Monday, September 14, 2015

Chess World Cup Baku 2015 - Round 2 Pairings Commentaries

The Land of Fallen Champions

Of all the excitement in K.O. event such as Chess World Cup, we like to see who survive and who doesn't. This year World Cup in Baku is quite extravaganza in term of "fallen heroes". The upsets are in the most fantastic. Three ex chess World Cup Champion are just eliminated in round 1. The first is GM Gata Kamsky from USA. Though his loses is quite "acceptable",  his opponent GM Hrant Melkumyan is indeed very strong Armenian grandmaster and active player. While Gata himself admit lack of update in chess theory. Gata is chess World Cup champion in 2007.

The second and third ex-champion to knocked out are Rustam Kasimdzhanov, 2004 FIDE World Champion and Boris Gelfand , 2009 World Cup holder. Kasimdzhanov failed to young talent from Canada, Anton "I have booked my flight tomorrow" Kovalyov. Boris Gelfand tragedy is even more spectacular, slayed by Chilean Christobal Henriquez Villagra, who born in 1996. Chess fans begin to research is Boris Gelfand quit the highest upset in entire World Cup history. Their elo rating gap is 2741 versus 2511. In the fans live chat some one commented that Christobal himself rarely played against 2600.

Thus the Baku 2015 Chess World Cup move to 2nd round, with 32 fresh pairings. Here the commentaries on them:

Veselin Topalov vs Sergei Zhigalko
The highest seed, Veselin Topalov got his opponent upgraded from the last seed to  #65 seed, Sergei Zhigalko. That is a half way upgrade to please Veselin. With 2654 elo rating Sergei is Belarus champion. Not an opponent to underestimate.

Wang Hao vs Lu Shanglei 
As a gift to Lu-xiongdi (brother Lu) in defeating his higher rated opponent (A.Moiseenko), he is to met his big brother Wang Hao. Lu is the Chinese player in "age group U20", because China has so many talent from each year. Born in 2005, he is "only" four years older than Wei Yi,
Classical games: Wang Hao beat Lu Shanglei 2 to 0

Teimour Radjabov - Ilia Smirin
Radjabov need to go through tie break round because of his resilient opponent, Sam Sevian of USA. His next opponent is veteran Israeli Ilya Smirin. At age 47, Smirin is one of the oldest generation to play in Baku.

Teimour Radjabov vs Samuel Sevian in tie break

Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu vs Peter Svidler 
This is one of 2nd round top pairing. Liviu-Dieter "heavy metal" Nisipeanu will need to face the famous Peter Svidler. They have certainly met each other, such as in 2007 where their result is a draw. Can Nisipeanu creative power outcame Svidler's Grunfeld Defence? stat: Classical games: Peter Svidler tied Liviu Dieter Nisipeanu 0 to 0, with 2 draws.

Levon Aronian vs Alexander Areshchenko
Aronian's "holiday" is over. Areshchenko is definitely the first true test to the fresh Sinquefield Cup winner of this year.
Classical games: Levon Aronian beat Alexander Areshchenko 1 to 0, with 2 draws.

Yuri Vovk vs Wei Yi
Yuri Vovk marked some fame in this tournament with his beautiful game that knock out Ray Robson in round 1. He will need to outcome Chinese prodigy Wei Yi, who also capable to create immortal games as we just saw month ago. Quite a fresh pairing to watch, Wei Yi already got a significant number of fans in internet. Remember that Wei Yi fame started exactly last World Cup where he outlasted Alexey Shirov.

David Navara vs Gadir Guseinov
Mr. Gentlemen David Navara will be treated by host player, Gadir Guseinov.
Classical games: Gadir Guseinov tied David Navara 0 to 0, with 1 draw.

Ernesto Inarkiev vs Ding Liren
Russian vs Chinese, encore episode of what they had done last month.

Wesley So - Csaba Balogh
Wesley So performance in Sinquefield Cup is not so convincingly. Will World Cup become Wesley So's tournament to consolidate with it? After seemingly smooth win in round 1, the 2nd round is true test to his current performance. Under the hand of Hungarian Csaba Balogh this pairing will be as hot as chili in LIVE zone. Prepare for the maximum fans "thrash talk" on this board......

