The first games of the 2nd Round were played on Wednesday August 31 at the World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk.
The peaceful agreement was signed very fast between Rustam Kasimdzhanov (UZB) and Gata Kasmsky (USA), Ni Hua (CHN) and RUslan Ponomariov (UKR) and between Yuri Drozdovskij (UKR) and Fabiano Caruana (ITA).
The day before Drozdovskij played a very exhausting long lasting tie-break that finished in «Armageddon» and therefore, most probably, did not have enough time to fully recover. We are only to wonder about the reason why neither Kasimdzhanov nor Ni Hua used the right of the first move: either they did not guess the choice of the opening of the opponent or they built up their strategy in the way to try to solve the result of the round in rapid chess matches.
Today spectators witnessed several opening catastrophes. Russian Nikita Vitiugov in the sharp anti-Moscow variation has demonstrated his deep preparation level to Anton Korobov (Ukraine). The Belorussian Grandmaster Sergey Azarov playing Black with Vugar Gashimov (AZE) a very popular today Jaenish Gambit, however, having faced a rather rare defense, lost his way quickly and got under the mate attack.
Another game finished very quickly and successfully — Vladimir Potkin (RUS) defeated Alexey Shirov (ESP). Although the opening of this game is not the reason for it: Shirov playing Black was in a rather comfortable position, but having maneuvered not in a proper way, gave in his initiative on the entire chess board.
A very valuable bid to qualify to the 3rd Round was made by the following chess players who won their games playing Black: Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR), Dmitry Jakovenko, Alexander Morozevich and Evgeny Tomashevsky (all from Russia), Lazaro Bruzon and Leinier Dominguez (both from Cuba), Le Quang Liem (VIE).
The game of Francisco Vallejo Pons can be referred as to the main failure of the round: Spanish Grandmaster had a lasting pressure for a long time and, but he had the knack to lose to Bruzon in the endgame having an extra pawn. Evgeny Alekseev in his game against Ivanchuk missed his slight pressure at the beginning and then gave his pawn although his position was close to draw. There were already outlines of the famous theoretically drawish endgame on the board «rook and bishop against a rook» when Evgeny made a rough mistake and had to resign.
Teimour Radjabov (AZE), Mircea-Emilian Parligras (ROU), Anton Filippov (UZB), Yaroslav Zherebukh (UKR) and Emil Sutovsky (ISR) won the first game playing White.
The rating favorite of the tournament Sergey Karjakin (RUS) did not managed to break the resourceful defense pf the Grandmaster from Philippines Wesley So. It was not easy for Alexander Grischuk (RUS) playing against Sebastien Feller (FRA), but Grischuk managed to defend the position of Black.
On Thursday, the 1st of September, we will witness the feedback games of the second Round of the World Cup where the opponents will exchange colors.
All the games of the World Cup are broadcast live with the commentaries of the Grandmasters both in English and Russian languages on the official site of the World Chess Cup 2011 http://chess.ugrasport.com
The computer analysis of the most powerful computer program in the world Houdini is to be found on http://chess.ugrasport.com/houdini.html