Nakamura Eliminated From FIDE Chess World Cup
Nakamura accepts a draw offer he can't refuse. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Nakamura Eliminated From FIDE Chess World Cup

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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56 | Chess Event Coverage

Hikaru Nakamura was eliminated from the FIDE World Cup after failing to win his return game with Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu. The Chinese GM Xu Xiangyu surprised again by knocking out Ernesto Inarkiev while Alireza Firouzja played a brilliant piece sacrifice.

You can follow the games here as part of our live portal Chess.com/events. There is daily coverage by our Twitch partner, the Chessbrahs.

GMs Yasser Seirawan, Eric Hansen and Aman Hambleton are covering the tournament each day on their channel Twitch.tv/Chessbrah. Play starts at 3 p.m. local time, which is 12:00 (noon) CEST, 6 a.m. Eastern and 3 a.m. Pacific.

It's never an easy task to win on demand and especially when facing the Petroff defense—an opening Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu plays only occasionally.

Hikaru Nakamura did try, so much that he actually got into a completely lost position. When the players had reached move 30, Nakamura got a consolation draw offer from his opponent, which was an offer he couldn't refuse.

Nakamura Nisipeanu 2019 FIDE World Cup
Boris Gelfand checks out what happened while Nakamura and Nisipeanu briefly discuss some moves. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

For the second time, the little-known Chinese GM Xu Xiangyu managed to knock out an experienced grandmaster from the tournament. After being ruthless to his compatriot Bu Xiangzhi, he also had no mercy for Ernesto Inarkiev, the European Champion of 2016 who was named after Ernesto "Che" Guevara.

Xu Yiangyu 2019 FIDE World Cup
Xu Xiangyu, the surprise of the FIDE World Cup so far. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Choosing the Game of the Day was a tough choice between this one and the brilliant win by Alireza Firouzja. The 16-year-old Iranian rising star avoided a draw against the 23-year-old Russian GM Daniil Dubov with a stunning, long-term piece sacrifice that paid off in the end. We're only five days into this World Cup, and it has given us already quite a few beautiful games of chess.

Firouzja Dubov 2019 FIDE World Cup
Firouzja beats Dubov brilliantly. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Another prodigy fared less well. India's Nihal Sarin was on his way to reach the third round and had a slightly better position against Eltaj Safarli of Azerbaijan when a draw was enough.

But then Nihal blundered in a way that would have been inexplicable if not for the Indian being in heavy time trouble... but such blunders belong to players at the ends of their careers, not the beginnings!

Kudos to Safarli, though, for playing the Evans Gambit.

Safarli Nihal 2019 FIDE World Cup
A huge blunder is about to occur. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

One other player managed to win on demand to force playoffs: Wei Yi defeated David Anton with the black pieces—also with some slightly daring play in the opening that led to a complicated endgame. Anton was doing fine for a long time, but two small mistakes in a row allowed the Chinese player to take control.

The top two seeds drew both their classical and will have to play the tiebreaks: Ding Liren vs. Sergei Movsesian and Anish Giri vs. Evgenyi Najer. We'll see Leinier Dominguez, Alexander Grischuk and Teimour Radjabov there as well, in a total of 15 tiebreak matches.

Maxime Vaxchier-Lagrave, Sergey Karjakin and Jan-Krzysztof Duda reached the third round by winning both of their classical games. Wesley So started with a draw but then nicely outplayed Anton Demchenko as White. He showed how to play against Black's doubled f-pawns in a Queen's Gambit Declined:

Wesley So Demchenko 2019 FIDE World Cup
A smooth win for Wesley So vs. Demchenko. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Russian GM and world number-five Ian Nepomniachtchi also decided his minimatch in the second classical encounter with his compatriot Alexandr Predke. It was a sharp Gruenfeld with castling on opposite wings where Predke came well prepared.

After 25 moves the computer gives White an advantage of almost two pawns, but after one mistake by Predke, the tables turned completely. The correct move was to bring the h1-rook into play. As coaches of young children tend to say: You gotta let all your friends join the party!

