Ivanchuk and Le Quang in the Semi-Final quartet

Vassily Ivanchuk had few problems to dispose of Judit Polgar whereas Le Quang Liem only overcame his countryman Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son after four nervous Blitz play-off games.

In todays Quarter Finals the favourites made it through but not in the same fashion!

In the rapid games in the all-Vietnamese encounter there were two Black wins.

Le Quang LiemVIE26940-1Nguyen Ngoc Truong SonVIE2633Slav DefenceLe Quang had an advantageous endgame but, short of time, he lost control and his centralized king was suddenly in trouble.
Nguyen Ngoc Truong SonVIE26330-1Le Quang LiemVIE2694Trompovsky OpeningFrom an equal position Le Quang managed to generate some play on both wings.

The Blitz play-Off games were patchy. Le Quang was often on top in technical positions but had a tendancy to blunder when short of time. However in the third game Nguyen blundered back and failed to recover from the shock in blitz game 4.

NameCountryRatingBlitz 1Blitz 2Blitz 3Blitz 4
Le Quang LiemVIE2694=B=W1B1W
Nguyen Ngoc Truong SonVIE2633=W=B0W0B

So we can conclude that Le Quang Liem went through after some hard fought but rather unconvincing blitz games.

Nguyen: Had his chances (chessanytime)
LQL: Scraped through (chessanytime)

Judit Polgar, the World's strongest ever female player met Vassily Ivanchuk in the fourth of the quarter finals.

Vassily IvanchukUKR27541-0Judit PolgarHUN2682Sicilian RossolimoJudit lost her way in the opening and had to sacrifice her queen for two pieces. She resisted for a long time but the result was not really in doubt
Judit PolgarHUN26820-1Vassily IvanchukUKR2754Reti OpeningWhite made no progress whatsoever on the kingside whereas Ivanchuk carved up Polgar's queenside and won a couple of pawns.
Polgar: not her day (chessanytime)
Ivanchuk: Dominated the match

Here are our selection of videos from Cap d'Agde:

As a reminder, here are the preliminary round tables:

1Hikaru NakamuraUSA27336.5
2Bu XiangzhiCHN26955.5
3Nguyen Ngoc Truong SonVIE26334
4Judit PolgarHUN26823.5
5Romain EdouardFRA26363
6=Anatoly KarpovRUS26192.5
6=Nadezhda KosintsevaRUS25652.5
8Sophie MillietFRA23880.5

Pool B:

1=Vassily IvanchukUKR27545.5
1=Le Quang LiemVIE26945.5
3=Jon Ludvig HammerNOR26334
3=Yannick PelletierSUI25924
5=Tigran GharamianFRA26583
5=Kateryna LahnoUKR25393
7Zhu ChenQAT24802
8Tatiana KosintsevaRUS25731

A summary of Thursday's other quarter-finals:

Jon Ludvig Hammer2633NOR0-1Hikaru Nakamura2733USASicilian b3Bad blunder from Hammer in the rook and knight pseudo-endgame
Hikaru Nakamura2733USA1-0Jon Ludvig Hammer2633NORSpanish Delayed ExchangeHammer was forced to take risks to try and win and Nakamura refuted Hammer's activity with a strong exchange sacrifice
Yannick Pelletier2592SUI0-1Xiangzhi Bu2695CHNCatalanWhite ran out of things to do and Bu broke through on the queenside.
Xiangzhi Bu2695CHN0.5-0.5Yannick Pelletier2592SUIEnglish/HedgehogPelletier tried (with ...f5 and ...b5) to mix things but White was never rattled by this show of force.

So the Semi-Finals will feature the four highest-ranked players, who are also those who performed best in the preliminary phase.

Live games can be watched everyday from 14.30 local time Live Games

The English-language commentators being Glenn Flear (that is, yours truly!) and Javier Moreno.

Moscow 16.30am

Paris, Madrid 14.30am

London 13.30

New York 08.30am

Los Angeles 05.30am

For more information go to the Official site

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