Reports | September 06, 2011 2:19

Le Quang Liem and Mamedyarov stumble in World Cup R3 tie-breaks

Le Quang Liem (Vietnam) and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) failed to reach the 4th round of the World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk after losing their tie-break matches to Lazaro Bruzon (Cuba) and Yaroslav Zherebukh (Ukraine) respectively. Tomorrow the matches Polgar-Dominguez, Kamsky-Svidler, Ponomariov-Bruzon, Gashimov-Nielsen, Ivanchuk-Bu Xiangzhi, Radjabov-Jakovenko, Zherebukh-Navara and Grischuk-Potkin start.

General info

The 2011 FIDE World Cup is a 128-player knock-out taking place August 27-September 20 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Siberia. The tournament delivers three participants for the next Candidates tournament/matches, as part of the new World Championship cycle. Except for the final, all rounds have 2-game matches at the FIDE time control: 90 minutes for 40 moves followed by 30 minutes to finish the game, with a 30-second increment from the first move. In case of a 1-1 tie, on the third day of the round there's a tie-break with rapid games and if necessary blitz games and an Armageddon. More info here. Tournament bracket

Tie-breaks round 3

After a bit of strange Sunday, the third round concluded on Monday with the all-decisive tie-break session. If there was any general theme of the day, it was 'instructive endings'. In many cases the stronger player beat the weaker player with fine manoeuvring in an ending, while there were also some basic mistakes in textbook endgames. Vassily Ivanchuk looked determined to reach the next round. The Ukrainian made it look like his mistake in the first classical game had been a slip of the finger. He not only won the next game, but both rapid games as well. In the first, Emil Sutovsky started running with his h-pawn again in another Pirc but then castled kingside, and it was Ivanchuk who eventually used the opened h-file with success. The second game could have gone either way, with incredibly difficult tactics, but Ivanchuk had the strongest nerves and calculated better.

Ivanchuk eliminates Sutovsky and reaches round 4

Ivanchuk eliminates Sutovsky and reaches round 4

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was one of the two very strong players who stumbled in these tie-breaks of the third round. In the first game he was just outplayed by the 18-year-old Ukrainian Yaroslav Zherebukh. Zherebukh-Mamedyarov Khanty-Mansiysk, 2011 Diagram23... c4? Black was already in trouble but now it really goes downhill. 23... g6! is not so clear. 24. dxc4 Rxc4 25. Rxc4 Qxc4 Diagram26. f6! No time to waste! 26... gxf6 27. gxf6 Bd8 28. Qd2 Bxe4+ 29. Nxe4 Qxe4+ 30. Ka1 Diagram Black is helpless. 30... Qd5 31. Qc2 Qb7 32. Qa4+ 1-0 In the next game Mamedyarov couldn't break his opponent's defence, and so he had to pack his bags. Ivanchuk commented on Zherebukh:

I do not know him well enough. I saw some of his games and I came to the conclusion that if he works enough at chess, he has a serious chess future ahead of him.


Yaroslav Zherebukh, too strong for Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Ruslan Ponomariov was paired against his good friend Zahar Efimenko. In the first game the World Cup 2009 finalist nicely outplayed his opponent from the black side of a Berlin (4.d3) Ruy Lopez. After that Ponomariov had no trouble drawing the second with White. Ian Nepomniachtchi and Gata Kamsky had both won one game before the tie-break so they were up for a tough battle. The American won both games but the first was crucial: Nepomniachtchi-Kamsky Khanty-Mansiysk, 2011 Diagram26... Rxe3!! A brilliant exchange sacrifice for long-term compensation. 27. Kxe3 Bh6+ 28. f4 Re8+ 29. Kd4 29. Kf2 fails to 29... Ne4+ so the king has to go to more dangerous zones. 29... Bxg2 That's already one pawn, and the white pieces make a clumsy impression. However, Nepomniachtchi managed to keep things within the drawing zone, until the following moment. Diagram64. Ra8? 64. Ra3 and 64. Ra2+ both draw as any textbook will explain. 64... Kf1 65. Ra3 f2 66. Ra2 Re8 67. Ra1+ Ke2 68. Ra2+ Kf3 69. Ra3+ Re3 70. Ra4 Diagram 70... f1Q 71. Rf4+ Ke2 0-1


