FIDE World Cup: Nihal, Praggnanandhaa Among Qualifiers For Round 3

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The young Indian grandmasters Nihal Sarin and Praggnanandhaa R. are among the players who have reached the third round of the FIDE World Cup without needing a tiebreak. GMs Magnus Carlsen, Anish Giri, and Sergey Karjakin scored 2-0 in the second round, which will have 30 tiebreak matches on Saturday.

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These are good times for the rising stars from India. While GM Gukesh D. held GM Daniil Dubov to a draw twice to force a tiebreak, both Nihal and Praggnanandhaa are already in the third round.

Pragg was especially impressive by scoring two victories against the experienced GM Gabriel Sargissian (Armenia), who was rated 76 Elo points higher as well. Needing a win in the second game, Sargissian sacrificed a piece for an attack, but his 15-year-old opponent calculated well:

Pragnnanandhaa R. closeup
Pragnnanandhaa R. Photo: Anastasiya Korolkova/FIDE.

After winning two open tournaments in a row, Nihal continues to show great form. He drew his first game with GM Sanan Sjugirov (also higher rated) and then beat the Russian grandmaster with the black pieces:

Nihal will face another strong Russian player: GM Dmitry Andreikin, known for reaching the final of the 2013 FIDE World Cup. Pragg will face Polish grandmaster Michal Krasenkow, a former world number-10 who played his first FIDE knockout tournament back in 1997.

On Friday, the now 57-year-old Krasenkow beat this year’s FIDE Candidate GM Kirill Alekseenko in what was one of the best games of the round:

As noted in the intro, a few top grandmasters scored 2-0 in the second round. They, by the way, also include GM Fabiano Caruana who didn’t have to show up in the playing hall as his opponent GM Susanto Megaranto had tested positive for Covid-19 the day before.

World Champion Magnus Carlsen beat GM Sasa Martinovic for the second time as the Croatian grandmaster blundered deep in the endgame. Interestingly, Carlsen will now face his compatriot GM Aryan Tari, who eliminated GM Evgeny Bareev.

Carlsen Martinovic World Cup 2021
Carlsen-Martinovic: 2-0. Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE.

Another player who scored 2-0, but in a very different way, was GM Bobby Cheng from Australia, who advanced after GM Levon Aronian withdrew from the tournament.

“I thought it was just a very unfortunate situation,” said Cheng. “I feel bad for Levon. He was one of the favorites here and one of the best players in the world. Also, I’m a little bit disappointed that I didn’t get the opportunity to play him. I think for someone like myself it’s probably a once-in-a-lifetime thing for me. I was really looking forward to it.”

GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave won a quick game with a nice final move to eliminate GM Elshan Moradiabadi. Afterward, Moradiabadi tweeted that he wasn’t feeling well but that he didn’t think it’s Covid.

IM Ravi Haria keeps making a name for himself. After starting with a loss to GM Etienne Bacrot, the English IM managed to win on demand as Black in a French Exchange against his French opponent 31 years after GM Nigel Short had done the same at the Manila Interzonal. Also here, the material balance was a rook and knight for Black vs. a rook and dark-squared bishop for White:

Other players who won on demand were GM Jorge Cori vs. GM Sandro Mareco, GM Sam Sevian vs. GM Benjamin Bok, GM Salem Saleh vs. GM Aleksandar Indjic, GM Ivan Cheparinov vs. GM Rasmus Svane, and GM Yaroslav Zherebukh vs. GM Alexei Shirov. This game, which had a new position on the board after just four moves, was one of the most interesting ones of the round:

Chess.com Game of the Day Dejan Bojkov

No fewer than 22 matches are going to tiebreaks. One of the players who can call himself lucky to get to those tiebreaks is 18-year-old GM Alireza Firouzja. The new French GM escaped vs. the 15-year-old Uzbek GM Javokhir Sindarov, who had been winning in the middlegame and also in the endgame:

Alireza Firouzja 2021 World Cup chess
Alireza Firouzja was on the verge of an early knockout. Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE.

