Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Sweet 16 in Khanty-Mansiysk

| Permalink | 91 comments

Round three of the 07 World Cup is over we're down from 128 to 16 players for the start of round four. We arrive after leaving behind several prominent names in the third round. Top seed Vassily Ivanchuk was bounced in rapids by Romania's Nisipeanu. It was something of a flashback for both players. Ivanchuk lost in the second round in the last World Cup. Nisipeanu first came to prominence by his surprising run to the semifinals of the 1999 KO in Las Vegas. He showed considerable pluck here after losing the first rapid game to Ivanchuk. It looked like the Ukrainian was doing fine with black in a Najdorf, following the old saw "the best way to play for a draw is to play for a win." Nisipeanu marshaled for a sacrificial attack and it paid off with 26.Nxf7! Ivanchuk miscalculated immediately with 28..d5, which cost the exchange. (Black could still have defended with 29..Ne8, obviously not the plan after ..d5.) 33.Qg1 would have ended the game immediately but it didn't last long. Ivanchuk, whose nerves should be insured like Betty Grable's legs, responded with a horrific loss in the first blitz game, trapping his own queen. Ivanchuk got a pawn in the second game but couldn't make it happen in the endgame.

Sasikiran also needed blitz to eliminate Macieja in very one-sided fashion after two relatively uneventful rapid games. Karjakin eliminated Bacrot in an exciting set of rapid games. Bacrot had a good chance to play for a win with 26.Rb1 in the first after Karjakin had sacrificed a piece. Instead Karjakin finished off his open king. Bacrot had to win with black in the second game and as so often happens, that desperation led instead to a quick loss. The wily Aronian gave up his queen for two minor pieces in the ever-popular Anti-Moscow Semi-Slav against Inarkiev. Such positions are notoriously difficult to play with the queen in speed play. White is obliged to play for a win and to open lines while the queen gets pushed around. Aronian added some passed pawns on the queenside and Inarkiev blundered with 38..f5?? To win Aronian had to find the cute 44..Rh1+!, otherwise White scams a perpetual. The highest remaining seed didn't leave Inarkiev's King's Indian any chances in the second game.

Svidler outplayed Rublevsky in their decisive second rapid game to take the round's first of two all-Russia match-ups. It's interesting that after watching the world elite (minus Topalov) basically ditch the Sicilian for a year we're seeing it a lot here in KO games. After three completed rounds we have almost as many 1..c5 as 1..e5 against 1.e4. Making things easy for white to play comfortably for two results in tense situations can't make sense. The other election day home match-up was Grischuk-Bareev, the new versus the old Russian guard. Bareev occasionally reminds us that he was a top 10 fixture for a decade and he reminded Grischuk in rapids on Sunday. The only 40-year-old left in the field managed to hold an inferior B vs N endgame by a miracle in their first game. Amazingly, 38.Kh6 playing the king to g7 and then the knight to c5 doesn't win. I think. The second game was also an endgame, rooks this time, and Bareev won it convincingly. Grischuk should have tried 45..Rc3+ to gain a few tempi for his pawns to advance before having to give up the rook. In pawns versus rook a few squares up the board are usually worth more than having a third pawn.

The other matches didn't require tiebreaks. All five players who won on the first day made it through unscathed: Adams, Kamsky, Cheparinov, Jakovenko, and Wang Yue. Others picked up the crucial win on the second day, including Carlsen rolling over Dominguez and Shirov's spectacular knockout of Alexander Onischuk. The American held on in a very sharp position as Shirov lunged for his king. But after 23..Qg7 it's already very hard to find a defense for white. Shirov finished in Shirovian style with 28..Bxg2! Wonderful stuff. Alekseev stomped Fressinet. Ponomariov beat Tomashevsky with the pretty 32.Rc8! in their second game. Malakhov played a freakishly passive game out of the Accelerated Dragon and was easily beaten by Akopian. Don't feel too bad for the losers, who go home with $16,000 for their troubles.

