Friday, 27 November 2009

Chess world cup 2009

Today marks the third round of the Chess World Cup knock-out tournament in Khanty-Mansiysk, somewhere in Siberia, Russia. Ironical that while nobody ever wants to go to Siberia, only the chess players will flock there to play chess!

Anyway, there are only a handful of Asian chess players left in the dwindling field. They started with 128 players from around the world last Saturday and now there are only 32. Among the survivors are Wesley So (Philippines), Wang Yue (China), Yu Yangyi (China), Wang Hao (China) and Li Chao (China).

How many of them will get past this round? It'll be getting tougher as the rounds progress and the field gets smaller. Primary focus will be on young Wesley So (right) who eliminated Vassily Ivanchuk in the second round and will be going head-to-head next with Gata Kamsky who won the last Chess World Cup two years ago. I respect Gata Kamsky as a very experienced super-grandmaster who has played at the highest levels but as an Asian, I am rooting for Wesley So.

The other pair-ups will include Li Chao playing against Vugar Gashimov, Etienne Bacrot against Wang Yue, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov against Wang Hao, and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave against Yu Yangyi. I hope they all make it.

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