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Byline: Bobby Ang
The FIDE World Chess Cup took place in the oil-boom town of Khanty- Mansiysk, in that general part of Russia we usually refer to as Siberia, from Nov. 20 up to Dec. 15, 2009. It was a seven-round knockout event of 128 players with six rounds of matches comprising two games per round, with the winners progressing to the next round. The final seventh round consists of four games. The time control is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move from move one. Aside from the huge cash prizes, the winner of the World Chess Cup automatically qualifies for the Candidates' match- tournament, from which the challenger to the world championship title will come from.
As you all know by now Boris Gelfand defeated Ruslan Ponomariov 7-5 in the finals to win the World Cup. Let us study the losing finalist's performance.
Ruslan Ponomariov (born Oct.11, 1983 in Ukraine) is only 26 years old but is already considered a veteran in high-level chess competitions. His nerves of steel traditionally serves him well in these FIDE knockout tournaments. One does not need to go farther than 2002 when he beat his fellow countryman Vassily Ivanchuk in the final …