Round 4 pairings:

Karjakin, UKR 2694 - Nisipeanu, ROM 2668
Bareev, RUS 2653 - Alekseev, RUS 2716
Jakovenko, RUS 2710 - Aronian, ARM 2741
Shirov, ESP 2739 - Akopian, ARM 2713
Ponomariov, UKR 2705 - Sasikiran, IND 2661
Kamsky, USA 2714 - Svidler, RUS 2732
Adams, ENG 2729 - Carlsen, NOR 2714
Wang Yue, CHN 2703 - Cheparinov, BUL 2670

Note that these are in order by pairing section, so the winners of the top two matches play each other, etc.

Lots of juicy matchups starting tomorrow and no clear favorites. Interestingly, none of these pairings has much history. Mind you, many of the players are so young they don't have much history with anyone. Jakovenko has been playing well and should give Aronian all he can handle. Carlsen beat Adams in their only classical encounter, at the 2006 Olympiad. He also beat him 1.5-0.5 last week at the world blitz championship. Beating Ivanchuk didn't give Cheparinov any momentum last time; he promptly lost to Carlsen in 2005. And he lost twice to Wang Yue last July in China. I'm picking him anyway. Just because I enjoy publicly humiliating myself, my other predictions: Karjakin, Bareev, Aronian (toss-up), Shirov, Ponomariov, Kamsky (with the heart and not the rent money), Adams. Don't scoff, I once got one out of eight correct in KO predictions in this round, no easy task. Sorry I didn't leave you much time to post your own. Games start in around three hours. Yaawwwn. live and/or replay here, depending on your sleep schedule.


Prediction for the final 8:
Karjakin, Alekseev, Jakovenko, Shirov, Ponomariov, Svidler , Carlsen, Wang Yue

Kamsky-Svidler is a fascinating match-up - fighting spirit vs preparation/solidity. Somewhat reminiscent of the Kamsky-Gelfand encounter in the previous cycle.

Shirov-Akopian will be fun too.
Did I get it right that the winner of that pair plays the winner of Jakovenko-Aronian?

1. Karjakin, Bareev, Jakovenko, Shirov, Ponomariov, Svidler, Adams, Wan Yue and then
2. Bareev, Jakovenko, Svidler, Wan Yue,
3. have no idea – Svidler
with Svidler being the eventual winner

by the way Putin! Putin! Putin!

1. Karjakin, Bareev, Jakovenko, Shirov, Ponomariov, Svidler, Adams, Wan Yue and then
2. Bareev, Jakovenko, Svidler, Wan Yue,
3. have no idea – Svidler
with Svidler being the eventual winner

by the way Putin! Putin! Putin!

Kamsky's Breyer looks to be imploding... The Ra8-a5-c5-c3 plan looks suspect. Add to this that when Petya's good, he's really good...

Back to USSR, article in Jerusalem Post


It is a terrible shame that, 18 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Russia is not further along on the road to real democracy. If anything, it is now moving in the other direction. The temporary jailing of opposition figures, such as Garry Kasparov, the rampant changing of election rules and the suspected assassination of whistleblowers all carry the markings of a descent into a classic dictatorial mode.

It is no coincidence that the steady loss of freedom in Russia has also been accompanied by an increasingly anti-Western foreign policy....

for ovidiu: blah, blah, blah
you really believe that?

Brilliant argument Zigomar...when is your next lecture?

Mig, what's the word from Mr. K? Is there any sort of challenge that would get anywhere? How is his health after his 5 days in jail?

Just took a quick look at today's games... a couple comments:

Shirov is playing amazingly well. He's just on another level... or at least back to his form from 10 years ago. His games look like he's playing club-level players in a simul. Hopefully he wins this whole thing. He deserves another shot at the world championship.

Carlsen will be world champion in 5-6 years, or as soon as he gets stronger with black (his one clear, glaring weakness). Anybody see Carlsen-Adams? Specifically, 34.Be1!! - 35.Kg1!! - 36.Bf2! That, friends, is the play of a world champion. This game will put a smile on Mark Dvoretsky's face (and a diagram in his next book).

Kamsky held after a scary game. Tomorrow he gets white. Hope he wins.

