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World Cup 2005 r5.1

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Just hanging out on the sofa and enjoying watching people trudge through the snow and slush on the way to work. Thanks to the miracle of time zones, all the games in Khanty-Mansyisk are already over. The only decisive top-tier game was Gelfand baring his fangs and beating Grischuk with white. Against Sakaev it looked like Kamsky was getting into trouble again against the Sicilian, but he came through the complications better and won. Malakhov beat Dreev.

For me, the suspense of the event is largely gone since the eight finalists are all going to the next stage anyway. I'm more interested in who else will make the cut than in who will win. It illustrates how much interest the concept of a world championship can generate, even a rather weak tea version of a cycle like this one. That this cycle is designed to kill the great drama of matches with a final tournament is still beyond me. Tournaments should lead to matches, not vice-versa.


Gelfand-Grischuk, hmm.

The Russian GM has been most impressive so far, with 6.5/8 in classical chess, while the Israeli mostly made draws in classical and advanced due to his rapid and blitz skills.

Watching their game, it made me wonder whether the official site got the names of the players wrong! I expected Grischuk to beat Gelfand in nice style, yet the outcome was completely opposite. Black's position seemed to merit resignation as early as move 23. What a rout.

PS: talking about the fairness of the KO system, if they draw tomorrow, Grischuk will be eliminated with 7/10, while Gelfand will advance with 6.5/10. Fair or not?

The most extreme case was Topalov last year. Kasimdzhanov won only rapids, Topalov had something like 9.5/10 in classical. Nature of the KO beast.

Vindicates Garry and Vlad staying away - Short matches are very poor substitute for the old candidates system..........

I hope Kok gets the presidency and someone finally acts with some sense.

Oh for the days of the KvK matches (Garry, Anatoly and Viktor)

Should have included Vlad in the great KvK matches. KvS KvA FvS etc etc too

Gelfand's approach to this event is interesting. He is a very serious player, and is happiest at a genuine classical control. However, he does not like FIDE's pseudo-classical / semi-quickplay at all, and has been relying heavily on the genuine quickplay and blitz, at which he is also very good. Today's game looked like an aberration.

Gelfand is chronically underestimated. Why would you expect Grischuk to beat him? Their ELO ratings are identical. I guess Grischuk has shown better form overall, but there is no reason to greatly prefer his chances overall.

The way Dreev lost his game will go down as yet another "great" moment in the history of knockout chess. Sure his position wasn't great but as I reached the end I asked myself how did Malakhov win this position so quickly? Then I saw Bd6 Bf1 and I felt a bit cheated out of a game. A game with no real conclusion. It happens of course, but it should not happen so often. It's clear what the one loss and your done mentality does for chess.

I should add that Grischuk is a notorious specialist against the Najdorf, which is also Gelfand's weapon of choice as black. In this sense I still feel that Grischuk's chances to win the match are high enough even if Gelfand has a small edge.

it's interesting that Gelfand had white first in their mini-match, which i consider a pretty big advantage, given that he both has a lower rating than Grishchuk, and had a less 'clean' path through the prior rounds.

how is the order determined?

You can read all the details in section 3.5 of the regulations: http://fide.com/news/download/WC05-07Regs.pdf

I would consider having white in the second game an advantage. After all, white is more in control when it comes to "playing for a draw" vs "playing for a win" decisions.

Whoever has white in the second game, makes these decisions while already knowing the result of the first. Whoever has white in the first game, makes these decision uninformed.

Gelfand is vastly underrated. Today he annihilated Grishuk. I consider Gelfand together with Anand and Kasim the best rapid players.

Kasparov certainly doesn't underrate Gelfand. When he heard the round five pairings he considered Gelfand-Grischuk the only "heavyweight match."

if you lose the first game you are psychologically in a very bad position, regardless of what color you have. as white you have a smaller chance of losing, and therefore a reduced chance of being put into a catastrophic mind state going into the second game. although i obviously have absolutely no proof of the phenomenon.

someone flash the jeff sonas bat signal and have him do an analysis of w/d/l percentage of mini-matches vs tournaments. although even that sounds complex given the easier -> to harder opponent progression of the cups compared to the usual play all uber tournament formats.

Jeff Sonas is starting to be talked about as if he were a data slave that is at the entire chess internet's beckoning call. Jeff would you mind running.... Anyway, what is mind boggling is the combined score of everyone still in the tournament against Garry Kasparov. Based upon my calculations(this includes all kinds of games and leaves out draws) the combined score of the upper group is 35-1(Rublevsky crushed him in 2004, when Kasparov was in that famous slump). The bottom half has done much better 27-5.

I am still waiting for Gary to come up with something similar to his infamous "tourist" comment regarding this tournament. Come on Garry we all know you have something to say ...

I believe that Gelfand once was number two in the world, by ELO. A while ago, but he is still not old. I guess that top players can not underestimate him: perhaps Kasparov is the only top guy against whom Gelfand never scored a win. (Well, I am not sure, but likely so.) If Gelfand has not enough "charisma" in the fans' eyes, that is another matter. The ELO rating is more or less objective: just look at it and understand who is who. Gelfand has the ELO rating around 2700 points (a bit more or a bit less) for some 14 years already.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on December 9, 2005 9:13 AM.

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