2015 World Chess Cup: Round #1

2015 World Chess Cup
September 10th-October 4th, 2015 (Baku, Azerbaijan)
Match Scores (Round #1)
Bracket 1
1 Topalov, V
BUL
2-0
Adu, O
NGR
2 Zhigalko, S
BLR
3-1
Bukavshin, I
RUS
3 Wang Hao
CHN
2½-1½
Perunovic, M
SRB
4 Lu Shanglei
CHN
2½-1½
Moiseenko, A
UKR
5 Radjabov, T
AZE
3-1
Sevian, S
USA
6 Edouard, R
FRA
½-1½
Smirin, I
ISR
7 Nisipeanu, L
ROM
1½-½
Guijarro, D
ESP
8 Can, E
TUR
½-1½
Svidler, P
RUS
Bracket 2
9 Aronian, L
ARM
2-0
Wiedenkeller, M
LUX
10 Khismatullin, D
RUS
½-1½
Areshchenko, A
UKR
11 Robson, R
USA
½-1½
Vovk, Y
UKR
12 Saleh, S
UAE
½-1½
Wei Yi
CHN
13 Navara, D
CZE
3-1
Nabaty, T
ISR
14 Guseinov, G
AZE
3-1
Matlakov, M
RUS
15 Inarkiev, E
RUS
3-1
Quezada, Y
CUB
16 Krnon, T
CAN
½-1½
Ding Liren
CHN
Bracket 3
17 So, W
USA
2-0
Maghsoodloo, P
IRI
18 Safarli, E
AZE
2½-3½
Balogh, C
HUN
19 Le Quang Liem
VIE
1½-½
Durarbayli, V
AZE
20 Ter-Sahakyan, S
ISR
1-3
Vitiugov, N
RUS
21 Vachier-Lagrave, M
FRA
1½-½
Suarez, I
CUB
22 Bartel, M
POL
4-5
Sarigissian, G
ARM
23 Nguyen Ngoc Truongson
VIE
1½-½
Kempinski, R
POL
24 Rahman, Z
BAN
1-3
Tomashevsky, E
RUS
Bracket 4
25 Gelfand, B
ISR
1½-2½
Villagra, C
CHI
26 Fier, A
BRA
½-1½
Granda, J
PER
27 Armentiev, V
RUS
1½-½
Ganguly, S
IND
28 Babu, L
IND
½-1½
Wojaszek, R
POL
29 Leko, P
HUN
1½-½
Goganov, A
RUS
30 Wen Yang
CHN
1½-½
Kovalenko I
LAT
31 Motylev, A
RUS
4½-3½
Grachev, B
RUS
32 Ssegwanyi, A
UGA
½-1½
Giri, A
NED
Bracket 5
33 Caruana, F
USA
2-0
Zaibi, A
TUN
34 Mamedov, R
AZE
1½-½
Najer, E
RUS
35 Kasimdzhnov, R
UZB
3½-4½
Kovalyov, A
CAN
36 Mareco, S
ARG
1½-½
Ni Hua
CHN
37 Mamedyarov, S
AZE
1½-½
Idani, P
IRI
38 Leitao, R
BRA
1½-2½
Hou Yifan
CHN
39 Sjugirov, S
RUS
0-2
Sethuraman, SP
IND
40 Illingworth, M
AUS
0-2
Harikrishna, P
IND
Bracket 6
41 Karjakin, S
RUS
2-0
Espinoza Veloz, E
CUB
42 Volokitin, A
UKR
1½-2½
Onischuk, A
USA
43 Lysyj, I
RUS
4-2
Lupulescu, C
ROM
44 Iordachescu, V
MDA
0-2
Yu Yangyi
CHN
45 Andreikin, D
RUS
1½-½
Zhou Jianchao
CHN
46 Solak, D
TUR
½-1½
Korobov, A
UKR
47 Bruzon, L
CUB
3-1
Santosh, V
IND
48 Cori, D
HUNPER
0-2
Kramnik, V
RUS
Bracket 7
49 Grischuk, A
RUS
5-3
Atabayev, Y
TKM
50 Baskaran, A
IND
1½-2½
Fedoseev, V
RUS
51 Cheparinov, I
BUL
½-1½
Ipatov, A
TUR
52 Jumabayev, R
KAZ
0-2
Eljanov, P
UKR
53 Ivanchuk, Vassily
UKR
1½-½
Adly, A
EGY
54 Iturrizaga, E
VEN
½-1½
Rodshtein, M
ISR
55 Saric, I
CRO
0-2
Amin, B
EGY
56 Iljiushenok, I
UKR
3-5
Jakovenko, D
RUS
Bracket 8
57 Adams, M
ENG
1½-½
Muzychuk, M
UKR
58 Akobian, V
USA
½-1½
Laznicka, V
CZE
59 Kamsky, G
USA
½-1½
Melkumyan, H
ARM
60 Ponsa, F
ARG
1½-2½
Dominguez, L
CUB
61 Fressinet, L
FRA
3-1
Brkic, A
CRO
62 Zhao Jun
CHN
1-3
Nepomniachtchi, I
RUS
63 Shankland, S
USA
1½-½
Popov, I
RUS
64 Nakamura, H
USA
2-0
Phiri, R
ZAM
Drum Coverage
| Round 1 | Round 2 | Round 3 | Round 4 | Round 5 |
| Semifinals | Finals |

