2019 World Cup: Round #1

2019 World Chess Cup
September 9th-October 4th, 2019
(Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia)
MATCH PAIRINGS
Bracket 1
1 Ding Liren
CHN
2-0
Shaun Press
PNG
2 Grigoriy Oparin
RUS
½-1½
Sergei Movsesian
ARM
3 Daniil Dubov
RUS
1½-½
Alexandr Fier
BRA
4 Arman Pashikian
ARM
½-1½
Alireza Firouzja
IRI
5 Pentala Harikrishna
IND
2-0
Yuri Gonzalez Vidal
CUB
6 Ganguly Surya Shekhar
IND
2-4
Vladimir Fedoseev
RUS
7 Kirill Alekseenko
RUS
1½-½
Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son
VIE
8 Johan-Sebastian Christiansen
DEN
2-0
Radoslaw Wojtaszek
POL
Bracket 2
9 Alexander Grischuk
RUS
1½-½
Paulius Pultinevicius
LTU
10 Benjamin Bok
NED
2½-1½
Ivan Šaric
SRB
11 Ernesto Inarkiev
RUS
1½-½
Karthikeyan Murali
IND
12 Xu Xiangyu
CHN
3½-2½
Bu Xiangzhi
CHN
13 Wang Hao
CHN
3½-2½
Aleksei Pridorozhni
RUS
14 Mateusz Bartel
POL
½-1½
Maxim Rodshtein
ISR
15 Kacper Piorun
POL
3½-4½
Nijat Abasov
AZE
16 Alder Escobar
COL
1½-½
Leinier Domínguez
USA
Bracket 3
17 Ian Nepomniachtchi
RUS
2-0
Sugar Gan-Erdene
MGL
19 Alexandr Predke
RUS
2½-1½
Alexey Sarana
RUS
20 Michael Adams
POL
3½-4½
Aravindh Chithambaram
IND
18 Nikita Petrov
RUS
1½-2½
Evgeny Tomashevsky
RUS
21 Wei Yi
CHN
1½-½
Miguel Santos Ruiz
ESP
22 S.L. Narayanan
IND
1½-2½
David Antón Guijarro
ESP
23 Baskaran Adhiban
IND
1½-½
Eduardo Iturrizaga Bonelli
VEN
24 Ehsan Ghaem-Maghami
IRI
2½-3½
Yu Yangyi
CHN
Bracket 4
25 Sergey Karjakin
RUS
1½-½
Susanto Megaranto
IND
26 Aryan Tari
NOR
½-1½
Samuel Sevian
USA
27 Arkadij Naiditsch
AZE
0-2
Niclas Huschenbeth
GER
28 Frode Urkedal
NOR
½-1½
Nikita Vitiugov
RUS
29 Vidit Gujrathi
IND
1½-½
Alan Pichot
ARG
30 Aleksandr Rakhmanov
RUS
1½-½
Nils Grandelius
SWE
31 Anton Demchenko
RUS
1½-½
Robert Hovhannisyan
ARM
32 Sergio Duran Vega
CRC
0-2
Wesley So
USA
Bracket 5
33 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
FRA
2-0
Daniel Anwuli
NGR
34 Constantin Lupulescu
ROM
1½-2½
Igor Kovalenko
LAT
35 Gawain Jones
ENG
1½-½
Diego Flores
ARG
36 Jose Eduardo Martinez
PER
0-2
Dmitry Jakovenko
RUS
37 Peter Svidler
RUS
1½-½
Carlos Daniel Albornoz
CUB
38 Andrey Esipenko
RUS
1½-½
Ruslan Ponomariov
UKR
39 Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu
GER
2½-1½
Mircea Parligras
ROM
40 Bilel Bellahcene
ALG
0-2
Hikaru Nakamura
USA
Bracket 6
41 Vladislav Artemiev
RUS
1½-½
Ilia Iljiushenok
RUS
42 Ahmed Adly
EGY
½-1½
Ivan Cheparinov
GEO
43 Anton Korobov
UKR
3-1
Abhijeet Gupta
IND
44 Aleksej Aleksandrov
RUS
1½-2½
Le Quang Liem
VIE
45 Maxim Matlakov
RUS
1½-½
Nodirbek Abdusattorov
UZB
46 Lu Shanglei
CHN
2-4
Boris Gelfand
ISR
47 Parham Maghsoodloo
IRI
2-0
Maksim Chigaev
RUS
48 Essam El Gindy
EGY
½-1½
Levon Aronian
ARM
Bracket 7
49 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
AZE
2-0
Fy Rakotomaharo
MAD
50 Evgeny Bareev
CAN
½-1½
Rustam Kasimdzhanov
UZB
51 Jorge Cori
PER
0-2
Nihal Sarin
IND
52 Eltaj Safarli
AZE
3½-2½
Sam Shankland
USA
53 David Navara
CZE
½-1½
Daniil Yuffa
RUS
54 Neuris Delgado Ramirez
PAR
1½-2½
Luke McShane
ENG
55 Sanan Sjugirov
RUS
2½-1½
Sandro Mareco
ARG
56 Helgi Dam Ziska
GER
½-1½
Teimour Radjabov
AZE
Bracket 8
57 Dmitry Andreikin
RUS
2½-1½
Krikor Mekhitarian
BRA
58 Rinat Jumabayev
KAZ
1½-½
Ferenc Berkes
HUN
59 Tamir Nabaty
ISR
1½-½
S.P. Sethuraman
IND
60 Cristobal Henriquez Villagra
CHI
½-1½
Jan-Krzysztof Duda
POL
61 Jeffery Xiong
USA
1½-½
Igor Lysyj
RUS
62 Amin Tabatabaei
IRI
1½-½
Bassem Amin
EGY
63 Benjamin Gledura
HUN
½-1½
Evgeniy Najer
RUS
64 Mohammad Fahad Rahman
BAN
½-1½
Anish Giri
NED
Official Brackets

