2021 FIDE World Cup: Round #6

2021 World Chess Cup
July 12th-August 6th, 2021
(Sochi, Russia)
MATCH PAIRINGS (ROUND 6)
1 Carlsen, Magnus
NOR
1-0
Bacrot, Etienne
FRA
2 Duda, Jan-Krzysztof
POL
½-½
Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi
IND
3 Fedoseev, Vladimir
RUS
½-½
Tabatabaei, Amin
IRI
4 Karjakin, Sergey
RUS
0-1
Shankland, Sam
USA
Official Brackets

Round 6, Game 1

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Shankland’s mastery overwhelms Karjakin

The story of the round was Samuel Shankland’s dismantling of the former championship candidate Sergey Karjakin. The Russian recently had his record broken for youngest Grandmaster in history and now is on the precipice of being eliminated from the FIDE World Cup. The loss he received at the hands of the American makes one wonder if his time has passed. The “Minister of Defense” had no such success in today’s battle against Shankland.

This tournament is turning out to be a career performance for the 29-year old American. For those who may not be aware of his story, in analyzing the U.S. gold medal team, I wrote this about Shankland:

Back in 2010, he threatened to quit chess due to the poor opportunities for GM norms in the U.S. After some soul-searching he came back and in 2011, he created a stir by defeating Peter Leko in the first round of the 2011 World Cup. He won the Samford Fellowship in 2013 and continued measured improvement. At the 2014 Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway, he scored 9/10 and earned a gold medal on board four.

He also recently said that he is a “2700 with no talent.” If he has no talent, then it is quite an inspiration to hordes of untalented players out there. Seriously… when has an untalented player made such a deep run into the World Cup. In fact, if sheer hard work has been his recipe for success, then his effort was not wasted. He gives his thoughts!

Video by FIDE Chess

While Shankland had an instructive game, Magnus Carlsen dished out his own lesson. In a Ruy Lopez the game had tension until Etienne Bacrot belted out the risky 24.f4. His king would not find safety thereafter. As mentioned, the uncorked a queen sacrifice to beat Bacrot in their first game.

Instead of clumsily explaining further, here is Carlsen during the press conference.

Video by FIDE Chess

Both Vidit-Duda and Tabatabaei-Fedoseev were drawn. The only drama was this moment in post-mortem.

Games (Open)

Video by FIDE Chess

2021 World Chess Cup
July 12th-August 6th, 2021
(Sochi, Russia)
MATCH PAIRINGS (ROUND 6)
1 Goryachkina, Aleksandra
RUS
Muzychuk, Anna
UKR
2 Kosteniuk, Alexandra
RUS
Tan, Zhongyi
CHN
Official Brackets

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 6)
    1 Carlsen, Magnus
    NOR
    2-0
    Bacrot, Etienne
    FRA
    2 Duda, Jan-Krzysztof
    POL
    1½-½
    Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi
    IND
    3 Fedoseev, Vladimir
    RUS
    1½-½
    Tabatabaei, Amin
    IRI
    4 Karjakin, Sergey
    RUS
    1-1
    Shankland, Sam
    USA
    Official Brackets

    Round 6, Game 2

    Thursday, 29 July 2021

    Karjakin crashes through… forces tiebreak

    Sergey Karjakin may be known as the “Minister of Defense,” but with his back against the wall, he lashed out against Sam Shankland to even the score. The must-win situation featured a thrilling end leading to mate on the board. The game started as a French Defence with Karjakin opting for the King’s Indian Attack. This game typically features white building up a slow attack on the kingside and black blasting through on the queenside. The idea for black is to undermine the center by attacking on the wings. This game followed that script.


    In a King’s Indian Attack, Karjakin conjured up an attack before Shankland broke down the door with 27.Rxg7+!

    Karjakin made his intentions known after 16.g4 leading to a bit of apprehension for Shankland after 16…Qd8?! After playing more defensive moves, Karjakin belted out 22.g5! and the attack was already strong. Black not realizing the danger played 26…a3 and Karjakin played the scintillating. 27.Rxg7+! GM Nigel Short and IM Almira Skripchenko had analyzed this possibility beforehand and Karjakin obliged. After 27…Kxg7 28.Ng4! f5 29.exf6+ Qxf6 30.Nxf6 axb2, the game ended sportingly with 31.Qg5+ Kf7 32.h6! Ng6 and the final blow 33.Nh4. Mate on the board followed after 33…bxa1(Q) 34.Qxg6+ Ke7 35.Qg7+ Kd6 36.Qd7 mate. Great comeback win for the Russian.

    Magnus Carlsen wrapped up his match with a smooth win over Etienne Bacrot, who ended a nice run. The other two games were very interesting with Duda-Vidit being a tactical slugfest. Vidit began a sequence from move 16-24 giving up a piece for three pawns. Duda ended up sacrificing his knight for one of the pawns in order to advance his. The race was on, and while both players got a new queen. Duda had the first chance to deliver the crushing blow and ended up delivering mate before Vidit could use his new queen.

    One of the most thrilling games was Fedoseev-Tatatabaei. The game appeared headed for a draw when the Iranian fell for a tactic losing a piece. After 77…Rb3+ 78.Be5+! a very animated expression occurred.

    So what happened? After 78.Be5+! 78…Kc6 79.Ra6+ black resigned in lieu of 79…Kd7 80.Rxe6 winning. If 80…Kxe6 81.f5+ winning the rook and netting a piece.


