The 2011 FIDE World Chess Cup has featured exceptional chess, with many of the world’s best grandmasters fighting for the first prize of $120,000! The tournament is taking place August 28th – September 21st in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. The only disappointment is that a handful of the world’s top players are playing in the Botvinnik Memorial (Anand, Carlsen, Aronian, Kramnik). Either way the 2011 FIDE World Cup is turning out to be an extremely exciting event with wild games and stunning upsets.
For USA, only Kamsky remains
The US contingency has performed decently, although only Kamsky remains. Rising star Sam Shankland had an incredible round 1 upset over Hungarian Peter Leko (1.5-.5), however he was overcome by Indian prodigy Abhijeet Gupta in round 2 (1.5-.5). Ray Robson took French GM Etienne Bacrot to tiebreakers in round 1, however was unable to break through – losing 4-2. Yury Shulman is one of the best US players today, however his recent international performances have been disappointing (On a side-note I used to take classes from Shulman and he’s incredibly talented, but hey, I have to report the news). Shulman was knocked out in with a tough match in round 1 in tiebreaks by Russian GM Vladimir Potkin (3.5-2.5). Gata Kamsky has been upstoppable in 2011, winning the US Championship and making it to the Semi-Finals of the Candidates Matches. His preparation and technique have been excellent, and this tournament is no exception. He had a wild round 1 match with Brazilian Diego Di Berardino, winning on tiebreaks (2.5-1.5). In round 2, he beat experienced veteran GM Rusam Kasimdzhanov (1.5-.5). He is looking very good to win his round 3 match with Russian GM Ian Nepomniachtchi, having won his first game with impeccable technique. We’ll be keeping our eyes on Kamsky and let you know any future developments in the 2011 FIDE World Cup.
Watch Kamsky handle Nepomiachtchi in the 3rd round
Game Description: Kamsky opens with d4 and Ian plays his customary Grunfeld Defense, quickly achieving pressure against white’s strong center. Ian allows double e-pawns to achieve active counterplay against white’s d4 pawn, however Kamsky is able to calculate a clear line that leaves him with an extra pawn and excellent winning chances in a rook endgame. Kamsky’s iron grip and immaculate technique enabled him to easily convert the advantage in 47 moves. We wish Kamsky the best in the 2011 FIDE World Cup as he is now representing the United States.
Steady Sutovsky handles Ivanchuk’s wild style
Ivanchuk is an extremely difficult opponent to prepare for, as he is constantly striving to create unique complications very early in the opening and his game against Grandmaster Sutovsky was no exception. I haven’t had the chance of covering an Ivanchuk game in quite a while so I really enjoyed this game.
Watch the game where Ivanchuk loses to Sutovsky
Game Description: Ivanchuk opens with e4 and Sutovsky plays the Sicilian, however Ivanchuk immediately deviates from normal lines with 5. f3 – intending to establish a bind on the d5 square with a later c4. Sutovsky plays extremely creatively and energetically with 7. …a5! 8. …a4 9. …Qa5+ and 10. …Bd8! – placing his pieces optimally for the middlegame and creating enduring pressure on white’s queenside and exposed king. Sutovsky finishes the game perfectly with an excellent pawn sacrifice – 25. …f5! – destroying white’s central pawn structure and opening up lines to attack white’s king. Sutovsky proceeded to sacrifice another pawn with 33. …e4+! – leaving Ivanchuk unable to defend in an extremely difficult position with little time on the clock.
Judit Polgar’s Stunning Performance!
Judit Polgar’s comeback to the elite levels of professional chess has been astounding. I am extremely impressed with her play, and have her as one of my favorites to win this event. She cruised through round 1, devastating Fidel Corrales 2-0. In round 2 she beat Sergei Movsesian (1.5-.5), and destroyed Sergei Karjakin in game 1 of round 3. It will be very interesting to see if she can maintain this exceptionally high level of play for the remainder of the tournament.
Alexander Grischuk continues to impress