Wednesday, November 04, 2009

World Cup: RP GMs take on rated rivals
(The Philippine Star) Updated November 04, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - GM Wesley So takes on GM Gadir Guseinov of Azerbaijan in the first round of the World Chess Cup which begins Nov. 20 at the Khanty-Mansiysk Center of Arts in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.

So, the country’s highest-rated player with a 2640 rating, is seeded 59th overall in the 128-player tournament which features the world’s top players.
His opponent, Guseinov, is seeded 70th.

Guseinov is one of 46 players who qualified through the European Championships in 2008 and 2009.

The two other Filipino campaigners in the event are GMs Rogelio Antonio Jr. and Darwin Laylo, who will be up against a pair of veteran and higher-rated opponents.

Antonio, who clinched a World Cup berth with a strong showing in the Asian Individual Chess Championship in Subic early this year, will play No. 27 seed GM Gata Kamsky of the United States.

On the other hand, Laylo, playing on his second straight World Cup after topping the Asian Zone 3.3 championship in Vietnam also this year, will challenge No. 21 seed GM David Navara of the Czech Republic.

Kamsky is one of three players seeded in the tournament for his participation in the 2007 World Cup.

Like Gusienov, Navara also earned a slot in the World Cup through the European Championships.

National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president/chairman Prospero “Butch”Pichay expressed confidence the three Filipino players will perform well in the first round.

“We expect our players, especially Wesley, to do well in the first round,” said Pichay, who hosted four major international tournaments in the country this year to give the Filipino players the much-needed exposure in international play.

“Wesley did well in the recent SPICE (Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence) tournament, Joey is performing well in the Asian Indoor Games in Vietnam and Darwin also had a superb showing in the Asian Zonals,” said Pichay.

Top seed GM Boris Gelfand of Israel opens his campaign against IM Andrei Obodchuk of Russia in this Wimbledon-style knockout matches organized by the World Chess Federation (FIDE).

Second seed GM Vugar Gashimov of Azerbaijan will meet IM Walaa Sarwat of Egypt whle third seed GM Peter Svidler of Russia will take on IM Jean Hebert of Candada.

Other notable first-round matches will pit No. 4 GM Alexander Morozevich of Russia against IM Khaled Abdel Rzik of Egypt, No. 5 GM Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan against IM Mohamed Ezat of Egypt, No. 6 GM Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine against GM Alexei Bezgrodov of Russia, No. 7 GM Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine against GM Essam El Gindy of Egypt, No. 8 GM Alexander Grischuk of Russia against IM Jha Smiram of India, No. 9 GM Dmitry Jakovenko of Russia against GM Aimen Rizouk of Algeria and No. 10 GM Wang Yue of China against GM Nikolai Kabanov of Russia.

The second round is scheduled on Nov. 24-25, while the third round will be played on Nov. 27-28.

Only 64 players will advance to the second round and 32 to the third round.

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