The 4th tie-break of the World Cup does not give way to any of the previous ones as far as tension is concerned. It seemed that due to the previous games with short time control, the emotions should have been not that strong this time.

One should already get used to unexpected blunders, smart combinations and flashing hands when having little time. However, neither me nor my colleagues have managed to get accustomed to it. But still rapid and especially blitz chess, as a rule, evoke our deepest admiration mixed with football fans hazard. It was namely the atmosphere of admiration and agitation that reigned in the commentators’ rooms today where I had a chance to comment the games live with Grandmaster and famous commentator Sergey Shipov.

Text by Maria Fominykh. Photos by Vladimir Barsky.

Five pairs started tie-breaks of the 4th Round. One of the duels finished very suddenly — the Ukrainian Vassily Ivanchuk twice and without any great efforts outplayed the Chinese Bu Xiangzhi. However, during his press conference Vassily emphasized that it only seemed to us that his victory was an easy one, because during the game he had to calculate a lot of variations.

We talked a bit with the Chinese Grandmaster after the game. It turned out that Bu has bought his ticket for the 9th of September in advance and thus was not very disappointed that he had guessed the day of his departure. He remained satisfied with his play since he showed the best performance in comparison with his compatriots. «As for me, I did not play a lot recently, for example, I did not participate in the World Teams Championship, therefore I came here being in a rather good shape », — this is how Bu Xiangzhi explained his good result.

The match between Russians Vladimir Potkin and Alexander Grischuk was the second to finish. The 2nd game with the time control of 25 minutes was decisive. In a complicated middle game Grischuk overplayed his opponent and entered the pawns endgame that was not easy to be estimated from the first sight. Ian Nepomniachtchi, the friend and second of Vladimir Potkin, thought that White could make a draw. As for Gata Kamsky, he considered Potkin’s position as absolutely hopeless one. The practice proved the estimation of the American Grandmaster: as a matter of fact Vladimir congratulated Alexander on his victory and qualification to quarterfinals.

After the first two games were over the playing hall became more spacious. According to the rules, there should be one arbiter for each chess board during the tie-breaks. However, the number of arbiters per capita of participants was way too superior thus over passing all the norms. The broad-shouldered order guardians were surrounding the tables thus preventing cameramen to focus on chess boards. «Get these gapers out of the shot!» — the producer was furiously giving orders to the cameraman. As a matter of fact, Sergey Shipov is another one who always mentions arbiters «in a good way» in the tie-breaks, because during rapid and blitz games he makes simultaneous comments of the positions. «I know this arbiter very well, he is a good fellow, but still why is he shutting in the position?»

After ten minutes tie breaks the winner of Vugar Gashimov-Peter-Heine Nielsen match was defined

In the 25 minutes tie breaks the opponents exchanged with blows and in the 10-minutes games Nielsen could not manage to win back.

Peter-Heine is leaving Khanty-Mansiysk in a good mood, despite coming off worst.

Vugar Gashimov after his victory did not know yet who would be his opponent in the quarter finals: Ponomariov or Bruzon

The match of the Ukrainian vs Cuban was hot like borsch and strong like cigars.

In the 25-minutes tie breaks Ponomariov was close to a victory: he won his first game and got a big advantage in the second. When the game was over I was about to come up to Ruslan in order to congratulate him on the victory and invite to the press conference. But I saw that the arbiters were holding the drawing of colors: Bruzon won back by miracle!

In the 10-minutes game the wind changed its direction. Lazaro won the game with Black and had good chances to make a draw with White. This time Ruslan displayed fortitude and technically realized the best endgame with two bishops against knight and bishop.

After the first draw it seemed that the battle of «Sudden death» is not so far. But Ponomariov playing White used all the chances not to play «Armageddon». After the opening he seemed to blunder but it was rather good for White. Bruzon followed the provocation and going after the Knight gave all the pawns of the King’s side. In the endgame Ruslan was moving his pawns to queening without giving any chance of counter play. The pieces of the Cuban player were helpless and he had to lay down arms.

The game Judit Polgar vs Lenier Dominguez was not less tense, but more dramatic.

Judit started the tie breaks with White and beautifully won. In the second game of 25 minutes time control Polgar seemed to be a different person: having started the Scandinavian defense she failed. In the 10-minutes game the fight was according to the same scenario: again the White attacks and wins and then again an absurd Scandinavian with Black…and equal score. The score was the same after the first blitz game, where Dominguez failed to win and entered a drawish Knight endgame. Before the start of the second game everyone was almost screaming in the commentary room: ‘’Judit, please not Scandinavian!!” The commentators did not hide their grieving for beautiful Hungarian fighter. Our prayers were heard and Judit played the Sicilian and in her style smashed her opponent.

In the next Round Judit is playing against Peter Svidler. «Passions for Judit» will be a bit down. The majority of the Russian fans will grieve for its compatriot. But anyway if Polgar will again start the Scandinavian with Black, the commentators and other followers will search for Validol…

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