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The second games of the final matches were played at the World Cup on Saturday September 17 in Khanty-Mansiysk.

The battle between Russian grandmasters Peter Svidler and Alexander Grischuk turned out not to be very long — already on the 16th move the opponents agreed for a draw. Grischuk was trailing, and was expected to strive for a full-blooded fight playing Black, that is why he responded to e2-e4 with the sharp Najdorf Sicilian. However, we must point out that this system is sharp only if White also strives for a fight. As for Svidler, taking into account the match situation, he opted for a quiet game.

Svidler: As I said yesterday, most of my White games are drawn. I decided not to deviate from the recipe of success that is working very well. Seriously speaking, it was not exactly what I wanted when I played 6.a4, but rather soon we got a whittled position.

Grischuk: Today Peter proved once again that he is a man of his word. Like Alexander Kerzhakov who used to say: «I kicked, I kick and I will keep kicking!», Peter is saying: «With White I drew, I draw and I will draw!». I have calculated something: White has ten main lines on the 6th move, and 6.a4 is among the most solid and boring ones.

The match for the 3rd place and for the last ticket to the World Championship cycle between Ukrainian grandmasters Vassily Ivanchuk and Ruslan Ponomariov was more eventful. Ponomariov with White did not handle the Vienne Variation good enough, and after the opening got a hopeless position. Very soon queens disappeared from the board, and Black’s advantage became more obvious in the endgame. White had to speed up in order to develop the kingside while Black gained the initiative all over the board: they pushed their pawns on the queenside and penetrated into the opponent’s camp with the rook. White defended very persistently: having sacrificed a pawn, he activated all his pieces, after which the fight flashed with renewed energy. However, in strict time trouble Ponomariov blundered a blow on g2, after which White’s position became hopeless.

To conclude, after two playing days Svidler is ahead of Grischuk with the score 1,5−0,5, and Ivanchuk is leading with the same score in the match against Ponomariov. The 3rd games of the World Cup matches for the 1st and 3rd places will be played on Sunday, September 18. Let us remind you that the opponents are to play four classical games at this stage. If they finish with the score 2−2, then the fight will be continued on tie-breaks.

All the games of the World Cup broadcast live and accompanied by the commentaries of the Grandmasters both in English and Russian can be found on the official site of the World Chess Cup 2011
The computer analysis by the strongest in the world Houdini program can be found on


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