Peter Leko - Wen Yang
Who is Wen Yang? A quick look in the  Wiki showed that he is "way too old" to the Chinese golden age standard, as he is now at 27. His advance to 2nd round is due to his win over Igor Kavalenko, quite a feat to consider. Peter Leko is solid as Clash of Clan fortress, so prepare for lengthy fight in this board.

Le Quang Liem vs Nikita Vitiugov
Le Quang Liem passed through the 2nd round by defeating his room-mate, Azeri Vasif Durarbayli. Which has a nice background story , according to coach Paul Truong Facebook post:

GM Vasif Durarbayli (Azerbaijan) lost a tough game against his Webster University roommate GM Liem Le. They both prepared surprises for each other and gave everything they had. In the mean time, GM Ray Robson fought valiantly to try to even up the match. Unfortunately, he did not succeed. The Lufthansa strike which caused the massive delays played a major role in his poor 1st game performance. In spite of the disappointment, we all dined together.

 After dinner, Vasif offered to show all of us downtown Baku at night. Liem could not go because he had to complete a school assignment. But we took him up on his offer. After a few hours of a walking tour, we found out that Liem's luggage finally arrived at the airport. But he had to go there to pick it up himself. Who agreed to help Liem with this process? No other than his roommate Vasif who he just beat!

 It could not make us any prouder. They followed Susan's motto: "Win with grace, lose with dignity!" and at SPICE, we are one family!

Le Quang Liem will met strong Russian, Nikita Vitiugov, but maybe Durarbayli will become strong background support for Le.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs Gabriel Sargissian
Gabriel Sargissian barely left the round 1 with only few hours to sleep due to exhausting Armageddon session with his beloved Mateusz Bartel. On the other hand, Maxime VL also not waiting comfortably having finished round 1 with just 2 games. He is spending too much time watching the other sport, tennis. Also a strong pairing to watch.

Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son  vs Evgeny Tomashevsky
Another Vietnam vs Russian mini match.

Fabiano Caruana - Rauf Mamedov
The story is Caruana once offered to be Azerbaijan team. If that so, Rauf Mamedov will become his team mate. Unfortunately, here they are rival in round 2. Caruana will guarantee stronger opposition from one of Azeri top player.
Classical games: Fabiano Caruana beat Rauf Mamedov 1 to 0, with 1 draw.
Including rapid/exhibition games: Fabiano Caruana tied Rauf Mamedov 1 to 1, with 2 draws.
Only rapid/exhibition games: Rauf Mamedov beat Fabiano Caruana 1 to 0, with 1 draw.

Cristobal Henriquez Villagra vs Julio Granda
Cristobal Henriquez is the young David to defeat Goliat, Boris Gelfand. He will once again challenge by old lion, Julio Granda Zuniga. As fellow Latin American, I am sure Julio knew something better about Cristobal than Boris Gelfand. In last World Cup Julio Granda create sensation by advancing to 4th round, defeating Anish Giri in the way. Julio is famously known for his "lack of chess opening knowledge" power, something that can confused opponent who relied to much on opening.

Anton Kovalyov - Sandro Mareco 
A little too pesimism, Anton booked a return ticket to Canada too early, thinking that he may not able to defeat Rustam Kasimdzhanov. Anton Kovalyov advancing to round 2 meaning he got more extra money, so he will need to worry less about his booked airplane today. He will face Sandro Mareco who upset Ni Hua in round 1. Interesting pairing that see both underdog, and one of them to advance round 3.

Vladislav Artemiev vs Radosław Wojtaszek
A battle of two strong 2600 grandmaster. Radoslaw is Anand's assistant, and Artemiev is strong Russian grandmaster. Strong pairing to watch.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov - Hou Yifan 
Actually this is Hou Yifan fourth World Cup, and she is making progress by going to 2nd round this year. She will be challenge by Mamedyarov, who she played several times in classical and blitz games.
Classical games: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov tied Yifan Hou 0 to 0, with 1 draw

Anish Giri vs Alexander Motylev 
Anish will face strong opposition from ex European Champion, Alexander Motylev. At least he will think more to do 150+ moves draw.
Classical games: Anish Giri beat Alexander Motylev 1 to 0, with 1 draw.

S. P. Sethuraman - Pentala Harikrishna
All Indian pairing, shall we imagine Bollywood dance in the middle of the fight? Btw, it seems that lesser Indian players in Baku.
Classical games: Sethuraman P Sethuraman beat Pentala Harikrishna 1 to 0.