Official Website: https://www.bakuworldcup2015.com/
All PGN Games (TWIC): https://www.theweekinchess.com/
Rules and Regulations: https://www.fide.com/FIDE/handbook/WorldCup2015Regulations.pdf

Daaim Shabazz

Daaim Shabazz is the founder of The Chess Drum, while serving as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds a B.S. Computer Science from Chicago State University, an MBA in Marketing and a Ph.D. in International Affairs & Development, both from Clark Atlanta University. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

7 Comments

  1. Round #1 – Game #1
    Friday, 11 September 2015

    Uganda’s Ssegwanyi holds Anish Giri!

    Arthur Ssegwanyi of Uganda.

    There were a number of rating upsets, but the one that was notable was the draw between Arthur Ssegwanyi and world #6 player Anish Giri of the Netherlands. This got almost no attention on chess websites, but it is certainly big news on the continent of Africa. The ChessBase story did not mention the Ugandan player.

    Obviously, it is not the biggest result in the World Cup for an African player, but for Uganda it is an important event… even as significant as the three Ugandans who have beaten Grandmasters. However, Giri is an elite player and stands as the strongest player a Ugandan has ever faced. Zambia’s Richmond Phiri was playing Hikaru Nakamura and on board #1 was Nigeria’s Oladapo Adu facing Veselin Topalov.

    In this game, Giri played the flexible Paulsen variation and assumed the hedgehog position with the nice Ra7-c7 maneuver. Black was able to get the thematic 17…d5! in wresting the initiative. Giri won a pawn and seemed to be coasting to victory when he started to make some strategic errors.

    Arthur Ssegwangyi has just played 53.Kxd4. He would battle 105 more moves with Anish Giri holding the draw. Although the game was most likely draw at this point, Giri wanted to test the Ugandan’s endgame knowledge. Ssegwangyi passed the test.

    The Ugandan was able to get the queens off and played 158 moves in a rook ending to earn the draw. He stated that the game was drawn 50 moves ago, but probably more like 100! Nevertheless, the game went to king versus king in the last game to finish and the upset of the round! Most may have assumed the Ugandan would somehow blunder in the trivial ending, but this result shows that chess knowledge has spread.

    China, Russia and the Americans brought sizable contingents to Baku. India has some promising players along with veterans. One such veteran got a rude awakening as Surya Shekhar Ganguly was crushed by 17-year old Russian Vladimir Armentiev in a raging kingside attack. Cuba’s Leinier Dominguez got mated by Argentina’s Federico Ponsa in a Najdorf, but Robson-Vovk was perhaps the game of the round. GM Jan Gustafsson gave the analysis.

    SELECTED PHOTOS

    China comes with five 2700s, Hou Yifan and two junior champions in Yu Yangyi and Lu Shanglei… a 14-year old Wei Yi. Powerful!

    Ceremonial move made at the board of IM Oladapo Adu (Nigeria) and
    GM Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria).

    Women’s World Champion, GM Mariya Muzychuk (Ukraine)
    Photos by Eteri Kublashvili (for FIDE).

  2. Round #1 – Game #2
    Saturday, 12 September 2015

    Several favorites through, but massive tiebreaks loom

    The personable Deysi Cori of Peru had the unenviable task of facing Vladimir Kramnik. No upset, but it was good to see her battle. Deysi is one who plays against the strongest competition available to her and has earned 6-7 IM norms. She has qualified for the World Cup twice being the only woman since Judit Polgar to do so in a qualifying tournament. She’s certainly all grown up now from the girl we saw at the 2004 Olympiad!

    “Knockout” tournaments are known as the most exciting because of the tension and excitement. The style of chess is combative since won games can most certainly clinch a match. It is also a tournament where there are bound to be a few upsets. There were a few, but for the most part, it was business as usual and the heavy favorites basically gave lessons.

    While most of the favorites were able to get past their clients, there were a few who ended up leaving the tournament early. Those leaving are Ni Hua (China), Gata Kamsky (USA) and Surya Ganguly (India). S.P. Sethuraman crushed Sanan Sjugirov in an unexpected romp. Leinier Dominguez was nearly sent packing by Argentina’s Federico Ponsa who brutally mated him in the first game and was probably drawing in the second.

