Fedoseev, Ju Lead World Rapid After Day 2
Anand and Fedoseev after their game ended in a draw. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Fedoseev, Ju Lead World Rapid After Day 2

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Dec 27, 2017, 12:57 PM |
32 | Chess Event Coverage

After scoring two wins and three draws on day two, Vladimir Fedoseev still leads the World Rapid Chess Championship in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Ju Wenjun also managed to keep her lead in the women's segment.

Although the local organization is on a high level, there's one aspect that didn't go so well on both the first and second day of the tournament. The relay of the live games has been quite unreliable, to the extent that the official commentator, GM Evgenij Miroshnichenko, couldn't hide his frustration anymore. "We are again stuck with the moves," and "It's not possible to follow the game like that," were some of the complaints he shared with the online spectators.

His frustration is understandable, as is the choice at the start of the rounds to focus mostly on Magnus Carlsen's games. It cannot be denied that, as in any event where he plays, the world champion is the real star.

Ole Kristiansen, Magnus Carlsen, Henrik Carlsen

VG's Ole Kristian Strøm, Magnus Carlsen and Henrik Carlsen. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Unlike on the first day, Carlsen was sharp from the start this time. He was one of the first to win his game in round six, as Black against Sergei Movsesian, despite a suspicious-looking middlegame that arose from a Nimzowitsch Defense (1.e4 Nc6).

Movsesian vs Carlsen in Riyadh

A strong counter from Carlsen on the queenside. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Speaking of Nimzowitsch, the old master would have been proud of Baadur Jobava's 34...e5!! against Vladimir Fedoseev in what was the clash of the leaders. It seemed that Jobava, who had managed to bring a novelty on the board as early as move five, was grabbing the initiative there. However, Fedoseev was extremely resourceful in the remainder. A great game from both sides.

Fedoseev vs Jobava in Riyadh

A lovely fight between the leaders after day one, Fedoseev and Jobava. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

In round seven Carlsen won another quick and smooth game against Wang Yue, who used to be known as one of the most solid players. Nine years ago he played 85 consecutive games without a loss, but today he didn't stand a chance against the Norwegian player:

Carlsen vs Wang Yue in Riyadh

A smiling Carlsen before his game with Wang Yue. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Fedoseev just kept on winning. He beat Kuzubov convincingly after getting a promising position out of the opening and then stayed tactically alert till the end. How strong has this man become in such a short time! 

Vladimir Fedoseev in Riyadh

Vladimir Fedoseev is playing superb chess in Riyadh. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

With this, Fedoseev moved to 6.5/7, which was a full point more than Carlsen, Wang Hao, Svidler and Anand. The latter beat Luke McShane with a little combination that should be easy to find for our readers:

Vishy Anand in Riyadh

Anand noted that McShane saw the mate in two as soon as he touched his queen but the piece has no squares to prevent it. He also said that he's not really preparing in between rounds because it's not clear how much time is available. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Svidler had beaten Jobava, grinding him down in the endgame and catching one of his opponent's knights using his king:

Svidler talking to FIDE's Nastja Karlovich.

Svidler's reward for this one was facing Carlsen in the next round; a solid game from both players that ended in a draw. Anand couldn't pose serious problems in his white game with Fedoseev, who thus kept his unbeaten status. His lead got smaller as one player managed to get to 6.5/8: Wang Hao.

Meanwhile, Sergey Karjakin wasn't doing well. Sitting on 4.5/7, he got crushed by the 15-year-old Andrey Esipenko, one of the players who came straight from the Nutcracker tournament. The rising star of Russian chess played the move of the day:



Round nine saw the clash between world champions Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand, a Nimzo-Indian that was about equal all the time until Carlsen blundered a nasty tactic.

Carlsen vs Anand in Riyadh

Anand telling Carlsen it took him a while before he spotted that Bf3+ works. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Anand talking with FIDE's Nastja Karlovich.

Wang Hao and Fedoseev drew their game, and so the latter was still leading by half a point. Anand, Svidler and Wang were behind, followed by Ivan Saric and Nepomniachtchi, both on 6.5/9. Nepomniachtchi scored a good win vs Jobava, which might have involved some preparation and saw a pretty finish.

In today's final round the first three boards ended in draws, and so little changed at the top. Fedoseev is still undefeated, which is a huge achievement over 10 rounds.

Fedoseev talking with FIDE's Nastja Karlovich.

Carlsen is in shared fifth place, a point behind the leader, after beating Nepomniachtchi. The faces the Russian made on camera after his 40th move were priceless, but right there he threw away the draw he thought he had in his hands. 

Ivanchuk, Mamedyarov in Riyadh

With a disappointing 4/10, the reigning rapid champion Vassily Ivanchuk (middle) is already out of contention. Other pre-tournament favorites with a disappointing score, Levon Aronian and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, are both on 5.5/10. | Photo: FIDE.

