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FIDE World Cup Khanty Mansiysk 2011 (7.3)

Svidler edges closer to winning the World Cup

Svidler and Grischuk post game 3. Photo ©

Svidler and Grischuk post game 3. Photo © |

Peter Svidler just needs a draw with white against Alexander Grischuk in the final game of the World Cup final. This followed his first draw with black since round 3.1. Svidler avoided the temptation to try and finish things today by exploiting more lunatic clock handling from Grischuk. Likely this was the most professional and level-headed approach. In the 3rd-4th place playoff Vassily Ivanchuk held the draw after getting in some small difficulties with white against Ruslan Ponomariov. He will become a Candidate for the first time since maybe losing his infamous match to Artur Jussupow in 1991 (that can't be right surely?).

Svidler against Grischuk

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

Alexander Grischuk again was in serious time trouble against Peter Svidler as he tried to win with his final game with the white pieces in the match. Svidler chose an old line of the Ruy Lopez Classical Defence departing from the old main-line of 8...0-0 (seen as far back as 1961 in Stein-Spassky) to play 8...Nxd6. By this point Grischuk only had 40 minutes left on his clock + the 30 seconds per move to make 32 moves. We had an insight into where Grischuk's time goes as he had worked out the kind of long line that Bent Larsen always warned about. 9.Bxc6+ could have been just played by Grischuk and worked out later, it seems no better nor worse thant 9.Re1+. Instead worked out a line (see below) to a position where he intended 15.Nxf7 which is an error refuted by castles.

Peter Svidler continued to play at a steady pace and Grischuk at a funerial one and Svidler also got the tiniest of advantages at the board although Svidler disagreed with this in the press conference. It is clear that from his point of view with only a draw with white in game 4 required he was not going to get suckered into losing this game by trying to exploit Grischuk's time trouble by taking any risks. Grischuk found an active defence and the game was agreed draw on move 29 in a level position.

Svidler against Grischuk

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

Svidler: "He said he was closer to losing than to winning, I honestly at no point thought I was better. So I'm not sure this is quite true.

Q: Tomorrow you have to win with black. Will you prepare something extraordinary?

Grischuk Yes I prepare. The most important thing is to create something extraordinary tomorrow. [Said not entirely seriously]

Q: It's amazing, you didn't win with black.

Svidler: Yes I'm very much upset. [He meant the opposite]

Svidler against Grischuk

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

Grischuk,Alexander (2746) - Svidler,Peter (2739) [C64]
FIDE World Cup 2011 Khanty-Mansiysk RUS (7.3), 18.09.2011

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.e5 Ne4 7.0-0 d5 8.exd6

[8.Nxd4 0-0 9.f3 Ng5 10.Be3 f6 11.Qc1 fxe5 12.Nxc6 Bxe3+ 13.Qxe3 bxc6 14.Bxc6 Rb8 15.Rd1 Be6 16.c4 d4 17.Qxe5 Rxb2 18.f4 Rf5 19.Qxd4 Qxd4+ 20.Rxd4 Rc5 21.Bb5 c6 22.Ba4 Bf5 23.fxg5 Bxb1 24.h4 Kf7 25.Rf4+ Ke6 26.Rf2 Rxf2 27.Kxf2 Bd3 28.Re1+ Kf7 29.Rd1 Bxc4 30.Rd7+ Kf8 31.Rxa7 Bxa2 32.Bxc6 Rxc6 33.Rxa2 h6 34.gxh6 gxh6 35.g4 Kf7 1/2-1/2 Hotting A-Plijter M/cr K/23 NL 1994]

Peter Svidler


Alexander Grischuk

Position after 8.exd6


Seems to have been played once before. This move sets problems for Grischuk. Although given the amount of time he was using there was a decent chance Grischuk didn't remember (or event know) this theory.

