Khanty-Mansiysk World Cup!
Quick 1-Minute Summary
For the 5th time since 2005 Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia) is host to the FIDE World Cup. This year’s edition is being held between September 9 and October 4. A total of $1.6 million prize money, with the winner taking home $110,000 PLUS the right to participate in the upcoming Candidates Tournament (as will the other finalist).
For those unfamiliar with the format of the World Cup, it is a knockout event with 128 participants in round-one, 64 participants in round-two, etc. A maximum of 7 rounds. Each round features a mini-match of 2 games, except for the final round where 4 games will be played. Tie-breaks, if necessary.
Unfortunately, despite a very nicely organized media-coverage of the tournament, there is no direct PGN download on the official site. Hopefully before the end of the World Cup the organizers will change this.
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You can download the PGN here!
The Canadian representative at the World Cup is 52 year old Evgeny Bareev. His first round pairing is against the higher rated Rustam Kasimdzanov. According to my database, they have played twice before, in 2002 (Bareev won) and in 2003 (Kasimdzanov won), with Bareev playing Black in both games.
In today’s game Bareev lost. He tried to surprise his opponent in the opening, avoiding his favourite lines (the Caro Kann and the French), but Kasimdzanov was well prepared and innovated on the 10th move, giving him a slightly better position.
In the middlegame Bareev played fearlessly, castling Queenside, but never got any real play. After a couple of small imprecisions, Kasimdzanov got a big advantage, Bareev’s King feeling very uncomfortable.
In what appears to be mutual time trouble, both players played somewhat inaccurately, but Bareev made the last mistake, grubbing a poison pawn and resigned a few moves before mate.
Tomorrow Bareev will play with the White pieces and must win. Let’s wish him good luck!
gm Kasimdzanov – gm Bareev