Gata Kamsky eliminates Ian Nepomniachtchi

Peter Svidler won a difficult ending in his first game against Fabiano Caruana. Especially the phase between move 32 and 48 was interesting, where Caruana's rook, which had entered his opponent's camp, was chased around by the white pieces. In the next game Caruana got some pressure in a Catalan but couldn't keep the advantage and blundered in the end. In an all-Russian match, Vladimir Potkin outplayed Nikita Vitiugov from the black side of a French. It saw the typical theme where White had gone e4-e5, Black played the ...f7-f6 break and after the centre disappeared, Black's queen's bishop became a force to reckon with. Vitiugov managed to reach a queen ending with an extra pawn in the return game but it wasn't enough to win. In the match between Mircea-Emilian Parligras and Peter Heine Nielsen the Danish grandmaster was clearly the strongest. He crushed his opponent in the second game, after he had won a piece early on in the first: Parligras-Nielsen Khanty-Mansiysk, 2011 Diagram18. Bd4? Wrong move-order. 18. Qxg4! Rxf2 (18... Bxc3 19. Nxc3 Rxf2 20. Nd5! Qc5 21. b4! Rxf1+ 22. Kxf1 Qxd5! 23. Bxd5 Bxg4=) 19. Bd4 Rxf1+ 20. Rxf1 Bxg4 21. Bxb6 axb6 22. e3 is about equal. 18... Bxd4 19. Qxd4 Rxb5! and Black won. Le Quang Liem was the second player who went down against a lower-rated opponent: Lazaro Bruzon, who eliminated Paco Vallejo in the previous round. The Cuban, who won the World Junior Championship in 2000, finally seems to have gotten back his form of about seven years ago. In 2004 he won the Corus B tournament, the Cuban championships and then also the Capablanca memorial, with 8.5/11. He reached the same excellent score at the Calvia Olympiad. In the Corus A 2005 tournament he didn't do too badly either, finishing 8th ahead Van Wely, Ponomariov, Svidler, Short, Morozevich, and Sokolov. Bruzon showed his talent by doing what only Ivan Cheparinov and Wouter Spoelman had managed to do in 2011: beat the solid Vietnamese with Black. He then went solid mode himself and used the Torre Attack to draw the second.


Lazaro Bruzon Batista reaches round 4, knocking out Le Quang Liem

And then we arrive at the much-discussed match between David Navara and Alexander Moiseenko. One way to describe it is that karma won here. Navara, who offered a draw a few moves before mate in the second classical game, qualified for the next round. The Czech grandmaster showed his love for rook endings before our camera back in January, and he won two of them against Moiseenko. We give both: Navara-Moiseenko Khanty-Mansiysk, 2011 Diagram53... Kf6? Black should have tried a more active defence with 53... Ra8! 54. c5 Rd8+ 55. Kc6 Kg4 whic looks like a draw. 54. Rh2 Ra3 55. c5 Ke7 56. Kc6 Rc3 57. Rd2 Rg3 58. a4 and White won.

Moiseenko and Navara in their round 3 tie-break

Moiseenko and Navara in their round 3 tie-break

Moiseenko-Navara Khanty-Mansiysk, 2011 Diagram The famous f- and h- rook ending, which is drawn in many cases, including this one! 74. Kf1? But not like this. 74. Rg7, 74. Rg6 and 74. Rg5 all draw. 74... Kh2! Now Black wins. 75. Rg5 h4! 76. Rg4 h3 77. Rg8 f3 78. Rg7 Rg2 79. Rf7 Kg3 80. Rg7+ Kf4 81. Rf7+ Ke4 82. Re7+ Kd5 83. Rd7+ Ke6 84. Rh7 h2 0-1 Both Moiseenko and Navara were present at the press conference and here's what they said about the happenings the day before:

Navara: On move 35 I touched two pieces by accident. In fact I wanted to play Bishop d6, but touched my king accidentally. My opponent saw that I touched my king but agreed to accept my move. Though he has a full right to insist on move with king. This way the game will end with his victory. As a result, I got a winning position. But my conscience did not let me finish the game in my favour and I offered a draw. I think it was fair. Moiseenko: It was rather interesting game. When David touched his king it was clear that he did it by accident and wanted to move his bishop. He was taking it very hard. That is why I condoned it and decided to continue the game.

