FIDE World Cup R4.2: Dzagnidze, Goryachkina Force Tiebreaks; Harikrishna Out
Day 2, round 4 in action. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

FIDE World Cup R4.2: Dzagnidze, Goryachkina Force Tiebreaks; Harikrishna Out

| 22 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Pentala Harikrishna was the highest-rated player to leave the FIDE World Cup on Friday after failing to level the score vs. GM Amin Tabatabaei. GM Magnus Carlsen and GM Radoslaw Wojtaszek played another tense draw and will go to tiebreaks along with six other matches.

In the women's section, both GM Aleksandra Goryachkina and GM Nana Dzagnidze managed to come back after a loss. In a match between two former world champions, GM Alexandra Kosteniuk eliminated GM Mariya Muzychuk.

How to watch?
The games of the FIDE World Cup can be found here: Open | Women. provides daily commentary on and with GM Hou Yifan, GM Ben Finegold, IM Danny Rensch, GM Viswanathan Anand, and other guests. FIDE World Cup coverage 2021

Eight Indian players had traveled to Sochi for the open section of the FIDE World Cup. After the second day of round four, just one of them is still in the tournament. GM Vidit Gujrathi left GM Jeffery Xiong without a chance in the second game, as he found two difficult moves in this critical position, with Xiong needing a win:

Vidit Xiong Sochi 2021
Vidit-Xiong. Photo: Anastasiya Korolkova/FIDE.

The other Indian grandmaster still playing was Harikrishna, who suffered an upset defeat in the first game. He seemed to be getting close to winning with the white pieces but even though Tabatabaei was down a pawn for most of the endgame, it might have been a draw all the time:

Tabatabaei Harikrishna Sochi 2021
Harikrishna-Tabatabaei. Photo: Anastasiya Korolkova/FIDE.

GM Haik Martirosyan, GM Kacper Piorun, and GM Sam Shankland also drew their second game to reach round five. Just two players managed to level the score: GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov and GM Pavel Ponkratov.

Winning an endgame vs. GM Vasif Durarbayli in textbook style, Abdusattorov quietly played against White's worse pawn structure:

Ponkratov's win was quite different. After a great game the other day, he and GM Etienne Bacrot again played a very sharp battle where the French GM was initially OK out of the opening:

Carlsen Ponkratov Bacrot FIDE World Cup
Carlsen checking out Ponkratov-Bacrot. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

The FIDE World Cup said goodbye to one of its youngest participants. The 15-year-old GM Praggnanandhaa R. initially was well prepared in a sharp but also very theoretical Four Knights Sicilian, but GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave had looked into it even deeper. The Frenchman came up with a very strong positional queen sacrifice, and it was hard to defend after that:

Iranian GM Pouya Idani had a good run, but GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda was just too strong on Friday. The Polish GM slowly but surely outplayed his opponent in a Petroff middlegame:

Duda Russians coffee
Duda (right) getting a drink with Russians Ponkratov, Karjakin, Fedoseev, and Esipenko in good spirits. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Six matches saw two draws in both classical games. We're picking two very interesting games from those, starting with the world champion.

After catching his opponent slightly off-guard in the opening, Carlsen got a promising attacking position, especially after Wojtaszek accepted a pawn sacrifice. Like the day before, Carlsen was winning at one point but failed to convert.

Although he was two pawns down and in serious time trouble, on the board he had things under control. On a positive note, by drawing this game and reaching the tiebreaks, Carlsen has already slightly improved on his run at the 2017 World Cup.

Carlsen Wojtaszek Sochi 2021
Carlsen and Wojtaszek after their game. Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE.

