In the second round, most of the favorites got through
that is except the Hungarian dynamic duo of GM Peter Leko and GM Judit Polgar. Anand advanced first by winning beautifully against Peter-Heine Nielsen (2593) of Denmark and then easily drawing the second game. "After the excitement of the first round a nice draw to qualify for round three was just fine," stated the defending champion. Michael Adams (2744) trotted out the English Attack in the first round and blew Russia's Mihail Koblija to bits after mounting a steady kingside attack. Like Anand, Adams took a draw to advance.
Many players from the developing chess nations took it on the chin as representatives from India, Cuba, Brazil, China, Argentina, and Vietnam were eliminated. Thus, only Anand and Chinese players Ye Jiangchuan (2677) and Zhang Zhong (2667) are left
all other players are from European nations. So it goes without saying that there is still quite a gap in the strength of chess-playing nations. Perhaps it pays to have "home field advantage." Russia has the most qualifiers with eight while Israel advanced three players to round 3.
One surprise is the elimination of young Russian star Alexander Grischuk (2669) who made it to the "final four" last year. He was floored by the current Russian champion, Alexander Motylev (2627). Dutch attacker Loek Van Wely (2695) put a serious hurting on Armenia's Smbat Lputian (2608) by blasting him in two wild games. If you like attacking chess and tactics, check these games out! Things get a bit interesting in round three
Lautier-Khalifman should be interesting as well as VanWely-Ye, both fierce attacking players.
Results (all rounds)
Nielsen-Anand (game 1), 0-1
Adams-Kobalija (game 1), 1-0
Lputian-Van Wely (game 1), 0-1
Van Wely-Lputian (game 2), 1-0
Ponomariov-Tiviakov (tiebreak), 1-0
PGN Games - Day 1 Day 2 Tiebreaks