Monday, June 4, 2007

Fide Candidates Match 2007 Round 1

The Candidates Matches for the 2007 World Chess Championship Tournament was held in Elista, Russia, from May 26 to June 14, 2007. A total of 16 candidates played two rounds of six-game matches to fill four places in the 2007 World Championship in Mexico City. The prize fund was US $40,000 per match, most of the money ($320,000) coming from a personal fund of FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, FIDE ($160,000) and the general sponsor, Rosenergomash.

In the most excitng competition of round 1, Aronian and Carlsen faught head to head until Aronian won the last 2 tie blitz games to score a 7-5 win when the classical games drew at 4 draws and 1 win each. leko outplayed Gurevich the same was as Kamsky demolished Bacrot (
3.5 - 0.5). Rublevsky defeated Ponomariov and Bereev defeated Polgar by 3.5 - 2.5 margin while Grishchuk comfortably overcame Malakov (3.5 - 1.5). In the other tie-breaks of Shirov vs Adams and Gelfand vs Kasimdzhanov the outcome was identical 5.5 - 3.5 in favor of Shirov and Gelfand respectively. Now we will be looking forward to Round 2 fights that will decide the rest 4 World Chess Mexico 2007 participants.

Round 2 Pairings:

Aronian vs Shirov -
I am expecting a very interesting battle.
Grishchuk vs Rublevsky - I think Grishchuk will win.
Gelfand vs Kamsky - My bet is on Kamsky.
Leko vs Bareev -
I am quite sure about Leko.

FIDE press director Peter Rajcsanyi summarized the event so far as follows:

The first round of the candidate matches resulted in many colorful and fire-packed games, a few real blunders (from among which many were made in the longer-time-control games), several good combinations, interesting rook sacrifices, not too many draws and a friendly atmosphere among the players, audience and officials.

The outside temperature was high and on many boards there were heated-up struggles in the main playing hall, too. The overall quality of the games is good and the excitement created by the arrangement of bringing all candidate matches into one place pleased most of the local and Internet spectators. On the Internet, the average number of daily visitors reached the sixty thousand level.

Magnus Carlsen is the hero of the first round – no doubt. He became the chess idol of the young Kalmykian girls who may or may not know chess (as he enjoys the same status in Norway, too) while his stamina as well as consistency has been admired all over the world by chess players. His friendly style, delightful and disarming smile and the candid answers pleased media people in the press center all the time. He successfully used the whole chess armory available for him although finally it was not enough against Aronian now. Next time, who knows…