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World Cup 2005 r6.3

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Amazing! Sure, it's rapid and blitz but the drama was stupendous today. Partially because I'm rooting for fellow Brooklynite Gata Kamsky, who seconds ago took out Vallejo Pons in the second blitz game! This guarantees him at least the 10th spot in the World Cup and a slot in next year's world championship candidates matches. Gata came back from losing the first rapid game with white. (He's had more trouble with white than with black throughout.)

Kamsky will now face Norwegian 15-year-old Magnus Carlsen, who beat Malakhov in blitz after a must-win rapid victory. It will be former prodigy versus the latest model, though it's an anti-climax because both of them are into the candidates. It's good news to keep Carlsen in the cycle as the towheaded teen means mucho PR. (Plus, he's playing at a 2700 level.) Vallejo Pons vs Malakhov still has something at stake, the 11th mystery candidates slot that should exist because Bacrot is likely already in by rating. ("mystery," "likely," "should"... must be FIDE rules.)

Speaking of rocks, Ukraine's Ruslan Ponomariov beat Grischuk with black in the first wild rapid game and comfortably held the next game to move into the final, where he will face Levon Aronian of Armenia. Nice to see the best chess rewarded, which isn't always, or even usually, the case in these KO's. Aronian beat Ponomariov in route to the world under-12 title in 1994! They played three times in 2001 with two draws and a win for Aronian. Of course Ponomariov went on to win the FIDE KO WCh later that year and shoot into the top 10. That's where Aronian is today and where Ponomariov looks ready to return. Hard to pick a favorite; I'll settle for two full games.

PS: In case you haven't been following the comments to yesterday's item, the score was correct and the diagram is of the final position. (Thanks to Gennady in Khanty-Mansiysk.) No one on site has said anything about a time loss. The final position is definitely drawn. Further notes from GMs Yermolinsky and Shipov are in yesterday's comments. I'm cringing in anticipation of Bacrot's statement about this. He may want to stay in Siberia.


Congratulations to Magnus Carlsen and Gata Kamsky! The Norwegian Chess Association wants to try to stage Magnus's candidate match in Norway, but I'm not sure how easy that will be, if he faces the winner of the World Cup. Ponomariov/Aronian probably don't want to give Carlsen any advantages, and as WC-winner Ponomariov/Aronian will be in a position where he can easily find a more neutral venue i suppose...

The official website also acted somewhat mysterious today, as regards to the first blitz games. They just gave wrong results without relaying any games, confusing thousands of Scandinavians. I wonder if a website can be sued for posting a wrong result which eventually led to a spectator's heart attck or something? ;)

Yah, it took me a minute to figure out that they reposted the results of the first rapid games for the first blitz games. So it looked like Carlsen and Kamsky had lost the first blitz too.

Carlsen - Malakhov, the second rapid. Magnus in a must win situation. Malokhov plays his solid Slav, and is totally outplayed. Brilliant game by Magnus, pure class.

Norway have a guy in the candidates matches for the first time ever, and I am happy :)

True, but I do remember Agdestein trapping Topalov's queen in an interzonal one year.

A storm is approaching! soon,very soon the chess world will be swept away by the storm named MAGNUS CARLSEN .......

Contrary to, for example, Kasimjanov, both Pono and Aronian have reached the finals on the strength of their classical, and not rapid or blitz, play. Between the two of them they have played only six rapid games (two of Pono's matches and one of Aronian's went to the rapids) and no blitz. It's definitely been a good strategy for them: they get extra rest days, avoid losing to a surprise rapid genius, and are each getting massive elo gains (so far 17 for Ponomariov and 19 for Aronian). Should be a great final matchup.

Some nice facts:

Magnus Carlsen is the youngest player ever (!) to enter the candidate matches. Both Fischer and Kasparov were older when they did something similar... :)

/cheer Magnus the Great

Also, Pono and Aronian are the only two players in the tournament who performed on a 2800+ level, and the only two who scored 75% or more in classical chess. Neither have lost a single game at any time control. Could not imagine a pair of better-deserving finalists.