So apparently neither player nor the interviewer knew about that little word deliberately in the rules, which we repeat once again:

Article 4.3 “(…) if the player having the move deliberately touches on the chessboard (…) one or more of his own pieces, he must move the first piece touched which can be moved.”

Moiseenko and Navara at the press conference

Moiseenko and Navara at the press conference

There was one match that had to be decided with an Armageddon game: the one between Leinier Dominguez and Igor Lysyj. The two seemed to be really looking forward to it, as both rapid games and four blitz games were drawn rather quickly. This is how the match was decided: Dominguez-Lysyj Khanty-Mansiysk, 2011 Diagram In just a few move Black's position collapses. 20... Nf6? 20... Rfe8 21. Re3 Rxe3 22. Qxe3 Qe5 is fine for Black. 21. Nf5! Rfe8 22. Re3 With the knight on f5 it's already quite problematic. 22... g6?! 22... Rxe3 23. Qxe3 h6 24. d6 Bxg2 25. Kxg2 Qb7+ 26. f3 Qd7 27. g4 with a clear advantage. Diagram23. Qb2! Killing, and much stronger than 23. Ne7+ Kg7 24. Nc6 Rxe3 25. fxe3 Bxc6 26. dxc6 Rxd1+ 27. Qxd1 Qe5! 28. Qd2 Ne8!. 23... Rxe3 24. Qxf6 gxf5 25. fxe3 Qd6 26. Qg5+ Kf8 27. Qxf5 and White won quite easily.

Tie-break games round 3


Game viewer by ChessTempo

FIDE World Cup 2011 | Round 3 results
Name G1 G2 R1 R2 r3 r4 B1 B2 SD Tot
Round 3 Match 01
Polgar, Judit (HUN) 1 ½               1.5
Karjakin, Sergey (RUS) 0 ½               0.5
Round 3 Match 02
Ivanchuk, Vassily (UKR) 0 1 1 1           3
Sutovsky, Emil (ISR) 1 0 0 0           1
Round 3 Match 03
Zherebukh, Yaroslav (UKR) ½ ½ 1 ½           2.5
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar (AZE) ½ ½ 0 ½           1.5
Round 3 Match 04
Ponomariov, Ruslan (UKR) ½ ½ 1 ½           2.5
Efimenko, Zahar (UKR) ½ ½ 0 ½           1.5
Round 3 Match 05
Tomashevsky, Evgeny (RUS) ½ 0               0.5
Gashimov, Vugar (AZE) ½ 1               1.5
Round 3 Match 06
Grischuk, Alexander (RUS) 1 ½               1.5
Morozevich, Alexander (RUS) 0 ½               0.5
Round 3 Match 07
Bacrot, Etienne (FRA) ½ 0               0.5
Radjabov, Teimour (AZE) ½ 1               1.5
Round 3 Match 08
Kamsky, Gata (USA) 1 0 1 1           3
Nepomniachtchi, Ian (RUS) 0 1 0 0           1
Round 3 Match 09
Caruana, Fabiano (ITA) ½ ½ 0 0           1
Svidler, Peter (RUS) ½ ½ 1 1           3
Round 3 Match 10
Jakovenko, Dmitry (RUS) 1 1               2
Jobava, Baadur (GEO) 0 0               0
Round 3 Match 11
Potkin, Vladimir (RUS) ½ ½ 1 ½           2.5
Vitiugov, Nikita (RUS) ½ ½ 0 ½           1.5
Round 3 Match 12
Parligras, Mircea-Emilian (ROU) ½ ½ 0 0           1
Nielsen, Peter Heine (DEN) ½ ½ 1 1           3
Round 3 Match 13
Le, Quang Liem (VIE) ½ ½ 0 ½           1.5
Bruzon Batista, Lazaro (CUB) ½ ½ 1 ½           2.5
Round 3 Match 14
Navara, David (CZE) ½ ½ 1 0 1 1       4
Moiseenko, Alexander (UKR) ½ ½ 0 1 0 0       2
Round 3 Match 15
Gupta, Abhijeet (IND) ½ 0               0.5
Bu, Xiangzhi (CHN) ½ 1               1.5
Round 3 Match 16
Dominguez Perez, Leinier (CUB) 1 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 5
Lysyj, Igor (RUS) 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 4

Photos © FIDE | Official website


Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Juan's picture

Both Cubans on fire!

