2021 FIDE World Cup: Round #4

2021 World Chess Cup
July 12th-August 6th, 2021
(Sochi, Russia)
MATCH PAIRINGS (ROUND 4)
Bracket 1
1 Carlsen, Magnus
NOR
½-½
Wojtaszek, Radoslaw
POL
2 Dubov, Daniil
RUS
½-½
Esipenko, Andrey
RUS
3 Ponkratov, Pavel
RUS
0-1
Bacrot, Etienne
FRA
4 Piorun, Kacper
POL
1-0
Sindarov, Javokhir
USA
Bracket 2
5 Grischuk, Alexander
RUS
½-½
Korobov, Anton
UKR
6 Idani, Pouya
IRI
½-½
Duda, Jan-Krzysztof
POL
7 Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi
IND
1-0
Xiong, Jeffery
IND
8 Durarbayli, Vasif
AZE
1-0
Abdusattorov, Nodirbek
UZB
Bracket 3
9 Kovalev, Vladislav
FID
0-1
Fedoseev, Vladimir
RUS
10 Ivic, Velimir
RUS
½-½
Andreikin, Dmitry
RUS
11 Harikrishna, Pentala
IND
0-1
Tabatabaei, Amin
IRI
12 Brkic, Ante
CRO
0-1
Martirosyan, Haik M
ARM
Bracket 4
13 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime
IND
½-½
Praggnanandhaa, Rameshbabu
IND
14 Artemiev, Vladislav
RUS
½-½
Karjakin, Sergey
RUS
15 Vitiugov, Nikita
RUS
½-½
Svidler, Peter
RUS
16 Shankland, Sam
USA
1-0
Jumabayev, Rinat
KAZ
Official Brackets

Round 4, Game 1

Thursday, 22 July 2021

Bloodbath in Round of 16… 50% decisive games
Goryachkina finally loses!

Magnus Carlsen (Norway)
GM Magnus Carlsen was unable to break through
Photo by Anastasia Korolkova

Wow! What action we had in round 4 of the FIDE World Cup in Sochi Russia. Several of the top players have been ousted, but today’s action was bloody indeed. Exactly 8/16 games were decisive with Magnus Carlsen being held by Radoslaw Wojtaszek in an interesting game. The Polish player sacrificed his queen to stave off an attack.


Video FIDE Chess

Daniil Dubov was fortunate enough to get a draw in his game win Andrey Esipenko after being down 4.94 in evaluation. Dubov liquidated and Esipenko was unable to make use of his rook against the knight. Etienne Bacrot put on a powerful performance bringing on some of his magic from the past.

In other decisive games, Vidit Santosh dispatched American phenom Jeffery Xiong who blundered with a dubious piece sacrifice. Amin Tabatabaei toppled Indian Olympian Pentala Harikrishna continuing his fantastic run in this World Cup. Tabatabaei upset Yu Yangyi and is poised to take down another 2700.

Commentator Nigel Short had difficulties pronouncing the Iranian name, but after the World Cup, everyone will know. Tabatabaei described his victory in the post-game interview.


Video FIDE Chess

Haik Martirosyan is coming off of a big win against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and continued the onslaught beating Ante Brkic. Sam Shankland kept the Americans in the hunt with a win over Rinat Jumabayev, who overpressed in a drawn position. The Kazakh player upset Fabiano Caruana and Shankland would like to defend the stars and stripes and advance to the next round.

It’s been a long time since Shankland’s first World Cup in 2011 when one commentator obviously didn’t know who he was. She asked innocently and incredulously, “How did you see all of this?” At that time he was an obscure 2600 GM, but now has become 2700 fixture on the medal-winning Olympiad team.