Brilliant strategic game by Shirov. For a long time, it looked as if the position after the pawn sac was just a dead draw. Heck, all engines think that it's a dead draw. However, Shirov won very cleanly and it's not clear at all where white made a mistake.

As for Carlsen's win... Well, it's obvious that the guy is bloody strong, however all these double exclamation marks are way off target. The endgame with white having two bishops in a wide open position and no strong squares for the knights is close to hopeless for horses. I'm sure somebody around 2300-2400 could have converted it. The real feat in this game was holding onto that extra pawn and taming black's activity with all white pieces undeveloped.

If both Shirov and Aronian go to the next round, there will be an exciting revenge match from the last world championship circle.

Exciting revenge match for Shirov? I seriously doubt that. Shirov's style and sacrifices might be good for most of the players on this planet but when he plays guys like Anand, Aronian or (post-2005)Topalov or Leko. He fails most often against these players because they always calculate better and can find their way out of the complications created by Shirov!


"The endgame with white having two bishops in a wide open position and no strong squares for the knights is close to hopeless for horses. I'm sure somebody around 2300-2400 could have converted it."

That's the point?! Carlsen got that position against one of the strongest players in the world. It's rather like when Spielmann stated that he too could find the winning moves in positions that Alekhine was so great at. It was getting those position that was the difficult part.

I think we are already starting to take Carlsen for granted because he's already been around for a while. But he's only 16 and it's just starting.


I'm with you on this one.

"But he's only 16 and it's just starting."

17 as of this week. Hell, he's almost ready for a cane.

osbender, i don't know what your playing strentgh is (though hopefully it's higher than the character's that you took your handle from), but as "somebody around 2300-2400", i can tell you that those slightly better endgames are not at all easy to convert. back when i was playing a lot, i had many better ones that i couldn't win and just as many worse ones that i held, including against gms. in carlsen-adams, if white doesn't find the Be1-Bf2 plan, targeting black's only real weakness, it's not clear how he can make progress. sure, that plan looks obvious now, _after_ carlsen played it, but it's not easy or intuitive to find. the reason it looked easy to convert is because carlsen made it look easy. against a 2700, no less.

It never amazes me to see all these "super-gms" hiding behind names like osbender.

If you are so good, why not reveal who you are?

We're all super-gms when we hide behind our Rybkas and Fritzes, with no time-trouble and no psychological worries what so ever.

Did you know that Magnus was down to 2 seconds on one of the moves on his clock today? And around 10 seconds of several of them.

Point is, give credit where credit is due. Don't try to nullify his opponent (Adams in this case). Adams knew perfectly what he was doing, but he was simply overpowered today.

Wow did Saskirian get punked what a total crush by Pono. Take that you Saskirian but kissers

Magnus' Dad:

"Being down to 2 seconds on the clock on one occasion and below 10 seconds several times Magnus sure kept the spectators nervous, but he managed to find the right moves and make progress."

I don't know about "simply overpowered" - Adams was in time trouble too - good chess game though.

Babson, how do you know that Magnus' dad is hiding behind the nick "Martin"?? He usually uses "Henrik" (since that IS his name) and this does not look anything like how he normally addresses other people. But hey, I'm probably Magnus' dad too...

Sorry, I misinterpreted your comments Babson. Your right about "simply overpowered". As Henrik said on his blog:

"A great fight and seemingly another great game by Magnus, although he is not really sure about the quality of his play as he sometimes felt he was missing things."

Magnus' game today is a triumph for pawn grabbers all over the world! Hope to see him and Shirov meet in the final - and I think that's the most probable final, too.

i teach tuesdays and thursdays 9-12, but this semesters is all art history. comparative politics and contemp(t)orary art for next semester should be wednesdays and fridays; you are more then welcomed to come on over, i always have guests during my lectures

Tomas: He doesn't, that quote is from Henrik's blog, so clearly, Henrik wrote it.

A quick question. I understand that "The winner of the World Cup receives the right to challenge the former world champion Veselin Topalov in a match." (Chessbase). What happens to the other 127 people? Nada?