Kaja Snare, Magnus Carlsen

NRK's Kaja Snare interviewing Carlsen. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

2017 World Rapid Championship | Round 10 Standings (Top 20)

Rk. SNo Fed Player Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3 Rp rtg+/-
1 8 Fedoseev Vladimir 2771 8 0 2727 58 2953 44
2 12 Anand Viswanathan 2758 7,5 0 2728 57,5 2907 38
3 18 Svidler Peter 2743 7,5 0 2722 56,5 2885 37
4 9 Wang Hao 2770 7,5 0 2706 52,5 2883 28,2
5 69 Pantsulaia Levan 2654 7 0 2725 53,5 2874 59,6
6 1 Carlsen Magnus 2908 7 0 2718 55 2826 -16
7 14 Yu Yangyi 2752 7 0 2672 49 2798 12
8 37 Mamedov Rauf 2695 7 0 2630 51,5 2739 14,4
9 39 Safarli Eltaj 2694 7 0 2624 54,5 2742 14,4
10 68 Bu Xiangzhi 2654 6,5 0 2735 56,5 2845 51,4
11 63 Kuzubov Yuriy 2662 6,5 0 2735 56,5 2815 38
12 87 Kravtsiv Martyn 2610 6,5 0 2702 54 2812 55,6
13 85 Quparadze Giga 2614 6,5 0 2699 56 2735 44,8
14 7 Nepomniachtchi Ian 2780 6,5 0 2699 49,5 2793 3,4
15 92 Saric Ivan 2597 6,5 0 2691 51,5 2728 47,2
16 4 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2814 6,5 0 2688 51,5 2778 -8,8
17 71 Rakhmanov Aleksandr 2649 6,5 0 2678 46,5 2737 30,2
18 38 Cheparinov Ivan 2694 6,5 0 2674 57 2759 18,6
19 11 Korobov Anton 2765 6,5 0 2667 47 2736 -5,2
20 32 Wang Yue 2702 6,5 0 2663 52 2755 14,2

(Full standings here.)

Saudi princess Maha bint Mohammed bin Ahmad al-Sudairi at the World Rapid Chess Championdhip

Today's special guest was Saudi princess Maha bint Mohammed bin Ahmad al-Sudairi, who is mostly known in the west for having a peculiar way of settling bills in Paris luxury shops. | Photo: FIDE.

In the women's section, Ju Wenjun played four draws before winning her last game, but still managed to keep her lead. Her victim in the 10th round was the fairly unknown IM Pham Le Thao Nguyen of Vietnam, who was sharing the lead with Ju, Aleksandra Goryachkina and Elina Danielian.

The Vietnamese player could easily have been the sole leader as she was a more than healthy pawn up, but then fell for a nasty trick:

Ju Wenjun in Riyadh

Ju Wenjun, now sporting glasses, still leads the pack. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

One of Pham's victims today was the former world champion Antoaneta Stefanova, who allowed mate in one in round six—a truly horrific blunder:

Poor Nino Batsiashvili experienced something similar. Perhaps out of nerves she put her king on the wrong square, and the position turned from completely winning to utterly lost:

2017 Women's World Rapid Championship | Round 10 Standings (Top 20)

Rk. SNo Fed Title Player Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3 TB4
1 4 GM Ju Wenjun 2537 8 0 2449 60,5 5
2 13 WGM Goryachkina Aleksandra 2460 7,5 0 2409 53,5 5
3 10 GM Danielian Elina 2473 7,5 0 2407 55,5 5
4 5 GM Dzagnidze Nana 2508 7,5 0 2400 51 5
5 36 IM Pham Le Thao Nguyen 2390 7 0 2457 61 4
6 17 GM Lei Tingjie 2450 7 0 2437 57,5 5
7 11 IM Paehtz Elisabeth 2467 7 0 2431 55 5
8 2 GM Kosteniuk Alexandra 2586 7 0 2416 55,5 5
9 12 GM Harika Dronavalli 2466 7 0 2409 53 4
10 24 GM Khotenashvili Bela 2425 6,5 0 2439 56,5 5
11 16 IM Guo Qi 2451 6,5 0 2437 55 4
12 68 IM Charochkina Daria 2307 6,5 0 2405 49,5 5
13 88 WGM Tokhirjonova Gulrukhbegim 2171 6,5 0 2404 54,5 5
14 92 WGM Fataliyeva Ulviyya 2085 6,5 0 2404 44 5
15 20 GM Sebag Marie 2445 6,5 0 2399 53 5
16 23 IM Abdumalik Zhansaya 2439 6,5 0 2369 52,5 5
17 15 WGM Huang Qian 2453 6,5 0 2348 46,5 5
18 45 IM Zimina Olga 2376 6,5 0 2293 53,5 5
19 38 IM Atalik Ekaterina 2389 6,5 0 2288 48,5 5
20 47 IM Karavade Eesha 2369 6 0 2426 46 5

(Full standings here.)

Games via TWIC.

The full broadcast of round two.

The World Rapid Championship takes place December 26-28 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It's a 15-round Swiss with a prize fund of $750,000 for the open section and $250,000 for the women's section. You can follow the games in Live Chess.


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