The return games of the 3rd Round of the World Chess Cup were played on Sunday in Khanty-Mansiysk. Alexander Morozevich, who needed a win to equalize the match score, surprised everyone by offering a draw to Alexander Grischuk on the 12th move in a well-known theoretical position. Grischuk confessed at the press-conference that he has never been as shocked as today, and added:
– I think my pairing was quite unlucky because Morozevich is one of the strongest players in the world. His rating should not confuse anybody: he showed 2800 performance in all three tournaments after his return. However, the match was decided yesterday, and I consider the game to be one of the most interesting in my recent career.
Three players, Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia), Vasily Ivanchuk (Ukraine), and Igor Lysyj (Russia) managed to equalize the score after their losses yesterday. Ian handled the English Opening against Gata Kamsky (USA) in a very original fashion, didn’t spend much time on his moves, and his opponent eventually lost the way.
The task of Ivanchuk was more difficult, as he was playing Black today. However, Emil Sutovsky (Israel) is a very creative and fearless player, and he lit the fire on the board himself. Black’s position looked quite dangerous, and Sutovsky wasn’t spending much time on the moves, pretending that everything had been analyzed at home. However, either his analysis had a hole or Sutovsky mixed the moves order, but Ivanchuk easily parried his attack and won the game.
Igor Lysyj defeated Lenier Dominguez (Cuba) in a very long and tense game and also proceeded to the tie-breaks.
The Georgian grandmaster Baadur Jobava tried to win at all costs and suffered another defeat against Dmitry Jakovenko, who represents Nizhnevartovsk. Certainly, the spectators always support the local chess player, however, not only him.
Judit Polgar also receives a lot of attention from the public, including the Ugra Governor Natalia Komarova (by the way, she is the only woman Governor in Russia at the moment): “I really like the spirit of Judit Polgar, who has been competing with the strongest players of the world for many years”. Polgar resisted the challenge of Sergey Karjakin (Russia) and knocked out the rating favorite of the World Cup.
Three more players proceeded to the 4th Round thanks to today’s victories: Vugar Gashimov (Azerbaijan) defeated Evgeny Tomashevsky (Russia), Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan) defeated Etienne Bacrot (France), and Bu Xiangzhi (China) won against Abhijeet Gupta (India).
The last game of the day ended in an unexpected way: David Navara (Czech Republic) offered a draw in a winning position against Alexander Moiseenko (Ukraine). As the Grandmasters said after the game, Navara touched two pieces simultaneously on the 35th move, and Moiseenko insists that his opponent touched the king first. According to the rules, Navara had to move the king, but each of those moves would lead to his loss.
Realizing that Navara made a careless mistake, Moiseenko did not force him to obey the rules, and Navara returned the favor in the end, unwilling to receive an unfair victory.
The tie-breaks of the Round 3 will be played on Monday, September 5th: Ivanchuk – Sutovsky, Zherebukh (Ukraine) – Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan), Ponomariov – Efimenko (both from Ukraine), Kamsky – Nepomniachtchi, Caruana (Italy) – Svidler (Russia), Potkin – Vitiugov (both from Russia), Parligras (Romania) – Nielsen (Denmark), Le Quang Liem (Vietnam) – Bruzon (Cuba), Dominguez (Cuba) – Lysyj (Russia), and Navara (CZE) – Moiseenko (Ukraine).