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World Cup Semi-Final Preview

User Rating: / 13
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 25 August 2013
By GM Daniel Gormally

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The World hess up, currently taking place in Tromso, has reached the semi-final stage, and is looking like Vachier-Lagrave vs the Russians.

Will Maxime be able to do an 1812 in reverse and see off the Russian horde? His win today against Caruana was very impressive, and he's clearly a very talented player- when he's on form there's a flow about his moves that makes him very difficult to resist.

Let's do a semi-final preview and hope that it's goes better than my predictions thus far- which have been fairly weak if I'm honest.

Tomashevsky- Andreikin

This match is the definition of a coin-toss. These two are great friends, have a very similar rating and strength, so expect a lot of draws and the match to go all the way to the Armageddon game.

Toma saw off an exhausted Kamsky easily enough. As predicted, fatigue is starting to take it's toll, especially with the older players. I think Kamsky was just too tired to face the prospect of the rapids, so gambled with a knockout in normal time, but it backfired horribly and Toma mated him.

Andreikin I didn't know much about before this tournament, but he was highly impressive in the rapids against the defending world cup champion Peter Svidler, (rightly corrected by the beautiful Mrs Pogonina, which gives some idea of how much research I do into these previews ) who admittedly looked tired to the point of collapse and as a consequence offered feeble resistance.

What is clear is that Andreikin plays active, hyper-confident chess that has some echo of Kasparov. I'll give him the edge in this match as he looks the freshest player left in the tournament. Toma has had some real hum-dingers and I feel he might just be hitting the wall.

Win for Andreikin.


Kramnik in the World Cup reminds me of the famous Gary Lineker quote about Germans and football. Basically, the World Cup is a tournament with 128 players, and Kramnik wins in the end. Watching some of his press conferences can be an astonishing experience. Vlad reels off these incredibly deep and complex variations with minimal effort, although you do wonder how much of that is to try and intimidate future opposition, who might happen to be watching (like myself).

You'd have to give him the edge in this match, but Vachier  is a highly impressive rapid player, as we saw when he dismantled Caruana.

Previous to that match I suggested that Fabio would emerge over the next few years as the main challenger to Carlsen. I'm not so sure now, as he looked like the occasion got to him, shuffling about cluelessly in the final game. Perhaps that's what separates Magnus from his contemporaries- his ability to manage his nerves better.

In any case the match becomes much harder to call if it goes to the rapids, so the game where Kramnik is White is highly important for Maxime. If he can survive that, then his chances become very live. But there's a sense of destiny about Kramnik in this event, and for that reason, he has to be the pick.

Win for Kramnik.

GM Daniel Gormally is open for chess lessons. You can contact him using this This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Other posts by GM Danny Gormally:

World Chess Cup Quarter-Final preview
World Chess Cup 1/8-final preview
Why are Russians so good at chess?
British Champs-2013
Ghent and now the British
I'll never be fat again!
Lessons learnt!
The sad case of Borislav Ivanov: Part II
Does Anyone Have a Cure for Anger Problems?
The Depth of Chess
Fundraising in chess
Nurturing a Chess Prodigy
The Sad Case of Borislav Ivanov
4NCL Impressions: no country for old men - Part II
4NCL Impressions: no country for old men
One move, one line - Part II
One move, one line
Candidates Final Review & Preview of Upcoming World Championship Match
Would Carlsen have beaten Capablanca?

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Comments (7)
1. Written by Andreikin fan on 10:02 26 2013 .
Great friends??? Really? 
Also, Andreikin is a solid positional player. How does his style echo Kasparov's?
2. Written by Bomengda on 10:06 26 2013 .
Great Article. Thanks.
3. Written by Drawnik on 10:14 26 2013 .
Being called a favorite by the Gorm = black spot. :grin
4. Written by pdela on 12:15 26 2013 .
@Andreikin fan 
They are both from Saratov, as well as Natalia, I think
5. Written by pdela on 12:25 26 2013 .
Anyway I vote for MVL. 
For some reasons he was around 2700 even lower that Korobov, but his rank didn't mach the potential of the guy now is 15 in live ratings & has quite powerful blitz. This is his opportunity, so he will be dangerous 
In the other match I vote Toma if they don't reach the tie-break, in the tie-break I vote Andreikin, he has surpassed a lot of tie-breaks in this event
6. Written by pdela on 12:41 26 2013 .
well, last round he got 2/4, 50%, same porcentage as you would expect picking randomly, same as me, but I don\'t hold any title :grin
7. Written by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it on 09:11 27 2013 .
and your point is you little trolling prick? don't comment on my post's if you haven't got anything positive to say.

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Last Updated ( Monday, 26 August 2013 )
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