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    Monday
    Dec142009

    Boris Gelfand Wins World Cup

    He pulled it out, but Ruslan Ponomariov didn't make it easy! The first rapid game was drawn, and then Gelfand won game 2 with White. When game 3 was drawn as well it looked like it would be over, as Gelfand only needed to draw with White to close it out. It didn't happen: Ponomariov sacrificed the exchange and his bishop pair carried the day. On to blitz, where Gelfand won with White after a Ponomariov blunder, only to blunder right back in the next game. On to another blitz mini-match, and again Gelfand won first with White. This time he held, winning with Black as well, and by a 7-5 overall score became the 2009 World Cup champion. (The games can be found here, but I'm not going to annotate this batch.)

    So, congratulations to Boris Gelfand! It was an impressive performance, not least because the guy's no spring chicken at the age of 41. Youths, beware of old age and treachery!

     

    This means that he qualifies for a Candidates tournament that will consist of the following players:

    Gelfand (World Cup champ).

    Aronian (Grand Prix champ).

    Kamsky (loser of the 2009 candidates match to Topalov).

    Topalov or Anand (whoever loses the world championship match next year).

    Carlsen and Kramnik (probably, based on the averages of their July 2009 and January 2010 ratings).

    The runner-up of the Grand Prix (as yet undetermined).

    Any 2700+ player the organizers decide to invite.

    (More details here.)

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    Reader Comments (9)

    Interesting that (bar Kamsky), all the players qualified are in the top 6 on the live rating list.

    December 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCiaran

    As much as I like Kamsky, he really shouldn't be on the list. It doesn't make a lot of sense that the World Cup winner gets invites to two consecutive WC qualifying events.

    December 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterUff Da

    Kamsky was shafted out of playing Anand for the WC, he instead had to play a nonsensical match against Topalov, so it evens out. The real scandal is the "Any 2700+ player the organizers decide to invite."
    Hats off to Boris Gelfand, just reading that account of the match, Dennis is exhausting! Gelfand seems to be enjoying a late renaissance and all power to him.

    December 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJaideepblue

    Sure, those guys had it tough! Gelfand had to play 36 high pressure games the past two and a half weeks, Ponomariov 39. That's an awful lot of serious chess.

    December 14, 2009 | Registered CommenterDennis Monokroussos

    Topalov or Anand (whoever loses the world championship match next year).

    If Anand is world champ why is he even mentioned in this group. Shouldn't the winner of this group play Anand in a match?Adding Anand appears to convolute things somewhat but then again this is nothing new for FIDE

    December 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSigi

    Sigi,

    Anand is the world champion, but Topalov is challenging him in April. The candidates event I'm referring to here will be for the match after that one. There's no convolution here, but perhaps you're thinking back to the way things were done back in the good old days of the three year cycles.

    December 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDennis Monokroussos

    Yes I was thinking back to the way things were done back in the good old days of the three year cycles.
    What happens if Anand wins the match against Topalov and also wins the Candidates tournament of 8 players?
    I was under the impression that the Candidates tournament was to determine the challenger for the world Champion (Anand is this case). Also what happens if Anand wins against Topalov but loses the the Candidates tournament of 8 players

    December 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSigi

    Unless you're just kidding around, I'm not sure why you think that's a possibility. As I stated in the post, one of the slots in the Candidates will go to the loser of the Anand-Topalov match; but I don't say that one is also going to the winner. So there's no possibility of Anand or Topalov qualifying to play himself. If Anand beats Topalov in April, then Topalov will have a chance to qualify for a second match with Anand if he subsequently wins the Candidates, and the reverse is true if Topalov wins the April match.

    To make the point as clear as possible, this Candidates has absolutely nothing to do with qualifying for the April match, for two reasons. First, the participants for this year's world championship match were settled last fall and this spring, when Anand beat Kramnik to keep the title and Topalov beat Kamsky in their challengers' match. Second, this Candidates event will take place after the Anand-Topalov match, so unless there's a time machine it wouldn't do any good anyway.

    December 16, 2009 | Registered CommenterDennis Monokroussos

    Sorry, I made this convulated. I should pay more attention. This make a lot of sense

    December 16, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersigi

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