FIDE KO

January 16th-25th, 2002

Jan 23, 2002: 18-year-old Ruslan Ponomariov became the new and youngest ever FIDE World Champion with a draw in Game 7 of his match against fellow Ukrainian Vassily Ivanchuk. The frailties which have beset Ivanchuk's career, brutally identified by Nigel Short (See Who Will Win?), were all too evident. Presumably Garry Kasparov can ask for a signed photograph so he can recognise the new champion when they meet for the first time. Ponomariov will be crowned on Friday Jan 25.

The final took place in Moscow's Metropol Hotel January 16th-25th 2002. The final consisted of eight games with further speed play-offs if the match remained tied. Play takes place on January 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, rest day, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th and on the 25th there will be a play-off if required.

The finalists are both from Ukraine - Vassily Ivanchuk and Ruslan Ponomariov.

TWIC will provide daily reports from the final. The official FIDE site is at http://wcc2001.fide.com/

Who will win?

GAME 7: Ponomariov,R (2727) - Ivanchuk,V (2717) [B04] FIDE WCh KO Final Moscow RUS (7), 23.01.2002 1 e4 Nf6 2 e5 Nd5 3 d4 d6 4 Nf3 Nc6 5 c4 Nb6 6 e6 fxe6 7 Nc3 g6 8 Be3 Bg7 9 h4 0-0 10 h5 e5 11 d5 Nd4 12 Nxd4 exd4 13 Bxd4 g5 14 Bxg7 Kxg7 15 h6+ Kg8 16 Qd2 e5 17 Rh5 g4 18 Qg5+ Qxg5 19 Rxg5+ Kh8 20 Rg7 Rf6 21 Rxc7 Rxh6 22 b4 -

GAME 6: Ivanchuk,V (2717) - Ponomariov,R (2727) [C42] FIDE WCh KO Final Moscow RUS (7.6), 22.01.2002 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 Nxe5 d6 4 Nf3 Nxe4 5 d4 d5 6 Bd3 Nc6 7 0-0 Be7 8 c4 Nb4 9 Be2 0-0 10 Nc3 Be6 11 Ne5 f6 12 Nf3 Kh8 13 h3 f5 14 a3 Nc6 15 Nxd5 Bxd5 16 cxd5 Qxd5 17 Qa4 Bf6 18 Rd1 Rad8 19 Be3 f4 20 Bxf4 Nxd4 21 Nxd4 Bxd4 22 Be3 c5 23 Bxd4 cxd4 24 f3 d3 25 Qxe4 Qxe4 26 fxe4 dxe2 27 Rd5 -

GAME 5: Ponomariov,R (2727) - Ivanchuk,V (2717) [C88] FIDE WCh KO Final Moscow RUS (7.5), 21.01.2002 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 0-0 Be7 6 Re1 b5 7 Bb3 0-0 8 h3 Bb7 9 d3 d6 10 a3 Nb8 11 Nbd2 Nbd7 12 Nf1 Re8 13 Ng3 c6 14 Nh2 d5 15 Qf3 g6 16 Ba2 Bf8 17 Bg5 h6 18 Bd2 Bg7 19 Ng4 Nxg4 20 hxg4 Nc5 21 Rad1 Rc8 22 Nf1 Ne6 23 Qg3 Kh7 24 Nh2 f6 25 Nf3 c5 26 Qh2 Nd4 27 Nxd4 cxd4 28 c3 dxc3 29 bxc3 dxe4 30 dxe4 Qe7 31 a4 bxa4 32 Qh3 Red8 33 Qf3 Rc7 34 Bc1 Rcd7 35 Bb1 Qe6 36 Rxd7 Rxd7 37 Bc2 Bc6 38 Rd1 Qa2 39 Rxd7 Bxd7 40 Qd1 Bb5 41 Be3 Qc4 42 Kh2 Bc6 43 Qa1 Bf8 44 Bb1 a3 45 f3 Qb3 46 Qa2 Ba4 47 Kg3 Kg7 48 Qd2 g5 49 Ba2 Qb7 50 Qd3 Be8 51 Qd5 Qxd5 52 exd5 a5 53 c4 Bb4 54 c5 Kf8 55 Kf2 Bb5 56 c6 Ke7 57 Ba7 Kd8 58 Bb6+ Kc8 59 Ke3 a4 60 Ke4 Be2 61 Kf5 e4 62 Ke6 exf3 63 d6 Bxd6 64 Kxd6 1-0

