China Increases Lead At FIDE Online Nations Cup‎

China Increases Lead At FIDE Online Nations Cup‎

| 37 | Chess Event Coverage

China increased its lead at the FIDE Online Nations Cup to two match points on the second day of play. The USA and Europe are tied for second place, followed by Russia, Rest of the World, and India.

How to watch
All games will be played on the live server and can be followed on our events page and in our Android and iOS apps under "Watch." Commentary by GM Robert Hess, IM Daniel Rensch, and special guests can be enjoyed at where the games will be discussed and explained.

The Day 2 Live Broadcast for replay.

Round 3

Bo. Fed China Rtg 2 : 2 Fed Russia Rtg
1.1 Ding Liren 2836 1 - 0 Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2778
1.2 Wei Yi 2752 0 - 1 Artemiev, Vladislav 2769
1.3 Yu Yangyi 2738 ½ - ½ Karjakin, Sergey 2709
1.4 Ju Wenjun 2610 ½ - ½ Goryachkina, Aleksandra 2502

China-Russia was an interesting matchup in many respects. There was GM Sergey Karjakin playing his first official game since the World Blitz Championship in December, and the pairing of the two participants of the last women's world championship. Those two boards ended in draws.

GM Vladislav Artemiev scored a convincing win against GM Wei Yi on board two, but China tied the match as GM Ding Liren defeated a still struggling GM Ian Nepomniachtchi. The latter almost came back to full equality after being put under pressure in the opening in what looked like deep prep from the Chinese player—the kind of material that could have been seen at the Candidates.

Ding Liren Online Nations Cup
Ding Liren, board one for China.
Bo. Fed India Rtg 1½:2½ Fed Europe Rtg
2.1 Anand, Viswanathan 2751 ½ - ½ Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2860
2.2 Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi 2636 0 - 1 Aronian, Levon 2778
2.3 Harikrishna, Pentala 2690 ½ - ½ Duda, Jan-Krzysztof 2774
2.4 Koneru, Humpy 2483 ½ - ½ Muzychuk, Anna 2533

Coming from a loss and a draw on day one, GM Levon Aronian did much better on the second day of play as he won both of his games. Even so, he wasn't too happy about his play and compared it to the unruly state of commentator GM Robert Hess's hair in what was a fun moment in the post-round interview:

One moment in Aronian's game with GM Vidit Gujrathi was special: the way he created a passer with 47.b4!! while also shutting off his opponent's bishop was brilliant. 

As Hess pointed out, the motif was identical to a game played in the 2018 PRO Chess League finals:

Bo. Fed USA Rtg 2½:1½ Fed Rest of the World Rtg
3.1 Nakamura, Hikaru 2829 ½ - ½ Radjabov, Teimour 2758
3.2 Dominguez Perez, Leinier 2786 ½ - ½ Firouzja, Alireza 2703
3.3 So, Wesley 2741 ½ - ½ Amin, Bassem 2608
3.4 Krush, Irina 2392 1 - 0 Saduakassova, Dinara 2412

It's high time to give the ladies some love, and there's no better opportunity than the USA vs Rest of the World match where GM Irina Krush secured the two match points by beating IM Dinara Saduakasova with the black pieces. Krush demonstrated nicely why her opponent's pawn sacrifice didn't work:

Irina Krush Online Nations League
A good win for Irina Krush.

Round 4

Bo. Fed Russia Rtg 3 : 1 Fed Rest of the World Rtg
1.1 Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2778 1 - 0 Radjabov, Teimour 2758
1.2 Artemiev, Vladislav 2769 ½ - ½ Firouzja, Alireza 2703
1.3 Karjakin, Sergey 2709 1 - 0 Cori, Jorge 2599
1.4 Girya, Olga 2471 ½ - ½ Muzychuk, Mariya 2506

Russia was too strong for the Rest of the World where Nepomniachtchi was back in shape and Karjakin won a somewhat topsy-turvy against GM Jorge Cori. It must have been rustiness combined with playing online, but a win is a win:

Sergey Karjakin Online Nations Cup
Sergey Karjakin scored 1.5/2 today.
Bo. Fed Europe Rtg 3 : 1 Fed USA Rtg
2.1 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2860 ½ - ½ Nakamura, Hikaru 2829
2.2 Aronian, Levon 2778 1 - 0 Dominguez Perez, Leinier 2786
2.3 Giri, Anish 2731 ½ - ½ So, Wesley 2741
2.4 Dzagnidze, Nana 2447 1 - 0 Zatonskih, Anna 2327

In Europe's second win, Aronian scored his second win of the day. His game against GM Leinier Dominguez started as a Petroff, not an opening the Armenian grandmaster normally plays. The endgame was interesting; White was a full pawn up but his structure was horrible. Which side would you rather play? 

Bo. Fed China Rtg 2½:1½ Fed India Rtg
3.1 Ding, Liren 2836 ½ - ½ Anand, Viswanathan 2751
3.2 Wang, Hao 2750 1 - 0 Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi 2636
3.3 Yu, Yangyi 2738 ½ - ½ Harikrishna, Pentala 2690
3.4 Hou, Yifan 2621 ½ - ½ Koneru, Humpy 2483

In another hard-fought match, it was GM Wang Hao who got the victory for China against India thanks to a relatively easy win against Vidit. The Indian GM mixed something up in the opening and was soon looking at a hopeless position.

GM Viswanathan Anand held Ding to a draw from the black side of a Queen's Gambit Declined, with both sides getting an atrocious pawn structure on the kingside that gave our commentators inspiration for comparison with corona times...

FIDE Online Nations Cup | Round 4 Standings

# Flag Team 1a 1b 2a 2b 3a 3b 4a 4b 5a 5b 6a 6b MP BP TB3 TB4 TB5
1 China 3 2 3 7 10,5 0 75,8 25
2 Europe Europe 1 3 2 5 8,5 2 68,3 21,5
3 USA 1 3 2 5 8,5 0 60,5 23
4 Russia 2 2 1 3 4 8 0 64,5 19,5
5 Rest of the World 1 1 2 6 0 47,5 16
6 India 2 1 6,5 0 54,5 15

The FIDE Online Nations Cup is a team competition held from May 5-10, 2020 on featuring Russia, USA, Europe, China, India, plus a team representing the "Rest of the World." The total prize fund is $180,000, sponsored by

The first stage consists of a double round-robin, with each team playing each other twice. The top two teams after 10 rounds qualify for a "Superfinal" match. 

All matches are played on four boards: three with male players and one with female players. The time control for all games is 25 minutes + 10 seconds increment per move, starting from move one.

Games Day 2 for replay/download

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