    Svidler was clearly in control after Grischuk missed several opportunities to blast the position open with …d5 as a traditional hedgehog strike. Grischuk had set up a traditional hedgehog setup with the idea being to look for …b5 and …d5 after pieces are correctly mobilized. Grischuk played 18…Nh7, but should have blasted with 18…d5! and after 19.cxd5 Bxb4 20.dxe6 Rxe6 black has good activity.

    After 18…Nh7, black continuing probing white’s center, but Svidler got in the neat 26.Nxe6! He got an overwhelming position with two pawn rollers and it looked like Grischuk would be resigning in a few moves. However, Svidler made an inaccuracy and with only a draw required, he played sn equal line and the game petered out into a draw.

    Ponomariov wore a more serious color today, but it didn’t help his result.

    In the Ponomariov-Ivanchuk game, it was another struggle. Ponomariov may have won the award for “Best Fighter” at the World Cup, but he could not break through Ivanchuk’s defense. Immediately, Ponomariov tried to unbalance the game by allowing an early queen trade, but getting a lead in development and good piece play.

    White developed a formidable pair of knights, but at a critical juncture allowed trades which won a pawn. Maybe 36.h5 was stronger for white. This keeps the pieces on the board and attempts to constrict black even further. After 37.Rc5 and numerous trades the game simmered down as Ivanchuk took the last pawn and Ponomariov only had a knight left. Ivanchuk would advance and join Svidler and Grichuk. The Ukrainians had a good tournament placing two semifinals from a total of eight players.

    The World Cup was a great tournament with many exciting moments. The excitement died down as the more colorful personalities were eliminated. However, the tournament was exciting and the analysis by Konstantin Landa was excellent!

    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/

  5. UM tryin to learn, all there traditional strategies, books, machines, etc, says, “white has the advantage of the first move” what made them change or “overstate” or are they just plain ole in error. Susan, any ideas UM just curious.

    1. Hey Lionel, great question to put forward.

      I believe the best answer is to answer in terms of tempo or time to make a threat or develop one’s pieces (not to be confused with the actual chess clock time). If you would like a more illustrative game, try a symetrical game where black ‘copies’ each move made by white. Realise that it all changes once white calls on a check to the black king. Thus white is said to be a tempo ahead as black cannot check white on the same move he has received the check (remember this is a symmetrical setting, in other positions it is possible to check whilst blocking a check on one’s king). Try it. Start with 1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Bb4 4. d3 d6 5. Bxc6+ …,
      now black cannot play 5. …. Bxc3+ as his king is in check.

      I hope this answers your question.

        1. How does that change anything? I’m sure if you color the black pieces white and move them first you’ll still get the same thing. Does it matter in football/soccer who kicks the ball first? Is it so that the theory then changes to ”black has the advantage of the first move?” Personally its like saying i want that football teams uniform (red – given the amount of wins by teams wearing that colored shirt) than say blue. If youre a good chessplayer it doesnt matter which color plays first otherwise positional assessment and all those strategies mean nothing if it comes down to the color of a piece.

          Otherwise start another variation of chess, along the lines of chess360, etc.

        2. Well… it doesn’t make a difference. While I may agree with you, many disagree with you. Most of the top players feel it makes a difference. However, I feel any advantage that the first mover gets can be neutralized. The difference is that historically all the analysis has been done primarily from the “white” point of view. Even the board diagrams in the books are always from the white view. All the mating puzzle books are mostly “white to win”. In history, most of the opening were designed as attacking systems for white… until “hypermodernism” was born.

          Thus, chess players (even strong ones) have a tendency to believe that white has the advantage of the first move. I believe the right to move first is overstated, but for different reasons that you. I don’t believe it is analogous to wearing different uniform as this has no bearing on functional performance or scoring outcome of the game. However, I would agree that the rules for both black and white are the same and when people excitedly say Svidler won a lot of games with the black pieces, it reinforces a stereotype that the person moving second doesn’t have the same opportunity to win.

          As we learn more about ways to play for black, the results will be closer to 50-50. Now they are about 54-46 in favor of white. To me it doesn’t matter who moves first. I just believe players have been conditioned to believe that the first player has an advantage. I also believe psychologically, players play harder with the white pieces because they think they should win.

        3. In addition, this has nothing to do with the color of the pieces, it has to do with who moves first. You can paint the pieces in any combination of contrasting colors and the argument would be the same.

      1. #1 cmon man this is old stuff i beat them with on icc years ago who you foolin? They moving that knight in a circle in their traditional tournaments and callin each other geniuses,well it might be” new and interesting” theory to them but not to Ultramodernism.

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