FIDE World Cup Fi­nal last 16

Business World - - SPORTS - BOBBY ANG BOBBY ANG is a found­ing mem­ber of the Na­tional Chess Fed­er­a­tion of the Philip­pines (NCFP) and its first Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor. A Cer­ti­fied Pub­lic Ac­coun­tant (CPA), he taught ac­count­ing in the Univer­sity of Santo To­mas (UST) for 25 years and is cur

The FIDE World Cup started with 128 play­ers two Satur­days ago and now, af­ter round 3, there are 16 play­ers left stand­ing. Here are the matchups for the 16 sur­vivors for round 4.

Peter Svi­dler RUS 2756 vs Bu Xiangzhi CHN 2714

Maxime Vachier La­grave FRA 2804 vs Alexan­der Grischuk RUS 2788

Vass­ily Ivanchuk UKR 2727 vs Anish Giri NED 2777

Daniil Dubov RUS 2666 vs Levon Aro­nian ARM 2802 Wesley So USA 2792 vs Baadur Jobava GEO 2702

Maxime Roth­stein ISR 2695 vs Vladimir Fe­doseev RUS 2731

Richard Rap­port HUN 2675 vs Ev­geniy Na­jer RUS 2694

Wang Hao CHN 2701 vs Ding Liren CHN 2771

A quick cen­sus shows five Rus­sians, three Chi­nese and one each from USA, France, Ukraine, Nether­lands, Ar­me­nia, Ge­or­gia, Is­rael and Hun­gary. Big names who are go­ing home af­ter Round 3 are Mag­nus Carlsen ( the reign­ing world cham­pion, no less), Vladimir Kram­nik and the two Amer­i­can su­perGMs Hikaru Nakamura and Fabi­ano Caru­ana.

A quick sum­mary of what hap­pened in Round 3: 1. GM An­ton Ko­va­lyov with­draws from the World Cup.

Canada’s An­ton Ko­va­lyov, who cre­ated a sen­sa­tion in the first round by elim­i­nat­ing for­mer World Cham­pion Vishy Anand, cre­ated an­other stir by be­com­ing the first player to ever be dis­qual­i­fied from the World Cup for wear­ing shorts!

Ap­par­ently he had been wear­ing shorts from the very start and his at­ten­tion had not been called, so why is it un­ac­cept­able now? Main or­ga­nizer GM Zurab Az­maiparashvili gave Ko­va­lyov 15 min­utes to change but the Cana­dian GM just stood up and left.

GM Ko­va­lyov wrote af­ter­wards that he did not bring any pants to Tbil­isi and would have gone to the mall to buy a pair if he had been in­formed ear­lier that his at­tire was not ac­cept­able. He felt that Zurab Az­maiparashvili was overly ag­gres­sive in con­fronting him just be­fore the start of play, call­ing him a gypsy and, rather than do any­thing stupid, he de­cided to leave the play­ing venue.

Many would prob­a­bly dis­agree, but I find it hard to sym­pa­thize with the GM from Rus­sia turned Cana­dian — when you go to the World Cup you are rep­re­sent­ing your coun­try and dress­ing prop­erly shows your re­spect both for your own flag, your op­po­nent and his flag, as well as to the or­ga­niz­ers. 2. Pure Frus­tra­tion

Jobava vs Ne­pom­ni­achtchi was a hard fight in ev­ery game. In what was to be the fi­nal game of their match the fol­low­ing oc­curred: Jobava, Baadur (2702) — Ne­pom­ni­achtchi, Ian (2741) [B50] FIDE World Cup 2017 Tbil­isi GEO

(3.4), 11.09.2017 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.c3 Nf6 4.Bd3 g6 5.Bc2 Bg7 6.d4 cxd4 7.cxd4 0–0 8.0–0 Bg4 9.Nbd2 Nc6 10.h3 Bd7 11.Re1 Rc8 12.a3 b5 13.Bd3 Qb6 14.Nb3 Na5 15.Nxa5 Qxa5 16.Bd2 Qb6 17. Bg5 Rfe8 18. Qd2 a5 19. Bh6 b4 20. axb4 axb4 21. e5 Nd5 22. Be4 e6 23. Bxg7 Kxg7 24. Nh2 Ne7 25. Ng4 Ng8 26.Re3 dxe5 27.dxe5 Bc6 28.Bxc6 Rxc6 29.Rf3 Rd8 30.Qf4 Qc7 31.Nf6 Rc4 32. Qe3 Rcd4?? 33. Qxd4 1– 0 be­cause 33...Rxd4 is met by 34.Ne8+ win­ning back the queen with a free rook to spare.