In Carlsen-Adams, couldn't black just play 48...Nfe7 and hold on to d5 for dear life? Or maybe even 49...Nfe3 after g4?

Yep, "nada" is the correct answer...

Hey John Darius, wait and watch what is going to happen to Pono this 2nd game.


the point I was trying to make is that the endgame was not "slightly better", but rather "close to won". Of course all the credit is to Carlsen for getting that advantage in the first place (and converting it too). I don't get why fans feel the need to defend Magnus' play, since nobody attacks it (at least I certainly don't).

why oh why does Adams keep playing this miserable Nimzo line?? No chance of a win for Black, and suffer for 2000 moves in the hope of a draw. Until Mickey starts working more seriously on his openings, he aint gonna become top 3, although the talent is surely there.. Come on Spidey, show your stuff in G2!!!!!!

Is Mig disappeared in a siberian gulag? 18 hrs after the end of rounde 4, no news from Mig.
Well, Putin knows very well that Mig is a Kaspy backup. The menu in the Gulag is cabbage soup.

Sasi should level scores with Pono any minute now..

oops....spoke too soon...Fritz was showing a huge plus all the while..he's headed for the treashcan...

Hi Mig,

When will the next Russian election be?
Will Kasparov ever get a chance to win a seat??



btw, has anyone calculated Magnus' rating assuming he draws today??

So far, Carlsen is set to gain about 12 rating points. His current rating is listed as 2714, although it may be a few points higher than that based on his results from other events.


World Cup Rating Statistics Rc Kval Rchg Score Games Rp
R1G1 vs Zhao, Zong-Yuan (AUS) 2491 10 +2,2 1 1
R1G2 vs Zhao, Zong-Yuan (AUS) 2491 10 +2,2 1 1
R2G1 v Naiditsch, Arkadij (GER)2639 10 -1 0,5 1
R2G2 v Naiditsch, Arkadij (GER)2639 10 -1 0,5 1
R3G1 vs Dominguez Perez, Lenier (CUB) 2683 10 -0,4 0,5 1
R3G2 vs Dominguez Perez, Lenier (CUB) 2683 10 +4,6 1 1
R4G1 vs Adams, Michael (ENG) 2729 10 +5,2 1 1

Summary 2622 10 +11,8 5,5 7 2852

Unofficial live rating calculation of players above 2700:


At chessgames.com frogbert is keeping a live rating top list. Major gainers now are Cheparinov, Svidler and Karjakin. The teenagers Carlsen and Karjakin are soon both entering top 10. I really wonder how the top 10 list will look like in a couple of years?!?



A draw by Carlsen and a win by Karjakin today! If this list is correct then it's pretty tight for the first spot in juniors top20. Even more so after todays win by Karjakin (+4.6points) and Carlsen draw (+0.2points).

Tomas, that's ok.

Although I must admit when I first read your comment I thought "Martin? What does Mart....oh, I see".

Magnus did the job again today - having your own weapons turned against you. Vale, MA - at least for now.

Karjakin got Ivanchuk's revenge in the same variation of Sicilian.

It was an emotional game from this point of view.
Kudos to the young Ukrainian knight.

"Sasi should level scores with Pono any minute now.."

Posted by: Anand Nair at December 4, 2007 09:59

Still waiting!

Ponomariov must have had a good feeling about the chances for drawing that pawn ending, given that he wasn't forced to trade off the Rook and Knight.

Sasikirin had a microscopic edge, but there was no opportunity to leverage it into anything larger, and Pono didn't fall for any tricks.

Pretty instructive technique, actually.

Sasikiran had yet to win a "Classic" time control game in the event. Indeed, he had drawn all 6 of his Rapid Chess games.

But if the match had gone to Blitz Tie-Breaks, his chances might have been good: He had scored +5=1, for 5.5/6

He had come within a point of Qualifying for the finals of the Blitz World Championship.

Wang Yue also go eliminated, so it was not a good day for the Asian representatives.

