FIDE World Cup: Caruana Knocked Out


Day two of the FIDE World Cup’s third round saw a huge upset as the second seed, GM Fabiano Caruana, was knocked out by Kazakhstani GM Rinat Jumabayev.

The tournament also said goodbye to rating favorites GM Jorge Cori, GM Jorden van Foreest, GM David Navara, GM Yu Yangyi, and GM Elina Danielian. GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and GM Nana Dzagnidze survived their first-day scare as they won on demand to force tiebreaks. In a fantastically wild game, GM Michal Krasenkow managed to do the same vs. GM Praggnanandhaa R. FIDE World Cup coverage 2021
It was a huge shock for this year’s FIDE World Cup to see the second seed leave so early. Caruana had been content with his draw in the first game, knowing he would have a white game next. Nobody expected him to lose that one.

In an Exchange Queen’s Gambit, Caruana started moving his pieces and pawns toward Jumabayev’s king. The Kazakhstani, who called it “a very fighting game from move one,” was in time trouble at one point. This might have given Caruana extra confidence to sacrifice an exchange.

Caruana Jumabayev
Caruana-Jumabayev. Photo: Anastasiya Korolkova/FIDE.

“Luckily, I found a very interesting defensive resource in the position,” said Jumabayev, who soon made a big mistake, though. He had to give his queen for a bishop and a rook, after which the material balance as well as the position were roughly equal. However, one move after the time control, Caruana was the last one to err, missing a nasty pawn move that threatened mate in two.

“I suppose that if I would do my best, I will have a chance to beat Fabiano. Indeed, he is one of the best players in the world, but I tried to fight in every single game,” said Jumabayev.

For the first time since April 2018, Caruana is not the world number-two player anymore. In the live ratings, he has dropped below GM Ding Liren, who isn’t playing in Sochi. Note that Caruana’s rating will be rounded up to 2799 in the next rating list, and as the more active player he will still be taking the number-two position.

Caruana’s drop below 2800 makes World Champion Magnus Carlsen the only player with a 2800+ rating now. The last time that was the case was almost seven years ago.

Carlsen Caruana 2800
Caruana dropped to number three. Source: 2700chess.

October 2013 FIDE Rating list
The top 10 in October 2013, the last time that Carlsen was the only player with a 2800+ rating. It was two months before Carlsen would become world champion, and Caruana was still playing for Italy. Source: FIDE.

Hess Caruana World Cup
An early exit for Caruana (right) and his second Robert Hess. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Carlsen himself saw his lead in the rankings increase to 55.6 Elo points as he also won his second game vs. GM Aryan Tari. He is now the only player in both the open and women’s sections on 4/4.

After the game, Carlsen joined the live broadcast where he pointed out that he was also the only player to win his first four games in the last World Cup he played, but that he was knocked out in the next round! “I hope it’s not gonna happen again!”

Carlsen also said that in other circumstances he might have offered a draw to Tari at some point in the game, but that he’s playing in Sochi as part of his preparation for the world championship: “I really needed the practice.”

Tari Carlsen World Cup
Tari resigns his second game with Carlsen. Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE.

No fewer than six players who started with a loss on the first day managed to come back. One was 57-year-old Krasenkow, who beat Praggnanandhaa in a fantastically wild game.

Bojkov: “More than 20 years back, Krasenkow crossed the 2700 mark in the time when this was a sign of a super-GM. This game was a nice reminder of those glorious times!” Game of the Day Dejan Bojkov

Michal Krasenkow praying
Michal Krasenkow after his wild game, thanking or praying to Caissa? Photo: Anastasiya Korolkova/FIDE.

GM Jeffery Xiong was fresh enough to beat GM Nils Grandelius after their long game on Sunday, and Mamedyarov made up for his bad black game as he ground down GM Haik Martirosyan in an endgame as White. 

Mamedyarov Martirosyan 2021 World Cup
Mamedyarov beat Martirosyan to make 1-1. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

GM Baskaran Adhiban was another player who leveled the score in his match, in his case against his compatriot GM Vidit Gujrathi. As if he was playing No Castling chess, Adhiban had his king on d1 by move 11 but got it into safety soon while maintaining compensation for a sacrificed pawn. What followed was a textbook example of an opposite-colored bishop middlegame, combined with the mysterious rook move 32.Rh1, mostly intended to avoid the rook trade.

Baskaran Adhiban 2021 FIDE World Cup
Baskaran Adhiban. Photo: Anastasiya Korolkova/FIDE.

In the open section, 13 matches are going to tiebreaks, while six matchups for round four are known: Dubov-Esipenko, Piorun-Sindarov, Grischuk-Korobov, Kovalev-Fedoseev, Ivic-Andreikin, and Harikrishna-Tabatabaei. Carlsen will be playing against the winner of Matlakov-Wojtaszek.