Sergei Karjakin - Alexander Onischuk
Another exciting pairing to watch. USA Alexander Onischuk is now the oldest American in the field, facing younger Sergei Karjakin. Watch out as Karjakin seem to be in his peak lately.
Classical games: Sergey Karjakin beat Alexander Onischuk 2 to 0, with 7 draws.

Igor Lysyj vs Yu Yangyi
Igor is 2014 Russian Champ and Yu Yangyi is also 2014 China Champ. The second Russian vs China pairing to show off.

 Dmitry Andreikin vs Anton Korobov
The last World Cup is a success for Andreikin, having become the runner up. While Anton was reaching quarter final in 2013. Strong pairing yet again.
Classical games: Dmitry Andreikin tied Anton Korobov 0 to 0, with 1 draw.

Alexander Grischuk - Vladimir Fedoseev
Alexander Grischuk is the last "Sinquefield players" to survive round 1. In his tie break rounds some one even twit that Alexander Grischuk do a "smoking break" during his blitz game with only two minutes on the clock. Whether this is true or not, Grischuk is still favorite to get through, even though Vladimir Fedoseev is already 2600 grandmaster , who will happy to have "smoking break" bonus.

well.... it actually refer to another sportman name, Grischik.... what a coincidence timing, habit and name!

Alexander Ipatov vs Pavel Eljanov
Young Turkish junior champion to challenge European champion, Pavel Ejanov. Ipatov is the winner of his stronger round 1 opponent none other than Ivan Cheparinov. So, Pavel should be extra careful to do his moves.
Classical games: Pavel Eljanov beat Alexander Ipatov 1 to 0.
Including rapid/exhibition games: Alexander Ipatov tied Pavel Eljanov 1 to 1.
Only rapid/exhibition games: Alexander Ipatov beat Pavel Eljanov 1 to 0.

Vassily Ivanchuk vs Maxim Rodshtein
Still in the World Cup, Vassily Ivanchuk is ever green legend in chess. He will face Maxim Rodshtein. As a general advise to young Israeli, ... nobody care about preparation when playing Ivanchuk. Praying that  Chucky not in his "best time" is the only hope.
Classical games: Vassily Ivanchuk tied Maxim Rodshtein 0 to 0, with 1 draw.

Bassem Amin vs Dmitry Jakovenko
Is Bassem Amin the first African chess player to advance to round 2? He defeat Ivan Saric 2-0 fair and square. Now, Dmitry Jakovenko is seeded #10, and should he be grateful or not meeting Amin, the result on round 2 will tell us.

Michael Adams vs Viktor Laznicka
Michael Adams didn't give us more ladies in the tournament by eliminated current Women Champion Mariya Muzychuk. Viktor Laznicka will try to punish this.
Adams vs Laznicka 1/2-1/2 Istanbul 2012

Hrant Melkumyan vs Leinier Dominguez
Hrant Melkumyan will need to show that his win over Gata Kamsky in round 1 not a flux. A Cuban vs Armenian show off.

Lazaro Bruzon vs Vladimir Kramnik
After teaching some chess to miss Deysi Cori, here comes the real obstacle for Vladimir Kramnik. As defending champion, Kramnik is to play Lazaro Bruzon in round 2. The Cuban grandmaster is recently famous as the recipient of Wei Yi, 21st century immortal chess game. Winning the match against Kramnik will, tragically, increase Wei Yi fame. Let's see if Kramnik will become the member of "fallen champions" in Baku.
Classical games: Vladimir Kramnik beat Lazaro Bruzon Batista 1 to 0, with 1 draw.

Laurent Fressinet vs Ian Nepomniachtchi
I am not sure what commentaries is interesting for this pairing, but a Frenchmen vs Russian is always entertaining.
Fressinent vs Nepomniachtchi 1/2-1/2, FIDE Rapid Champ 2012

Hikaru Nakamura vs Sam Shankland 
Finally, the pairing of Sam and Hikaru is to do something, eliminating one more American in the field. Nakamura is the big favorite but big Sam is famous for his solid defense. If Sam hope he can have more chances in tie break, well he should think twice as his opponent name is Nakamura.
Nakamura vs Shankland 1/2-1/2 , US Champ 2015


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