Cheparinov had a beautiful attacking King's Indian game, with a cute Underpromotion to a Knight. when will he crack 2700?

Nisipeanu had White, but lost feebly to Karjakin. I suppose that his "role" in the World Cup--Eliminating Ivanchuk--had been fulfilled.

Bareev (2653), as the 41st Seed, is the major remaining "Dark Horse" left in the field. As he demonstrated against Polgar, his experience makes him a tough opponent. His chances in the Tie-Breaks against Alekseev (a "soft" 2716) may not be worse. If Bareev prevails against Alekseev, then he'll play Karjakin in the "Elite Eight".

Cheparinov will face Carlsen on Thursday.

Adams is out :-((((((( Man, what a bummer

>Adams is out :-((((((( Man, what a bummer

Should have been expected. No surprise here since chess is a game of skill-- hard knowledge and understanding-- and Carlsen has more years of serious playing and studying chess in depth than Adams of living.

Ovidiu manages to combine inanity, ignorance, chauvinism and pomposity very easily in one sentence.. no mean achievement.

Another excellent game by Shirov. I wonder why we haven´t mentioned a lot about him, given his recent form. According to the above link, his rating would be in the 2750+'s (his highest ranking ever, I recall a 2746 sometime ago?) and apparently his fire is back. I would like to see him motivated to fight against the big dogs again and having a great performance in this tournament.

Where is Mig?
First game of the 4 th round accomplished.
Second game of the 4 th round accomplished.
No news.
Where is the Sanity in Field?
Save private Mig....

Shirov is kicking ass which is great, as he is such an exciting and multidimensional player. Btw, that makes that Kramnik's endgame win in Tal' memorial all the more impressive. Anyway Shirov-Aronian II is on the cards, and IMO this time Shirov is a slight favorite.

Carlsen's final tactic vs. Adams was very pretty. I'm sure even Adams must have been slightly impressed.


>Carlsen's final tactic vs. Adams was very pretty. I'm sure even Adams must have been slightly impressed.>

More likely he was despondent and disgusted with his own inability to win, with the futility of his efforts..that B:c5-shot was "in the air" since c5 was played and certainly both of them were checking the possibility each move..
but even so Adams missed the Qd5/Rb4/c5+ and
Q:a8 trick ..adding insult to injury.
Bad day for Adams.

Hate to see Mickey go, but if he had to lose to anyone, I guess it's somehow good that it was young hero Magnus.

Shirov has played very well in the last two rounds, but in fact he is being unpredictable as usual (completely lost position in Round 2 vs. Shulman), so I wouldn't count him among the favourites yet.


The children don't appreciate irony.

Shirov is the only player left who has managed to avoid tie breaks. That is certainly impressive. He is his own worst enemy in this cup - if he can keep from self-destructing he is perhaps favorite to win.

Ponomariov is looking more and more ruthless as well. He has won before and can do it again.

Carlsen cannot be completely discounted. He definitely has good odds against Cheparinov.

>>Hate to see Mickey go, but if he had to lose to anyone, I guess it's somehow good that it was young hero Magnus.

I agree.

I'm rooting for Karjakin, Shirov, Kamsky and Carlsen. And for the final Shirov vs Carlsen

Ovidiu is an interesting case of psychoanalysis.
Apparently he tries his best to write the most challenging and sometimes clearly off-topic and (on purpose) illogical comments to provoke others to offend him.
There are two variations:

1) He is a seriously ill masochistic patient
2) He is a psychology, psychiatry or social science student working on his paper and doing a research.

Anyway, it's fun to have him around. He is pretty amusing.
Good luck man, don't give up.

Yes, he is proof of aliens among us. And all the experts said that Neptune was too cold to support a life form? We have much to learn.

Carlsen's final tactic vs. Adams was very pretty. I'm sure even Adams must have been slightly impressed.

-- Laj

That ... Bxc5+!! by Carlsen, forcing a draw, was an -AWESOME- move. Future World Champion indeed.

>ovidiu, The children don't appreciate irony. >

They can't yet. At this age they take themselves really serious while playing a game.
Typical childish stuff.

