Kasimdzhanov crushes Shirov

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Rustam Kasimdzhanov has beaten Alexei Shirov of Spain 3-1 in the first semifinal of Magistral Ciudad de Leon chess tournament

updated: February 25, 2007 10:52 IST
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World Champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan put up a splendid show to beat Alexei Shirov of Spain 3-1 in the first semifinal of the 18th Magistral Ciudad de Leon chess tournament here. After drawing the inconsequential fourth game with the defending champion Shirov, Kasimdzhanov sealed his berth in the finals. It turned out to be a dramatic first day of three-day rapid event as local hope and favourite Shirov simply could not get himself going against Kasimdzhanov. The Latvian-born Spaniard, who authored the famous 'Fire on board', was a pale shadow of himself right from the word go as he lost the first and the third game with white pieces and drew the remaining two to bow out of the event. Time control Kasimdzhanov's big claim to fame is the FIDE World championship title that he won last year at Tripoli in Libya. There too the Uzbek was at his best in tackling the shorter time control games and now again he proved that his success did not come by chance. The time control here is for the fittest, 20 moves for the entire game with a ten seconds increment after every move is made. The dye was cast when Shirov could not match the attacking skills of Kasimdzhanov in the first game. Starting off with the Sicilian Nazdorf as black, Kasimdzhanov rolled his queenside pawns in the English attack and won Shirov's queen for little compensation. (PTI)