Chessbibliophile offers the second instalment of the report on ACP Cup, Riga.
The first instalment is here for those who missed. -Ed.
September 14 Quarter Finals
Now there were eight! Seasoned campaigners, Grischuk and Svidler of course kept cool. Others could hardly contain their excitement. When the play began the first to succumb was Radjabov. He had done well enough to knock out Shirov in the first round. Now he fell prey to some clever tactics by Svidler.
In the second game sadly there was nothing in the position to offer any hope for Radjabov.
“I only need to keep everything under control. Then he either draws or commits harakiri. Either way it’s OK.”
“I am already a point down. How do I get anything out of this cheerless position?”
As it happened, his apprehensions turned out to be right and he could extract nothing out of the position. So it was a tame draw and the challenge of Radjabov came to an end. The Azeri talent has had a poor result in the Candidates’ Tournament this year and he is yet to recover his form.
The next to capitulate was Wojtaszek. The giant killer of the first round (he had beaten none other than Ivanchuk) was taken for a ride by wily Grischuk.
(Wojtaszek immersed in thought and Grischuk wondering whether he would fall for the bait. Svidler and the Arbiter are seen in the background)
Mamedyarov is a dangerous tactician and a veteran of rapid play. But Ponomariov had him in a bind, exchanged volley for volley and won. Here is a critical position from the first game.
Malakhov did give a fright to Nepomniachtchi beating him in the second game to draw level after losing the first game. In the third game, however, his attack on the king turned out to be a non-starter with his opponent on the vigil. Soon he had to pay the price for ignoring his pawn position. In the fourth game both sides castled on opposite sides and it was Black’s attack that came first.
“Well, that’s that!”
The Semi Final began in greater earnest next day….
The images of the second round are by the talented photographer,
Lennart Ootes who also took care of the official site.