I bet ...Bxc5+ came as a shock and happened under a severe time pressure. It's a killer move and its psychological effect is devastating.

Adams fought very well and it was an honorable farewell for him.

B:c5-shot was "in the air" since c5 was played and certainly both of them were checking the possibility each move..
but even so Adams missed the Qd5/Rb4/c5+ and
Q:a8 trick ..adding insult to injury.
Bad day for Adams.

-- Posted by: Ovidiu at December 4, 2007 12:55

Yes, that is probably -exactly- what Adams missed.

He did not see that after ... Bxc5+!! Kxc5 Qd5+ he cannot play Kc5-b4??. Why? The move ... Qd5+ lined up the Black queen with the UNDEFENDED White a8-queen along the a8-d5 diagonal with GAIN OF TIME (TEMPO), so that now Kc5-b4?? is met by c6-c5+! DISCOVERED ATTACK on the White a8-queen WITH CHECK, followed by ... Qd5xQa8.

Thanks for the lesson, gmn

wait, what's this DISCOVERED ATTACK of which you speak?

The subtlety of Carlsen's combo lay not so much in the discovered attack after Qd5 Kb4 c5, but in seeing the perp after Qd5 Kb6, when the obvious Qb5 is not good: Ka7 Qa5 Kb8 Qd8 Kb7 and white wins. Carlsen had to see that after Qd5 Kb6 Qb3! Ka7 Qa3! Kb8 Qf8 Kb7 Qb4 makes the draw.

Hope I got that right.

gmnotyet, please stop giving "!!" marks to Carlsten moves.
Its not enought spamming chessgames.com with all your garbage everyday?

I buy that Qb3, Qa3 being hard as much as the big shot with c5. All in all, a nice, but totally expected from someone with as great a vision as M. Carlsen. I'd give another GM > 60% of spotting it from the defensive point of view (you are really looking for these kinds of outs), and myself 10-20% chance of spotting it. Congrats on the upset, though, to Carlsen.

11 out of Sweet 16 represent "Soviet chess school" - from Russia (5), Armenia (2), Ukraine (2), Spain (1 - Shirov), USA (1 - Kamsky). It's already clear that there will be 6 in Sweet 8. And surprisingly it's even already clear that there are going to be 3 in Sweet 4.

Yes, there will be AT LEAST three from the Soviet school in the final four. But it looks like it won't be long before the Chinese school is up there too. And with all the work that Kamsky/Onischuk/Shulman/Shabalov/Karpov/Kasparov/Polgar etc. are doing in U.S. chess, we will also be able to say the "American school" when the names sound less eastern European and more like Nakamura/Caruana/Robson/Hess/Lee.

My prediction is that the chessplayer who will meet Topalov is Chepartinov.

"Sweet 16" is a technical term for the final 16 teams in a huge, single elimination US college basketball tournament. The winners of the octafinals are the "elite 8" (or sometimes, "great 8"), and then it is the "final 4."

Well done for Carlsen for hanging on in a tough position - and also to Adams for almost pulling off a win from a middle-game that was equal at best. It looks like 65 Ka5 was a clear win.

I agree with some others in not thinking Bxc5+ was an "awesome" move. It was nice, but Adams was playing for zugzwang so there weren't exactly many other moves for Carlsen to consider at that point! It's a move that would at least occur to most patzers - obviously it helps to be a GM to see that it works, but I think most would find it. Actually I'd bet Adams saw it in advance, but too late to change track.

Anywyay, here's hoping Carlsen can go on and defeat Team Danailov ;)

>we will also be able to say the "American school" when the names sound less eastern European and more like Nakamura/Caruana/Robson/Hess/Lee.>\

The Americans are too independently minded and individualistic to be schooled (collectively- mass produced) as in the case of Soviets(Russians). It just doesn't work with them.

But it can be said that they do have their own old tradition of "self made man" and it
has produced types as Morphy, Phillsbury and Fischer.

To which school, if any does Carlsen belong?

