Reports | August 31, 2011 23:49

World Cup R2.1: Almasi, Bacrot, Shirov and Vallejo in danger zone

The first day of the World Cup's second round in Khanty-Mansiysk saw fifteen decisive games, and seventeen draws. Zoltan Almasi, Etienne Bacrot, Alexei Shirov and Paco Vallejo are in the danger zone after losing to lower-rated opponents.

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

Round 2.1


Vassily Ivanchuk started his World Cup with three wins

With the rating differences decreasing, more games tend to end in draws. In the second round of the World Cup the drawing percentage was 53,1%, so a bit more like we're used to in super-tournaments. Furthermore, a big number of these games ended rather quickly (move number between parentheses): Ni Hua-Ponomariov (12) Drozdovskij-Caruana (15), Gupta-Shakland (15), Ivanov-Lysyj (18), Kasimdzhanov-Kamsky (16), Svidler-Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (21), Vachier-Lagrave - Bu (22) and Adams-Nielsen (23). At the other end of the scale there was Alekseev-Ivanchuk, the longest game of the round. From a Caro-Kann, Chuky outplayed his opponent in an ending and won a pawn. However, with only one rook for each and opposite-coloured bishops, the game should have ended in a draw.

Alekseev-Ivanchuk Khanty-Mansiysk, 2011 Alekseev-Ivanchuk Black has just put his king on d8 and now White errs with 96. Kg4? 96. Bg4 is still a draw and of course White can also repeat moves with 96. Rd7+ Ke8 97. Rh7 although no doubt Ivanchuk would have tried 97... Kf8! when 98. Bc8 seems to be the only move. 96... Be5 97. Rd7+ Ke8 Alekseev-Ivanchuk White resigned because of 98. Rd1 Rg3+ and 99... Rg1-+. The biggest drama, however, was seen in the game between Spanish speaking players Vallejo (Spain) and Bruzon (Cuba). Vallejo-Bruzon Khanty-Mansiysk, 2011 Vallejo-Bruzon White is completely dominating and the natural 44. Rg7! was easily winning. Perhaps Vallejo didn't play it because after 44... Nd3+ 45. Kf3 White isn't threatening to take on g6 yet (due to a knight fork), but in fact Black is more or less in Zugzwang here, e.g. 45... b5 46. a3. 44. Rc6 Nd3+?! 44... Re4+ was more tenacious. 45. Kg3 Re3+ Vallejo-Bruzon46. Kh2? 46. Kg4! Nc5 47. Nf3! indirectly defends c3 and after 47... Re4+ 48. Kg3 Re3 49. Kf2 White is still winning. 46... Nf4! Now the ending is very hard to win. 47. Rxb6 Rh3+ 48. Kg1 Rxc3 49. Rxa6 Nh3+ 50. Kf1 Nxg5 51. a4 Kf7 52. a5 Ne4 53. Rb6 Nc5 54. Rc6 Na4 55. Rd6 Nc5 56. Ke2 Ra3 57. Nc6 Ne6 58. a6 g5 59. a7 g4 60. Rd7+ Kxf6 61. Rb7 g3 62. Rb3 Ra2+ 63. Kf1 63. Kf3 g2 64. Rb1 was much easier. 63... g2+ 64. Kg1 Nf4 Vallejo-Bruzon65. Kh2? Now White even loses. The only move was 65. Rg3, e.g. 65... Ra1+ 66. Kf2 g1Q+ 67. Rxg1 Nh3+ 68. Kg2 Nxg1 69. a8Q Rxa8 70. Kxg1=. 65... Ra1 66. a8Q 0-1


The dramatic game Vallejo-Bruzon

Besides Vallejo, the other players who lost their first games to lower rated opponents were Zoltan Almasi, Etienne Bacrot and Alexei Shirov. The latter is famous for his spectacular games, but this time he was on the losing end against the reigning European Champion: Potkin-Shirov Khanty-Mansiysk, 2011 Potkin-Shirov22. f5! Killing. 22... Nxe5 22... Qxe5 23. fxe6 fxe6 24. Nxe6! Rxe6 25. Qf3+-. 23. Bf4 Bd6 24. Nc6 Nxc6 25. Bxd6 Qa7 Potkin-Shirov26. f6! gxf6 27. Rxf6 Ne7 Potkin-Shirov Many moves win, but 28. Rxf7! was nice. 1-0

