Gurevich knocks out Ivanchuk on first day ACP World Rapid Cup
Vassily Ivanchuk was eliminated by Mikhail Gurevich on the first day of the 4th ACP World Rapid Cup. This year the annual rapid knockout tournament has Bacrot, Drozdovskij, Eljanov, Gashimov, Grischuk, Gurevich, Inarkiev, Ivanchuk, Jakovenko, Karjakin, Moiseenko, Motylev, Movsesian, Naiditsch, Shirov and Tregubov.
The 4th ACP World Rapid Cup takes place May 27-29 in Odessa, Ukraine. The venue is the Odessa National Academy of Law. It's a 16-player knockout tournament with 16 participants with two-game matches, except for the final which has four games. Again sponsored by the Pivdenny Bank in Odessa, the prize fund is USD $70,000 (13,000 more than last year) with USD $14,000 for the winner.
The rate of play is 20 minutes per game with an increment of 5 seconds per move. If the initial match is drawn 1-1 there are two blitz games with a time control of 3 minutes with an increment of 2 seconds per move starting from move 1. If this tie-break ends in a draw (1-1) a final decisive Armageddon blitz game with White starting with 5 minutes and Black wth draw odds only 4 minutes.
On day one Movsesian started with a nice white victory over Naiditsch in his favourite Giuoco Pianissimo. Grabbing the bishop pair, weakening the black kingside and then delivering some heavy blows starting with 23.Bf6!.
With Black the Slovak GM drew by first allowing a Keres Attack and then sacrificing an exchange to hold the ending.
Top seed Grischuk beat Motylev 2-0. With Black he played a very strong Najdorf, using dozens of tiny, tactical ideas, combining attack and defence throughout the game. With White he played 1.e4 which was answered by the Sicilian Dragon - not a bad idea in a must-win situation. But here too Grischuk was the stronger player.
Shirov-Bacrot was decided in the Armageddon game, after two draws in the rapids and a win with White for both players in the blitz. Unfortunately this Armageddon game doesn't seem to be available.
Karjakin's White win over Drozdovskij was impressive; check out his 17.Nf5!
(although his 15.Qb5 was perhaps even more impressive - at amauteur level, who would see that offering the exchange of queens is that promising?). Drozdovskij hit back from a quiet Semi-Slav that led to a typical IQP middlegame where suddenly the same move, Nf5, won material for White. In the first blitz game Drozdovskij deviated, but that Rubinstein French just looks good for White. Karjakin then changed to the Queen's Indian in game 2 and beat his opponent again.
Eljanov must have received many congratulating hands in the playing hall Odessa, arriving fresh from his grand victory in Astrakhan. He started with a win with Black in a Ragozin against compatriot Moiseenko, and then had no trouble drawing with White in a Chigorin Defence.
Two other GP participants played each other: Jakovenko and Inarkiev. The former started strongly, with the devastating 12.Ncb5! in a Ruy Lopez Exchange.
Inarkiev then opted for the Réti Opening to win with White, but right after the opening things went horribly wrong.
The surprise of the day was Ivanchuk's elimination, by Mikhail Gurevich, who used exemplary endgame technique in both games to win with White and then draw with Black. Od-news has the following bit on the end of this minimatch:
In the final moves of the second game the spectators became witnesses to an unusual episode for games at this level: apart from kings the players had a knight each, but they - both the grandmasters, and the knights - kept manoeuvring for a few more moves, before a draw was
- And what happened in the final seconds?
Gurevich - When we were playing with a knight each I looked at him, and he looked at me. He said: "I want to take the knight". So I put it en prise and let him take it. After which he was satisfied and
resigned the match.
...And Vasily Ivanchuk meanwhile continued, detached, to walk around the Academy of Law, analysing in his head the games from the match that had just finished. He was still back there, playing. And night was approaching - and even in his sleep, if he managed to get to sleep
- he'd still be playing. That's how it is, chess. And chess players.
The most spectacular match was Gashimov vs Tregubov, which also needed the Armageddon game to decide. The two rapid games ended in a draw (with opposite-coloured bishops in both encounters), and then both players won their blitz game with Black! In the first, Tregubov was winning but then dropped a queen and a rook in what must have been time trouble. What exactly happened in the second blitz game is hard to tell. :-) Gashimov had to win with Black in the Armageddon, and made it look very easy.
First day results and pairings day 2:
|2 : 0||Grischuk, Alexander|
|1.5 : 0.5||Movsesian, Sergei|
|3 : 2||Shirov, Alexei|
|3 : 1||Karjakin, Sergey|
|1.5 : 0.5||Eljanov, Pavel|
|2 : 0||Jakovenko, Dmitry|
|0.5 : 1.5||Gurevich, Mikhail|
|3 : 2||Gashimov, Vugar|
|Tregubov, Pavel V.|
Game viewer by ChessTempo
The playing hall
Vassily Ivanchuk, still wearing his red cap like in Astrakhan, but it didn't bring him luck in Odessa either...
...as he was eliminated by veteran Mikhail Gurevich
Top seed at this 4th World Rapid Cup is Alexander Grischuk
Grand Prix winner Eljanov beat compatriot Moiseenko in round 1
Photos © Boris Buchman, more here
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