Ne­pom was so dis­gusted with him­self that within 30 min­utes af­ter re­sign­ing the game he had al­ready left the ho­tel on his way to the air­port. 3. Bril­liant Fight

The games to the Aro­nian vs Mat­lakov match were par­tic­u­larly ex­cit­ing. They went back and forth through the two clas­si­cal games (1 win each), then the 25-minute tie-breaks (2 draws) then the 10-minute tiebreaks (1 win each) un­til the blitz tie-breaks where Aro­nian won the first and held the draw in the last. Just take a look at the first two games. Aro­nian, Levon (2802) — Mat­lakov, Maxim (2728) [A28] FIDE World Cup 2017 Tbil­isi GEO (3.1), 09.09.2017 1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.e3 Bb4 5.Qc2 Bxc3 6.bxc3 0–0 7.d3 d6 8.Be2

Re8 9.e4 Ne7 10.Nh4 Ng6 11.Nxg6 hxg6 12.0–0 c6 13.f4 b5 14.cxb5 cxb5 15.h3 Qb6+ 16.Kh2 Be6 17.a4 a6 18.Qb2 Nd7 19. Rb1 Rab8 20. axb5 axb5 21. Rf3 f6 22. f5 gxf5 23. exf5 Bd5 24. Rg3 Re7 5 25.Bh5 e4 26.d4 Bc4 27.Bf4 Ra8 28.Ra1 Rd8 29.Ra3 Nf8 30.Qa1 Bf7 31.Ra6 Qc7 32.Be2 Bc4 33.Bxc4+ Qxc4 34.Rxd6 Nd7 35. Qa7 Kf7 36. Qb7 Ke8 37. Re6 Rxe6 38.fxe6 Qxe6 39.Rxg7 e3 40.Qf3 1–0 Mat­lakov, Maxim (2728) — Aro­nian, Levon (2802) [D35] FIDE World Cup 2017 Tbil­isi GEO (3.2), 10.09.2017

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 c5 7.Rb1 Be7 8.Nf3 0–0 9.Bc4 Qc7 10.Qe2 a6 11.a4 cxd4 12.cxd4 Bd7 13.0–0 Rc8 14.Bd3 Bxa4 15.d5 Nd7 16.e5 exd5 17.e6 Nf8 18.exf7+ Kxf7 19.Nd4 Bf6 20.Bxh7 Qe5 21.Rxb7+ Bd7 22.Qg4 Qxd4 23.Rxd7+ Nxd7 24.Qxd7+ Be7 25.Re1 Qe5 26.Bd2 Rd8 27.Qg4 1–0

4. Mag­nus Carlsen elim­i­nated.

Re­mem­ber the is­sue I dis­cussed last Tues­day about the draw be­ing fa­vor­able to the bot­tom half of the World Cup (the half that Wesley So is in) against the top half, where Mag­nus Carlsen, Sergey Kar­jakin and Vladimir Kram­nik, the com­plainer, are in? Since Mag­nus and Kar­jakin have al­ready been pre­vi­ously qual­i­fied for the Can­di­dates’ tour­na­ment, if they both reach the semi­fi­nals then the two semi­fi­nal­ists from the bot­tom half are au­to­mat­i­cally qual­i­fied to the Can­di­dates. Well, it has be­come a non-is­sue since Kar­jakin in round 2 and now Mag­nus Carlsen and Vladimir Kram­nik (in round 3) have al­ready been elim­i­nated!

Carlsen never knew what hit him — he was just play­ing a nor­mal game and then came 15…Bxh3! and sud­denly he was un­der a full-scale at­tack. Bu Xiangzhi, pre­vi­ously the youngest grand­mas­ter ever in his­tory ( be­fore this ti­tle was taken over by Sergey Kar­jakin), is known for his solid po­si­tional style which some­times borders on the bor­ing. If he should re­tire to­day this bril­liancy will be the game he will be re­mem­bered by. Carlsen, Mag­nus (2822) — Bu,

Xiangzhi (2710) [C55] FIDE World Cup 2017 Tbil­isi GEO

(3.1), 09.09.2017 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 Nc6 4.Nf3 Be7 5.0–0 0–0 6.Bb3 d6 7.c3 Be6 8.Re1 Qd7 9.Nbd2 Rab8!?

A nov­elty. Bu ex­plained that its pur­pose is twofold: (1) To de­fend the b7–pawn af­ter ...Bxb3, Qxb3, and (2) He is plan­ning to play ...d6–d5. White might re­spond with Ba4 to pin his c6–knight, but now, with the rook on b8, he can in­ter­ject with ...b7–b5. 10.Bc2 d5!?

Sac­ri­fic­ing the e5– pawn. The game is go­ing to re­sem­ble very much the Mar­shall At­tack. 11.h3?!

Mag­nus should have taken the pawn im­me­di­ately. Af­ter 11.exd5! Nxd5 12.Nxe5 Nxe5 13.Rxe5 Bd6 14.Re1 Black does not have the pawn on h3 to tar­get.

