V. Topalov–S. Zhigalko: Veselin Topalov. Zhigalko had a very nice shot against Bukavshin; Can you find it? White to move.
But I don’t think he can get past the iron wall that is Topalov.
L. Shanglei–W. Hao: Wang Hao, although this could be a tough match for him: Lu Shanglei defeated the strong and similarly-seeded Moiseenko. Unfortunately for Lu, I don’t think he can do it again.
P. Svidler–L. Nisipeanu: Peter Svidler. He is the stronger player, and a brilliant attacker.
T. Radjabov–I. Smirin:Teimour Radjabov should win. He had his hands full with Samuel Sevian, but demonstrated he had the composure to dispatch weaker players.
D. Liren–E. Inarkiev: Ding Liren is an extremely strong player, and he should win this round.
D. Navara–G. Guseinov: David Navara should be able to handle the weaker Guseinov.
L. Aronian–A. Areshchenko: Levon Aronian. One of the world’s elite, he should overpower the weaker Areshchenko.
W. Yi–Y. Vovk: Wei Yi–He is the younger player, and a hundred points stronger.
A. Giri–A. Motylev: Anish Giri should easily dispatch Motylev.
P. Leko–W. Yang: Peter Leko–This should be an easy match; Leko has been a world-class player for years, while Wen Yang has not.
C. Hernandez Villagra–J. Granda Zuniga: Julio Granda Zuniga is the nominal favorite, but I predict Cristobal can win, as he, impossibly, beat the much higher-rated Boris Gelfand in the previous round, and I think momentum will carry him to the win.
R. Wojtaszek–V. Artemiev: Artemiev, in playoffs. He is younger, and on the up– the seventeen-year-old is an underdog, but I think he can take the higher-rated Wojtaszek.
W. So–C. Balogh: Wesley So has been struggling a bit lately, coming off a slightly disappointing summer, but he punched his ticket to the next round with two wins, and should win this match.
N. Vitiugov–L. Quang Liem: It will be a difficult round for the higher-seeded Vitiugov. I predict that Le Quang Liem, the 2013 World Blitz Champion, will manage to take the game to his home court and win in the rapid or blitz tiebreakers.
E. Tomashevsky–N. Ngoc Truong Son: “The Professor” Tomashevsky should defeat his lower-rated opponent.
M. Vachier–Lagrave–G. Sargissian: MVL will waltz to the next round–he is a presence among the world’s elite, while Sargissian simply isn’t, and will be worn out from playing far more games.
H. Nakamura–S. Shankland: Hikaru Nakamura, one of the strongest players in the world, should beat Shankland, although he may encounter some resistance: in their single previous game, Hikaru could only muster a draw as White.
L. Fressinet–I. Nepomniachtchi: A pick-em: both are strong, but similarly so. Here I pick Nepomniachtchi, simply for the reason that I like his name.
M. Adams–V. Laznicka: Michael Adams, who is stronger, will overpower the weaker Laznicka, although in their one game, similar to Nakamura-Shankland, they drew with Adams as White.
L. Dominguez Perez–H. Melkumyan: Here, I vote for Melkumyan– he is coming off a big win against Gata Kamsky, and Perez Ponsa put up enough of a fight that the momentum should be going Melkumyan’s way.
A. Grischuk–V. Fedoseev: The strong Grischuk should once again win in his home turf–the blitz games. He is, after all, third in the world in rapid chess. The previous round shouldn’t rattle either him or my prediction: that’s just Grischuk being Grischuk.
P. Eljanov–A. Ipatov: I believe Eljanov should win this one. Nothing about Ipatov’s resumé really impresses me as much as Eljanov’s rating.
D. Jakovenko–A. Bassem: Jakovenko is number 16 in the world–so he should win against Bassem.
V. Ivanchuk–M. Rodshtein: Ivanchuk should win fairly easily. His rating has slipped a bit in recent years, but his experience and strength will take care of Rodshtein.
F. Caruana–R. Mamedov: This will be an exciting round, with two strong players, but Caruana is just too strong for Mamedov to overcome.
S. Mareco–A. Kovalyov: I take Kovalyov here. It just seems like a bold prediction. I’m not sure, so why not take the gamble?
P. Harikrishna–S. P. Sethuraman: Harikrishna should win; he has a chance to step out from Anand’s shadow.
S. Mamedyarov–H. Yifan: I believe either player can win this match. My prediction, though: I enjoy Yifan’s play, but I think Mamedyarov will take it in the end.
V. Kramnik–L. Bruzon Batista: Kramnik is a stone wall, and I don’t think Lorenzo can get past him.
D. Andreikin–A. Korobov: I think past success (In the last World Cup, he finished second, against all expectations) will work in Andreikin’s favor here.
S. Karjakin–A. Onischuk: Karjakin will win this match, I believe. He is stronger and has a +2 record against Onischuk.
Y. Yangyi–I. Lysyj: Yangyi, I think, has this match in the bag. He is a prodigy, and is much higher-rated.
The standings as they currently are:
And there you go! All 32 matches. We’ll see how I do tomorrow. A thread here: Thread 165556 to discuss.