    Video by FIDE Chess

    Games (Open)

    2021 World Chess Cup
    July 12th-August 6th, 2021
    (Sochi, Russia)
    MATCH PAIRINGS (ROUND 6)
    1 Goryachkina, Aleksandra
    RUS
    ½-½
    Muzychuk, Anna
    UKR
    2 Kosteniuk, Alexandra
    RUS
    ½-½
    Tan, Zhongyi
    CHN
    Official Brackets

    Games (Open)

    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 6)
    1 Carlsen, Magnus
    NOR
    2-0
    Bacrot, Etienne
    FRA
    2 Duda, Jan-Krzysztof
    POL
    1½-½
    Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi
    IND
    3 Fedoseev, Vladimir
    RUS
    1½-½
    Tabatabaei, Amin
    IRI
    4 Karjakin, Sergey
    RUS
    4-2
    Shankland, Sam
    USA
    Official Brackets

    Round 6, TIEBREAKS (Open), Game 2 (Women)

    Friday, 30 July 2021

    Karjakin moves on… All-Russian Final (Goryachkina-Kosteniuk)


    Shankland snapped off the pawn with 39.Bxc6! The idea being that after 39…bxc6 40.a5 Nc5 41.a6! the knight can’t stop one of the pawns from queening.

    After being crushed by Sam Shankland in the first rapid game, Sergey Karjakin scored a second must-win. The first rapid game came out of an English-turned Catalan. White had a slight advantage and after trading queens entered a favorable bishop vs. knight ending. Almost immediately, Karjakin blundered with 37…Qxd6?? After 38.exd6 Ne6, Shankland belted out 39.Bxc6! winning a pawn since the knight cannot contain both white passed pawns. After that, it was a clean conversion.

    Karjakin would be faced with the unenviable task of having to win on demand. Facing the Najdorf, Karjakin opted for 6.h3!? and the game switched to a classical setup, then to some type of a Dragonish Sicilian. After 11.f4 it was apparent that black was going to be under some serious pressure if he didn’t react. Surely enough, Shankland erred with 11… Qa5? when 12.f5 gives white a strong initiative.

    After 12…Bxa2, many fans thought about Fischer’s Bxh2 move against Spassky trapping the bishop. Shankland lost a total sense of danger by casually castling and then facing 12…Nd5! he ended up losing a piece. The rest was academic. For the second time, Karjakin had to be the “Minister of Offense” instead of defense.

    Sergey Karjkin (Russia). Photo by Anastasiia Korolkova.
    Sergey Karjkin battles in a must-win situation.
    Photo by Anastasiia Korolkova.

    For the blitz portion, Shankland would try black again and this time would repeat the line from the previous game, but played 8…Nxd4 and the game was queenless a few moves later. Shankland tried a rook lift with 17…Ra6 which was refuted after 18.Bf1 Rc6 19.Bb5. In just a few moves, Shankland “rover” experiment would fail miserably and Karjakin finished the game neatly by weaving a mating net.

    So Shankland would need a must-win and this time went for the English. Needing a win, he got a playable position and in fact, Karjakin was in serious trouble. Fast forward to 22…Qxb7 23.Qxe5 black’s kingside was in shambles. However, Shankland missed his chance to keep the edge by playing 28.Qc1 instead of 28.Qd2! with a sizable advantage. After 28.Qc1 black equalized easily, but having to play for a win, Shankland made a couple of errors and ended up losing the second blitz game as well.

    Agony of defeat. Sam Shankland after losing to Sergey Karjkin. Photo by Eric Rosen.

    Agony of defeat. Sam Shankland after losing to Sergey Karjkin. Photo by Eric Rosen.

    Sam Shankland after losing to Sergey Karjakin
    Photos by IM Eric Rosen

    It was a good tournament for Shankland as he met and even exceeded expectations. Karjakin has been a championship challenger and with another win against compatriot Vladimir Fedoseev will qualify for the Candidates tournament.

    Video by FIDE Chess

    Games (Open)

    2021 World Chess Cup
    July 12th-August 6th, 2021
    (Sochi, Russia)
    MATCH PAIRINGS (ROUND 6)
    1 Goryachkina, Aleksandra
    RUS
    1½-½
    Muzychuk, Anna
    UKR
    2 Kosteniuk, Alexandra
    RUS
    1½-½
    Tan, Zhongyi
    CHN
    Official Brackets

    Alexandra Kosteniuk has a chance to become a candidate for the world championship years after winning the crown in 2008. Since then Hou Yifan rose and then faded, but now a new breed of talent has come on the scene with Aleksandra Goryachkina leading the pack and a number of players from Asia.

    Unfortunately, none of the interview questions have been about her resiliency across generations of play. How has she managed to keep up? Some years ago, she was in the shoes of Goryachkina and now she will be playing her in the final.

    In her second game against former world champion Tan Zhongyi, she faced the Petroff and essayed 6.d3!? and 7.d4. If one saw this online, they’d think it was a mouse slip. Kosteniuk explained the situation and the psychology behind her play.

    Video by FIDE Chess

    Aleksandra Goryachkina. Photo by Anastasiia Korolkova.

    Russia’s Aleksandra Goryachkinaintensity has served her well.
    Photo by Anastasiia Korolkova

    Goryachkina crushed Anna Muzychuk in a Grunfeld, but it was the transition to the ending that was instructive. Black slowly ran out of steam as white’s pieces continued to squeeze the life out of black. By the end, white was in zugzwang. The Russian’s interview is not appearing on the FIDE website in English, but here it is in Russian.

    Video by FIDE Chess

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

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