Svidler storms into title round

Svidler storms into title round

Svidler’s victory was similar to his win over top ranked woman Judit Polgar of Hungary in the quarterfinals when the Russian had drawn the first game and then capitalised on errors with black pieces to romp home.

The other semifinal duel between Russian Alexander Grischuk and Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine was stretched to the tiebreaker as none of the players succeeded in breaking the ice in the return game under normal time control.  

Svidler went for his tried and tested Grunfeld defense against Ponomariov but fell under some pressure in the early phase of the game after Ponomariov deviated from routine opening manoeuvres and went for relatively less played variation.  

Ponomariov, realising his position was deteriorating, even offered a draw but by then Svidler was the one fighting for a victory. The grind continued for a long time and finally Svidler came up triumphs after 43 moves.  

Ivanchuk and Grischuk fought it out in the Vienna variation where the Russian played with black pieces. It was all well by move twenty for both players as the position was balanced but Grischuk invested a lot of time and almost fell in serious troubles. Luckily for him the resulting queen versus two-pieces endgame was not easy for Ivanchuk and peace was signed on the 43rd move.