The Aeroflot Festival continued today with the Knockout Rapid Tournament. The 32 qualified players from the Swiss played two days ago faced each other under the knock-out format to define the 8 players that will go through to the Final Tournament.
In each round two games were played with the time control 15 minutes plus 10 seconds increment. If the score was equal after the second encounter, an Armageddon game was played.
The first leg finished without many surprises. Seven out of nine games went to the Armageddon game. The four rating favorites won their matches. Gata Kamsky had to overcome a first round loss against Daniil Lintchevsky, but finally managed to beat him in the Armageddon encounter; Anton Korobov did not have a very hard time against Pavel Maletin and defeated him 2-0; Le Quang Liem drew both rapid games against Alexey Reshetnikov, but was superior in the Armageddon. Pavel Eljanov eliminated Murtas Kashgaleyev with a perfect 2-0.
In the second leg of the Knockout tournament, six players qualified for the Final without the need of going to Armageddon: Gata Kamsky, Le Quang Liem, Rauf Mamedov, Pavel Eljanov, Aleksandr Shimanov and Dmitry Folyanov.
Eduardo Iturrizaga faced Sanan Sjugirov with the black pieces in the Armageddon game. The Venezuelan equalized easily, but eventually blundered on move 54. The Russian had to prove that he was able to mate a lone king with bishop and knight, and he succeeded to do so in 96 moves (!).
The Ukranian Anton Korobov played against Ivan Bukavshin. Korobov made the right amount of simplifications in the middlegame given that he only needed a draw to qualify. Bukavshin looked for complications but to no end. He resigned on move 48.
The eight qualified players are Alexander Shimanov, Sanan Sjugirov, Dmitry Frolyanov (Russia), Anton Korobov, Pavel Eljanov (Ukraine), Gata Kamsky (USA), Le Quang Liem (Vietnam) and Rauf Mamedov (Azerbaijan).
These eight players will meet the invited stars: World Blitz Champion Alexander Grischuk, Peter Svidler, Dmitry Andreikin, Sergey Karjakin, winner of the Blitz Tournament Ian Nepomniachtchi, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Wang Hao, and 12th World Champion Anatoly Karpov.