Games round 2.1


Game viewer by ChessTempo

FIDE World Cup 2011 | Round 2, day 1 results
Pair White FED Res Black FED
1 Karjakin, Sergey RUS ½-½ So, Wesley PHI
2 Alekseev, Evgeny RUS 0-1 Ivanchuk, Vassily UKR
3 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar AZE ½-½ Fridman, Daniel GER
4 Ni, Hua CHN ½-½ Ponomariov, Ruslan UKR
5 Gashimov, Vugar AZE 1-0 Azarov, Sergei BLR
6 Feller, Sebastien FRA ½-½ Grischuk, Alexander RUS
7 Radjabov, Teimour AZE 1-0 Negi, Parimarjan IND
8 Kasimdzhanov, Rustam UZB ½-½ Kamsky, Gata USA
9 Svidler, Peter RUS ½-½ Nguyen, Ngoc Truong Son VIE
10 Harikrishna, P. IND 0-1 Jakovenko, Dmitry RUS
11 Vitiugov, Nikita RUS 1-0 Korobov, Anton UKR
12 Parligras, Mircea-Emilian ROU 1-0 Almasi, Zoltan HUN
13 Vallejo Pons, Francisco ESP 0-1 Bruzon Batista, Lazaro CUB
14 Onischuk, Alexander USA ½-½ Navara, David CZE
15 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime FRA ½-½ Bu, Xiangzhi RUS
16 Bologan, Viktor MDA 0-1 Dominguez Perez, Leinier FRA
17 Ivanov, Alexander USA ½-½ Kobalia, Mikhail UKR
18 Gupta, Abhijeet IND ½-½ Shankland, Samuel L USA
19 Moiseenko, Alexander UKR ½-½ Inarkiev, Ernesto RUS
20 Grachev, Boris RUS 0-1 Le, Quang Liem VIE
21 Adams, Michael ENG ½-½ Nielsen, Peter Heine DEN
22 Potkin, Vladimir RUS 1-0 Shirov, Alexei ESP
23 Jobava, Baadur GEO ½-½ Wojtaszek, Radoslaw POL
24 Drozdovskij, Yuri UKR ½-½ Caruana, Fabiano ITA
25 Nepomniachtchi, Ian RUS ½-½ Riazantsev, Alexander RUS
26 Filippov, Anton UZB 1-0 Bacrot, Etienne FRA
27 Fier, Alexandr BRA 0-1 Morozevich, Alexander RUS
28 Andreikin, Dmitry RUS 0-1 Tomashevsky, Evgeny RUS
29 Efimenko, Zahar UKR ½-½ Berkes, Ferenc HUN
30 Zherebukh, Yaroslav UKR 1-0 Felgaer, Ruben ARG
31 Sutovsky, Emil ISR 1-0 Fressinet, Laurent FRA
32 Polgar, Judit HUN ½-½ Movsesian, Sergei ARM

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.


Miktal's picture

Nice job Chucky! 3-0 ... great start.

PlanetIvanchuck's picture

This WC is Chucky's...

Vasili's picture

I am superstitious please do not say it.

hansie's picture

I second this.

Webbimio's picture

I left Vallejo's game at move 43, and I can't belive that he lost SUCH a position!

gg's picture

I left it at the same time and was certain he had an easily won endgame by then.

mh's picture

Indeed. looks like winning is a matter of technique. He totally underestimated the strenghth of black pawn, and the vulnerability of his king.

columbo's picture

I'm still amazed that GIRI was not invited !

Janis Nisii's picture

I've been told that FIDE only invites people who ask to be invited (and supports his/her request, I guess), otherwise they assure you're not interested.
Message for Anish (and everyone else) just write to them no-stop at every occasion :D
And yes, he obviously should be there!

adriano's picture

very interesting interview of Zurab Azmaiparashvili - member of Appeal Committee about what really happend in Elista in 2006

adriano's picture

I repeat, to the Appeals Committee, there are people (I will not name names) who still believe that there was something not clear. But it's not me. Since I'm still a professional player, I will explain its position that Kramnik admitted such errors, which, of course, none of the "fish" could not tell, no one coach can not advise. He assumed a very grave mistake and had to pay for them. But Topalov did not use them correctly. Therefore, the theory that Kramnik used something (no matter what I do not feel human sympathy for him), I can not admit to himself. And it is very important to make: do not all agree with me from the Appeal Committee.

adriano's picture

Zurab Azmaiparashvili – member of Appeal Committee

It's just funny when Kramnik said that as hindsight we should have done ... I corrected Mr. Kramnik, we do not "should do" the world champion Topalov. Topalov was already a world champion. Kramnik had to become world champion by FIDE. He aspired to this, and it became after the world champion. And Topalov at this point was just a world champion. He could choose any opponent rated 2700 and above.

