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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russian Gets Only Win of 5th Round




LAS VEGAS -- Alexander Khalifman of Russia defeated Hungary's Judit Polgar for the only decisive result in the fifth round of the World Chess Championship at Caesars Palace.


Polgar, the only woman remaining in the field, played an opening variation for which her opponent was well prepared. Khalifman gained an advantage and relentlessly pressed it home for the win Thursday.


Polgar faces elimination if she loses or draws in Friday's game, the final of this mini-match. If she manages to tie the match, two-game playoff sets will be held Saturday.


The tournament began July 31 with 100 players. It will conclude Aug. 29 with the crowning of a new world champion. Eight players remain in contention for the title and the first prize of $660,000. The event is sponsored by the FIDE, the international chess federation.


Top seed Vladimir Kramnik of Russia played to a draw against No. 5 Michael Adams of England. Kramnik was better for most of the contest, but the English star managed to even up the position. Both of these players were among the pre-tournament favorites.


Alexei Shirov of Spain, the second seed and current favorite, was held to a draw by Liviu Nisipeanu of Romania.


Nisipeanu, seeded 46th, had prepared a dangerous opening. He sacrificed two pieces but obtained a strong attack. The same opening moves have been played to a draw against Garry Kasparov, the strongest player in the world. It is widely known that black must play exactly to avoid defeat.


Shirov did not know this opening as well as his opponent, but he found the correct moves and the players agreed to the draw after 22 moves. Shirov will get his turn with the white pieces Friday.


Vladimir Akopian of Armenia seemed to have a slight advantage against Sergei Movsesian of the Czech Republic. Akopian had less time than his opponent, however, and the players agreed to split the point.