FIDE Chess.com Online Nations Cup: USA Leapfrogs Europe

FIDE Chess.com Online Nations Cup: USA Leapfrogs Europe

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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27 | Chess Event Coverage

After eight rounds, China is already secured of a place in Sunday's Superfinal of the FIDE Chess.com Online Nations Cup. The USA leapfrogged Europe in the standings on Friday and these teams will battle for second place in tomorrow's final two regular rounds.

How to watch
All games will be played on the Chess.com 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 Chess.com/TV where the games will be discussed and explained.


The Chess.com Day 4 Live Broadcast for replay.

Round 7

Bo. Fed USA Rtg 2½:1½ Fed Russia Rtg
1.1 Nakamura, Hikaru 2829 1 - 0 Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2778
1.2 Caruana, Fabiano 2773 ½ - ½ Artemiev, Vladislav 2769
1.3 So, Wesley 2741 ½ - ½ Karjakin, Sergey 2709
1.4 Krush, Irina 2392 ½ - ½ Goryachkina, Aleksandra 2502

GM Ian Nepomniachtchi's woes continued as he lost another game in round seven. It was GM Hikaru Nakamura who kept a slight edge throughout their game (a 5.Na4 Grünfeld), and capitalized on what could be interpreted as a "positional" error in a rook endgame:

Hikaru Nakamura Online Nations Cup
Great technique by Nakamura.
Bo. Fed India Rtg 2½:1½ Fed Rest of the World Rtg
2.1 Anand, Viswanathan 2751 1 - 0 Radjabov, Teimour 2758
2.2 Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi 2636 0 - 1 Firouzja, Alireza 2703
2.3 Harikrishna, Pentala 2690 1 - 0 Cori, Jorge 2599
2.4 Harika, Dronavalli 2450 ½ - ½ Muzychuk, Mariya 2506

India finally scored its first victory in the tournament thanks to wins by both GM Viswanathan Anand and GM Pentala Harikrishna

Interestingly, Anand chose 1.d4 as the first move against GM Teimour Radjabov, who played his old love, the King's Indian. There are only five games in the database by Anand against the KID, all of them featuring the Bayonet Attack (9.b4). He scored an unbeaten 3-1 in 1996 and 1997 but lost his last game in it to Nakamura in 2011.

Radjabov's 11...Rxa5 echoed GM Bobby Fischer's 12...Nh5 in the third march game against GM Boris Spassky in Reykjavik 1972. Although he got some play, Radjabov was still slightly worse throughout and then made a big mistake on move 28.

Viswanathan Anand Online Nations Cup
Viswanathan Anand has an undefeated 5/8 score so far.
Bo. Fed China Rtg 2½:1½ Fed Europe Rtg
3.1 Ding Liren 2836 ½ - ½ Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2860
3.2 Wei Yi 2752 ½ - ½ Aronian, Levon 2778
3.3 Yu Yangyi 2738 1 - 0 Duda, Jan-Krzysztof 2774
3.4 Ju Wenjun 2610 ½ - ½ Muzychuk, Anna 2533

Top seed China impressively secured a place in the Superfinal with two rounds to spare after another day with two wins. First, Europe was set aside by China's MVP GM Yu Yangyi, who improved his score to a splendid 5.5/7 before he was rested in the next round.

His game with GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda was pretty:


GM Simon Williams analyzed the game as well for our YouTube audience. 

The end of the game between GM Levon Aronian and GM Wei Yi was nice. Here it is as a puzzle. What do you play as White, and why is it a draw?

Round 8

Bo. Fed Russia Rtg 1½:2½ Fed China Rtg
1.1 Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2778 ½ - ½ Ding Liren 2836
1.2 Artemiev, Vladislav 2769 ½ - ½ Wang Hao 2750
1.3 Karjakin, Sergey 2709 ½ - ½ Wei Yi 2752
1.4 Goryachkina, Aleksandra 2502 0 - 1 Hou Yifan 2621

"The other female players have not been missing GM Hou Yifan," commentator IM Danny Rensch joked during the live broadcast. In fact, everyone has been missing her in the last two years and the women's number-one player (apart from the inactive GM Judit Polgar) has been playing great chess so far.

With a straightforward win against GM Aleksandra Goryachkina, Hou brought her score to 3.5/4 and secured another two match points for China, who will go into the final day of the round-robin phase with a four-point lead over the USA.

Hou Yifan Online Nations Cup
Hou Yifan is on 3.5/4.
Bo. Fed Europe Rtg 2 : 2 Fed India Rtg
2.1 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2860 ½ - ½ Anand, Viswanathan 2751
2.2 Aronian, Levon 2778 0 - 1 Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi 2636
2.3 Duda, Jan-Krzysztof 2774 1 - 0 Harikrishna, Pentala 2690
2.4 Muzychuk, Anna 2533 ½ - ½ Koneru, Humpy 2483

Europe was down 1-2 (as GM Vidit Gujrathi had won a good game against Aronian) when Duda won an important game against Harikrishna to level the score. This way, the team remained in striking distance of the U.S.

Bo. Fed Rest of the World Rtg 1 : 3 Fed USA Rtg
3.1 Firouzja, Alireza 2703 ½ - ½ Nakamura, Hikaru 2829
3.2 Amin, Bassem 2608 0 - 1 Caruana, Fabiano 2773
3.3 Cori, Jorge 2599 0 - 1 So, Wesley 2741
3.4 Muzychuk, Mariya 2506 ½ - ½ Krush, Irina 2392

Team USA managed to finish the day a point ahead of Europe thanks to a win against the Rest of the World, the only team that never seemed to have a chance in this event. 

GM Fabiano Caruana won a spectacular game against Egypt's GM Bassem Amin where both players sacrificed an exchange, and the world number two eventually crashed through on the kingside. Here's the game, with notes by Caruana taken from his appearance in the live broadcast:

FIDE Chess.com Online Nations Cup | Round 8 Standings

# Fed Team 1a 1b 2a 2b 3a 3b 4a 4b 5a 5b 6a 6b MP BP TB3 TB4 TB5
1 China 3 2 3 15 21,5 0 308,3 50,5
2 USA 1 3 2 3 11 18 0 252 48,5
3 Europe 1 3 2 2 10 17 0 264,5 43
4 Russia 2 1 2 2 3 5 14,5 1 240,3 34,5
5 India 2 2 2 5 14,5 1 225,8 36,5
6 Rest of the World 1 ½ 1 1 2 10,5 0 175,3 27
USA-Europe Online Nations League
The USA-Europe clash in round 9 will be exciting tomorrow.

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

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 4 for replay/download


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