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The number of the World Cup participants has decreased during two weeks and there are only eight players left.

During the first days of the competition the chess players used to stay longer in the Chess Academy, analyzing the games, watching the transmission, waiting for their friends-colleagues, talking to the fans. Now after the games the participants right away take their clothes in the cloak room and leave the Hall like the champions of race walking. We try to catch our heroes before they escape to comment the battle development at the press conference. In the first day of the new round only one game finished with a score.

Maria Fominykh

The second Zoltan Almasi is showing to Judit Polgar the way to a great future

Polgar was dressed in a sporty way for the first game against Svidler. Before she used to come in an official outfit and on high hills. Every Judit’s appearance is under a though observation.

In the way of the Hungarian Amazonian Peter the Great stood

In the first game Peter was playing White. Judit decided to defend in the Sicilian defense and did right — at the 14 move she destroyed the King’s position by Bxg2 and declared the perpetual check.

Svidler seemed to miss something in his preparations. In the second game he has to defend with Black. In the press centre they were making guesses what the Russian would chose: Sicilian or Spanish?

Peter Svidler grieves for Alexander Grischuk

Alexander playing White did not manage to overplay David Navara, but he thinks that it is possible to win with Black

David Navara thinks that due to the draw with Black, he equaled the chances in the match. Afterwards at dinner he was in a perfect mood telling us national anecdotes (that sound very much like Russian ones, but the main personage is Czech). After that, there were only three of us left in the restaurant (David, Sergey Shipov and myself) and the author of the lines below performed some songs in various languages for us. The most impressive for me was the song of Victor Tsoi «Kamchatka». I would remind its refrain to the readers:

«Oh, this weird place Kamchatka,
Oh, this sweet word «Kamchatka».
I found here both love and ore,
I try to forget, I do and more
Recall on the dog, it’s like a star,
Let it be so so far...»

How come that David has such immense knowledge of Soviet rock classics — we can only guess.

The duel between Ruslan Ponomariov and Vugar Gashimov turned out to be less eventful.

After the exhausting tie-breaks both of them did not mind to get some rest. Already on the 14th move the opponents agreed for a draw.

Will Vugar Gashimov manage to use the right to play off in return? Otherwise we will see another tie-break?

No one manages not to reveal his agitation as it is skillfully done by the Ukrainian Ruslan Ponomariov. He is calmly seated «criss-cross applesauce» examining the position and it seems that he has three hours ahead of him to think over the moves and the game is not that important. I would put some sunflower seeds for him to nibble to fulfill the picture …

The most tense match  — Vassily Ivanchuk vs Teimour Radjabov.

The Azeri Grandmaster tried to make his opponent enter the pathless wilds of Dragon Variation, but Ivanchuk entered the smooth Fianchetto Variation.

Teimour was acting rather aggressively in the maneuvering fight, weakened his king’s side and then committed a decisive mistake by blundering the tactical blow thus remained without a queen.

The only winner of the 1st day of quarterfinals -Vassily Ivanchuk.


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