Lenderman Knocks Out Eljanov At World Cup

Lenderman Knocks Out Eljanov At World Cup

| 27 | Chess Event Coverage

Pavel Eljanov is among the 42 players who got eliminated from the FIDE World Cup at the earliest possible moment. The Ukrainian grandmaster also lost his second game to Aleksandr Lenderman (USA). 22 matches went into tiebreaks, including Sergey Karjakin vs Anton Smirnov and Wei Yi vs Bator Sambuev.

In case of 1-1, an arbiter immediately performs a drawing of colors for tomorrow's tiebreak, like here with Anton Smirnov and Sergey Karjakin. | Photo: Emelianova.

Four strong players were mentioned in yesterday's headline and intro, being in danger of early elimination. Luckily for them, three are not so prominently placed a day later. The reason is that Vladimir Fedoseev, Pentala Harikrishna and Wei Yi all managed to level the score today. Unlike Eljanov, they had the luxury of the white pieces.

These three players are among the 44 in total who saw their first minimatch end in 1-1, and so with 22 boards we'll have a pretty packed schedule for tomorrow's first tiebreak day.

2017 World Cup | Round 1 Results

Fed Player Fed Player Classical TB Score
GM Carlsen, M (2827) FM Balogun, O (2255) 1-0, 1-0 2-0
GM Dreev, A (2648) GM Bachmann, A (2634) 1-0, 1-0 2-0
GM Fier, A (2569) GM Bacrot, E (2728) ½-½, ½-½ 1-1
GM Bu Xiangzhi (2714) GM Flores, Diego (2580) 1-0, 1-0 2-0
GM Vakhidov, J (2518) GM Svidler, P (2756) 0-1, 0-1 0-2
GM Amin, Bassem (2699) GM Erdos, Viktor (2619) ½-½, ½-½ 1-1
GM Wojtaszek, R (2739) GM El Debs, F (2533) 1-0, ½-½ 1½-½
GM Zherebukh, Y (2621) GM Onischuk, A (2682) 0-1, 0-1* 0-2
IM Khusenkhojaev, M (2455) GM Vachier-Lagrave, V (2804) ½-½, 0-1 ½-1½
GM Grachev, B (2654) GM Melkumyan, H (2642) ½-½, ½-½ 1-1
GM Eljanov, P (2734) GM Lenderman, A (2565) 0-1, 0-1 0-2
GM Tari, Aryan (2588) GM Howell, D (2701) ½-½, ½-½ 1-1
GM Grischuk, A (2788) GM El Gindy, E (2455) 1-0, 1-0 2-0
GM Cori, Jorge (2648) GM Jones, G (2668) 1-0, ½-½ 1½-½
GM Hjartarson (2539) GM Navara, David (2720) 0-1, 0-1 0-2
GM Cheparinov (2695) GM Mastrovasilis (2573) 1-0, ½-½ 1½-½
Dai, Changren (2422) GM Kramnik, V (2803) 0-1, ½-½ ½-1½
GM Areshchenko (2645) GM Demchenko, A (2650) 1-0, 0-1 1-1
GM Ivanchuk, V (2727) GM Kazhgaleyev (2570) ½-½, ½-½ 1-1
GM Pantsulaia (2593) GM Duda, J (2698) 0-1, 0-1 0-2
GM Giri, Anish (2777) GM Dzagnidze, N (2519) 1-0, ½-½ 1½-½
GM Xiong, J (2633) GM Motylev, A (2668) ½-½, 0-1 ½-1½
GM Gonzalez Vidal (2547) GM Harikrishna (2741) 1-0, 0-1 1-1
GM Ponomariov (2694) GM Sethuraman, SP (2617) ½-½, 0-1 ½-1½
GM Aronian, L (2802) IM Cawdery, D (2449) 1-0, 1-0 2-0
GM Piorun, K (2644) GM Hou Yifan (2670) ½-½, 0-1 ½-1½
GM Sadorra, J (2574) GM Matlakov, M (2728) 0-1, ½-½ ½-1½
GM Andreikin, D (2708) GM Goganov, A (2567) ½-½, ½-½ 1-1
IM Smirnov, A (2508) GM Karjakin, S (2780) ½-½, ½-½ 1-1
GM Dubov, Daniil (2666) GM Fridman, D (2625) ½-½, ½-½ 1-1
GM Radjabov, T (2742) GM Ziska, H (2545) ½-½, 1-0 1½-½
GM Bok, Benjamin (2620) GM Artemiev, V (2692) 0-1, 0-1 0-2
IM Ruiz Castillo (2377) GM So, Wesley (2792) 0-1, ½-½ ½-1½
GM Mareco, S (2649) GM Bluebaum, M (2633) ½-½, 0-1 ½-1½
GM Vallejo Pons (2717) GM Karthikeyan (2574) 1-0, 0-1 1-1
GM Antipov, M (2578) GM Tomashevsky (2710) ½-½, ½-½ 1-1
GM Nepomniachtc (2741) GM Palac, Mladen (2535) ½-½, ½-½ 1-1
GM Nguyen, N (2629) GM Adhiban, B (2670) ½-½, ½-½ 1-1
GM Pourramezana (2534) GM Yu Yangyi (2750) ½-½, ½-½ 1-1
GM Jobava, B (2702) GM Salgado Lopez (2627) ½-½, ½-½ 1-1
GM Nakamura, H (2781) GM Mollah Abdul (2454) 1-0, 1-0 2-0
GM Bruzon Batista, L (2651) GM Anton Guijarro (2656) 1-0, ½-½ 1½-½
GM Bacallao Alonso,Y (2573) GM Fedoseev, V (2731) 1-0, 0-1 1-1
GM Inarkiev, E (2694) GM Mchedlishvili (2607) 1-0, ½-½ 1½-½
IM Yeoh, Li Tian (2478) GM Anand, V (2794) 0-1, ½-½ ½-1½
GM Akobian, V (2662) GM Kovalyov, A (2649) 0-1, ½-½ ½-1½
GM Adams, M (2738) GM Batchuluun (2566) ½-½, ½-½ 1-1
GM Hovhannisyan (2594) GM Rodshtein, M (2695) ½-½, ½-½ 1-1
GM Caruana, F (2799) GM Solomon, K (2398) 1-0, 1-0 2-0
GM Lenic, Luka (2646) GM Fressinet, L (2657) ½-½, ½-½ 1-1
GM Kulaots, K (2571) GM Vitiugov, N (2728) ½-½, 0-1 ½-1½
GM Najer, E (2694) GM Aleksandrov (2580) 1-0, ½-½ 1½-½
GM Sambuev, B (2529) GM Wei Yi (2748) 1-0, 0-1 1-1
GM Rapport, R (2675) GM Cordova, E (2616) 1-0, 1-0 2-0
GM Li Chao (2745) GM Krysa, L (2540) ½-½, 1-0 1½-½
GM Sevian, S (2610) GM Nisipeanu, L (2674) ½-½, ½-½ 1-1
IM Liu, Guanchu (2455) GM Mamedyarov, S (2797) 0-1, ½-½ ½-1½
GM Kuzubov, Y (2688) GM Zhigalko, S (2642) ½-½, 1-0 1½-½
GM Gelfand, B (2737) GM Stupak, K (2579) 1-0, ½-½ 1½-½
GM Sengupta, D (2589) GM Wang Hao (2701) ½-½, 0-1 ½-1½
GM Ding Liren (2771) GM Haddouche, M (2487) 1-0, ½-½ 1½-½
GM Kovalenko, I (2634) GM Kravtsiv, M (2670) 0-1, ½-½ ½-1½
GM Kunin, Vitaly (2531) GM Le, Quang Liem (2739) ½-½, 0-1 ½-1½
GM Vidit, S (2702) GM Delgado Ramirez, N (2614) ½-½, 1-0 1½-½

