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The confrontation of the Azeri Vugar Gashimov vs Ruslan Ponomariov of the Ukraine ended in a favor of the ex World Champion.

After the first game which was drawn he outplayed his vis-à-vis in the second, securing a seat in the semifinals. He told us how it was going in blitz-interview right after the game. — It was very nervous game. When you play without rest days, every round becomes more complicated. In the first game I could also fight to win. I don’t think that the variation which my opponent chose was good enough for Black. But Gashimov played very quickly and I decided: ok, let it be a draw. In the second game we played the Berlin Defense and I was happy with my position. Vugar was trying to beat me but then offered a draw. It was not enough for me. In that position it was not easy to win but I seemed not to risk anything. At the end there was few time left and we used each 30 seconds. There was no time to calculate variations; I trusted the intuition in general. It was easy for my opponent to play for he took the position of a draw and could continue the game as long as he wanted. I was lucky that he moved his King on d3. I don’t know if I could find a victory after 100…Kd3, I did not have enough time.  Though I would be able to find, I think.

You have a deserved rest day tomorrow. How are you planning to spend it? — I don’t know yet. I will definitely sleep, and then have my breakfast. Maybe I will go to the sauna. Now I am full of satisfaction. In the second World Cup in a row I win Vugar at the same stage. I can buy my ticket on 21 September now. The most important now is not to be on the 4th place. It would be the most disappointing.

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