Video FIDE Chess

Games (Open)


Video by FIDE Chess

2021 World Chess Cup
July 12th-August 6th, 2021
(Sochi, Russia)
MATCH PAIRINGS (ROUND 4)
Bracket 1
1 Goryachkina, Aleksandra
RUS
0-1
Stefanova, Antoaneta
BUL
2 Kashlinskaya, Alina
RUS
½-½
Saduakassova, Dinara
KAZ
3 Dzagnidze, Nana
GEO
0-1
Shuvalova, Polina
RUS
4 Paehtz, Elisabeth
GER
½-½
Muzychuk, Anna
UKR
Bracket 2
5 Muzychuk, Mariya
UKR
½-½
Kosteniuk, Alexandra
RUS
6 Batsiashvili, Nino
GEO
½-½
Gunina, Valentina
RUS
7 Tan, Zhongyi
CHN
½-½
Khademalsharieh, Sarasadat
IRI
8 Assaubayeva, Bibisara
KAZ
½-½
Lagno, Kateryna
RUS
Official Brackets

Magnus Carlsen (Norway)
Antoaneta_Stefanova stopped the Russian top-seed
Photo by Anastasia Korolkova

In the women’s competition, Aleksandra Goryachkina was beaten by former women’s champion Antoaneta Stefanova. After having built up a strong advantage the Russian inexplicably lost a piece to a simple pin. There was no idea on what Goryachkina could have been thinking, but the always classy Stefanova gave her comments.


Video by FIDE Chess

There was only one other decisive game with Natalia Shuvalova beating Nana Dzagnidze in a Sicilian Rossolimo. Black was getting squeezed before trying a piece sacrifice to get counterplay. The plan backfired and she tried another sacrifice to arrive at three pawns versus a rook, but after a few moves, gave up.

Sarasadat Khademalsharieh (Iran)
Iran’s hopeful… Sarasadat Khademalsharieh
Photo by Anastasia Korolkova

Games (Women)


Video by FIDE Chess

Critical Links: official site, YouTube, Twitter #FIDEWorldCup2021, Results

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.

2 Comments

  1. 2021 World Chess Cup
    July 12th-August 6th, 2021
    (Sochi, Russia)
    MATCH PAIRINGS (ROUND 4)
    Bracket 1
    1 Carlsen, Magnus
    NOR
    1-1
    Wojtaszek, Radoslaw
    POL
    2 Dubov, Daniil
    RUS
    1-1
    Esipenko, Andrey
    RUS
    3 Ponkratov, Pavel
    RUS
    1-1
    Bacrot, Etienne
    FRA
    4 Piorun, Kacper
    CHN
    1½-½
    Sindarov, Javokhir
    USA
    Bracket 2
    5 Grischuk, Alexander
    RUS
    1-1
    Korobov, Anton
    UKR
    6 Idani, Pouya
    IRI
    ½-1½
    Duda, Jan-Krzysztof
    POL
    7 Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi
    IND
    2-0
    Xiong, Jeffery
    IND
    8 Durarbayli, Vasif
    AZE
    1-1
    Abdusattorov, Nodirbek
    UZB
    Bracket 3
    9 Kovalev, Vladislav
    FID
    0-2
    Fedoseev, Vladimir
    RUS
    10 Ivic, Velimir
    RUS
    1-1
    Andreikin, Dmitry
    RUS
    11 Harikrishna, Pentala
    IND
    ½-1½
    Tabatabaei, Amin
    IRI
    12 Brkic, Ante
    CRO
    ½-1½
    Martirosyan, Haik
    ARM
    Bracket 4
    13 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime
    FRA
    1½-½
    Praggnanandhaa, Rameshbabu
    IND
    14 Artemiev, Vladislav
    RUS
    1-1
    Karjakin, Sergey
    RUS
    15 Vitiugov, Nikita
    RUS
    1-1
    Svidler, Peter
    RUS
    16 Shankland, Sam
    USA
    1½-½
    Jumabayev, Rinat
    KAZ
    Official Brackets

    Round 4, Game 2

    Friday, 23 July 2021

    Carlsen misses clinching win, MVL and Vidit move on
    Goryachkina equalizes

    Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa (India)

    The run of Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa has ended, but at only 15 years old, he will certainly be a force in the future. Photo by IM Eric Rosen

    While many of the top seeds have already been sent home, others have advanced. Magnus Carlsen is not yet in that number. The World Champion had a strong attack and it seemed that he was ready to punch his ticket for the next round. However, he lost the thread, botched the attack and had to cede a draw.


    MVL plays 26.Rac1! It is hard to believe that the game would last only six more moves when black resigned. Many amateurs would think the black queen would be better.