    Cuba’s Leinier Dominguez has a second lease on life after an instructive win in second game.

    Arthur Ssegwanyi got his 15 minutes of fame after the draw yesterday and also got words of support from the Uganda Chess Federation in a press release…

    Ssegwanyi has over the years developed a fighting spirit following his exploits at the last two World Chess Olympiads in Istanbul, Turkey and Tromso, Norway, and at the 2012 World Cities Chess Championship in Al Ain, UAE. The experience meant that prior to the World Cup, Ssegwanyi had battled against at least eight Grandmasters. This must have given him confidence to take on Giri without fear.

    Indeed the Ugandan had no fear and had another tense battle with Anish Giri. It appeared the African would be able to hold the position in the middlegame but decided to give up both rooks for a queen. Despite the queen’s mobility, Giri’s two white rooks dominated the black queen and Ssegwanyi was unable to untangle his king from mating patterns. He resigned and enjoyed a lively post-mortem with the world #6 player. It was a good showing for the Ugandan. He was interviewed shortly after his game. Here is what he has to say…

    Perhaps there will be more to come from African players. While the others bowed out with straight losses, Bassem Amin became the first player from the African continent of Africa to advance to the second round in a FIDE World Cup. Of course he is the African champion and a proper Grandmaster at over 2600 and will perhaps make his breakthrough for Egypt.

    Egyptian Grandmaster Bassem Amin advances!
    Photos by Eteri Kublashvili (for FIDE).

    Michael Adams has played 43…e3 setting a vicious trap. Muzychuk has a resource of 44.Bc1! and after 44…Bf3+ 45.Kxf3 Rxf2+ 46.Ke4 the e3-pawn will fall while white begins pushing passed pawns Easy draw. Muzychuk blundered with 44.Rf4 Bc4+ 45.Rg4 Rf2! and got her king and rook tangled into a net.

    There were a number of other interesting games resulting in tragic endings. The woman’s champion Mariya Muzychuk seemed to be heading toward another draw with Michael Adams when she lost the thread on the position, lost track of the tactics and dropped a heart-breaking game.

    Certainly the three women who participated gave their best and Hou Yifan still has a chance to advance against Brazil’s Rafael Leitao, but it may take awhile before women make a deep impact as long as they are content with playing primarily in the women’s cycle. Hopefully, women players will find a way to support playing more competitive environments to improve their standard. It is good to see Deysi Cori compete against the strongest competition in Latin America (with 6-7 IM norms) and perhaps these experiences will find her among the elite in the region, men or women!

  3. Round #1 – Tiebreaks
    Sunday, 14 September 2015

    Gelfand out… other favorites run the tables

    A couple of scares in the first round and one major upset. Boris Gelfand of Israel was upset by 19-year old IM Cristobal Villarga, national champion of Chile. In the post-game interview the young Chilean biggest victory was beating 2500-level players, but this is by far his biggest scalp. Rustam Kasimdzahnov also lost his match to Canada’s Anton Kovalyov who had confessed to booking his flight to travel the next day.

    Canada’s GM Anton Kovalyov

    Kovalyov has an interesting story. He was born in 1992 in the Ukraine and migrated with his parents to Argentina in 2000 where he learned to play. He rose quickly and by 2008, he became a Grandmaster and later country’s highest-rated player. Totally raised in chess in South America, he took his talents to North America in 2013 where he settled in Montreal. He has since changed federations and become a citizen of Canada. This is the biggest victory in his career.

    As for Kasimdzhanov, there is no telling of how being Fabiano Caruana’s trainer affects his own play, but he is certainly very knowledgeable and has worked with Viswanathan Anand during his championship run. Other veterans such as Alexander Grischuk and Dmitry Jakovenko are showing shaky form but both advanced to the next round. Kasimdzhanov almost flagged in the second rapid making a move with one second left in a completely drawn position. Totally unnecessary.

    Is Lu Shanglei the dark horse?
    Photos by Eteri Kublashvili (for FIDE).

    Some of the heavyweight matches to watch in round two are: Wang Hao vs. Lu Shanglei, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov vs. Hou Yifan, Vachier-Lagrave vs. Gabriel Sargissian. Nguyen Ngoc Truongson may be poised for an upset against Evgeny Tomashevsky. The American derby of Hikaru Nakamura vs. Sam Shankland will be interesting as well.

    Replay of Round #1, Tiebreaks

  4. After round one Russia has 12 players left while China has 7 and the Ukraine has 5. Latin America has five players left… two Cubans, one Chilean, one Argentinian and one from Peru.

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