Maxime Vachier-Lagrave lost the first game with White against Vladimir Kramnik and the former World Champion didn’t give him any chances to even the score in the second. Dmitry Andreikin and Evgeny Tomashevsky drew their first rapid game but the current Russian Champion defeated his opponent in the second. Two Russians, Kramnik and Andreikin, will meet in the final.
By Anastasia Karlovich
Semi-final results and final pairings
It looked as though Maxime Vachier-Lagrave hadn't recovered after yesterday’s long battle and could offer no real resistance in rapid chess today. In contrast his opponent Vladimir Kramnik played with energy, trying to fight for the initiative, which paid off for him in the first game. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave didn’t withstand the pressure and in a position which was already slightly better for Black he made a fatal mistake. Kramnik played solidly in the second game, confidently drawing and knocking out his opponent.
According to the regulations Vladimir Kramnik qualifies for the 2014 Candidates Tournament as one of the finalists of the FIDE World Cup. His victory today helped his compatriot Sergey Karjakin, who had the highest average rating after Kramnik and Aronian, to qualify for the Candidates Tournament as well. “I’m waiting for a present from “Alpari” [the sponsors of Sergey Karjakin] - I think I deserve it,” said Vladimir Kramnik with a smile.
Speaking about his opponent in the final match the former World Champion pointed out: “I’ve played two games against Andreikin this year and lost both of them. One game I lost by an awful blunder. But that doesn’t make me afraid of him. I still believe I’m a slight favorite in this match. It would be an interesting point to try and take revenge.”
Evgeny Tomashevsky was unable to exploit the advantage of the white pieces in the first game and it seemed as though the second game would also end in a draw. The spectators were hoping to see another rapid and maybe blitz match, but Dmitry Andreikin wasn't ready to give up his chances. Tomashevsky avoided exchanging queens and later on Andreikin managed to activate all his pieces and create unpleasant threats. His opponent didn’t defend precisely and lost the game and the match.
“I didn’t expect Evgeny and I would meet in a match. Even one round before when I played against Svidler and he played against Kamsky the chances of us meeting in the next stage seemed so small. I’m very glad to qualify for the Candidates Tournament even though I’m not really sure how I’m going to prepare for the event and how I'll play there…” said Dmitry Andreikin after the match.
Answering a question about his chances in the final Dmitry Andreikin pointed out: “Yes, it’s true that I have 2:0 against Kramnik but I must say I haven't played very well in classical chess in this event so far. At one moment I had to use the famous tactic where you're satisfied with two draws in classical and then try to win in rapid. That wasn't my goal from the beginning but it happened as I couldn't get anything with White. I decided to save my energy for rapid. I believe at this level it’s easier to make a draw with Black than to win with White. In any case, I’m sure Kramnik will try to press in classical chess. I’m very happy we have a free day tomorrow as I had only one free day before. It was a long time ago, after the second round when I accidentally won a classical game. The tournament hasn't finished yet - the final is ahead”.
After the rest day Vladimir Kramnik will play with the white pieces against Dmitry Andreikin on the 30th of August.
Time controls and rules
The time control for each two-game match is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one. If the score is equal there are two rapid chess tiebreak games, played at a rate of 25 minutes for each player with an increment of 10 seconds per move. If the score is still equal then two accelerated games will be played, with a time control of 10 min + 10 sec. If the score is still equal two more games will be played at 5 min + 3 sec. If the winner is still not determined then a final Armageddon game with 5 minutes for White and 4 minutes for Black, with a 3 sec increment after move 60, will be played. In this game Black has draw odds (i.e. he wins if the game is drawn).