Aside from Alexander Onischuk's second free point, the first game finished after about 20 minutes as Ian Nepomniachtchi and Mladen Palac decided to go straight for the tiebreak with a 9-move draw.


Nepomniachtchi didn't bother taking his score sheet with him. | Photo: Emelianova.

More players followed suit, played it safe and drew their second game relatively quickly: Etienne Bacrot vs Alexander Fier, Murtas Kazhgaleyev vs Vassily Ivanchuk, Ivan Salgado Lopez vs Baadur Jobava and Tsegmed Batchuluun vs Michael Adams and Aleksey Goganov vs Dmitry Andreikin and also Sergey Karjakin vs IM Anton Smirnov.


Anton Smirnov, the youngest player in the field, in deep concentration. Reaching the tiebreaks is already an achievement. | Photo: Emelianova.

Karjakin and Wei Yi are the only two players from the top 15 who haven't qualified for round two yet. The Chinese player did deliver in a must-win situation. Sambuev again played pretty well in what was a very sharp Winawer French. Wei played it like Bobby Fischer used to:

Aleksandr Lenderman's win over Pavel Eljanov was the biggest upset of the round. Speaking to, Lenderman first repeated yesterday's comments: "I got very lucky yesterday. I was completely losing and then in two moves I was completely winning."

About today's game Lenderman said: "He did a very good job creating chances. But then, in a position that was unclear he apparently made some mistakes and suddenly I was just much better."


Aleksandr Lenderman will play the winner of David Howell vs Aryan Tari... | Photo: Emelianova.


