A good day for Azerbaijan

The playing hall
Fifth seed Vugar Gashimov and seventh seed Teimour Radjabov both won, making it a perfect day for the Azerbaijani pair. Two Russians were also victorious, Russian Champion Peter Svidler and European Champion Vladimir Potkin both winning their ties today. Potkin's win against Alexander Grischuk was particularly noteworthy. Judit Polgar's loss with White to Leinier Dominguez puts her in great difficulties, and she is now odds on to be eliminated tomorrow.


The remaining sixteen players are from the following countries:

Russian 4, Ukraine 3, Azerbaijan 2, Cuba 2, Hungary 1, USA 1, China 1, Denmark 1 and the Czech Republic 1.

Vassily Ivanchuk
Leinier Dominguez

 Highest-rated of the Russian contingent is Alexander Grischuk, who recently had some success at match play getting to the final of the Candidates series. After a loss to his compatriot today, he'll have to pull out all the stops tomorrow.

Fifteen of these have ratings above 2670, the exception being the youngest player Yaroslav Zherebukh, who has 2590. A loss with White suggests that he might not be going any further.

Yaroslav Zherebukh
Alexander Grischuk
Vugar Gashimov

One player who has managed to advance this far without relying on the lottery of the rapids is Vugar Gashimov. Today with the white pieces against Peter Heine Nielsen he won again.

Another is Judit Polgar, who may only be 32nd seed, but was once (not so long ago, in 2005)eighth in the World. Her opponent is Leinier Dominguez, one of the remaining Cuban pair. A loss with White doesn't necessarily mean elimination, but she certainly has a mountain to climb if she wants to go any further.

Judit Polgar

The only two draws involved the highly fancied Ukrainians, Ruslan Ponomariov and Vassily Ivanchuk, playing black. They will both get a chance with the White pieces tomorrow.

Bu Xiangzhi

Ivanchuk's opponent, the only player remaining from the Asian continent Bu Xiangzhi, is however known as a strong technical player and particularly difficult to beat.


White Country Elo Result Seed Black Country Elo
33 Judit Polgar HUN 2699 0-1 16 Leinier Dominguez Perez CUB 2719
09 Peter Svidler RUS 2739 1-0 08 Gata Kamsky USA 2741
52 Lazaro Bruzon Batista CUB 2673 ½-½ 04 Ruslan Ponomariov  UKR 2764
05 Vugar Gashimov AZE 2760 1-0 44  Peter Heine Nielsen DEN 2681
50 Bu Xiangzhi CHN 2672 ½-½ 02 Vassily Ivanchuk UKR 2766
07 Teimour Radjabov AZE 2744 1-0 10  Dmitry Jakovenko RUS 2736
94 Yaroslav Zherebukh UKR 2590 0-1 14 David Navara CZE 2722
43 Vladimir Potkin  RUS 2682 1-0 06 Alexander Grischuk RUS 2746

For more information go to the official site: http://chess.ugrasport.com/

Live games: http://chess.ugrasport.com/?cat=12

If you want to follow the live games then note the following:

The local starting time is 3pm and 3pm Khanty Mansiysk = 11am Paris = 10am London = 5am New York = 2am Los Angeles.

All the photos today are from the official site.

The total prize fund is of $1.600.000 (about 1.100.000€):

First round losers win $6.000 (about 4.100€);

Second round losers win $10.000 (or roughly 6.900€);

Third round losers $16.000 (or 11.000€);

Fourth round $25.000 (or 17.000€);

Fifth round (Quarter-finals) $35.000 (or 24.000€);

Sixth round (Semi-final) $50.000 (or 34.500€);

Losing finalist $80.000 (or 55.000€);

The winner receives $120.000 (or 82.500€).





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