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Tempest in a World Cup

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The official site of the 2005 FIDE World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk has been updated and populated with rather unhandy Excel files with the participants list and pairings. Marky-Mark has an html version of the first round pairings on the TWIC homepage. It's 128 vs 1 pairing style (instead of 128 vs 64) so there are plenty of heavy favorites and a few dozen people who will have plenty of time to enjoy the local scenery and the balmy -20C weather. For those unfamiliar with the Celsius scale, -20 is the exact temperature at which your yak freezes.

The first round starts Sunday, Nov. 27. Nobody from San Luis is playing. The top seed is Ivanchuk, followed by Bacrot, Aronian, Grischuk, Shirov, and Gelfand. The time control is the evil FIDE semi-rapid 90'+30". The USA has a remarkable eight players, trailing only Ukraine's 10, China's 9 (!), and Russia's 23. Argentina notches three, dale! Adams isn't there and Short had earlier obligations and couldn't accept his substitute spot, so there are no players representing England. Based on favorites winning, Kamsky would face Zhao Yun, Smirnov, Asrian and Nakamura would face Ganguly, Milov, Gelfand.

New rule: You're not allowed to pick first-round upsets on boards higher than 30; those aren't really upsets. Of course we have to root for everyone who has posted to the Dirt, so we've got the top three Americans (Kamsky, Nakamura, Onischuk), plus Shirov, Sutovsky, Macieja, and Charbonneau. We can toss in Lautier and Needleman by proxy to improve our chances. Go team, go! This makes my upset pick easy: Charbonneau over Dreev. Seeing his name here I realized we haven't seen Shirov in action for a while. If he shakes off the rust he should at least reach the final eight, when the longer matches begin.


Two (formerly) from our club (the MetroWest Chess Club, Natick, MA) are there; A. Ivanov and Kudrin. Not bad for a one-night-a-week club 30 miles outside a major city!

We honed their skills at this time control as ours is 40/90 GAME/30.


GM Azmaiparashvili vs Magnus Carlsen.

I can't pick a winner, but it's an interesting pairing.

I'm looking forward to seeing Gary Lane get torn apart by Akopian.

Kamsky vs. Zhao should be interesting as well. I still can't figure out Kamsky 2.0's style -- he seems much more sedate than Kamsky 1.0. I want to see a return to the old hard-bitten survivalist style.

Yes England has no players... we seem to get no kickbacks like 'Presedential nominations' that other countries regularly recieve.

If I had to predict one true upset for the first round I would say that Pascal Charbonneau has a good chance at an upset. I think he is playing well above his current rating, and may sneak pass Dreev into the second round.

Just a patzer's musing.

How about Wang Hao as an upset pick for Round 1?

I don't want it to happen, but I will pick as an upset Ganguly over Nakamura. Also, I don't know these Chinese players, but given their amazing assembly line, I would bet one or more of them gets an upset in the 1st round. Kamsky better be careful!

Something which hasn't been mentioned is the whapping prize fund of 1.5 million (!) for the World Cup.

I think it's the first time such an amount appears in a FIDE event which is not a World Championship. And all the Russian oil industry seems to be sponsoring (Rosneft, Lukoil, BP Russia, etc.), which is quite indicative of the Kirsan/FIDE influence within Russia...

shr0pshire, I have a strong feeling you are correct. I think Pascal Charbonneau may even go all the way to the top. After all, Kasimdzhanov did that last year. Who predicted that in the beginning?

Go Mark Paragua!

Beat Movsesian!

GO the MetroWest Chess Club, Natick, MA

Best Chess Club in the USA. well it won that distinction a couple of years ago from USCF.

but I dont think Ivanov and Kudrin are native born Americans.

And I thought that Boston gets cold in the winters. haha.

I live in the greater suburban area of Boston. but I dont play at the MetroWest Chess Club. a bit of a long drive for me.


This is an addition to my earlier post on this thread.

I simply hate to go down this road because I like to root for my countrymen and grandmasters who are accessible to patzers like myself, but I think Kamsky may have some troubles.

I am not sure if Kamsky is completely acclimated to high level play yet after his abscence. I remember his New York masters appearances in a true rapid format where he scored mediocre. He has done better in more recent tournaments, but the time format of this tournament has been called a "quasi rapid" time control and I am not sure that Kamsky will fare well with that.

Also he is facing what I think is a rising star in the Chinese chess scene, Zhao Xue. She is only rated 2470, but taken some strong GM scalps recently. Let us remember that she drew Ivanchuck with white in a queen's Indian at the World Team Championship (WTC). Also at the WTC she won with the black pieces against Jobava. She did equally great things at the 2nd Sanjin Hotel Cup where she defeated Zhang Pengxiang with the black pieces, and drew McShane in a 132 game.

I think she is underrated too, and may give Kamsky a run for his money.

So my "true upsets" are Pascal Charbonneau and Zhao Xue.

Just a patzer's musing.


My vision.
One day Mig tells one Bush joke too many and Homeland Security ships him off to Nome to drill some holes in the ground(not the type he usually drills with his a55 in the couch) in search for the oil so the rest of us can continue enjoying our freedoms without worrying about the gas mileage.
Hey Mig, you don't like the picture?
Then stop delivering low punches against the people of Siberia who live and work under harsh conditions, and yet welcome the best chessplayers of the world.

What, the yak joke? You call that a low punch? Christ, talk about hypersensitive.

It's cold. Yak are funny. And from someone supposedly anti-PC this is particularly rich. Let me know when we're getting together to hold hands and sing We Are the World with this warmer, fuzzier Yermo. Or, to abandon the high road and respond in kind, I suppose it's natural for a former Soviet to recommend people be carted off the frozen north for telling jokes about the State. Iron Feliks lives!

We now return you to our regularly scheduled chess blog...

Sure, Yermo will enjoy his freedoms a lot more when he sees Mig dragged away by the secret PC police.

Hey, you mention Argentina's 3 players, but Brazil has 4 (Vescovi, Milos, Lima and Leitao)! We're the South American power, don't forget.

Just don't mention the fact that none of them has any chances and might go back home soon, very soon. :(

What the heck is 128 vs 1 pairing? Don't tell me that I'm the only one that doesn't know.

Never mind. I just had a look at the pairings on TWIC and worked it out myself.

Why does everyone like Charbonneau so much? Yes, he's playing above his rating, but he has been for years. He's still not world class (yet?), and when he's played world class guys in the FIDE KO it's always been two-and-out, unfortunately. Just like it has been for Canada, for years. (with one exception) Sorry to be a party-pooper.. But I just don't see it. 'Course, I'd like to be proven wrong :)

Charbonneau is incredibly good looking, likeable and charming. That is the reason why most people like him.

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on November 18, 2005 12:43 PM.

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