Frits Fritschy's picture

Adriano, are you using translation software? Maybe I agree with you, maybe not, but for the moment, I hardly understand anything you are writing, in both comments.

adriano's picture

both comments are part of interview with Zurab Azmaiparashvili member of Appeal Committe in Elista 2006. If you want u may read the whole interview to understand what he is talking about.

adriano's picture

Azmaiparashvili instead implies it was the other members of the Appeals Committee, Georgios Makropoulos and Jorge Vega, who suspected (and still suspect) Kramnik of foul play, while he himself, as a professional chess player, realised that the way Kramnik played (e.g. blundering mate in an early game) wasn’t consistent with receiving outside assistance.

mishanp's picture

That's from my summary at WhyChess. Please can you make it clear when and what you're quoting in future? Thanks!

mishanp's picture

Azmaiparashvili's interview is pretty unpleasant on many levels - I would, however, recommend the wonderful interview with Kramnik he's responding to:

adriano's picture

so you prefer reading only Kramniks interview, but not the answer of Azmaiparashvili.
After all he was a member of the Appeal Committee in that match, so he has a different point of view.

Mishanp you translate articles for Chess in translation. Why do not you translate both interviews in english for chess fans who do not understand russian?

mishanp's picture

adriano, I did translate the Kramnik interview (see the link I gave), and I'm currently translating the second part (Elista is only a small section of it). I've read Azmaiparashvili's interview but to say they're worlds apart would be an understatement. Azmai's is a miserable, grubby, self-contradictory document. I'm sure I will translate some of it as a news item at least, but I'd be hard-pressed to recommend it to anyone.

mishanp's picture

Just realised my link might give you Russian if you've got Russian selected. This should definitely go to the English version of the Kramnik interview:

Axel's picture

Just wanted to thank you for the translation. You do a magnificent job! Keep up the good work! I hope someone pays you for you for this. Seems to be a lot of work. You could maybe also add a paypal donation option.
Thanks again!

mishanp's picture

Thanks! I actually am working for (and getting paid by) WhyChess, which is why Chess in Translation has been cruelly neglected over the summer. I do have a paypal button, but couldn't claim to deserve any donations there at the moment!

I've half-translated/half-written a news item about Azmaiparashvili's interview: Kramnik's already responded to that in what appears a convincing demolition of most of Azmai's points: (though I'm sure he'll respond in turn...) At some point I'll probably put up another short news item on Kramnik's interview.

christos(greece0's picture

This is really a wonderful interview. Kramnik appears to be very honest.
In particular, the part where he talks about Anand with such great admiration, this was somewhat surprising to me.

Septimus's picture

Dude how about an English version of the link?

stevefraser's picture

What is the World Cup? ....Is it related to a candidates cycle?

Janis Nisii's picture

Yes. it's his wife:)
(It qualify for the candidates)

Juan's picture

First three places of World Cup qualify to candidates.

Janis Nisii's picture

In fact they promptly added that there will actually be a final for the third place, which was nowhere to be found before (or at least I haven't seen it up to now).

Chilsz's picture

The ratings should be in the table too, would be more interesting.

adriano's picture

there is not english version, use google translator

Szoker's picture

go go Wojtaszek and Polgar !

noi that van phong's picture

Le Quang Liem has a great chance to get through to third round - Congragtulations from vietnam :D

andreas's picture

Alekseev is a great fighter. I really enjoyed his game with Chucky.

Thierry's picture

Vugar did the job nicely .
The opening choice of his opponent was far too risky but so romantic !
Nonetheless , nice to see a miniature at this stage !
Special jury prize for Chucky !

S3's picture

After Bazna I thought the Jaenisch/Schliemann was actually pretty solid.

Thomas's picture

In Vallejo-Bruzon, the given line (65.Rg3 etc.) is actually a tablebase win for black after 70.-Ra4! separating the white knight from the king - as pointed out by Dennis Monokroussos on Chessmind. He gives the study-like 68.Ke3!! (rather than 68.Kg2) which eventually leads to a drawn version of knight vs. rook; Gabriele Mileto in the comments there mentions that 68.Kg2 Ng1: 69.Nd4! also holds the draw with best play.

Fogg's picture

Ivanchuk beat Alekseev, not Tomashevsky. Tomashevsky was involved in a bizarre game with Andreikin where the latter went 50.Qd4 and 51.Bxe2?, seemingly giving away the bishop for no reason whatsoever. Why not win the pawn with 50.Qe3+? I can see no problem with this.

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