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GM Ivanchuk says “I quit”

Ukranian GM Vassily Ivanchuk has announced his retirement from chess. The startling statement came hot on the heels to his embittering loss to 16 year old grandmaster Wesley So in the FIDE World Cup, currently underway in Khanty-Mansiysk. The World Cup is a FIDE World Championship qualifying event using a knockout format.

Ivanchuck, with the White pieces, lost the first game of the mini-match and managed to only draw the second game, eliminating him from the event.

Immediately after his elimination, Ivanchuk said, “In the first game all went okay, I was about to win. I was almost sure that I am winning! And then —  then I just went crazy. At one point I could make a perpetual, but my position seemed to me to have perspective, and I decided to continue playing. Perhaps the decision was right, if it were not for time trouble. Having two minutes against ten you are doomed to failure. So the result is obvious: an inadequate estimation of the situation which led to a tragedy. In the second game I was trying to keep a balance, but I missed something. My opponent, by the way, played very badly.” (as reported on the ChessBase website and the official FIDE site for the event). Ivanchuk went on to say, “I am sure that from now on I should forget about any serious aims in chess. I don’t need anything from chess anymore. I will start new life with new goals. Chess — I will become just a chess fan now. I will follow chess, will follow the games of my ex-colleagues.”

Vassily Ivanchuk was one of the brightest stars of the chess world during the “Kasparov era” of the late 1980’s and 1990’s. He astounded the chess world with his meteoric rise. Rated below 2400 in 1986, by the year 1990 he’d topped 2600 Elo.  By 1992 he’d passed the 2700 rating plateau, joining the ranks of the “super GMs”. In 2007 he hit his highest Elo rating (2787) at age 38.

Now, at age 40, GM Ivanchuk appears ready to call it a day.

Here’s the first game of the mini-match with GM So from the World Cup:

Ivanchuk,V-So,W
FIDE World Cup, 2009

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. exd5 exd5 5. Bd3 Nf6 6. Nge2 O-O 7. O-O Bg4 8.
f3 Bh5 9. Nf4 Bg6 10. Nxg6 hxg6 11. Bg5 c6 12. f4 Qb6 13. Na4 (13. Bxf6 gxf6
14. Ne2 f5 15. Bxf5 gxf5 16. Ng3 Re8 17. Nxf5 Re6 {Guth-Sharavdorj, Berlin-ch 1997}) 13… Qxd4+ 14. Kh1 Ne4 15. c3 Nf2+ 16. Rxf2 Qxf2 17. cxb4 f6 18. Qg4 fxg5 19. Qe6+ Kh8 20. Nc5 Qxb2 21. Qh3+ Kg8 22. Qe6+ Kh8= 23. Rf1 Qf6 24. Qh3+ Kg8 25. g3?? (25. Ne4 dxe4 26. Bc4+ Rf7 27. Qc8+ Kh7 28. Qh3+ Kg8=) 25… Re8 26. Nxb7 gxf4 27. Rxf4 Re1+ (27… Qe6 28. Qxe6+ Rxe6 {With a similar position to 29…Rxe6 in the text — the White King is on g2 in the actual game)}) 28. Kg2 Qe6 29. Qxe6+ Rxe6 30. Nc5 Re7 31. b5 Nd7 32. Nxd7 Rxd7 33. bxc6 Rd6 34. Bb5 Re8 35. Rd4 Kf7 36. Rf4+ Ke6 37. Rg4 Ke5 38. Kf3 Rf6+ 39. Ke3 {White plays one last move and resigns due to 39…Kd6 with a winning endgame.} 0-1

The opening citation in the above game was located in just moments using ChessBase 10 and the Mega Database, both available from ChessCentral.

LATE BREAKING NEWS: GM Wesley Yo has just eliminated GM Gata Kamsky from the World Cup. We’ll have more on this story later.

Have fun! — Steve

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