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FIDE World Cup bids “so long” to So

Teenaged phenom GM Wesley So of the Philippines (not China, as was previously erroneously reported here and on other web sites), after scalping two fellow grandmasters, has been eliminated from the 2009 FIDE World Cup currently underway in Siberia.

After drawing both games with Russian GM Vladimir Malakhov yesterday, GM So lost all three of their tiebreak games played this morning (12/2 EST). I haven’t yet had time to look over all three of their tiebreak games, but here’s a Maroczy Bind I took a quick look at this afternoon:

Malakhov,V (2706) – So,W (2640) [B36]
World Cup Khanty-Mansiysk RUS (4), 2009

1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.e4 Nf6 6.Nc3 d6 7.Be2 Nxd4 8.Qxd4 Bg7 9.Be3 0-0 10.Qd2 a5 11.0-0 a4 12.f3 Be6 13.Rac1 Qa5 14.Rfd1 Rfc8 15.Nb5 Nd7

16.Qxa5 N

[16.Nd4 Qxd2 (16…Nc5 17.Nxe6 Qxd2 18.Rxd2 fxe6 19.Rb1 Kf7 20.Kf1 Ra6= Ribli,Z – Parligras,M, Germany 2008) 17.Rxd2 Nc5 18.Kf2 Bd7 19.Bf1 b5 20.Rdd1 b4 21.g3 Rc7 22.Ke1 Rac8 23.Rb1 Rb7 24.Rd2 Ne6 1/2-1/2 Janaszak,D – Rutkowski,M, Ustron 2008]

16…Rxa5 17.Nd4 Nc5 18.Kf2 Bd7 19.Rb1 Ne6 20.Nb5 Raa8 21.Nc3 Bxc3 22.bxc3 Bc6 23.g4 f6 24.h4 Kg7 25.g5 Rf8

[Exchanging the pawns first would have been more forcing: 25…fxg5 26.hxg5 Rf8=, but Black is still handling this uncharted territory quite well.]

26.Kg3 f5 27.exf5 Rxf5 28.f4 Nc5 29.Bg4 Ne4+ 30.Kh2

30…Raf8 The White Bishop pair is a concern certainly, but it’s not clear why Black saw it necessary to sacrifice the Exchange at this point.

[30…Rff8 31.Be6 h6 32.Bd5 Kh7 33.Bxc6 bxc6= Fritz12]

31.Rf1 e5 32.Bxf5 Rxf5 White now has a material advantage, which isn’t offset by his structural weakness.  His “bad” Bishop isn’t that bad, and Black can’t easily exploit the doubled c-pawns.

33.Rbc1 Kf7 34.fxe5 dxe5 35.c5 Ke6 36.c4 a3 37.Rce1 Ba4 38.h5?

[38.Rb1 Bc6 39.Rbd1 Kf7 would have kept White’s advantage.]

38…gxh5 39.Rxf5 Kxf5 40.Rf1+ Kg6 41.Rf8 Bc6 42.Rg8+ Kf5

[42…Kf7 43.Rd8]

43.Rg7 Nc3 44.Rxh7 Nxa2 45.Bd2 e4 46.Rf7+ Ke6 47.Rf6+ Ke5 48.Rf1 Kd4 49.Ra1 Nc3 50.g6 Bd7 51.g7 Be6 52.Bxc3+ Kxc3 53.Rxa3+ Kxc4 54.Ra7 e3 55.Rxb7 1-0

FIDE World Cup official site

Are you having trouble handling the Maroczy Bind yourself? ChessCentral can help with this instructional Roman’s Labs DVD (presently $6 off list price, too!).

Have fun! — Steve

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