12 September 2011, Kuala Lumpur - The final four of Svidler, Ivanchuk, Grischuk and Ponomariov (pix below) will meet in the semi-final stage to decide the final two.
Internet Chess Club in their weekly newsletter reported that The $1.6m, 128-player Fide World in oil-rich Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, is reaching its decisive stages as the field has now been whittled down to the final four contestants - and along the way, one brave woman made a remarkable comeback to top flight chess.
Hungary's Judit Polgar, the strongest woman player of all-time, showed that motherhood certainly hasn't dimmed her tactical skills, nor her steely nerves with a run that stole the media spotlight away from the other players. The 35-year-old mother-of-two continually knocked out higher-rated players such as Sergey Movsisian of Armenia, top seed Sergey Karjakin of Russia, and Lenier Dominguez of Cuba, before the in-form six-time Russian champion and Chess.FM commentator, Peter Svidler, ended her run in the quarterfinals by beating her 1.5-0.5.
There were many upsets - not to mention superb games! - throughout, but as the competition progressed, the usual suspects won through. And joining Svidler in the final four for the World Cup is the familiar faces of Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine, Alexander Grischuk of Russia, and Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine. The pairings for the semifinals sees Svidler vs Ponomariov and Ivanchuk vs Grischuk - and apart from the little matter of the prize money, at stake now is three slots directly into the next Candidates Tournament (the winner of which will challenge for the world title in 2013).