GAME 4: Ivanchuk,V (2717) - Ponomariov,R (2727) [D20] FIDE WCh KO Final Moscow RUS (4), 19.01.2002 1 d4 d5 2 c4 dxc4 3 e4 Nf6 4 e5 Nd5 5 Bxc4 Nb6 6 Bb3 Nc6 7 Ne2 Bf5 8 Nbc3 e6 9 0-0 Qd7 10 Be3 0-0-0 11 Qc1 Nb4 12 Rd1 Kb8 13 Nf4 c6 14 Qd2 h5 15 Qe2 h4 16 Rac1 Be7 17 a3 N4d5 18 Nd3 f6 19 Bd2 Bxd3 20 Qxd3 f5 21 Ne2 g5 22 Bc2 g4 23 b4 Rdf8 24 Rf1 Qd8 25 f4 gxf3 26 gxf3 Rfg8+ 27 Kh1 h3 28 f4 Rg2 29 Rf3 Qg8 30 Rg3 Rxg3 31 hxg3 h2 32 Rf1 Qg4 33 Rf2 Qh5 34 Bb3 Nc7 35 Qf3 Qh3 36 Rg2 Nbd5 37 Qf2 Nb5 38 Bxd5 cxd5 39 a4 Na3 40 Rxh2 Qxh2+ 41 Qxh2 Rxh2+ 42 Kxh2 Nc4 43 Bc3 Kc7 44 Kh3 b5 45 axb5 Kb6 46 Be1 Ne3 47 Bd2 Nc4 48 Be1 Ne3 49 Bd2 Nc4 50 Be1 Ne3 -

GAME 3: Ponomariov,R (2727) - Ivanchuk,V (2717) [B47] FIDE WCh KO Final Moscow RUS (3), 18.01.2002 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nc6 5 Nc3 Qc7 6 g3 a6 7 Bg2 d6 8 0-0 Bd7 9 Nxc6 Bxc6 10 Re1 Be7 11 Qg4 h5 12 Qe2 h4 13 a4 hxg3 14 hxg3 Rc8 15 a5 Kf8 16 Be3 Nf6 17 Bb6 Qb8 18 Bf3 Nd7 19 Bd4 Bf6 20 Bxf6 gxf6 21 Bg2 Ne5 22 f4 Qa7+ 23 Kf1 Ng6 24 Qf2 Qxf2+ 25 Kxf2 Rh5 26 Rh1 Rc5 27 Rh7 Ke7 28 Bf1 Nf8 29 Rh8 Bb5 30 Bd3 Bxd3 31 cxd3 Nd7 32 Rxc8 Rxc8 33 d4 Rc4 34 Ra4 Rxa4 35 Nxa4 f5 36 exf5 exf5 37 Nc3 Nf6 38 d5 Nd7 39 b4 Nf6 40 Ke3 Kd7 41 Kd4 Nh5 42 Ne2 Nf6 43 Kc4 Ne4 44 b5 axb5+ 45 Kxb5 Kc7 46 Kc4 Kb8 47 Kb4 -

