2019 World Cup: Round #2
September 9th-October 4th, 2019
MATCH PAIRINGS (ROUND 2)
||CHN||David Antón Guijarro||
||UKR||Le Quang Liem||
September 13-15, 2019
Firouzja on fire! Twelve Russians advance to last 32
Alireza Firouzja has become a sensation over the past couple of years since making an impression at the 2016 Chess Olympiad. At that time he was the 13-year old national champion of Iran and was playing fourth board behind Parham Maghsoodloo. He has since become the top Iranian player and has vaulted over 2700. In this tournament, he created a buzz with his win over Russia’s Daniil Dubov.
His 37.exd6!! got a shower of gold coins and showed that this 16-year old is a huge talent. He advanced and will get a stiff test against the top seed Ding Liren.
Another young prodigy in 15-year old GM Nihal Sarin received a lot of attention in this round after conducting a clinic on attacking the king. His win over Eltaj Safarli got high praise from Magnus Carlsen…
Magnus Carlsen: "A perfect game!"
Nihal Sarin 1-0 Safarli: https://t.co/2ZUDvM4DQH #FIDEWorldCup #c24live pic.twitter.com/T7sPWrZ5MC
— chess24.com (@chess24com) September 13, 2019
The mating attack at the expense of Safarli drew comparisons to Anatoly Karpov, but perhaps the attention became too great for the 15-year old. In the next game, Safarli trotted out the Evans Gambit looking for a fight. It was the first time in his life and will probably be the last. Sagar Shah of ChessBase India did a deep analysis of this game and discussed the amount of time that Nihal was spending on each move… some of them simple recaptures. By move 16, Nihal had 24 moves to make in 10 minutes! Then disaster struck…
In this clearly better position, Nihal who only needed a draw to go into round 3, played …Rg6 and simply blundered his bishop. Safarli took the bishop on f2 and won the game. It was a complete blackout moment for the youngster. Tiebreaks tomorrow.https://t.co/FaOdFLMzLp pic.twitter.com/FSuCkPMT7J
— ChessBase India (@ChessbaseIndia) September 14, 2019
Some figured that he was thinking he rook was already on f8. In fact, any reasonable move with his a8-rook would be enough for a draw. It is heartbreaking to see so much energy put into a game and have it lost on a simple mistakes, but that’s chess. It can be a cruel game sometimes. Unfortunately for Sarin he also lost the tiebreaks. Let’s hope that he learns from the experience and that he moves on from this loss quickly.
Wei Yi is a player who has quietly entered the third round. Many have been wondering if the Chinese prodigy has stopped improving, but he shows that he is still a dangerous opponent. He will face his compatriot Yu Yangyi next. Perhaps the most exciting match was Daniel Yuffa versus Luke McShane, the world’s strongest amateur player.
In the first game, there was an intriguing ending that arose with K+B+B vs. K+N. Yuffa was trying to pry the knight away from McShane, but was unable to convert the TableBase win. McShane went for the toughest defense which is to keep the knight on b2, b7, g2 or g7. McShane shuffled his knight from g7 to e8 for several moves then ran down to the b2 square with his knight and set up the same structure. A draw was granted.
Forced mate with best play from both sides is 66-78 moves depending on the configuration. However there are cases like in Dreev-Cabrera (2005) where the Russian won the bishop due to a blunder. Mikhail Tal also beat Mikhail Botvinnik (WCh 1961, Game 17) in only seven moves after achieving the K+B+B vs. K+N. Jan Timman was also successful against Jonathan Speelman (Linares 1992).
Luke McShane survives as Daniil Yuffa is unable to mate in 50 moves… and Day 1 of Round 2 of the #FIDEWorldCup is over! https://t.co/t7ZVmALrwS #c24live pic.twitter.com/r5wZnLWcj3
— chess24.com (@chess24com) September 13, 2019
Yuffa went on to win 5-3 and is one of a dozen Russians to make it to the round of 32. The usual suspects are still in the hunt with Sergey Karjakin, Alexander Grischuk, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Peter Svidler, Nikita Vitiugov, Dmitry Jakovenko, Dmitry Andreikin, Evgeny Tomashevsky and Vladislav Artemiev advancing. Besides Yuffa, Maxim Matlakov and Kiriil Alekseenko finish the contingent. Starting with 28/128 (21%) they improved with 12/32 (37%).
One of the vanquished Russian was former European Champion Evgeny Najer who lost a wild match to Anish Giri. Daniel King gave a synopsis of the key tiebreak games.
#FIDEWorldCup Analysis of Najer-Giri tiebreak: https://t.co/IQRY6hCEfk
Went right down to the wire.
— Daniel King (@DanielKingChess) September 15, 2019
As far as the Americans, Hikaru Nakamura was surprisingly eliminated from the tournament. Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu discussed the first game featuring a queen sacrifice. It was suspected that Nakamura had gotten the move order wrong and was punished for it. Nisipeanu was very gracious in his comments during an interview. With Sam Shankland and Nakamura gone, Wesley So, Jeffery Xiong and Leinier Dominguez advance to the round of 32. Who is now the youngest of the event?
Jan: "Abdusattorov is out, so Nihal Sarin is now the youngest in the event"
Lawrence: "No, he's not, it's Jeffery"
Jan: "Jeffery is like 3 years older"
Lawrence: "No, it's definitely Jeffery. He's the Xiongest in the event" 🙂 #Boom #FIDEWorldCup
— chess24.com (@chess24com) September 12, 2019
Very good! This pun went viral for good reason. While Jeffery will always be the Xiongest, Iran’s Alireza Firouzja is now the youngest at 16.
Drum Coverage: https://www.thechessdrum.net/
Video by FIDE
Video by Sagar Shah (ChessBase India)