Europe Trailing China After Day 3 FIDE Online Nations Cup

Europe Trailing China After Day 3 FIDE Online Nations Cup

| 46 | Chess Event Coverage

China continues to lead the FIDE Online Nations Cup with four regular rounds to go. It is Europe that has the best chances to join them in Sunday's Superfinal.

Team USA defeated and leapfrogged Russia in the standings, while India and the Rest of the World are out of contention by this point.

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 3 Live Broadcast for replay.

Round 5

Bo. Fed India Rtg 2 : 2 Fed Russia Rtg
1.1 Anand, Viswanathan 2751 1 - 0 Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2778
1.2 Harikrishna, Pentala 2690 0 - 1 Artemiev, Vladislav 2769
1.3 Adhiban, B. 2624 ½ - ½ Karjakin, Sergey 2709
1.4 Harika, Dronavalli 2450 ½ - ½ Girya, Olga 2471

The round started with a stunning victory for GM Viswanathan Anand against GM Ian Nepomniachtchi, a game that was over in about five(!) minutes. Nepo got caught in preparation, and was already lost by move 14!

In his post-game interview in the live broadcast, Anand said that 12.Nf3 (which seems mostly a tricky move order) was one of several ideas his second GM Grzegorz Gajewski had recently shared with him, adding that his former second, GM Radek Wojtaszek, told him that everything was already in their files 10 years ago!

This shockingly quick win did not bring India's first victory in the tournament, as GM Pentala Harikrishna suffered a painful loss due to a mouse slip against Vladislav Artemiev. In what was an equal position, look what happened on move 44:

Pentala Harikrishna Online Nations Cup
A most painful loss for Pentala Harikrishna.
Bo. Fed USA Rtg 1½:2½ Fed China Rtg
2.1 Nakamura, Hikaru 2829 ½ - ½ Ding, Liren 2836
2.2 Caruana, Fabiano 2773 1 - 0 Wang, Hao 2750
2.3 Dominguez Perez, Leinier 2786 0 - 1 Yu, Yangyi 2738
2.4 Krush, Irina 2392 0 - 1 Hou, Yifan 2621

China continued on their winning path with another victory in round five against the U.S. despite GM Fabiano Caruana scoring his third win in as many games. It seemed GM Wang Hao brought the pain on himself with the unnecessary 39.h5 which had a tactical flaw:

Fabiano Caruana Online Nations Cup
Caruana scored 3.5/4 so far.

GM Hou Yifan doesn't seem to be suffering much from her inactivity in recent years as she is playing powerful games so far in the Nations Cup. It must be said that her win against GM Irina Krush was based on one big miscalculation, but after that Hou was merciless:

Hou Yifan Online Nations Cup
Hou Yifan is crushing it.
Bo. Fed Rest of the World Rtg 1½:2½ Fed Europe Rtg
3.1 Radjabov, Teimour 2758 ½ - ½ Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2860
3.2 Firouzja, Alireza 2703 0 - 1 Aronian, Levon 2778
3.3 Amin, Bassem 2608 1 - 0 Giri, Anish 2731
3.4 Saduakassova, Dinara 2412 0 - 1 Dzagnidze, Nana 2447

Europe played into second-place behind China at the halfway point in the round-robin phase thanks to a hard-fought victory over the Rest of the World. GM Levon Aronian scored his third win in a row as he outwitted GM Alireza Firouzja in a basic but complicated rook ending. Annotations were shamelessly snatched from the tablebase:

Round 6

Bo. Fed Russia Rtg 1½:2½ Fed Europe Rtg
1.1 Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2778 0 - 1 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2860
1.2 Artemiev, Vladislav 2769 ½ - ½ Aronian, Levon 2778
1.3 Karjakin, Sergey 2709 ½ - ½ Duda, Jan-Krzysztof 2774
1.4 Goryachkina, Aleksandra 2502 ½ - ½ Muzychuk, Anna 2533

This is not Nepomniachtchi's tournament. The Russian top GM ended up losing his second game as well, although in a very different way.

This time he was the last one playing, against GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, and after an eventful game, the draw was imminent when he blundered on move 91 to end a terrible day at the office.

Ian Nepomniachtchi Online Nations Cup
A struggling Ian Nepomniachtchi so far.
Bo. Fed Rest of the World Rtg ½ :3½ Fed China Rtg
2.1 Radjabov, Teimour 2758 0 - 1 Ding, Liren 2836
2.2 Firouzja, Alireza 2703 0 - 1 Wei, Yi 2752
2.3 Amin, Bassem 2608 ½ - ½ Yu, Yangyi 2738
2.4 Muzychuk, Mariya 2506 0 - 1 Ju, Wenjun 2610

China bulldozed over the Rest of the World with a 3.5-0.5 win, further cementing their status as favorites to win the event.

You might expect fireworks in a game between GM Wei Yi and GM Alireza Firouzja, but in this case, the Chinese player won a beautiful, technical endgame that GM Anatoly Karpov would have been proud of:

Wei Yi Online Nations Cup
A splendid endgame by Wei Yi.
Bo. Fed USA Rtg 2½:1½ Fed India Rtg
3.1 Nakamura, Hikaru 2829 ½ - ½ Anand, Viswanathan 2751
3.2 Caruana, Fabiano 2773 ½ - ½ Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi 2636
3.3 So, Wesley 2741 1 - 0 Adhiban, Baskaran 2624
3.4 Krush, Irina 2392 ½ - ½ Koneru, Humpy 2483

Even after six rounds, India is still waiting for its first win as they went down against USA in their second match of the day.

It was GM Wesley So who opened the score with a crushing win against GM Baskaran Adhiban that included the threat of a pretty combination:

Another key game was the board-one encounter between Nakamura and Anand. With 2-1 on the scoreboard, Naka had to save the draw to secure the match point. After a few inaccuracies he had been outplayed on the kingside and was later down material, but his fighting spirit saved the day:

FIDE Online Nations Cup | Round 6 Standings

Rk. Fed Team 1a 1b 2a 2b 3a 3b 4a 4b 5a 5b 6a 6b MP BP TB3 TB4 TB5
1 China 3 2 3 11 16,5 0 171,8 39
2 Europe 1 3 2 9 13,5 0 150,8 34,5
3 USA 1 3 2 7 12,5 0 137,8 34
4 Russia 2 2 1 2 3 5 11,5 0 136,8 27
5 India 2 2 2 10 0 123,8 24,5
6 Rest of the World 1 ½ 1 2 8 0 100,3 21

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 3 for replay/download

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Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

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