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Gata and Alex Score in Round 2 Print E-mail
By Jennifer Shahade   
November 27, 2007
Gata Kamsky in round two. Photo Misha Savinov.
In round 2.1 of the World Cup, Alexander Onischuk scored a crushing win against Predrag Nikolic. Meanwhile, Kamsky outplayed GM Boris Avrukh in an endgame, topping the game off with a nice finale. Either Gata or Alex could go very far in this tournament. Gata just had an excellent result in the World Blitz Championship , while Alex tied for first in the Biel chess festival a few months ago.

For those who haven't yet seen Gata's win, try to figure out the quickest win for Kamsky in the following position:

Position after 53.Kg4

Show Solution

Here are the full games:



Alexander Onischuk made an interesting sacrifice 16.Rxe6. Because the Bishop on f6 blocks the knight from coming to f6, there was no graceful way for Black to defend against the threat on h7 after Qe2-Qe4. In the end, Black managed to simplify to an endgame that was only slightly better for White. However, he may have been worn out by Alex's aggressive play, cause he blundered horribly with 39...Nc7??, allowing Alex to win instantly.

Position after 39....Nc7


We shouldn't forget Yury Shulman, who went far in last year's World Cup and should not be underestimated despite the fact that his rating gave him a tough pairing in round two, Alexei Shirov.  In the first game, he drew with White in a theoretical Grunfeld. Because of the two game match structure, drawing with White must be seen as a disadvantage for Yury, but anything can happen tomorrow or in the tiebreak.