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It is strange but the decisive stage of this World Cup 2011 reminds semifinals of the FIDE World Championship 2001—2002.

At that time the composition of semifinalists was as follows: Peter Svidler, Vassily Ivanchuk, Ruslan Ponomariov and Viswanathan Anand. It has been 10 years since then and the composition changed only in one name — Vishi Anand is replaced by Alexander Grischuk. In the World Championship 2001—2002 the spectators witnessed the Ukrainian final match and the winner was Ponomariov. We are only to guess whether we will face another «déjà vu»?

Report by Maria Fominykh

From the wide variety of chess tables only two will be functioning from now on. Empty tables with pieces arranged on remind us on the times when there were dozens of grandmasters playing in the hall.

Alexander Grischuk was better prepared in the opening. After the 15th move Black took the initiative. With every move clouds were piling up over White.

When David is preparing for his game he often closes his eyes and buries in his thoughts. If he sees a photographer, he sort of «wakes up» and tries to look into the camera.

During the second classical game Alexander Grischuk was thinking over the date to go back home. However, the fortune favored him — Navara made a mistake and he managed to make a draw. Having won the first game of tie-breaks, in the second game Grischuk was tempting his fate again: missed the tactics and remained without a pawn. However, this time the position was not losing and White managed to draw the game rather easily. Now Grischuk did not have to puzzle over the date of his departure. In return he is seriously thinking about the victory in this tournament.

David tried hard not to reveal his agitation to spectators. He emphasized at the press conference that he considers his performance here as a very successful one. The qualification to the quarterfinals is the best result in his history of the World Cups. The Czech Grandmaster is not pressed to leave Khanty-Mansiysk, he decided to stay one more day and to become a special guest of commentators during the 1st game of semifinals.

The picture «Grandmasters during the bait ». Peter Svidler and Ruslan Ponomariov came to the Academy as spectators as they looked very relaxed — they did not have to sit at the chess boards. Peter was thoroughly preparing to support «Sanya» thus was going to take a seat and read a book. Unfortunately, he forgot his book in the hotel and had to find himself another entertainment.

By the way he did not have to wait for Sanya long. The match was over only in two rapid games. After the victory Grischuk came to the analysis room and got to know everything what his colleagues thought about his play.

Tie-breaks as usual were played under a thorough control of arbiters. Mikhail Kryukov is checking the image of the chess board in the camera.

The battle of Vassily Ivanchuk and Teimour Radjabov in tie-breaks also lasted only two games, but, I guess, there was more tension.

Vassily Ivanchuk and Teimour Radjabov are two different powers. Wise and experienced in chess battles Vassily Mikhailovich who is moving smoothly differs very much from the young and tempered Teimour, who is rather sharp in everything. Ivanchuk is deliberate and Radjabov is always in a hurry (after the games he left the Academy so rashly that he almost did not take part in the press conferences). Ivanchuk’s style is positional while the one of Radjabov is combinational. The fight of contradictions will always continue. But experience took over at this World Cup.

Teimour was close to triumph at the Candidates Matches in May and here he was one step from the World Cup semifinals, but he still lacks something for the decisive strike.

Vassily Ivanchuk is to face Alexander Grischuk in semifinals. The Ukrainian was not sure about the score in the history of their mutual matches.

Tie-breaks to qualify to semifinals came to their end rather unexpectedly. It was still day time and rather warm outside. Khanty-Mansiysk has such a peculiarity — as soon as it gets dark, it becomes chilly and uncomfortable.

The meeting point — fountain

The horses are at watering point. They can give you a ride around the square for a reasonable price.

Local kids adore electric carts and bicycles.

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