[8...0-0 Looks the most logical here and has been investigated quite deeply although mostly a long time ago including Stein-Spassky 1961. Grischuk had just 40 minutes left here, Svidler 1hr 20m. 9.dxc7 Qf6 10.Bxc6 bxc6 11.cxd4 Bd6 12.Re1 Bf5 13.Nc3 Rfe8 14.Nxe4 Bxe4 15.Bg5 Bxf3 16.Rxe8+ Rxe8 17.Qxf3 Qxf3 18.gxf3 Bxc7 19.Rc1 Bb6 20.Rxc6 Bxd4 21.Be3 Bxb2 22.Bxa7 Re1+ 23.Kg2 Kf8 24.Rc7 Ke8 25.Be3 Rd1 26.a4 Bd4 27.Bg5 h6 28.Bc1 Bb6 29.Rc2 Rd5 30.Rb2 Bc7 31.Be3 Kd7 32.Rb5 Rd3 33.Rb4 h5 34.Rd4+ Rxd4 35.Bxd4 g6 36.Bc3 Kc6 37.h3 Kc5 38.Kf1 Kc4 39.Bd2 Bd8 40.Ke2 g5 41.f4 g4 1-0 Stein,L-Spassky,B/Moscow 1961/URS-ch]


Looks promising if white manages to get all his pieces to the correct squares. Pawn to c4 for instance it will be very unpleasant for black but it didn't quite materialise.

9.Bxc6+ was almost played by Grischuk. 9...bxc6 10.Re1+ Be6

10...Kf8? which has been played before looks bad 11.cxd4 Bb6 12.Nc3 Bg4 13.Be3 Qf6 14.Ne5 Bxd1 15.Nd7+ Ke7 16.Nxf6 Bc2 17.Bg5+ Kd8 18.Nfd5+ Kc8 19.Rac1 Bd3 20.Nb4 Bb5 21.a4 a5 22.Nxb5 cxb5 23.Nd5 Kb7 24.Re7 Rhe8 25.Nxb6 Rxe7 26.Nxa8 Rd7 27.Rxc7+ Rxc7 28.Nxc7 Kxc7 29.Bf4 bxa4 30.Kf1 Kc6 31.Bxd6 Kxd6 32.Ke2 Kd5 33.Kd3 f5 34.h4 1-0 (34) Schuetze,M-Richter,W/DDR 1977/Corr 2002)

11.cxd4 Bb6 12.Bg5 Qc8 13.Ne5 Qb7 14.Qf3 Bxd4 15.Nxf7?

Peter Svidler


Alexander Grischuk

Analysis diagram after 15.Nxf7

The Larsen saying of "long line, wrong line" comes to mind here. Grischuk initially thought this looked promising until he saw: 15...0-0! absolutely the only move but winning for black. "Like in some old Petroff game" - Svidler translating for Grischuk.

9...Be6 10.Bg5 Qc8 11.Bxc6+

15 minutes 46 seconds left for Grischuk.

11...bxc6 12.Nxd4

[12.cxd4 Bb6 13.Ne5 may be better.]

12...Bxd4 13.Qxd4 0-0 14.Nd2 Qa6 15.b3 Qb6 16.Be3 Qxd4 17.Bxd4 Rfd8 18.Nf3 Bd5 19.Ne5 Nb5 20.Rad1 f6 21.Nd3 Bf7 22.Nc5 Rd5 23.Rc1

Peter Svidler


Alexander Grischuk

Position after 23.Rc1

Played with just 5 seconds to spare. The question is whether in black's position, which is a very tiny bit better, it is worth trying to win in conjunction with the clock. Apparently such a thought never really crossed Svidler's mind.

23...Nxd4 24.cxd4 Rxd4 25.h3 Rd2

[25...Re8 26.Rxe8+ Bxe8 27.Ne6 Rd7 28.Kf1 and the game goes on.]


Peter Svidler


Alexander Grischuk

Position after 26.Re1


[26...Rc8 is passive but may be justified here.; 26...Re8 27.Rxc7 Rxa2 28.Nb7 Bxb3]

27.Rxc7 Re8 28.Nb7 h5

[28...Bxb3 is the final chance to go for complications in the pursuit of victory. Of course this position is equal, but the clock situation is not.]

29.Rxf7 Kxf7 1/2-1/2

Ivanchuk draw Ponomariov

Ponomariov against Ivanchuk

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

Vassily Ivanchuk had to work hard to hold the draw against Ruslan Ponomariov. Ivanchuk had sidelined a Ponomariov's knight on c8 but in fact the pawns he gave up to do so weren't quite worth it. So he had to defend an ending with the pawns all on one side for a long time to hold the draw. However Ivanchuk was pretty clinical about doing so, especially at the end. Ivanchuk needs a draw with black to be a Candidate for the first time in many years.