    Maxime Vachier-Lagrave outclassed Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa in a short battle where the young phenom completely mishandled the Sicilian. After 24…Nd5 Pragg went for counterplay, but may have overlook MVL sacrificing the queen. It was an amazing piece of ingenuity that only the very top players would envision. After the young Indian tried some desperate probes with the queen, the powerful d-pawn marched up the board to glory. Praggnanandhaa would have to resign the game and the match.


    Video by FIDE Chess

    One surprise of the round would be Amin Tabatabaei’s vanquishing Pentala Harikrishna. On ChessBase India, there was a hope that Harikrishna would be able to convert the extra pawn in the ending, but it would not come to pass. This left only one Indian remaining after Vidit Santosh won again against American hopeful Jeffery Xiong. The American tried to break in on the queenside, but white was able to break through first with a snappy 43.Rxe5+!

    2021 World Chess Cup
    July 12th-August 6th, 2021
    (Sochi, Russia)
    MATCH PAIRINGS (ROUND 4)
    Bracket 1
    1 Goryachkina, Aleksandra
    RUS
    1-1
    Stefanova, Antoaneta
    BUL
    2 Kashlinskaya, Alina
    RUS
    1-1
    Saduakassova, Dinara
    KAZ
    3 Dzagnidze, Nana
    GEO
    1-1
    Shuvalova, Polina
    RUS
    4 Paehtz, Elisabeth
    GER
    ½-1½
    Muzychuk, Anna
    UKR
    Bracket 2
    5 Muzychuk, Mariya
    UKR
    ½-1½
    Kosteniuk, Alexandra
    RUS
    6 Batsiashvili, Nino
    GEO
    ½-1½
    Gunina, Valentina
    RUS
    7 Tan, Zhongyi
    CHN
    1½-½
    Khademalsharieh, Sarasadat
    IRI
    8 Assaubayeva, Bibisara
    KAZ
    1-1
    Lagno, Kateryna
    RUS
    Official Brackets

    Games (Open)


    Video by FIDE Chess

    In the women’s competition, Aleksandra Goryachkina leveled the score with a convincing win and moved into the tiebreaks. There are four tiebreaks (below) including a couple of unheralded players such as 17-year old Bibisara Assaubayeva. Her compatriot Dinara Saduakassova is also in the tiebreaks. No one is surprised that Alexandra Kosteniuk, Anna Muzychuk, Valentina Guinina, and Tan Zhongyi already advanced to the fifth round.

    Games (Women)


    Video by FIDE Chess

    Critical Links: official site, YouTube, Twitter #FIDEWorldCup2021, Results

  2. 2021 World Chess Cup
    July 12th-August 6th, 2021
    (Sochi, Russia)
    MATCH PAIRINGS (ROUND 4)
    Bracket 1
    1 Carlsen, Magnus
    NOR
    2½-1½
    Wojtaszek, Radoslaw
    POL
    2 Dubov, Daniil
    RUS
    2½-3½
    Esipenko, Andrey
    RUS
    3 Ponkratov, Pavel
    RUS
    1½-2½
    Bacrot, Etienne
    FRA
    4 Piorun, Kacper
    CHN
    1½-½
    Sindarov, Javokhir
    USA
    Bracket 2
    5 Grischuk, Alexander
    RUS
    2½-1½
    Korobov, Anton
    UKR
    6 Idani, Pouya
    IRI
    ½-1½
    Duda, Jan-Krzysztof
    POL
    7 Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi
    IND
    2-0
    Xiong, Jeffery
    IND
    8 Durarbayli, Vasif
    AZE
    4-2
    Abdusattorov, Nodirbek
    UZB
    Bracket 3
    9 Kovalev, Vladislav
    FID
    0-2
    Fedoseev, Vladimir
    RUS
    10 Ivic, Velimir
    RUS
    3-1
    Andreikin, Dmitry
    RUS
    11 Harikrishna, Pentala
    IND
    ½-1½
    Tabatabaei, Amin
    IRI
    12 Brkic, Ante
    CRO
    ½-1½
    Martirosyan, Haik
    ARM
    Bracket 4
    13 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime
    FRA
    1½-½
    Praggnanandhaa, Rameshbabu
    IND
    14 Artemiev, Vladislav
    RUS
    2½-3½
    Karjakin, Sergey
    RUS
    15 Vitiugov, Nikita
    RUS
    1½-2½
    Svidler, Peter
    RUS
    16 Shankland, Sam
    USA
    1½-½
    Jumabayev, Rinat
    KAZ
    Official Brackets

    Round 4, TIEBREAKS

    Saturday, 24 July 2021

    Top seeds Carlsen, Goryachkina advance

    Magnus Carlsen advanced after dispatching Radoslaw Wojtaszek in a tough match. The clincher was clinic on positional play. The crunching 32.Bxh6! stole a pawn and the game went into a queen ending. What is so amazing is how opponents of Carlsen seem to be ground down in the types of positions, playing seemingly illogical moves. However, it is the relentless pressure that is a contributing factor to Carlsen winning these positions.

