2011 World Cup
August 7, 2011 4 Comments
The World Cup will start at the end of this month. The event is a 128 player knock-out that will once again take place in Khanty-Mansiysk. The city held the 2005, 2007 and 2009 World Cups, as well as the 2010 Olympiad. You can dig up my reports on the Olympiad from September and October 2010.
Khanty-Mansiysk is in Western Siberia. It’s easy to be skeptical. However, there are advantages to having events in “remote locations”. It’s a big event for the locals. Everybody knows about it, and the city does everything to accommodate it. This might have been more true with the Olympiad, where we had police officers directing traffic and NEVER making our buses wait on a left turn, but I expect good treatment once again. It’s a big event for the community, as their Wikipedia page shows.
Are there better places to go than Khanty Mansiysk? Well, I’ll ignore my own rhetorical question. It takes a very long time get there. There is also a 10 hour time difference with Toronto.
You can check out the tournament website here. There will be three Canadians taking part in the World Cup. Only one is certain of when he will leave, and that is IA Hal Bond. Hal will be one of the arbiters at the event.
The players do not have much stability. Elimination is the name of the game. 128 players. Matches include two serious time control games. A tie leads to rapid games. Another tie leads to blitz games. A final tie leads to Armageddon.
Simple math states that 50% of players are gone after the first round (maximum of 3 days), 75% gone after two rounds (6 days). I bought a one way ticket. I’ll figure out how to get back when the time comes.
Canadian IM Eric Hansen is paired against Super-GM Gashimov from Azerbaijan, rated 2760. I will be playing against GM Riazantsev from Russia, rated 2688. You can see the full first round pairings here. The pairings have already been changed once. No surprises are expected at this point.
The event is a lottery in a way, but also a very good way to test the nerves of the players. There are a lot of “approximately equal” players the the top. Take the 2009 World Cup as an example. GM Gelfand came out victorious. Not a fluke. At the 2011 Canadidates Matches, Boris beat GMs Mamedyarov, Kamsky and Grischuk to become the next challenger in the World Championship Match.
The tournament is one of a kind. We all prepare, play hard, and hope for the best.