Home > Sports > News > PTI > Report
Anand to meet Svidler in semis
October 29, 2003 16:58 IST
Russian champion Peter Svidler set up a semi-final clash with Indian Grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand after eliminating Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria in the quarter-finals of the World Rapid Chess Championship at Cap d'Agde, France, on Wednesday.
Grandmaster Alexander Grischuk of Russia also made it to the last four with a fine performance against local star Etienne Bacrot.
Grischuk's semi-final opponent will be compatriot and world No. 2 Vladimir Kramnik.
Anand and Kramnik had earlier made it to the semi-finals with victories over World champion Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine and the world's top woman player Judit Polgar of Hungary respectively by identical 1.5-0.5 margins.
For Anand it will be a tough match as Svidler is in great form. The Russian, who recently annexed the National title, is going great guns with a rapid rise in his Elo rating that has now reached a career-best 2723. He had been hovering around 2690 for the past three years and the recent upsurge has taken him to 9th in the world rankings.
Anand, however, holds a huge psychological advantage owing to his reputation of being amongst the best in Rapid Chess.
The semi-final will also be a two-game match like the quarter-finals.
Kramnik, on the other hand, starts as a big favourite against Grischuk, who has made it to the semifinals of the World Championship once.
The third and fourth quarter-final matches went on expected lines except that Grischuk could not make it in straight games as Bacrot forced a blitz tie-breaker after drawing both games under rapid time control of 25 minutes each plus 10 seconds additional.
However, in the first game of the Blitz, Grischuk obtained a devastating attack with a king side pawn roll that left Bacrot defenceless.
In the return game, Bacrot won a pawn to his credit but could not handle the tremendous pressure on the queenside. Grischuk collected an exchange and romped home in 62 moves.
Svidler allowed Topalov to get away with a comfortable draw in the first game in the Sicilian Sveshnikov, where the latter played black but gave an outstanding display of endgame technique in the second game to win in 46 moves from a Ruy Lopez opening.
Vladimir Kramnik (Rus) beat Judit Polgar (Hun) 1.5-0.5; Vishwanthan Anand beat Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukr) 1.5-0.5; Peter Svidler (Rus) beat Veselin Topalov (Bul) 1.5-0.5; Alexander Grischuk (Rus) beat Etienne Bacrot (Fra) 1-1, 2-0.
Semi-final pairings: Anand v/s Svidler; Kramnik v/s Grischuk.