...whereas Tbilisi says goodbye to Pavel Eljanov. | Photo: Emelianova.

The two Cuban GMs who upset their opponents yesterday both couldn't hold the draw. Yuri Gonzalez Vidal lost to Harikrishna, who made a much better impression on day two. Vladimir Fedoseev won a nice game vs Yusnel Bacallao Alonso which saw an exchange sacrifice.

"It was a very easy to sacrifice, as I clearly knew that I wouldn't have another chance," Fedoseev told "I was quite relaxed during the game. I knew I have nothing to lose, and was just doing my job, while my opponent had to seek for a balance and try to secure a draw, while there was no direct draw in the game." 


Vladimir Fedoseev bounced back with an excellent win. | Photo: Emelianova.

Two lower rated players who lost their first game managed to level the score: Anton Demchenko vs Alexander Areshchenko, and Murali Karthikeyan beat Paco Vallejo. Areshchenko, who eliminated Aronian two years ago, was very close to the draw.

Rather funny was how one of the absolute favorites, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, won his game today. After achieving a quick draw the other day, IM Muhammad Khusenkhojaev of Tajikistan must have thought: "Just do what he does and you'll be fine." But simply copying MVL's attack couldn't last very long obviously!


MVL's attack was so strong that it beat a copy of itself. :-) | Photo: Emelianova.

Speaking of favorites, only five of them won their matches 2-0: Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Levon Aronian and Alexander Grischuk. Carlsen's opponent FM Oluwafemi Balogun again played rather well, and in fact was completely fine until after the time control. He can leave the World Cup with no regrets.


Several times Carlsen could be found strolling through the playing hall, looking at just about every board. | Photo: Emelianova.

Two former World Champions, who had started with wins yesterday, didn't make a good impression today. Vladimir Kramnik had to defend a rook endgame a pawn down, whereas Vishy Anand had a complete off-day and was lucky to escape with a draw vs 18-year-old IM Li Tian Yeoh of Malaysia.


After the game Anand was visibly upset with his play today. | Photo: Emelianova.

There was an early repetition in the game between Helgi Dam Ziska and Teimour Radjabov, who had drawn their first game in just 15 moves. This time Radjabov decided to play for a win, and turned a fairly normal middlegame position into a devastating attack, giving up a full rook for two pawns. 

Our regular commentator chose another game for Game of the Day though. His eye was caught by the following effort of Alexey Dreev, at 48 one of the oldest participants here in Tbilisi. His opponent Axel Bachmann needed a win today, but got outplayed nicely.



A nice king hunt by Dreev. | Photo: Emelianova.

Nana Dzagnidze drew with Anish Giri so she's out, but the only other female player went through to the second round. Hou Yifan defeated Polish GM Kacper Piorun:


Hou Yifan having a distinguished spectator next to her board: Georgian chess legend and former world champion Nona Gaprindashvili. | Photo: Emelianova.

The end of the round saw some dramatic moments in an almost empty playing hall. First Bassem Amin, the Egyptian grandmaster and doctor when he doesn't play chess. Only moments away from qualifying for the next round he fell for a typical trick in a rook endgame.


Amin will now have to win the tiebreak to reach the next round. | Photo: Emelianova.

As Dejan Bojkov pointed out, a young Vassily Smyslov once fell for the same trap. 

English GM Gawain Jones suffered a loss on Sunday to the young Peruvian GM Jorge Cori in one of the longest games of the round. Today, after the opening it looked promising for Jones, and many hours later he had reached a winning position only to blunder away the extra pawn. As the last to leave the playing hall, Jones is out.

After the game the players weren't sure if White was winning, and Jones was wondering on Twitter as well.

Then he paid a visit to the press room and assisted by the engine of this author we came to the conclusion that a waiting move would have done the trick.


A most disappointing minimatch for Gawain Jones but a big success for the Peruvian GM. | Photo: Emelianova.


Ruslan Ponomariov, who won a knockout in 2002 to become FIDE World Champion, is another player to leave Tbilisi early... | Photo: Emelianova.

null is former top GM from Iceland Johann Hjartarson, who lost 2-0 to David Navara. | Photo: Emelianova.

Games from TWIC.

The World Cup takes place 3-27 September in Tbilisi, Georgia. Each round consists of two classical games (four in the final), and possibly a rapid & blitz tiebreak on the third day. The total prize fund is $1.6 million with the first prize of $120,000. Besides, the top two finishers will qualify for the 2018 Candidates' Tournament. relays the games at Besides, you can watch live commentary on provided by the Chessbrahs, which includes some of the best commentators of the planet: GM Eric Hansen, GM Robin van Kampen, GM Yasser Seirawan and IM Aman Hambleton.

Related reports:

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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