Nepomniachtchi 2019 FIDE World Cup
Nepomniachtchi was in some trouble but nonetheless finished the job. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Levon Aronian, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Vladislav Artemiev, Pentala Harikrishna and Evgeny Tomashevsky held the draws they needed to reach the third round. Dmitry Andreikin, Le Quang Liem, Wang Hao and Vidit Gujrathi scored wins in the second game after drawing their first.

A number of round-three matchups are already known:

  • Nepomniachtchi vs. Tomashevsky
  • So vs. Vidit
  • Artemiev vs. Le
  • Duda vs. Andreikin

FIDE World Cup | Round 2 results

Seed Fed Title Player - Seed Fed Title Player G1 G2 TB1 TB2 TB3 TB4 TB5 TB6 TB7
1 GM Ding Liren - 64 GM Movsesian ½-½ ½-½ . . . . . . .
2 GM Giri - 66 GM Najer ½-½ ½-½ . . . . . . .
3 GM Vachier-Lagrave - 62 GM Kovalenko 1-0 1-0 . . . . . . .
4 GM So - 61 GM Demchenko ½-½ 1-0 . . . . . . .
5 GM Nepomniachtchi - 69 GM Predke ½-½ 1-0 . . . . . . .
6 GM Aronian - 59 GM Maghsoodloo 1-0 ½-½ . . . . . . .
7 GM Mamedyarov - 58 GM Kasimdzhanov 1-0 ½-½ . . . . . . .
8 GM Dominguez - 72 GM Abasov ½-½ ½-½ . . . . . . .
9 GM Grischuk - 73 GM Bok ½-½ ½-½ . . . . . . .
10 GM Radjabov - 55 GM Sjugirov ½-½ ½-½ . . . . . . .
11 GM Artemiev - 54 GM Cheparinov 1-0 ½-½ . . . . . . .
12 GM Yu Yangyi - 53 GM Adhiban ½-½ ½-½ . . . . . . .
13 GM Karjakin - 52 GM Sevian 1-0 1-0 . . . . . . .
14 GM Nakamura - 51 GM Nisipeanu 0-1 ½-½ . . . . . . .
15 GM Andreikin - 79 GM Jumabayev ½-½ 1-0 . . . . . . .
17 GM Harikrishna - 48 GM Fedoseev 1-0 ½-½ . . . . . . .
18 GM Duda - 47 GM Nabaty 1-0 1-0 . . . . . . .
19 GM Svidler - 83 GM Esipenko Andey ½-½ ½-½ . . . . . . .
20 GM Vitiugov - 84 GM Huschenbeth ½-½ ½-½ . . . . . . .
21 GM Wei Yi - 44 GM Anton 0-1 1-0 . . . . . . .
22 GM Le - 43 GM Korobov ½-½ 1-0 . . . . . . .
25 GM Wang Hao - 40 GM Rodshtein ½-½ 1-0 . . . . . . .
27 GM Matlakov - 38 GM Gelfand ½-½ ½-½ . . . . . . .
28 GM Tomashevsky - 92 GM Aravindh 1-0 ½-½ . . . . . . .
29 GM Vidit - 93 GM Rakhmanov ½-½ 1-0 . . . . . . .
30 GM Jakovenko - 35 GM Jones ½-½ ½-½ . . . . . . .
31 GM Xiong - 95 GM Tabatabaei ½-½ ½-½ . . . . . . .
32 GM Firouzja - 33 GM Dubov ½-½ 1-0 . . . . . . .
42 GM McShane - 106 GM Yuffa ½-½ ½-½ . . . . . . .
41 GM Inarkiev - 105 GM Xu Xiangyu ½-½ 0-1 . . . . . . .
90 GM Nihal - 103 GM Safarli 1-0 0-1 . . . . . . .
49 GM Aleksеenko - 113 GM Christiansen ½-½ ½-½ . . . . . . .

The FIDE World Cup takes place Sept. 9-Oct. 4 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. Each round consists of two classical games and a tiebreak on the third day. The final consists of four classical games. Both finalists will qualify for the 2020 Candidates' Tournament. The total prize fund is $1.6 million (1.45 million euros). Sept. 19 and 29 are rest days. You can find more background info in our preview article.


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