Round #1 Recap
September 10-12, 2019

Wojtaszek upset… Nihal shines

Commentators marvel at World Cup because the diversity of players and the various formats in each match. Indeed there are the unknown players who qualified from their zonal tournaments getting a chance to share the stage with the world’s elite. Then there are those rising stars looking to supplant the veterans. Nodirbek Abdusattorov of Uzbekistan was the youngest in the field at 14. That led to a quip by Lawrence Trent

Radoslaw Wojtaszek was the first big name to have an early exit after losing to Norway’s Johan-Sebastian Christiansen 2-0. Christiansen was overcome with joy after the result.

Bu Xiangzhi was another victim losing in tiebreaks to 20-year old countryman Yu Xiangzhi. Bu has enjoyed a wonderful career and he will soon make way for the cadre of rising Chinese yet to arrive on the professional circuit. There was another exchange between Trent and Jan Gustafsson on the dangers of playing in the Chinese League among unrated players. “Not good for your Elo rating,” was the moral of the story.

Perhaps the sensation of the round was the Nihal Sarin who won convincingly over Jorge Cori of Peru. His first game achieved plaudits from legendary players and the comparisons to Anatoly Karpov were commonplace.

There has been a lot made of the Indian talents Sarin (15), Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa (14) and Dommaraju Gukesh (13). There has been quite a bit of attention given to the recent push to develop Indian talent. Most recently a group of young Indian prodigies attended a camp conducted by Vladimir Kramnik and hosted by ChessBase. Sagar Shah of ChessBase India was on the scene. With Viswanathan Anand also lending his leadership, India will be looking to improve its #4 position in the world.

There were 28 Russians starting this event and they had their own young talents including 17-year old Andrey Esipenko winning over former FIDE champion Ruslan Ponomariov. There was a controversy involving doping tests. Ponomariov was upset because the test took a couple of hours and did not allow him time to prepare for his next game which he lost badly. Dr. Marape Marape, Chairman of FIDE Medical Commission spoke on the matter to clarify.

Levon Aronian escaped against Essam El-Gindy
Photo by khantymansiysk2019.fide.com

Not too many upsets in the first round, but Levon Aronian nearly dropped his first game against Essam El-Gindy of Egypt before holding on to draw. He would win the next game and move on. As far as smaller federations, those from Asia, Latin America and Africa did not fare well. The balance of power has shifted eastward, but the transition has been gradual.

Of course the Asian powerhouses China (#3) and India (#4) will go deep in the tournament, but chess is still in transformation and perhaps one day there will be a singular talent to come from an obscure country. Before Magnus Carlsen rise, Norway was not exactly a world power in chess and is still not a world power. However, it shows that one can rise if given the right opportunities and the World Cup is one such event.

All Games (Round 1)

Official: https://khantymansiysk2019.fide.com/en/
chess24.com: https://chess24.com/en/watch/live-tournaments/khanty-fide-world-cup-2019
Drum Coverage: https://www.thechessdrum.net/

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.

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