The other draw that shouldn't be missed is GM Velimir Ivic vs. GM Dmitry Andreikin. Ivic, an 18-year-old grandmaster from Serbia, played an excellent game and reached a winning attack but then couldn't find his way out of checks:

Results round 4

Fed Player Rtg - Fed Player Rtg G1 G2 TB
GM Carlsen, Magnus 2847 - GM Wojtaszek, Radoslaw 2691 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Grischuk, Alexander 2778 - GM Korobov, Anton 2683 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Karjakin, Sergey 2757 - GM Artemiev, Vladislav 2704 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2749 - GM Praggnanandhaa, R 2608 ½-½ 1-0 .
GM Duda, Jan-Krzysztof 2738 - GM Idani, Pouya 2614 ½-½ 1-0 .
GM Harikrishna, Pentala 2730 - GM Tabatabaei, M. Amin 2613 0-1 ½-½ .
GM Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi 2726 - GM Xiong, Jeffery 2709 1-0 1-0 .
GM Andreikin, Dmitry 2724 - GM Ivic, Velimir 2582 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Vitiugov, Nikita 2724 - GM Svidler, Peter 2714 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Esipenko, Andrey 2716 - GM Dubov, Daniil 2714 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Shankland, Sam 2709 - GM Jumabayev, Rinat 2637 1-0 ½-½ .
GM Fedoseev, Vladimir 2696 - GM Kovalev, Vladislav 2637 1-0 1-0 .
GM Bacrot, Etienne 2678 - GM Ponkratov, Pavel 2629 1-0 0-1 .
GM Haik Martirosyan 2632 - GM Brkic, Ante 2592 1-0 ½-½ .
GM Durarbayli, Vasif 2625 - GM Abdusattorov, Nodirbek 2634 1-0 0-1 .
GM Piorun, Kacper 2608 - GM Sindarov, Javokhir 2558 1-0 ½-½ .
Praggnanandhaa FIDE World Cup 2021
Praggnanandhaa, out of the FIDE World Cup. Photo: Maria Emelianova/
Radek Wojtaszek Alina Kashlinskaya
Alina Kashlinskaya and Radek Wojtaszek, a married couple, will be in action on Saturday for the tiebreaks, just like the only couple in the chess world that is even stronger: Alexander Grischuk and Kateryna Lagno. Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE.

In the women's tournament, four of eight matches will be decided in Saturday's tiebreaks. The four players who can enjoy a rest day are GM Valentina Gunina, GM Anna Muzychuk as well as former women's world champions GM Tan Zhongyi and GM Alexandra Kosteniuk. The latter won a very nice game against another former women's world champion: Game of the Day Dejan Bojkov

Goryachkina and Dzagnidze survived a scare on the first day as they both beat their opponents convincingly with kingside attacks. Dzagnidze needed just 27 moves to force a tiebreak:

Results round 4

Fed Player Rating Fed Player Rating G1 G2 TB
GM Goryachkina, Aleksandra 2596 - GM Stefanova, Antoaneta 2463 0-1 1-0 .
GM Lagno, Kateryna 2559 - IM Assaubayeva, Bibisara 2389 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Muzychuk, Mariya 2550 - GM Kosteniuk, Alexandra 2472 ½-½ 0-1 .
GM Muzychuk, Anna 2527 - IM Paehtz, Elisabeth 2466 ½-½ 1-0 .
GM Dzagnidze, Nana 2523 - IM Shuvalova, Polina 2489 0-1 1-0 .
GM Tan, Zhongyi 2511 - IM Khademalsharieh, Sarasadat 2494 ½-½ 1-0 .
IM Kashlinskaya, Alina 2488 - IM Saduakassova, Dinara 2483 ½-½ ½-½ .
GM Batsiashvili, Nino 2487 - GM Gunina, Valentina 2437 ½-½ 0-1 .
Goryachkina Stefanova Sochi 2021
Goryachkina vs. Stefanova. Photo: Maria Emelianova/
Mariya Muzychuk portrait
Mariya Muzychuk was eliminated... Photo: Maria Emelianova/
Paehtz Muzychuk Sochi 2021
... but might accompany her sister Anna, who knocked out Elisabeth Paehtz. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

The FIDE World Cup takes place in the Galaxy Leisure Complex in Sochi, Russia, until August 6, 2021. Each round consists of two classical games and, if necessary, a rapid/blitz tiebreak on the third day. The Open section began round two with 128 players and the women's section, 64.

Previous reports:

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