Reports | September 18, 2011 15:59

Two draws on day 3 World Cup finals

Two draws on day 3 World Cup finals

(FULL REPORT) On the third day of the World Cup finals both games ended in draws. This means that in both matches a fourth classical game will be played, and both Alexander Grischuk and Ruslan Ponomariov need to win on Monday to force tie-breaks on Tuesday.

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

Finals, day 3

Everything could have been decided on Sunday, if Vassily Ivanchuk and Peter Svidler had won another game. Two draws meant that the long struggle called World Cup will drag on at least one, and maybe two more days. The games on Monday will be exciting, as both Alexander Grischuk and Ruslan Ponomariov need to win. Will they still have energy left? As pointed out before, Grischuk has good reason to go "all in" with a US $120,000 first prize against a US $80,000 second prize. Ponomariov's paycheck will look quite different as well in the long run, if he still manages to qualify for the Candidates...

Svidler surprised his opponent already at move 3. The grandmaster from St. Petersburg had never played 3...Bc5 in the Ruy Lopez before! And then, at move 8, he came with surprise number 2, taking back on d6 where almost everyone always castles with Black. Grischuk chose to go for an ending where he had the better pawn structure, but again got into timetrouble. The Moscovite didn't find a way to get an advantage.

At the press conference, Svidler said:

This is not the first time I see this kind of situation. That’s why I don’t think it means something. Anyway I try to estimate the position objectively for I understand that he will not lose on time. More than that, he won't even play a bad move. That is why Grischuk’s time trouble does not mean a lot.


In the end of course I had a position closer to a loss than to a victory. But most probably it was close to a draw.

Then the interviewer asked:

Peter, it is amazing you did not win with Black today.

to which Svidler answered:

I am bitterly upset.

Still in good spirits: Svidler and Grischuk

Ivanchuk and Ponomariov played a line of the Grünfeld that was played in the famous game Botvinnik-Fischer, Varna 1962. In the 1980s the theoretical discussion continued in Karpov-Kasparov and Karpov-Timman games, but Ivanchuk deviated from these paths at move 14 with an interesting pawn sacrifice.

Continuing inaccurately, the oldest of the two Ukrainians ended up a clear pawn down in an endgame with opposite-coloured bishops and knights. Luckily for him the pawns were 3 vs 4 on the kingside, and all in all it wasn't too difficult to keep the draw.

Ponomariov resigns to a draw against Ivanchuk, knowing that he needs to win the last game

Games finals, day 3



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.


JO's picture

Chucky has nerves of STEEL!! :)

Knallo's picture

An unusual comment!

Thomas's picture

Ah that's why he won Hoogovens (later Corus, now Tata) back in 1996 :) - with a 9/13 score, (well) ahead of Anand and Topalov. But why couldn't he do it again the next seven times?

Septimus's picture

The real question is, why do you immediately conclude that it was nerves?

Jhoravi's picture

Unbelievable game by Chukky! Two pawn down in a seemingly normal early endgame position

stevefraser's picture

"Each game will be played until sixty moves are completed, unless a decisive result is reached. The player who on the move brings about a repetition of the position immediately loses the game."

cak's picture

New rule: "Rule changes should not ruin the game."

anonymous's picture

Why can't they require the players to at least show up at the board in a coat and tie. They are playing for big bucks yet Grischuk dresses like a starving artist!

adam's picture

jeans + t-shirt = starving artist dress? dude, please

Navak's picture

Of course the quality of the move is more important than appearance; but I do agree that appearance matters and it is not unreasonable for the organizers to have a dress code.

I really enjoy the photos from championship matches from the sixties-- Petrosian-Botvinik, etc.. They really looked dignified.

Then again, anyone who uses "dude" in his comments will disagree

adam's picture

i absolutely agree with you that there should be a dress code (shirt + jacket as the very minimum, the latter allowed to be taken off at the board) at the most important events. but there is not. hence, to compare one of the world's best players to some "starving artist" just because of wearing casual is worth a dude for me. then again, who am i to judge

Navak's picture

Didn't mean to disparage anyone who uses the word dude.

It happens that the younger generation who uses the word tends to be more casual with appearances.

I was not at all critical of Grishchuk either. The criticism if any should be directed toward the organizer, not the player.

Septimus's picture

Why should appearance matter? You make it sound like Grischuk just walked out of the dumpster. I just have to roll my eyes when I hear something prefaced with "The younger generation...", as though the mere fact of being born recently is a black mark. So dude, yes I said "dude", please don't judge a book by its cover.

Thank you and have a nice day.

Peter Doggers's picture

There IS a dress code. It's just not enforced.

adam's picture

i stand corrected. still, somehow it would not even cross my mind to say that the world champion dresses like a clown just because he fancies yellow h&m sweaters and i do not...

Poek's picture

Coats and ties are for losers. Most chess players prefer to be winners, I guess. And there's nothing wrong with the way Grischuk looks.

Michael Lubin's picture


I'm with you, dude!

Peter Visser's picture

Me too

chz2011's picture

The tournament gym could have influence any participants demeanor. In the case of Mr. Grischk he is content in his shirt outfit and on the otherhand Mr. Ivanchk is cosy in his jeans slack. Participants in the level of Mr. G. knows for certain which apparel is fitting for the place.

The contenders are worn out. As their matches concludes they are ready for their dinner attire in the finest hotel neighborhood of Khanty-Mansiyk, Siberia.

The trailling participants have to pull out a win. The Russian compatriots could draw. The Ukrainians draw as well. Ruslan has the grim spot and he is seeing it is Vassile's time in world champion candidates.

vhomas topalov's picture

ребята, кто нибудь слышал песни во время перерыва трансляции шипова??
кто пел???
does anyone know who was singing songs in pause of the Shipo'v commentary???

vhomas topalov's picture

I asked because they broadcasted some folk russian songs with lirics abouth chess!
quite funny! i'm trying to track them by the lyrics...

mishanp's picture

It's Vysotsky: (there are various parts to that song)

vhomas topalov's picture

yeah! thank you very much!

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