Results round 2

Fed Player Rtg Fed Player Rtg G1 G2 TB
GM Martinovic, Sasa 2548 GM Carlsen, Magnus 2847 0-1 0-1 .
GM Caruana, Fabiano 2806 GM Megaranto, Susanto 2550 1-0* 1-0 .
GM Cheng, Bobby 2552 GM Aronian, Levon 2782 1-0* 1-0 .
GM Giri, Anish 2776 GM Savchenko, Boris 2553 1-0 1-0 .
GM Perez Ponsa, Federico 2554 GM Grischuk, Alexander 2778 ½-½ 0-1 .
GM Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2782 GM Mekhitarian, Krikor Sevag 2554 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Moradiabadi, Elshan 2553 GM Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2749 ½-½ 0-1 .
GM Firouzja, Alireza 2759 GM Sindarov, Javokhir 2558 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Vakhidov, Jakhongir 2534 GM Dominguez Perez, Leinier 2758 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Karjakin, Sergey 2757 GM Vokhidov, Shamsiddin 2530 1-0 1-0 .
GM Quesada Perez, Yasser 2565 GM Harikrishna, Pentala 2730 ½-½ 0-1 .
GM Duda, Jan-Krzysztof 2738 IM Vazquez, Guillermo 2527 1-0 ½-½ .
GM Fier, Alexandr 2569 GM Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi 2726 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Andreikin, Dmitry 2724 GM Can, Emre 2569 1-0 ½-½ .
GM Plat, Vojtech 2525 GM Vitiugov, Nikita 2724 ½-½ 0-1 .
GM Esipenko, Andrey 2716 GM Nguyen, Thai Dai Van 2588 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Gukesh, D 2578 GM Dubov, Daniil 2714 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Svidler, Peter 2714 GM Salinas Herrera, Pablo 2514 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Ivic, Velimir 2582 GM Vallejo Pons, Francisco 2710 1-0 ½-½ .
GM Xiong, Jeffery 2709 GM Mikhalevski, Victor 2579 ½-½ 1-0 .
GM Iniyan, P 2506 GM Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2706 0-1 0-1 .
GM Yu, Yangyi 2705 GM Kadric, Denis 2564 1-0 1-0 .
IM Murzin, Volodar 2502 GM Artemiev, Vladislav 2704 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Amin, Bassem 2703 GM Gabuzyan, Hovhannes 2587 1-0 ½-½ .
IM Druska, Juraj 2493 GM Van Foreest, Jorden 2688 0-1 ½-½ .
GM Alekseenko, Kirill 2699 GM Krasenkow, Michal 2591 ½-½ 0-1 .
GM Brkic, Ante 2592 GM Kryvoruchko, Yuriy 2699 1-0 ½-½ .
GM Maghsoodloo, Parham 2698 GM Georgiev, Kiril 2594 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Yakubboev, Nodirbek 2598 GM Navara, David 2675 ½-½ 0-1 .
GM Fedoseev, Vladimir 2696 GM Bachmann, Axel 2599 1-0 1-0 .
GM Jobava, Baadur 2603 GM Shankland, Sam 2709 ½-½ 0-1 .
GM Matlakov, Maxim 2688 GM Gretarsson, Hjorvar Steinn 2603 0-1 ½-½ .
GM Alekseev, Evgeny 2605 GM Wojtaszek, Radoslaw 2691 ½-½ 0-1 .
GM Areshchenko, Alexander 2687 GM Ivanisevic, Ivan 2606 1-0 ½-½ .
GM Gareyev, Timur 2596 GM Jakovenko, Dmitry 2684 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Predke, Alexandr 2683 GM Durarbayli, Vasif 2625 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Henriquez Villagra, Cristobal 2606 GM Korobov, Anton 2683 0-1 ½-½ .
GM Salem, A.R. Saleh 2682 GM Indjic, Aleksandar 2607 0-1 1-0 .
GM Praggnanandhaa, R 2608 GM Sargissian, Gabriel 2682 1-0 1-0 .
GM Ragger, Markus 2680 GM Piorun, Kacper 2608 ½-½ 0-1 .
IM Haria, Ravi 2440 GM Bacrot, Etienne 2678 0-1 1-0 .
GM Gelfand, Boris 2675 GM Braun, Arik 2609 1-0 ½-½ .
GM Tabatabaei, M. Amin 2613 GM Berkes, Ferenc 2673 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Anton Guijarro, David 2673 GM Idani, Pouya 2614 0-1 ½-½ .
GM Akobian, Varuzhan 2614 GM Grandelius, Nils 2661 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Bluebaum, Matthias 2669 GM Erdos, Viktor 2614 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Svane, Rasmus 2615 GM Cheparinov, Ivan 2667 1-0 0-1 .
GM Malakhov, Vladimir 2666 GM Vocaturo, Daniele 2617 1-0 ½-½ .
GM Sargsyan, Shant 2626 GM Abasov, Nijat 2656 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Shirov, Alexei 2662 GM Zherebukh, Yaroslav 2620 1-0 0-1 .
GM Nihal, Sarin 2620 GM Sjugirov, Sanan 2661 ½-½ 1-0 .
GM Adhiban, B. 2660 GM Delgado Ramirez, Neuris 2622 1-0 1-0 .
GM Bok, Benjamin 2624 GM Sevian, Samuel 2647 1-0 0-1 .
GM Lupulescu, Constantin 2659 GM Hesham, Abdelrahman 2397 1-0 1-0 .
GM Deac, Bogdan-Daniel 2639 GM Oparin, Grigoriy 2654 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Kuzubov, Yuriy 2653 GM Ponkratov, Pavel 2629 ½-½ 0-1 .
GM Mareco, Sandro 2629 GM Cori, Jorge 2652 1-0 0-1 .
GM Onischuk, Alexander 2649 GM Paravyan, David 2625 0-1 0-1 .
GM Mustafa Yilmaz 2630 GM Haik Martirosyan 2632 0-1 ½-½ .
GM Saric, Ivan 2653 GM Pichot, Alan 2630 ½-½ 0-1 .
GM Abdusattorov, Nodirbek 2634 GM Aravindh, Chithambaram VR. 2641 ½-½ 1-0 .
GM Sarana, Alexey 2640 GM Kovalev, Vladislav 2637 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Jumabayev, Rinat 2637 GM Motylev, Alexander 2639 1-0 ½-½ .
GM Tari, Aryan 2639 GM Bareev, Evgeny 2638 1-0 ½-½ .
Artemiev Murzin FIDE World Cup
The 14-year-old Murzin took Artemiev to tiebreaks. Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE.

