June 6, 2007
Levon Aronian 2759 - Alexei Shirov 2699
Peter Leko 2738 - Evgeny Bareev 2635
Sergei Rublevsky 2680 - Alexander Grischuk 2717
Boris Gelfand 2733 - Gata Kamsky 2705
These guys ( Polgar got eliminated, remember? ) get a two-day break before they go into the next round of eliminations. I guess not only talent goes into this effort but stamina and a lot of self-confidence. I play a 5-round Swiss G/150 and I am exhausted, and that's not even against the best in the world.
So, here are my predictions: I think Gelfand will win convincingly over Kamsky. Forgive me, but I feel that Kamsky had a virtual bye when he was paired with the evidently out-of-shape Bacrot. Just look at his games. Leko has been erratic in his performance and so we don't really know who's going to show up against Bareev. I will go with Leko nevertheless. Grischuk over Rublevsky because the former is still considered a rising star with great potential and a bright future. Of course, there is Aronian. He is the best player in that group, in my opinion. My holy trinity is Kramnik-Anand-Aronian. Shirov and Rublevsky are, of course, very very good players but they have passed their prime, kinda missed the boat in regards to going all the way to the top of the WC.
Let's hope for wonderful games!