Ivanchuk,Vassily (2768) - Ponomariov,Ruslan (2764) [D98]
FIDE World Cup 2011 Khanty-Mansiysk RUS (7.3), 18.09.2011

1.c4 Nf6 2.d4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Qb3 dxc4 6.Qxc4 0-0 7.e4 Bg4 8.Be3 Nfd7 9.Rd1 Nc6 10.Be2 Nb6 11.Qc5 Qd6 12.e5 Qxc5 13.dxc5 Nc8 14.Bf4 Bxf3 15.Bxf3 Nxe5 16.Bxe5 Bxe5 17.0-0 c6 18.Rfe1 Bg7 19.Rd7 Rb8 20.Ne4 Bxb2

Ruslan Ponomariov


Vassily Ivanchuk

Position after 20...Bxb2


[21.Rb1 Be5 22.Rbxb7 Rxb7 23.Rxb7 Rd8 is a tiny bit better for black.]

21...b6 22.Rc7 Rd8 23.Rxc6 bxc5 24.Nxc5 Bd4 25.Rd1 Nb6 26.Na6 Rbc8 27.Nb4 Bf6 28.Rxd8+ Rxd8 29.Rc7 Rd7 30.Rxd7 Nxd7 31.Nc6 a6 32.a4 Nc5 33.a5 Kf8 34.Be2 Bc3 35.Nb8 Bxa5 36.Nxa6 Nb3 37.Bd1 Nd4 38.Nc5 Bb4 39.Nd3 Bd6 40.f4 h6 41.Kf2 g5 42.Ke3 Nf5+ 43.Kf3 e6 44.Nf2 Ba3 45.Nd3 Ke7 46.Kf2 Bd6 47.Bh5 Bc7 48.Kg2 Ne3+ 49.Kf2 Nd5 50.fxg5 hxg5 51.Bf3 Bb6+ 52.Ke2 Nc3+ 53.Kd2 Nb5 54.g4 Kd6 55.h3 Bd4 56.Ke2 Bg1 57.Kf1 Nd4 58.Be4 Be3 59.Kg2 Bd2 60.Ba8 Be3 61.Kg3 Nb5 62.Bb7 Kc7 63.Bg2 Nd6 64.h4 gxh4+ 65.Kxh4 Kd7 66.g5 Ke7 67.Kg4 Bd2 68.Bc6 Kf8 69.Nc5 Bb4 70.Ne4 Nf5 71.Kh5 Ba3 72.Ba4 Bc1 73.Bc2 Kg7 74.Bd3 Nd4 75.Bb1 Nf3 76.Bc2 Be3 77.Bd3 Kf8 78.Bc2 Ke7 79.g6!

Ruslan Ponomariov


Vassily Ivanchuk

Position after 79.g6. A nice sequence follows that forces the draw.

79...f5 80.Nd6!

The knight can't be taken because the pawn promotes

80...Bd4 81.Nxf5+

Converting to a completely drawn position.

81...exf5 82.Bxf5 Bg7 1/2-1/2

Velery Yershan and Sergey Shipov

The Russian commentators Velery Yershan and Sergey Shipov were interviewed today. The questioner was claiming over a million visitors to the website. Photo © FIDE World Cup Khanty Mansiysk 2011 Website

GM Konstantin Landa and WGM Anna Sharevich

GM Konstantin Landa and WGM Anna Sharevich have done a great job in the English commentary. One might quibble about some of the things they talked about but this was a huge amount of air time to fill. Photo © FIDE World Cup Khanty Mansiysk 2011 Website

FIDE World Cup 2011 Khanty-Mansiysk RUS Sun 28th Aug 2011 - Tue 20th Sep 2011
Round 7 Results
NameFEDG1G2G3G4 R1 R2 r3 r4 B1 B2 SDPts
Grischuk, AlexanderRUS0½½ 1
Svidler, PeterRUS1½½ 2
NameFEDG1G2G3G4 R1 R2 r3 r4 B1 B2 SDPts
Ivanchuk, VassilyUKR½1½ 2
Ponomariov, RuslanUKR½0½ 1

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