The women’s section hasn’t see upsets so far with eight matches going to tiebreaks. GMs Harika Dronavalli and Valentina Gunina got free rides to the third round as the Indonesian players IM Irine Sukandar and IM Medina Warda Aulia decided not to return to the playing hall despite testing negative for Covid.

Two players won on demand after starting with a loss yesterday. IM Nataliya Buksa (Ukraine) leveled the score vs. IM Carissa Yip (U.S.), who didn’t play the opening well:

The other comeback was in GM Zhansaya Abdumalik vs. IM Bibisara Assaubayeva, where the latter was doing well until she missed a difficult tactic:

While being an exchange down, GM Alexandra Kosteniuk showed the value of the bishop pair as she defeated Peru’s WGM Deysi Cori 2-0:

Results round 2

Fed Player Rating Fed Player Rating G1 G2 TB
GM Goryachkina, Aleksandra 2596 WGM Tokhirjonova, Gulrukhbegim 2320 1-0 1-0 .
IM Badelka, Olga 2418 IM Matnadze, Ana 2421 ½-½ ½-½ .
WGM Pogonina, Natalija 2469 IM Kulkarni Bhakti 2391 ½-½ 1-0 .
WGM Maltsevskaya, Aleksandra 2382 GM Stefanova, Antoaneta 2463 ½-½ 0-1 .
IM Kashlinskaya, Alina 2488 IM Ordaz Valdes, Lisandra Teresa 2369 ½-½ 1-0 .
GM Hoang, Thanh Trang 2404 IM Galliamova, Alisa 2442 0-1 ½-½ .
IM Bulmaga, Irina 2413 GM Danielian, Elina 2407 0-1 0-1 .
WGM Yu, Jennifer 2289 IM Saduakassova, Dinara 2483 0-1 0-1 .
GM Dzagnidze, Nana 2523 GM Peng, Zhaoqin 2358 1-0 1-0 .
IM Buksa, Nataliya 2413 IM Yip, Carissa 2430 0-1 1-0 .
WGM Girya, Olga 2448 WGM Garifullina, Leya 2390 ½-½ 0-1 .
WIM Munkhzul, Turmunkh 2278 IM Shuvalova, Polina 2489 0-1 0-1 .
IM Javakhishvili, Lela 2470 IM Mammadova, Gulnar 2385 ½-½ ½-½ .
IM Salimova, Nurgyul 2395 IM Paehtz, Elisabeth 2466 ½-½ ½-½ .
IM Atalik, Ekaterina 2433 IM Guichard, Pauline 2413 0-1 ½-½ .
WGM Abrahamyan, Tatev 2352 GM Muzychuk, Anna 2527 0-1 0-1 .
GM Muzychuk, Mariya 2550 IM Gaponenko, Inna 2357 ½-½ 1-0 .
IM Cyfka, Karina 2417 GM Ushenina, Anna 2429 0-1 ½-½ .
GM Cramling, Pia 2459 GM Socko, Monika 2393 ½-½ ½-½ .
WGM Cori T., Deysi 2388 GM Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2472 0-1 0-1 .
GM Batsiashvili, Nino 2487 IM Tsolakidou, Stavroula 2389 ½-½ 1-0 .
WGM Zawadzka, Jolanta 2403 IM Bodnaruk, Anastasia 2446 1-0 1-0 .
GM Gunina, Valentina 2437 IM Sukandar, Irine Kharisma 2413 1-0 1-0* .
IM Aulia, Medina Warda 2360 GM Harika, Dronavalli 2515 0-1 0-1* .
GM Tan, Zhongyi 2511 WGM Yildiz Kadioglu, Betul Cemre 2362 ½-½ 1-0 .
IM Skripchenko, Almira 2411 GM Sebag, Marie 2483 ½-½ ½-½ .
IM Mammadzada, Gunay 2460 IM Unuk, Laura 2407 ½-½ 1-0 .
IM Padmini, Rout 2370 IM Khademalsharieh, Sarasadat 2494 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Abdumalik, Zhansaya 2505 IM Assaubayeva, Bibisara 2389 0-1 1-0 .
WGM Vaishali R 2393 GM Khotenashvili, Bela 2471 0-1 0-1 .
IM Munguntuul, Batkhuyag 2428 IM Osmak, Iulija 2418 1-0 1-0 .
WGM Injac, Teodora 2370 GM Lagno, Kateryna 2559 ½-½ 0-1 .

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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