Carlsen belongs to the NTG school :)

Carlsen is mostly self-made. He has said on various occasions that he has taught himself mostly from books and studying games by himself. Very much in the American tradition. If your country doesn't have a rich chess tradition I guess that is the only alternative. Compared with the eastern European countries where both ways are possible.

3 shocks- Jakovenko, Alexeev and Kamsky through. Topalov must be rubbing his hands with glee as the big names fall away... Shirov is now the rating favourite...

What is so shocking about Jakovenko and Kamsky winning their matches? These are not unaccomplished GMs, afterall! BTW, I had Shirov winning this event even when Ivanchuk was still in, so my pick is looking pretty good.



I guess that the three losers had impressed me with their play up until now.

For the final 4 I'd say Karjakin, Carlsen, Kamsky (this one will go to the wire as he and Pono have probably more mental toughness than anyone left) and Shirov.

Rapids are over:

Kamsky beat Svidler 1.5-0.5
Jakovenko beat Aronian 1.5-0.5
Alekseev beat Bareev 2-0

* * *

Round five (Thursday):

Karjakin - Alekseev
Jakovenko - Shirov
Ponomariov - Kamsky
Carlsen - Cheparinov

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessuser?uname=frogbert : live top list after wcc round 4, game 2 (2007-12-04):

01 Anand 2799,3 -1,7 (1) 3 1969
02 Kramnik 2798,8 +13,8 (1) 9 1975
03 Topalov 2779,5 +10,5 (2) 14 1975
04 Morozevich 2765,3 +10,3 (2) 12 1977
05 Svidler 2763,3 +31,3 (3) 19 1976
06 Mamedyarov 2759,7 +7,7 (5) 35 1985
07 Leko 2753,0 -2 (1) 9 1979
08 Shirov 2752,9 +13,9 (5) 39 1972
09 Ivanchuk 2746,8 -40,2 (5) 25 1969
10 Aronian 2738,6 -2,4 (2) 16 1982
11 Gelfand 2736,6 +0,6 (1) 9 1968
12 Radjabov 2735,0 -7 (3) 20 1987
13 Carlsen 2734,6 +20,6 (4) 33 1990
14 Karjakin 2730,2 +36,2 (4) 32 1990
15 Jakovenko 2729,6 +19,6 (5) 31 1983
16 Adams 2725,8 -3,2 (5) 31 1971
17 Ponomariov 2724,2 +19,2 (5) 38 1983
18 Cheparinov 2717,0 +47 (5) 34 1986
19 Grischuk 2711,3 -3,7 (4) 21 1983
20 Alekseev 2711,1 -4,9 (5) 33 1985
21 Kamsky 2710,1 -3,9 (3) 24 1974
22 Polgar 2706,8 -1,2 (1) 10 1976
23 Wang 2702,3 -0,7 (2) 14 1987
24 Bacrot 2700,4 +5,4 (4) 23 1983
25 Akopian 2699,8 -13,2 (4) 30 1971

- explanation of columns -
1 position
2 name
3 current live rating
4 current change
5 (tournaments played)
6 games played
7 year of birth

And what about the bulgarian Rybka + Signals school?
This one is capable of get up your rating by the largest amount, and now it have another member.

So, in the last couple of rounds, the field of favorites has been gutted.

No we know: Now that Bareev has been eliminated, there won't be any true Dark Horse (of a player seeded outside the Top 40) Bareev game it a good run, and one might have thought that Alekseev might have been vulnerable. But Alekseev has really settled down after his first round loss to Anuar Ismagambetov (KAZ) 2480.

Mig's prediction that a Chinese player will advance farther than the Sweet Sixteen won't come to pass. Cheparinov took care of Wang Yue--with style. Probably wise to sttle things before the Tie-Breaks, as Wang probably would have been increasingly formidable.

Cheparinov confounded convention by playing a passive opening with White, and attacking with a fighting KID as Black. Well, who can quarrel with success. Now, as the lowest remaining seed (at #31, with a 2670 rating) he takes up the mantle of "Dark Horse". From his play and his recent results, it is clear that he is substantially underrated. Indeed, the "Live List" above has him rated 2717, now ranked 18th--in the World.

