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FIDE World Cup Khanty Mansiysk 2011 (6 Playoff)

Grischuk through to World Cup Final - same old story for Ivanchuk

Grischuk's stronger nerves took him past Ivanchuk. Photo ©

Grischuk's stronger nerves took him past Ivanchuk. Photo © |

Alexander Grischuk qualified for the all-Russia final against Peter Svidler with a 2.5-1.5 playoff win against Vassily Ivanchuk. Perhaps more importantly Grischuk will return to the Candidates. This means the Ukrainians Ivanchuk and Ruslan Ponomariov play off for the final Candidates place in the other match. For Ivanchuk this is yet another failure of nerve at a crucial time, although particularly in game 3 I'm sure he isn't the only player capable of making such a blunder with such little time for both players. Ivanchuk is good enough to keep getting into these situations, but avoiding blundering your entire position away in one move is just as important a skill as building up decisive advantages in the first place. Grischuk relishes such adrenaline filled rapid and blitz games and in fact called it a "holiday" in the press conference. 4 game matches Svidler-Grischuk for the title and Ponomariov-Ivanchuk for the final Candidates place start on Friday.

Game 1 Grischuk 1-0 Ivanchuk

Ivanchuk against Grischuk

Ivanchuk against Grischuk. Photo © FIDE World Cup Khanty Mansiysk 2011 Website

A complex French Defence where Ivanchuk got to a technical ending rook and two pawns vs rook and one which should be drawn. Ivanchuk blundered the pawn and game away.

Vassily Ivanchuk


Alexander Grischuk

Position after 42.Kh5


42... Ra2 or 42...Ra5

43. Rb6+ Kf5 44. Rb8 1-0

Game 2 Ivanchuk 1-0 Grischuk

Grischuk against Ivanchuk

Grischuk against Ivanchuk. Photo © FIDE World Cup Khanty Mansiysk 2011 Website

Vassily Ivanchuk beat Alexander Grischuk after exploiting a very bad misjudgement of 16...e5 by black. Ivanchuk took his time but was very certain in converting.

FIDE World Cup 2011 Khanty-Mansiysk RUS 6.4

White: Ivanchuk, Vassily

Black: Grischuk, Alexander

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e6 5. g3 Qb6 6. Nc2 Ne5 7. b3 Qc6 8. f3 Nf6 9. Bb2 Qc7 10. Nc3 a6 11. f4 Ng6 12. e4 d6 13. Qf3 b6 14. O-O-O Bb7 15. Kb1 Be7 16. g4 e5?

Alexander Grischuk


Vassily Ivanchuk

Position after 16...e5

17. g5 Nd7 18. f5 Nf4 19. Rg1 g6 20. Ne3 Nc5 21. h4 Bc6 22. Rg4 Qb7 23. Rxf4 exf4 24. Ned5 O-O-O 25. b4 Na4 26. Nxa4 Bxa4 27. Rc1 Kb8 28. b5 gxf5 29. Qa3 fxe4 30. bxa6 Qxa6 31. Nxe7 Qa7 32. Bxh8 Rxh8 33. Qxd6+ Qc7 34. Qf6 Rd8 35. Nd5 Qd6 36. Qxf4 Qxf4 37. Nxf4 Rd2 38. Be2 Rd4 39. Nd5 Kb7 40. Rf1 Rd2 41. Rxf7+ Ka6 42. a3 1-0

Game 3 Grischuk 1-0 Ivanchuk

Ivanchuk covers his face while walking away from the board having lost game 3

Ivanchuk covers his face while walking away from the board having lost game 3. Photo © FIDE World Cup Khanty Mansiysk 2011 Website

Game three was probably the most complex game of the playoffs. Played at 10 minutes + 10 seconds per move. Ivanchuk obtained a decisive advantage although the position is very complex. I think we should assume that Ivanchuk didn't miss his knight was en-prise but that his mating idea was stopped by a backward bishop move which can sometimes be tricky to see. White let his clock run down to three seconds with Rh2 and Ivanchuk played the fatal 33...Rxc7? with only 8 seconds left (10 seconds were immediately added)

Grischuk,Alexander (2746) - Ivanchuk,Vassily (2768) [C02]
FIDE World Cup 2011 Khanty-Mansiysk RUS (6.5), 14.09.2011

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.Be2 Nge7 7.0-0 Ng6 8.g3 Be7 9.h4 0-0 10.h5 Nh8 11.dxc5 Bxc5 12.b4 Be7 13.b5 Na5 14.h6 f5 15.hxg7 Kxg7 16.Kg2 Ng6 17.Rh1 Rf7 18.Bh6+ Kh8 19.Nbd2 Qc7 20.Rc1 Rg8 21.c4 d4 22.Bd3 b6 23.Nxd4 Qxe5 24.N2f3 Qc7 25.Ng5 Bxg5 26.Bxg5 e5 27.Qh5 Bc8 28.c5 exd4 29.cxb6 Bb7+ 30.Kg1 Qe5 31.Rc7 Rxc7 32.bxc7 Rg7

[32...Bxh1 33.Qxh1 Rc8 34.Bd8 Qe1+ 35.Bf1]


Vassily Ivanchuk


Alexander Grischuk

Position after 33.Rh2

A horrible position. Grischuk thought for some time and let his clock run down to three seconds. Maybe this contributed to Ivanchuk's thought he was just winning.


Overlooking that c1 is covered by the dark squared bishop. Black had 8 seconds left when he played this.

[33...f4 Wins but there are still threats on the board and time for both players was very short.; 33...Qe1+ 34.Bf1 Kg8 35.Rh4 is also better for black.]

34.Qxg6 Rc1+?

Played almost instantly, and I think clearly planned when Ivanchuk played Rxc7. This move wins but for the ever popular backwards bishop move.


If white didn't have this he gets mated.

[35.Bf1 Rxf1+ 36.Kxf1 Qxb5+ 37.Ke1 Qb1+ 38.Ke2 Bf3+ 39.Kxf3 Qe4#]


My third game was played in a Polgar style. I tried an absolutely incorrect combination and all pieces were hanging. In three moves my opponent resigned. This is the typical Judit’s style.

Grischuk's post game comment. But I don't think he was entirely joking. A lot of Russian players don't respect Judit Polgar at all.

Game 4 Ivanchuk 1/2 Grischuk

Friends and rivals. Svidler came along to support Grischuk in spite of playing him in the final

Friends and rivals. Svidler came along to support Grischuk in spite of playing him in the final. Grischuk spent some time getting rid of the adrenalin after winning the match. Photo © FIDE World Cup Khanty Mansiysk 2011 Website

I don't think there was any coming back for Ivanchuk from the loss in game three with so little time to recover. Ivanchuk quickly was worse on the white side of an English and then lost. Grischuk secured his qualification by steering the game to a draw by perpetual check.

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