Friday, August 23, 2013

The last Eight!!

If I had any notion that I was an expert at predicting results of world cup chess 2013 and my logical deduction would enable me to come to the right conclusion, I was greatly mistaken! As out of 8 games only 3 of my predictions turned out to be right!! But what an exciting round and what a round filled with upsets!!

This battle was an absolute Marathon. After 2 draws in normal time control and rapid play, the match went into Raplitz (a term i have coined for 10 mins+10 sec increment game which has features of both rapid and blitz) where Morozevich struck the first blood. It all seemed too bleak for Tomashevsky who had the black pieces and had to compulsorily beat morozevich. After the opening and a lot of exchanges the position below was reached. The game seemed to extremely drawish.

Tomashevsky was black. 
It requires nerves of steel and huge self confidence to win such a position is such a pressure filled game!
After going from here to there, for so many moves, Toma was able to trick the Moroz! And finally after a 169 move marathon Tomashevsky was able to breathe easy! He had survived it.
Sheer willpower was required to convert that drawish position into a win in a whooping 169 moves!!

So after 6 rounds it was all level at 3-3. The match went into blitz format. It really seemed like a boxing match going all the distance where more than the skill, it was question of stamina and who wants it more!

The first game was won by Tomashevsky. Morozevich must have been completely dejected. After having the lead at one point, he was now faced with a situation where he had to compulsorily win as black to stay in the match. But Morozevich was not upto the task as Tomashevsky was all over him right from the opening. Finally in a completely winning position Tomashevsky agreed to a draw.
The above position with Tomashevsky as white was agreed to a draw. As even a beginner can see that its mate in 1 after Kf5 e4#. The draw offer was a respectful gesture by Tomashevsky who gave his due to the great Morozevich for such a nerve wracking battle! The players battled like real enemies on the board but the final gesture showed that the players after all respected each other more than the result!

Anton Korobov vs Nakamura(1.5-0.5)
Everything was In Nakamuras favour. He was the srronger player and Korobov hasnt really played much recently. But the Ukranian powerhouse Anton Korobov drew with ease In the first game with black and completely decimated Naka with white to go into last 8.
Here above you can see how black stretched it too much by playing a poor stonewall and Korobov as white did not let it go unpunished. The USA no.1 was sent home packing before he could show his rapid or blitz skills!!

Kamsky vs Mamedyarov.(1.5-0.5)
Kamsky found a new respect in the heart of every chess player. The sheer grit with which he destroyed Mamedyarov was just heroic.
 First he made short work of the azerbaijani with the white pieces when he simply stripped the black king naked. In the above position after Rh5 no new clothes were forthcoming for black king & Mamedyarov called it a day!

Mamedyarov then went to the 2nd game with all the energy he had. He even wrote after the game on fb that I gave everything I had.he almost succeeded. 
as u can see above Mamedyarov as white was a rook up but Kamsky even in his forties showed masterful agility with the move Qh4!! . and all the rook power could not help white from losing his Rook. It was an unbelievable defensive effort by Kamsky!!

Caruana-Granda Zuniga (2-0)
I was sure that caruana would not prove me wrong. He beat Granda Zuniga ruthlessly. The below position shows how Caruana didnt just beat his opponent over the board but was mentally all over him!
 Granda was black & had just played f7-f5. Caruana surprised him with ef6! As now qe2 be2 re2 would lose to rd8 kd8 f7! Of course after ef6 white is clearly better but to resign the game just showed that mentally Granda had given up!

Ivanchuk-Kramnik (0.5-1.5)
Kramnik took full revenge against ivanchuk for his last round loss against him in candidates tournament. 
In the above position Ivanchuk as white playeda huge blunder with Qe4-b4. The position was just equal but as soon as white queen left the diagonal black queen jumped with Qc6 and after kf2 the rook was activated with Rb5! And the black army surrounded the white king from all sides.
From dead drawn position Ivanchuk lost in just 4 moves! A sweet revenge for Kramnik . And one can only say how right the saying is "what goes around comes around" as now ivanchuk tried to win as black just like kramnik had to do a few months ago in candidates. No chance given & draw was achieved!!
Svidler-Le Quang (2.5-1.5)
After 2 normal time control draws and first rapid game draw, both the players looked well matched. In the last rapid game the below position was reached.

35 moves were over and the game looks like a draw. The could have just agreed to a draw but svidler played not for 10 not for 50 but a full 100 moves. And finally.....
After 135 moves he mated the black king with the notorius bishop & knight combo!!
Another case for us to learn that hardwork & perseverance is always rewarded!!
The two pre tournament favourites Boris Gelfand and Sergey Karjakin were eliminated by the two youngsters Maxime Vachier Lagrave and Dmity Andreikin respectively. Maxime Vachier played the rapids so accurately  that even the computers would get a complex !! And Andreikin what di I say about him. He just looks rock solid!!

 Round 5 starts today: 
The pairings are as follows

3.Caruana-Maxime Vachiere Lagraeve

As you can see I have no confidence now to make any predictions after my round 4 fiasco but I am sure about one thing is certain We will have some awesome games & Kramnik will thrash Korobov!! There I go!! I just cant not predict!! :) 

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