The pressure of reaching the 4th round of the most prestigious Knockout chess tournament around took it’s toll yesterday, enticing 6 out of 8 games to reach a decisive result. While there were 2 draws (Bu Vs Ivanchuk; Bruzon Vs Ponomariov) the other 6 games featured some exceptional fighting chess.
GM Navara displays good sportsmanship due to touch move rule
An amazing display of sportsmanship occurred in round 3 when Navara conceded a draw in a better position to Moiseenko, due to a messy situation involving the touch-move rule. Navarra’s good kharma carried him through the tiebreaker against Moiseenko, and it appears to still be in effect as he won first game of round 4 against Zherebukh rather easily. Zherebukh is an extremely talented junior and is the youngest player left in this year’s World Cup, however it appeared that his nerves got the better of him against Navara as he simply took too much time play a common opening.
Radjabov plays double-fianchetto, Jakovenko responds lightly
Radjabov played a double-fianchetto opening as white against Jakovenko, and I was disappointed with the lack of aggression in Jakovenko’s response. Radjabov achieved a pressure after a tense middlegame struggle and went on to win thanks to a few nice tactical shots.
Watch Jerry’s Analysis of this fantastic game
Potkin surprises Grischuk with wild opening
The game that surprised me most from yesterday’s round was Potkin Vs Grischuk. Grischuk appeared surprised by Potkin’s opening choice of the Averbakh System/Four Pawns Attack and very incorrectly sacrificed a pawn to create counterplay with 11. …Nh5?! The resulting endgame after 24. Rf4 was very dismal and Grischuk was forced to capitulate after another tactical error, resigning on 44. Rf2.
The resulting endgame after 24. Rf4 was very dismal and Grischuk was forced to capitulate after another tactical error, resigning on 44. Rf2.
Judit Polgar loses to Cuban GM Dominguez but isn’t out.
The biggest upset of round 4 was Leinier Dominguez putting on a “bishops of opposite colors” attacking clinic in the middlegame against Judit Polgar. Polgar was a huge favorite coming into the match, having dispatched top seed Sergei Karjakin in round 3 with a score of 1.5-.5. While Polgar was resting on 9/5, Dominguez was playing a 7 game tiebreaker match against Lysyj which he eventually won in the final Armageddon playoff game. The Cuban GM miraculously appeared well-rested for his game yesterday with Polgar and played some fantastic positional chess – perfectly demonstrating why bishops of opposite colors favor the attacking side. In a difficult position and time trouble approaching, Polgar succumbed to the pressure and blundered with 44. b4?? – walking into a winning tactic that Dominguez was quick to play. However, Polgar still has a few more games to play at the 2011 World Chess Cup to see if she moves on. (Update: Polgar came back today!)
Gata Kamsky fell victim to some interesting opening preparation by Svidler, as the tables turned and for once Kamsky was on the receiving end excellent endgame technique. Gashimov dismantled Nielsen’s Berlin Defense to score a deserved point, as Nielsen tried very hard but was simply unable to save the half-point after a failed opening. Game 2 of Round 4 will no doubt feature the most exciting chess of this tournament, as 6 of 8 players will be fighting for survival as a win will be required to stay alive in the tournament. I’m sure all of the games will be interesting, however I’m going to be paying extra attention to “Dominguez Vs Polgar” and “Kamsky Vs Svidler” for the upcoming round of the FIDE World Chess Cup.