Results round 3

Fed Player Rtg Fed Player Rtg G1 G2 TB
GM Carlsen, Magnus 2847 GM Tari, Aryan 2639 1-0 1-0
GM Caruana, Fabiano 2806 GM Jumabayev, Rinat 2637 ½-½ 0-1
GM Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2782 GM Haik Martirosyan 2632 0-1 1-0 .
GM Grischuk, Alexander 2778 GM Pichot, Alan 2630 1-0 ½-½
GM Giri, Anish 2776 GM Abdusattorov, Nodirbek 2634 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Karjakin, Sergey 2757 GM Oparin, Grigoriy 2654 1-0 ½-½
GM Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2749 GM Paravyan, David 2625 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Duda, Jan-Krzysztof 2738 GM Sevian, Samuel 2647 ½-½ 1-0
GM Harikrishna, Pentala 2730 GM Lupulescu, Constantin 2659 1-0 ½-½
GM Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi 2726 GM Adhiban, B. 2660 1-0 0-1 .
GM Andreikin, Dmitry 2724 GM Nihal, Sarin 2620 1-0 ½-½
GM Vitiugov, Nikita 2724 GM Shirov, Alexei 2662 1-0 ½-½
GM Esipenko, Andrey 2716 GM Abasov, Nijat 2656 ½-½ 1-0
GM Svidler, Peter 2714 GM Cheparinov, Ivan 2667 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Dubov, Daniil 2714 GM Malakhov, Vladimir 2666 1-0 ½-½
GM Xiong, Jeffery 2709 GM Grandelius, Nils 2661 0-1 1-0 .
GM Shankland, Sam 2709 GM Areshchenko, Alexander 2687 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2706 GM Idani, Pouya 2614 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Yu, Yangyi 2705 GM Tabatabaei, M. Amin 2613 0-1 ½-½
GM Artemiev, Vladislav 2704 GM Gelfand, Boris 2675 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Amin, Bassem 2703 GM Bacrot, Etienne 2678 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Fedoseev, Vladimir 2696 GM Gareyev, Timur 2596 1-0 ½-½
GM Wojtaszek, Radoslaw 2691 GM Matlakov, Maxim 2688 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Van Foreest, Jorden 2688 GM Piorun, Kacper 2608 0-1 ½-½
GM Korobov, Anton 2683 GM Georgiev, Kiril 2594 1-0 ½-½
GM Salem, Saleh 2682 GM Brkic, Ante 2592 0-1 0-1
GM Navara, David 2675 GM Durarbayli, Vasif 2625 ½-½ 0-1
GM Bluebaum, Matthias 2669 GM Ivic, Velimir 2582 0-1 ½-½
GM Cori, Jorge 2652 GM Sindarov, Javokhir 2558 ½-½ 0-1
GM Kovalev, Vladislav 2637 GM Cheng, Bobby 2552 1-0 ½-½
GM Ponkratov, Pavel 2629 GM Vakhidov, Jakhongir 2534 0-1 1-0 .
GM Praggnanandhaa, R 2608 GM Krasenkow, Michal 2591 1-0 0-1 .
Praggnanandhaa Nihal family
Praggnanandhaa (still in the World Cup) and Nihal (knocked out) with family. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

The first day had seen just one upset in the women’s section as IM Carissa Yip beat Dzagnidze. The Georgian grandmaster tried an interesting idea for a must-win situation: 5…h6 in the Open Sicilian. It’s not a great move, but it served its purpose well as it provoked Yip to play sharply. The American IM’s king was very unsafe in the remainder, but she did get one more opportunity to get an equal position with a stunning knight move:

Four matches in the women’s section are going to tiebreaks, while four matchups for round four are known: Goryachkina-Stefanova, Kashlinskaya-Saduakassova, Batsiashvili-Gunina, and Tan-Khademalsharieh.

Results round 3

Fed Player Rating

Fed Player Rating G1 G2 TB
GM Goryachkina, Aleksandra 2596 IM Badelka, Olga 2418 1-0 ½-½
GM Lagno, Kateryna 2559 IM Munguntuul, Batkhuyag 2428 1-0 ½-½
GM Muzychuk, Mariya 2550 GM Ushenina, Anna 2429 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Muzychuk, Anna 2527 IM Guichard, Pauline 2413 1-0 ½-½ .
GM Dzagnidze, Nana 2523 IM Yip, Carissa 2430 0-1 1-0 .
GM Harika, Dronavalli 2515 GM Gunina, Valentina 2437 0-1 ½-½
GM Tan, Zhongyi 2511 GM Sebag, Marie 2483 1-0 1-0
IM Khademalsharieh, Sarasadat 2494 IM Mammadzada, Gunay 2460 ½-½ 1-0
IM Shuvalova, Polina 2489 WGM Garifullina, Leya 2390 ½-½ ½-½ .
IM Kashlinskaya, Alina 2488 IM Galliamova, Alisa 2442 1-0 ½-½
GM Batsiashvili, Nino 2487 WGM Zawadzka, Jolanta 2403 1-0 1-0
IM Saduakassova, Dinara 2483 GM Danielian, Elina 2407 ½-½ 1-0
GM Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2472 GM Cramling, Pia 2459 1-0 ½-½
GM Khotenashvili, Bela 2471 IM Assaubayeva, Bibisara 2389 ½-½ ½-½ .
WGM Pogonina, Natalija 2469 GM Stefanova, Antoaneta 2463 ½-½ 0-1
IM Paehtz, Elisabeth 2466 IM Mammadova, Gulnar 2385 ½-½ 1-0

The FIDE World Cup takes place in the Galaxy Leisure Complex in Sochi, Russia, until August 6, 2021. Each round consists of two classical games and, if necessary, a rapid/blitz tiebreak on the third day. Starting from round two, the Open section has 128 players and the women’s section, 64.

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