Round #6

Israel flattened by Russia 3½-½

Top Matches

Ukraine 2½-1½ Azerbaijan
Russia 3½-½ Israel
Bulgaria 2½-1½ Poland
India 3-1 Netherlands
China 2-2 Slovakia

This must be déjà vu. In Bled, Russia was being challenged by countries such as Bosnia, Hungary and Armenia. In round six, they were paired with Bosnia… winning convincingly. In describing the  3½-½ crush,  Russia ended up "leaving ashes behind the torrent of flames cast on the Bosnian chess armies." Well two years later and not much has changed except the opponent… this time it was Israel who would be torched 3½-½. The Russians have chopped a point off the lead to trail by only one with a fresh Peter Svidler in their lineup! Svidler was on the Kramnik team during the Kramnik-Leko match.

Svidler and Emil Sutovsky played an exciting game which featured two rook sacrifices against the kings. Out of a Najdorf, the Israeli snatched initiative in the middlegame and literally tried to run the white king off the board with a pawn storm. Apparently, Svidler learned a thing or two from the Kramnik-Leko match and counterattacked vigorously.

In Svidler-Sutovsky, the Israeli Tried 23…Rxa2!? But would face a counterattack rook sacrifice three moves later.

In Svidler-Sutovsky, the Israeli tried 23…Rxa2!? but would face a counterattack rook sacrifice three moves later.

In the diagram, Sutovsky played the speculative 23…Rxa2!? trying to send Svidler to an early dinner. The game continued Rxa2 24. Kxa2 Qa5+ 25. Kxb2 Qxb5 26. Rxg7! and Svidler would break through first after 26… Kxg7 27.Ng4 Rh8 Nxf6 Bxf6 29. Rg1+ Kh7 30. Bxf6 Na4+ 31. Kc1 1-0. Russia will gain a shot of adrenaline for the second half and may be able to rest Morozevich a couple of times before the big push.

However, the
Ukraine has continued to cut through the field with the precision of a laser beam. They faced the young and dynamic Grandmasters from Azerbaijan. On board #1, Vassily Ivanchuk would face a precocious young GM in Teimour Radjabov. Ivanchuk is in very good form and Radjabov was cut up after playing an ambitious opening and getting his king exposed… certainly a death sentence against the Ukrainian. The game lasted only 32 moves.

Alexander Moiseenko lost Ukraine's  first game in the tourney, but teammate Sergei Karjakin added the clinching win for the 2½-1½  victory.  It looks like
Ukraine-Bulgaria and Russia-India. Ukraine should be concerned about when to rest Ivanchuk. In other action on the top boards, India crushed the Netherlands 3½-½;  Spain defeated France 2½-1½; Bulgaria over Poland 2½-1½;  China drew Slovakia 2-2; Armenia rebounded with 3½-½ victory over Canada; USA beat Croatia 2½-1½.


1st: Ukraine-19.0
Bulgaria, India-17.0
Israel, Azerbaijan, Spain, Armenia-16½
Georgia, Slovakia, Poland, France, Cuba and Slovakia-15½

Regional Standings (after six rounds)

Top African Teams - South Africa (12), Morocco (12) Tunisia (11½)
Top Asian Teams - India (17), China (15), Philippines (15)
Top Caribbean Teams - Cuba (15½), Jamaica (10), Barbados (9)
Top European Teams - Ukraine (19), Russia (18), Bulgaria (17)
Top Latin American Teams - Argentina (15), Chile (14), Brazil (12½)
Top Middle Eastern Teams - Israel (16½), Turkey (13), Iran (13)
Top North American Teams - United States (14½), Canada (13½)

Report by Dr. Daaim Shabazz, The Chess Drum

Round #6 Information Center

Team Results

Selected Games

GM Peter Svidler (RUS) - GM Emil Sutovsky (ISR), 1-0
GM Boris Gelfand (ISR) - GM Alexander Morozevich (RUS), 0-1
GM Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR) - GM Teimour Radjabov (AZE), 1-0
GM Alexander Shabalov (USA) - GM Zdnek Kozul (CRO), 0-1
GM Lenier Dominguez (CUB) - GM Alexei Barsov (UZB), 1-0
IM Watu Kobese (RSA) - IM Mert Erdogdu (TUR), 1-0


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See Report from Ian Wilkinson (Jamaica)
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