Out of the Top 8 seeds who started the World Cup, only 2 remain: #5 Shirov (2739), and ....#8 Alekseev (2716). This augers well for Topalov's chances, when he faces the winner of the World Cup.

It may be that Carlson would be the most difficult opponent for Topalov, among the survivors. Kamsky is a tough fighter, but no more so that Topalov. Gata's Candidate's match vs. Gelfand exposed some weaknesses which Topalov can exploit. To even have a chance, Kaksky would have to commit to some serious training, and rebuild a sharp opening repetoire.

If Shirov can play a solid game, and is in good form, he can certainly beat Topalov. He is a better tactician, I think. It would be an exciting match, though

For the QuarterFinal mathes, I'll pick:

Karjakin over Alekseev

I think Karjakin is ready to make a push for the Top 10

Shirov over Jakovenko

Shirov is simply the superior player right now. It's hard to bet against form

Kamsky over Ponomariov

Probably the dullest match-up, since Pono's openings are nearly as insipid as Kamsky's. Both are grinders, but Kamsky is the better tactician if the position in a game gets unclear. He's also the better Blitz player, if it comes down to tie-breaks

Carlsen over Cheparinov

Carlsen is just stronger now, with better opening prep. He won't crack under pressure, either.

Magnus could win this...Shirov is tough but Magnus went toe to toe with Levon, and just knocked off Mickey, so he shouldn't be too intimidated.

Based on the rating list a couple of poosts above this one, I find it amazing that Morozevich's rating won't go down (it's actually pretty steady!) in spite of his uneven performances. I'm glad for him. Win or lose, the guy brings passion back to chess - a rarity these days!. The same can't be said of Svidler's pathetic "mastery" of the GM-draw. Svidler should be paid on a per-win basis. That would make the fat bastardovsky quickly develop a much-needed set of cojones...

Ovidiu: "The Americans are too independently minded and individualistic to be schooled (collectively- mass produced)"

You might be right about that. E.g., Susan Polgar says Nakamura has the raw talent to be among the very top players, but he is largely uncoachable and is not likely to go much higher without more help. Fischer was a go-it-alone type. Caruana learned his chess in the U.S. but has now left. If he accepts high-level teaching in Italy, we won't be able to say he's from the American school of go-it-alone!

Ovidiu: "The Americans are too independently minded and individualistic to be schooled (collectively- mass produced)"
You might be right about that. E.g., Susan Polgar says Nakamura has the raw talent to be among the very top players, but he is largely uncoachable and is not likely to go much higher without more help....

Well now, just as Fischer, he may go if he resolves to take the costs and do it.
At this moment he seems undecided, a bit disconcerted (just as was Fischer in the early-mid 60s) by the realization that the "resistance" on the way higher is tougher than he once thought.
He must double his efforts or give up to "Top10" dreams.

" Ovidiu: "The Americans are too independently minded and individualistic to be schooled (collectively- mass produced)" "

Oh, yes, the Americans are indeed very special ;)
Salt of the Earth.

Yet, they are not "too independently minded and individualistic to be schooled" in basket, football or baseball...

Sad attempt to explain the lack of chess culture in the US. Makes you feel good about yourself if you are American and bad in chess.

"Carlsen is mostly self-made. He has said on various occasions that he has taught himself mostly from books and studying games by himself."

He can say anything he likes. But its also published that he has two more or less full time GM coaches, and 'attends' a sports school where his obligation is chess.

His opening preparation is not indicative of a person working alone.

I cannot say that I have heard him say on various occasions that he was self-taught. In his early years he was, maybe. But nowadays he collaborates with a lot of strong players and is quick to give them credit. It is no secret that GM Kjetil Lie is his second in this tournament and he makes a tremendous effort according to Magnus' dad.

Twitter Updates

    Follow me on Twitter



    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on December 2, 2007 10:39 PM.

    World Cup 07 R3 was the previous entry in this blog.

    Kamsky Into Final 8 is the next entry in this blog.

    Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.