Wednesday, August 28, 2013

2013 World Chess Cup: And then there were four

The FIDE World Cup is currently in progress in Tromso, Norway  It started as early as August 10th with 128 players. The importance of this tournament is that the two players that reach the finals qualify for the 2014 Candidates to select the Challenger to the World Champion in the next cycle.

The format pits two players in a match consisting of two games (90 min for 40 moves + 30 min for the rest, with 30 seconds increment). The one who scores most points go on to the next round. If there is a tie after the two standard games tiebreaks consisting of two rapid games (25 min + 10 sec), then two accelerated games (10 min + 10 sec), and finally an Armageddon will decide who progresses.

We are now at the semi-finals stage and many big names have been eliminated, inevitably  so as the match format means a single loss will be disastrous. The big names includes Ivanchuk, Morozevich, Nakamura, Caruana, Grischuk and Aronian. Only Kramnik has survived together with such lesser names as Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Dmitri Andreikin and Evgeny Tomashevsky.

The semi-final matches are Kramnik against  Vachier-Lagrave and Andreikin against Tomashevsky. The first two classical games in both matches were drawn  so they will go on to the tie-breaks. The first two tie-break games will be played at 25 minutes with 10 seconds increment. If still tied, then another two blitz games of 10 minutes and 10 seconds increment. If the tie is still not broken another two games of 5 minutes with three seconds increment will take place. And finally if there is no decision is reached, a final game of sudden death with 5 minutes for white while the opponent with the black pieces  receive 4 minutes and draw odds. Draw odds means that in case of a draw, the black player wins the match, so the player choosing to take white must win.

The winner of the World Cup takes home USD 120,000 while the runner-up receives USD 80,000.


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