I guess Ponomariov is the real thing. To make it twice through a grueling knockout cycle -- and convincingly at that -- is no fluke.

As for Carlsen's, not only will his youth guarantee PR, but so will the fact that he's from Western Europe. Not many would be interested in a child prodigy from Bangladesh.

Party like it's 1999 again... Well, actually like 1989, that's when the first infamous Kusadasi tournament took place. For those who forgot, in that megatournament with the first prize about $15,000,players didn't receive their prizes. And now we have the second edition of Kusadasi advertised on the chessbase web site!
Sorry for the off topic post, but I didn't find a suitable place for it. Any thoughts Mig?

Email is always a suitable place. Don't recall that at all myself. Feel free to send some info or recollections.

Gata is my hero!
I'm also very happy for Magnus. Now if only Pono could beat Aronian....

Congrats to Kamsky on the big comeback! He is very impressive and playing on guts and talent, what will he be able to accomplish next year as his openings are updated and refined? I think he may be on his way back into the top ten!

(just to have some fun)

Bacrot resigned in a draw position?

Well, things could always be worse.


Yah, if Gata can get out of the opening with white against the Sicilian, watch out! After the troubles with Smirin I was close to hoping he'd play 1.e4 c5 2.Qh5.

Magnus Carlsen is the youngest player ever (!) to enter the candidate matches. Both Fischer and Kasparov were older when they did something similar... :)

It's been a while since there was a Candidate's cycle that was comprised of 16 Candidates. Fischer was one of only 8 Candidates in the Quadruple Round Robin 1959 Tournament.

Carlson's feat is quite impressive, but not quite AS impressive. Typically, FIDE has managed to water down most of the benchmarks of success.

While Magnus has been playing at a 2700 level, it is unclear how long it will take him to attain a 2700 rating. The good news for him is that he will have a couple of cycles to season his play. By the time that he reaches his Early 20s, he could well by vying for a championship title.

Ooops. Gotta remember to spell Magnus' surname with an "e". Carlsen, Carlsen, Carlsen....

The Lautier--Sakaev match for 15th Place ought to be quite a battle. If they play a couple of desultory draws, they'll have to come back the next day for the tie-breaks. Under the circumstances, Sakaev is a slight favorite.

The Carlsen--Kamsky match will be interesting, since Carlsen has nothing to lose, and Gata has something to prove. Kamsky should win this; he'll refute a Carlsen tactic or two...

Vallejo should be able to prevail over Malakhov, who is apt to be disheartened at losing to Magnus.

My other picks:

Gelfand over Bareev
Gurevich over Rublevsky
van Wely over Dreev
Grischuk over Bacrot


Aronian over Ponomariov

You might put it this way: World Championship-wise, Magnus Carlsen is in the top-20 right now, while Bobby Fischer in 1959 was in the top-9. In the (unlikely) event that Carlsen wins his two Candidates matches, he'll slightly out-perform the young Fischer, then being in the top-8. But in that case, he would then be a few months older than Fischer...

That said, I think the elite is broader these days than it were i 1959 - meaning, the gap between No. 1 and No. 20 is no larger today than the gap between No.'s 1 and 9 was back then. If you look at the tournament table for the 1959 Candidates Tournament, there's a long way from the winner Tal with 20 points out of 28, to Benko at the bottom with 8 points (Fischer, by the way, was shared 5th with 12.5).

Well done to Carlsen, but really, with these rapid playoffs there's a lot of luck involved. I think Karjakin is even stronger, but he got eliminated in a rapid playoff.

If you win one rapid playoff or two rapid playoffs you can say it is random but if you win n rapid playoffs and avoid losing the normal games and even win some normal matches I think it is indicative at least of his level at this tournament if not for the future.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on December 14, 2005 8:12 AM.

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