There is a new rule this year, as draws by mutual consent will be forbidden! Draws can only be accepted if material is insufficent, or by a threefold repetition. I assume that Stalemate and the fifty-move rule are also acceptable! The organizer presumably hopes that this will mean fighting chess for the spectator.
I personally predict that when the players recognize that winning chances are minimal they will 'engineer a repetition by mutual consent'!
The rate of play is 100 minutes for 40 moves, then 50 minutes for 20 moves, then 15 minutes to finish. There will also be an incremental 30 seconds added from move 1. So plenty of time to contemplate that draws are not welcome!
|Quang Liem, Le||VIE||2681|
It's good to see Le Quang Liem being given a chance at this level.
1st round pairing
|Ruslan Ponomariov||2734||UKR||1-0||Peter Leko||2734||HUN||Scotch Opening (Mieses)|
|Vladimir Kramnik||2790||RUS||0.5-0.5||Le Quang Liem||2681||VIE||Slav Defence (Main line)|
|Arkadij Naiditsch||2684||GER||0-1||Shakhriyar Mamedyarov||2761||AZE||Sicilian Defence (Sozin)|
The sharpest opening was Naiditsch's aggressive Sozin against Mamedyarov's Najdorf.
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