GAME 2: Ivanchuk,V (2717) - Ponomariov,R (2727) [D20] FIDE WCh KO Final Moscow RUS (7.2), 17.01.2002 1 d4 d5 2 c4 dxc4 3 e4 Nf6 4 e5 Nd5 5 Bxc4 Nb6 6 Bd3 Nc6 7 Ne2 Bg4 8 f3 Be6 9 Nbc3 Bc4 10 Bxc4 Nxc4 11 0-0 e6 12 a3 Qd7 13 Kh1 Be7 14 Qb3 Nb6 15 Be3 0-0 16 Rac1 a5 17 Rfd1 a4 18 Qc2 Rfd8 19 Nf4 Ra5 20 Qe4 g6 21 Qc2 Qe8 22 Qe2 Rd7 23 Rc2 Nd5 24 Ncxd5 exd5 25 Rdc1 f6 26 Nd3 fxe5 27 dxe5 d4 28 Bh6 g5 29 Rxc6 bxc6 30 Rxc6 Bd6 31 f4 Rf7 32 Rc1 Rxf4 33 Nxf4 Rxe5 34 Qc4+ Qf7 35 Nd3 Rf5 36 Qxf7+ Kxf7 37 h4 gxh4 38 Kg1 Ke6 39 Rc4 h3 40 gxh3 Kd5 41 Rxa4 Ke4 42 Nf2+ Kf3 43 Rxd4 Bc5 44 Rd2 Rf6 45 Bg5 Rg6 46 Kf1 Rxg5 47 Rd3+ Kf4 48 Rc3 Bb6 49 b4 Rd5 50 Rd3 Rf5 51 Nd1 c5 52 Nc3 cxb4 53 axb4 Ke5+ 54 Ke1 Rf4 55 Rd5+ Ke6 56 Rb5 Bc7 57 Nd5 Re4+ 58 Kf2 Bd6 -

GAME 1: Ponomariov,R (2727) - Ivanchuk,V (2717) [C11] FIDE WCh KO Final Moscow RUS (7.1), 16.01.2002 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Bg5 dxe4 5 Nxe4 Be7 6 Bxf6 Bxf6 7 Nf3 0-0 8 Qd2 Be7 9 0-0-0 Qd5 10 Nc3 Qa5 11 a3 Nd7 12 Kb1 Qb6 13 Qe3 Nf6 14 Ne5 Rd8 15 Bc4 Bd7 16 Bb3 Be8 17 Rhe1 Bf8 18 g4 Nd5 19 Qf3 c6 20 Ne4 Qc7 21 c4 Ne7 22 Ng5 Nc8 23 c5 1-0

Who will win?

"Why has this immensly gifted winner of dozens of international tournaments never won the world title? Well basically because he is a choker who cracks up time and again when the pressure is really on." Nigel Short on Ivanchuk - Sunday Telegraph column

From Clubkasparov.com:

Journalist: What can you say about the other finalist, Ruslan Ponomariov?

Kasparov: I don't even know him on sight. Judging from his games, Ponomariov plays very solidly and has good nerves. Such style suits the knockout format and the new time control the best. It is impossible to get past such strong GMs as Bareev, Morozevich, and Svidler by chance. Besides, don't forget that Ponomariov beat Dreev on the black side in the decisive match Russia - Ukraine of the World Team Championship. By the way, Ukraine is the team-champion, so there is some logic in the final of Ivanchuk - Ponomariov. Apparently Ivanchuk is a cut above Ponomariov. However, the younger Ukrainian would not have had any hope against Anand, whereas vs. Vasily he has fair chances. Inexplicable failures that have been haunting Ivanchuk make him an unpredictable player.

Journalist: How would you estimate the finalists' chances?

Kasparov: I would put it this way: Ponomariov demonstrates a stable 2700 level rating. Ivanchuk can play either as a 2800 or sometimes as a 2600 player. A lot will depend on his form. In my opinion the odds are 55:45 in Ivanchuk's favor.

Vassily Ivanchuk

Born March 18, 1969. Became Grandmaster 1988.

Jan 1, 2002 FIDE Rating:2717

Ruslan Ponomariov

Born October 11, 1983. Became Grandmaster 1998.

Jan 1, 2002 FIDE Rating:2727