World Cup 2011: Round 7 (Finals), Day 1: Svidler Again Wins With Black
Friday, September 16, 2011 at 11:45AM
Dennis Monokroussos in Grischuk, Ivanchuk, Ponomariov, Svidler, World Cup 2011, World Cup 2011

For the fifth straight match, and the third straight where he hasn't (or hasn't yet) won with White, Peter Svidler has won with the black pieces. As usual when playing Black, however, he had some trouble in the opening, but with resilient play and some help from his opponent he escaped and then some. Alexander Grischuk simply missed Svidler's 18...Nb6, trapping his rook, though even after that the game was still very much up for grabs. From a purely chess point of view, the biggest problems came after Svidler's 23...Ra7, which set a nasty little trap. With under a minute left, Grischuk had no time to work everything out, and after an unsurprising series of mistakes he lost material, his attacking chances and the game. Not a great start, obviously, but at least he has three games left and not just one to catch up.

In the battle for third and the final qualifying spot in the Candidates', Vassily Ivanchuk and Ruslan Ponomariov had a relatively long and complicated fight. Neither side was ever in trouble, but Ivanchuk, with White, was a bit better near the end. His 41st move was a serious lapse, however, allowing Ponomariov an immediate draw.

Both game twos are tomorrow. The official website is here, the replayable video coverage is here, and the games (with my notes) are here.

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