Zeblakob's picture

My sister Judit will kick one of them IMO.

Merlinovich's picture

Magnus Carlsen once failed this defense - he played (in a similar position) 64. Ra2+! Re2 65.Ra1! but then after Re3!? (an old trick) replied as if the move had been Re1, but now 66.Ra2+? Kf1!-+ is winning - the point is that 67.Kg3 f2+ is check

dmb's picture

Well done, Yaroslav Zherebukh.

Amos's picture

Zherebukh is the great discovery of the event! I hope some good invitations are coming his way soon.

columbo's picture

indeed ! what a game today against Mum ! He makes me feel like an invisible man, a middle age kind of sniper throwing arrows, here and there, but always in the center ... Great feeling watching his games ...

Frits Fritschy's picture

The first game Nepo-Kamsky was a draw after 64 Ra3 or Ra2. Very comforting to see even guys like him can go wrong in 'elementary' rook endgames (without a tablebase on their side, like me).

Knallo's picture

I once lost that very same ending (Nepo-Kamsky) in the very same way. I am not sure whether I should be comforted or critical of Nepo.

Excalibur's picture

True Thomas, maybe a little too strong. But I was speaking in general terms not only about his performance here. Also more credit to Zherebukh.

Thomas's picture

Well put it that way: even if Mamedyarov is just the Azeri #3 (at the moment he is Elowise), many other countries would be happy to have such a player as their #3 or even #1. This includes rather established chess countries as Hungary, England, France and even neighboring Armenia (which has one stronger player).

Excalibur's picture

Mamedyarov always fails to impress. For me he has always been the weakest of the top three Azeri players. I feel bad for Le Quang Liem though as he has really been playing good chess recently. As for Nepo-Kamsky , I didn't know who to root for as I like both players very much. Nepomniachtchi really needs to stop using the grunfeld so frequently (especially against very strong players) as he has gotten a little bit to predictable with it recently. More KID's Nepo! As for Navara vs Moiseenko, nice to see that such a gentleman gets his due rewards. I hope he progresses as far as possible in the world cup and can't wait to see him an Corus A next year.

Thomas's picture

"Always" is a strong word ... : At the last World Cup, Radjabov was eliminated early on by Sakaev, while Mamedyarov and Gashimov reached the quarterfinals (to lose against Karjakin and Ponomariov, nothing to be ashamed of). Mamedyarov had been the only player who didn't need a single tiebreak in the first four rounds.

And shared first place in Tal Memorial last year was also rather unimpressive ... .

Biba's picture

I think Zherebukh is the new Wordstar. Famos!

Rob's picture

Important game? Just play the Hippomniachtchi.

andreas's picture

I hope Chucky wins the tournament.

Louis XXII's picture

“(…) if the player having the move deliberately touches on the chessboard (…) one or more of his own pieces, he must move the first piece touched which can be moved.”
If one takes this article 4.3 literally, and if Navara did actually brush his king, Moiseenko has a point after all.
If Navara deliberately touched one piece (his bishop) and (albeit accidentally) touched another just before that, he has deliberately touched one piece and now must move the first piece he touched, i.e. the king. That may not make much sense, but that’s what 4.3. says.
4.3 should read “(…) if the player having the move touches on the chessboard (…) one or more of his own pieces, he must move the first piece deliberately touched which can be moved.”

Bert de Bruut's picture

Formally you may have a point Louis, which is interesting in itself. But as you demonstrate, the spirit of the rules on this matter is clear. Touching the King is by no means an uncommon occurence. The King being the tallest piece always sticks out. In my own amateur games it must have happened at least a dozen times that either myself or my opponent accidentally knocked it over. That never has caused any issues, other than the necessity to first pick it up and put it back on the correct square before pressing the clock, or the opportunity to make witty remarks like “still too early to resign!” Seeing pieces fly everywhere when GM’s are in timetrouble, I find it hard to believe that this would be any different among professionals, or that neither Navara nor Moiseenko would never before have accidentally touched their Kings, or notice an opponent doing it, while executing another move. A puzzling incident.

David's picture

Thank you for the excellent coverage of the World Cup and congratulations for the new design.

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