    Video by FIDE Chess

    One surprise may have been the exit of Daniil Dubov. His lost to young talent Andrey Esipenko is a breakthrough needed to affirm the future of Russian chess. With the exit of Nikita Vitiugov and Dmitri Andrekin, it appears that the other standing Russians are the wily veterans Peter Svidler (45), Alexander Grishcuk (37) Sergey Karjakin (31) and Vladimir Fedoseev (26).

    Andrey Esipenko (Russia)

    Andrey Esipenko (Russia)
    Photo by IM Eric Rosen

    The 19-year old Esipenko, Vladislav Artemiev (23) and Dubov (25) seem to be the next generation of talent hoping to guide Russia back to prominence. Russians have not had a World Champion in over a decade and have not won an Olympiad in nearly two.

    One other sensation in the round was Vasif Durarbayli who beat an in-form Nodirbek Abdusattorov, but not before overcoming a beautiful mating combination in the first rapid. Despite this beautiful end, Abdusattorov became flustered after losing a piece on move 17. The Kazahk player continue on for another 30 moves before mating clouds started to loom overhead.

    The first ten-minute game, Abdusattorov had not recovered from the crushing loss and picked apart at the hands of the French Defense. In the final 10-minute game, the Kazakh player was literally pushed off the board in an embarassing loss.

    Durarbayli, a former student at Webster University, took issue with some Tweets doubting his abilities. His words were strong and sent a message.

    Video by FIDE Chess

    Then chess24 offered a response…

    Games (Open)

    Video by FIDE Chess

    2021 World Chess Cup
    July 12th-August 6th, 2021
    (Sochi, Russia)
    MATCH PAIRINGS (ROUND 4)
    Bracket 1
    1 Goryachkina, Aleksandra
    RUS
    3-1
    Stefanova, Antoaneta
    BUL
    2 Kashlinskaya, Alina
    RUS
    4-2
    Saduakassova, Dinara
    KAZ
    3 Dzagnidze, Nana
    GEO
    2½-3½
    Shuvalova, Polina
    RUS
    4 Paehtz, Elisabeth
    GER
    ½-1½
    Muzychuk, Anna
    UKR
    Bracket 2
    5 Muzychuk, Mariya
    UKR
    ½-1½
    Kosteniuk, Alexandra
    RUS
    6 Batsiashvili, Nino
    GEO
    ½-1½
    Gunina, Valentina
    RUS
    7 Tan, Zhongyi
    CHN
    1½-½
    Khademalsharieh, Sarasadat
    IRI
    8 Assaubayeva, Bibisara
    KAZ
    1½-2½
    Lagno, Kateryna
    RUS
    Official Brackets

    Aleksandra Goryachkina may not smile a lot, but she is definitely shining her light on the chessboard. The Russian #1 won both of her tiebreak games over Antoaneta Stefanova to advance to the last eight players.

    Aleksandra_Goryachkina (Russia)

    Aleksandra Goryachkina (Russia)
    Photo by IM Eric Rosen

    Goryachkina won both of her games in convincing fashion. In the first, pieces were exchanged starting at move 20, but then Stefanova overextended her position and she collapsed rather rapidly. The Russian picked her position apart by gobbling pawns. In the second, the Bulgarian needed a win and played aggressively, but all attempts to develop any initiative failed. The Russian played smoothly and won a nice ending. Her next opponent will be Dinara Saduakassova of Kazahkstan.

    Dinara Saduakassova (Kazahkstan)

    Dinara Saduakassova (Kazahkstan)
    Photo by IM Eric Rosen

    Games (Women)

    Video by FIDE Chess

    Critical Links: official site, YouTube, Twitter #FIDEWorldCup2021, Results

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