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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Top-Seeded Players Ousted In Round of Major Upsets




LAS VEGAS -- Sergei Movsesian, Liviu Nisipeanu and Alexander Khalifman scored major upsets in the fourth round of playoffs at the Chess World Championship.


Each knocked out one of the top 12 seeds Wednesday, although each winner had not been ranked among the top 25 players.


Top-seeded Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, fifth-seed Michael Adams of England and 16th-ranked Judit Polgar of Hungary also were among eight players advancing to Thursday's fifth round.


This elimination tournament, which started with 100 players, is being sponsored by the international chess federation, FIDE. The prize fund is $3 million. Wednesday's losers received more than $43,000. Winners are guaranteed double that amount.


Alexei Shirov of Spain, the No. 2 seed, and 31st-ranked Vladimir Akopian of Armenia had secured their places in the final eight Tuesday.


Wednesday's tiebreaker matches featured sets of two-game matches with games lasting up to about one hour instead of the usual seven hours.


Nisipeanu of Romania pulled off the biggest shocker when he eliminated sixth-seed Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine. The Romanian, ranked 46th, will be the lowest seed in the quarterfinals.


After a draw in the first game, Ivanchuk inexplicably blundered away a piece in the second and was forced to resign.


Movsesian, a 20-year-old Czech, drew both games of his first set against third-seed Alexei Fedorov of Russia. In the first game of the second set, Movsesian crashed through to win with the black pieces and gain the lead. He was able to hold a draw in the second game to move on.


Grandmaster Yasser Seirawan praised the play of 36th-ranked Khalifman, of Russia, for "a very convincing display" in a defeat of 12th-seed Boris Gelfand of Israel in their first game Wednesday. Khalifman withstood Gelfand's pressure to force a match clinching draw in the next game.