World’s youngest ever grandmaster Ukraine’s Sergey Karjakin advanced to the quarterfinals after an impressive victory over Russian Nikita Vitiugov in the second pre-quarterfinal game of the World Chess Cup here.
The lone winner on a day when caution was the name of the game, the 19-year-old Ukrainian prodigy, who became a Grandmaster at the age of 12, played a fine positional game with black pieces to outclass Vitiugov.
Peter Svidler of Russia and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan made merry with their white pieces, signing off easy draws against Alexei Shirov of Spain and Viktor Laznicka of Czech Republic respectively.
Svidler and Mamedyarov made it to the quarterfinals as well after won the first game under normal time control with black pieces. It turned out to be a rather safe passage for all three qualifiers thus far who all won with black and drew with white.
The round of 16 has so far produced just three decisive games. Five out of eight matches got in to the tie—break games that will first feature a set of four rapid games and then, if necessary, five sets of two games of blitz tiebreak.
If the deadlock is not resolved, the players will play in a single Armageddon game wherein white will get five minutes against black’s four and white must win in order to proceed to the next round.
Laznicka gave up very early against Mamedyarov. The Czech Grandmaster was probably disheartened with his effort with the white pieces in the first game and opted for the Queen’s gambit with black.
Mamedyarov went for a simple set up and just when the game was on the brink of entering the middle game, the players decided to sign peace. It turned out to be an easy outing for Svidler too who faced the Arkhengelsk variation against Slav.
Top seed Israeli Boris Gelfand and Russian Dmitry Jakovenko did not fancy their white pieces too much and agreed to quick draws in level positions against Maxime Vachier Lagrave of France and Alexader Grischuk respectively.
Former world champion Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine fought on against Etienne Bacrot of France while Philippine’s Wesley So warded off initial difficulties before holding Russian Vladimir Malakhov.
Crauana Fabiano of Italy held second seed Vugar Gashimov to a creditable draw and will now play in the tiebreak games.
Results round 4 game 2 (Overall scores in the end): Boris Gelfand (Isr) drew with Maxime Vachier— Lagrave (Fra) 1—1, goes to tiebreak; Peter Svidler (Rus) drew with Alexei Shirov (Esp) 1.5—0.5; Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze) drew with Viktor Laznicka (Cze) 1.5—0.5; Nikita Vituigov (Rus) lost to Sergey Karjakin (Ukr) 0.5—1.5; Vladimir Malakhov (Rus) drew with Wesley So (Phi) 1—1, goes to tiebreak; Caruana Fabiano (Ita) drew with Vugar Gashimov (Aze) 1—1, goes to tiebreak; Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukr) drew with Etienne Bacrot (Fra) 1—1, goes to tiebreak; Dmitry Jakovenko (Rus) drew with Alexander Grischuk (Rus) 1—1, goes to tiebreak.