14.Rxe511... h6 Bd6 12. 15.Re1exd5 Nxd5 Bxh3! 13. 16.gx­h3Nxe5 Qxh3 Nxe5

...Bh2+ Threat­en­ing mate in 4 start­ing with 17.Nf1 Rbe8! 18.d4

The idea is Bc2–e4–g2. 18...f5! 19.Bb3 c6 20.f4 Kh7

Bu takes his king out of check­ing dis­tance and threat­ens ...Rf8–f6–g6. 21.Bxd5?

Af­ter this Black comes crash­ing through. For bet­ter or worse White had to play 21.Re2 and move his rook or queen to g2/ h2.

21... cxd5 22. Re3 Rxe3 23. Bxe3 g5! 24.Kf2 gxf4 25.Qf3 fxe3+ 26.Nxe3 Qh2+ 27. Kf1 Rg8 28. Qxf5+ Rg6! 29. Ke1 h5 30.Kd1

Both play­ers were in time trou­ble here. Carlsen only had about 5 sec­onds left on his clock. The rest of the game was played a tempo.

30...Kh6 31.Nc2 h4 32.Ne1 h3 33.Nf3 Qg2 34.Ne1 Qg4+ 35.Qxg4 Rxg4 36.Nf3

Rg1+! 0– 1 Carlsen re­signs be­cause 36... Rg1+! 37. Nxg1 h2 the pawn can­not be stopped from queen­ing. 5. Wesley So pro­ceeds to round 4.

Wesley’s op­po­nent, the Spa­niard Paco Vallejo Pons, tried to wipe him off the board early, with the in­evitable re­sult. Vallejo Pons, Francisco (2717) — So, Wesley (2810) [B12] FIDE World Cup 2017 Tbil­isi GEO (3.1), 09.09.2017 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.g4 Be4

More com­mon is 4...Bd7. Six years ago Alexei Shi­rov fell to his worst loss with 5.c4 e6?! 6.Nc3 c5! 7.cxd5 exd5 8.dxc5 Bxc5 9.Bg2 (9.Qxd5 Qb6 10.Qg2 Nc6 11.Nf3 Nb4 12.Rb1 Bc6 White is against the ropes) 9... Ne7 10.h3 Qb6 11.Qe2 0–0 12.Nf3 d4 13.Ne4 Bb5 14.Qd2 Nbc6 15.a3 Ng6 16.b4 Be7 17.Bb2 Rfd8 0–1 Shi­rov,A (2709)-Anand,V (2817) Leon ESP 2011. 5.f3 Bg6 6.h4 h5 7.e6 Qd6!

The cor­rect move, in­ci­den­tally threat­en­ing a check on g3. One won­ders what Vallejo had in mind as this is a known po­si­tion and Black has an ex­cel­lent score with it. 8.exf7+ Bxf7 9.Be3

The main line is 9. Ne2. This po­si­tion oc­curred in the Ta­gay­tay Zon­als a few years ago. Fu­ture zonal cham­pion Yeoh Li Tian beat the den­tist Dr. Al­fredo Paez with it - 9... Nd7 10.g5 e5 11.Bh3 Be6 12.f4 Bxh3 13.fxe5 Nxe5 14. Rxh3 ( 14. dxe5 Qb4+ fol­lowed by Qxh4+) 14...Ng4 15.Bf4 Qe6 Black had no prob­lems at all. Paez, A ( 2151)-Yeoh, L (2278) Ta­gay­tay City 2013. 0–1 31. 9... hxg4 10. fxg4 Nf6 11. Nc3 Qe6! 12.Kd2?!

Bet­ter was to give up a pawn with 12.Qe2 Nxg4 13.Bg5 but I be­lieve that the Spa­niard, a very dy­namic and ag­gres­sive player, did not want to de­fend an in­fe­rior pawn-down endgame against “per­fect tech­nique” Wesley and pre­ferred to keep queens on the board. 12... Nxg4 13. Bg5 Nf2 14. Qf3 Nxh1

15.Qxh1 [Now White in­tends Bh3 and Re1 to get some coun­ter­play go­ing on.]

15...Qd6 16.Bh3 e6 17.Rf1 Be7 18.Bf4 Qb4! 19.Nge2 Nd7 20.a3 Qxb2 21.Rb1 Qxa3 22.Rxb7 Qa6 23.Qb1 Rxh4 24.Bf1 <D> PO­SI­TION AF­TER 24.BF1 White is hang­ing on by a thread. Wesley fin­ishes him off nicely. 24...Rxf4! 25.Nxf4 Qa5

With the deadly Bg5 com­ing up.

26.Qe1 Bg5 27.Qg3 Bh6 28.Bd3 0–0– 0! 29.Rb3 e5 30.dxe5 d4 0–1

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