Levon Aronian Ousted At FIDE World Cup

Levon Aronian Ousted At FIDE World Cup

| 78 | Chess Event Coverage

On Wednesday, Sinquefield Cup winner Levon Aronian of Armenia was surprisingly ousted by Alexander Areshchenko of Ukraine in the round two tiebreak of the FIDE World Cup.

“He is stronger than his rating,” Ernesto Inarkiev said today about 29-year-old Alexander Areshchenko — and that was before the Ukrainian grandmaster knocked out one of the favorites at the World Cup, Levon Aronian.

How did he do it? Well, after surviving difficult positions in both classical games, Areshchenko simply played better chess than his opponent in the rapid games. Here's the first:


In the second, Aronian played the Pirc but never really got his chances. He had to overpress and lost again.

The World Cup says goodbye to Aronian — chatting with Svidler and Karjakin before the tiebreak.

Areshchenko is rated 2661 at the moment, but only two years ago he was at 2720. In an interview with he said he couldn't spend much time on chess last year because of the Crimea war, but now things are back to normal.

In the other 14 tiebreak matches, only one other higher-rated player was eliminated. Russian GM Nikita Vitiugov didn't survive his match with Le Quang Liem of Vietnam but the (classical!) rating diference there was only 28 points.

Le drew his White game and then struck as Black, playing the Queen's Gambit Declined like Fabiano Caruana:


A match between two solid players, won by the quick-play specialist of the two.

In the all-American fight it was Hikaru Nakamura who came out on top. He held his black game rather comfortably, and then won a Symmetrical English as Black.

The two followed a game Reti-Rubinstein from 1925, Shankland deviated and the position was opened. Nakamura had missed 20...Kd7! in his calculations; Shankland told “I was thinking: either I'm checkmated or I'm completely fine.”

In orange vs red, it's Shankland who gets knocked out.

It was the latter, but he shouldn't have traded queens and bishops. Nakamura had correctly evaluated that he was better in the rook endgame, and nicely converted the full point:


Today, I defeated my compatriot and Olympiad teammate GM Sam Shankland in the 2nd round of the Fide World Cup. Sam...

Posted by Hikaru Nakamura on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Anish Giri and Alexander Motylev had played two relatively quick draws in the classical segment.

“I'm not only playing for the tiebreaks, but my opening went pretty wrong,” said Giri. “Also in the second game I wasn't entirely happy with what happened.”

After this quiet prelude, the Dutchman won surprisingly easily in the rapid games because Motylev basically blundered a piece in game one (and another one in an equal position in the next).


After drawing the classical games, the rapid games and the first 10+10 game, Alexander Grischuk finally managed to beat Vladimir Fedoseev to reach the third round. The 2011 finalist hasn't made a great impression so far.

Egypt's number one Bassem Amin can be satisfied with two wins over Ivan Saric and two draws with Dmitry Jakovenko. The latter struck in the second rapid game, making full use of the bishop pair:


Bassem Amin, a doctor in Egypt, leaves the World Cup with a gain of Elo.

He started with a loss in the classical segment, but eventually Sergey Karjakin went through at the expense of Alexander Onischuk. They drew both rapid games and then the Russian won both 10+10 games.

In the first, Onischuk played a correct exchange sac but the follow-up was wrong:

Viktor Laznicka vs Michael Adams was a thriller of a match, with six straight decisive games before finally a draw appeared on the scoreboard. Laughing Another one followed, and if you counted along then you know that by then it was time for an Armageddon — the only one on Wednesday.

It was the third time Laznicka employed the Scandinavian, and Adams finally managed to win against it, when he had to:


Laznicka-Adams, a thriller of a match.

The 2011 winner Peter Svidler eliminated Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu by winning the first rapid game and then drawing the second just as convincingly. In fact, Black is totally winning at the end but Svidler knew that his opponent would have let him get away with a draw as well.


Like Navara the other day, Nisipeanu was allowed to exit the World Cup with dignity.

Teimour Radjabov beat Ilya Smirin twice today. “After I got this fxe6 structure with hanging pawns it's much easier to play as Black,” said Radjabov about the ending in the first game. With a timely d5-d4 he forced resignation quickly:


An interview with Radjabov will be posted here soon.

Ian Nepomniachtchi and Laurent Fressinet, two players who have worked with Magnus Carlsen, started with seven straight draws before it was finally the Russian player who emerged as the winner. In a better position Fressinet gave it all away in just a few moves:


A match that must have been closely followed by Magnus Carlsen.

Hou Yifan couldn't make it against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov today. She lost the first (see below), and fought like a lion in the second, but the Azerbaijani held that one to a draw.


With Hou Yifan, the last lady is now out of the World Cup if we don't count a number of charming arbiters.

The 2014 Qatar Masters winner Yu Yangyi decided his tiebreak with the 2014 Russian champion Igor Lysyj in the second 10+10 game. The latter lost on time in a difficult but perhaps not yet lost position:


Wei Yi was the favorite but it was Yuri Vovk who started with a win in their rapid segment, using the French Defense. Wei Yi leveled the score with a Stonewall, and in both games the black queen entered White's kingside via h1!

The Chinese grandmaster also won the first 10+10 game (see below) and then drew the second:


After some scary moments, Wei Yi also reached the third round.

Most of the favorites are still there, but in the pairings of the third round we see a few dark horses: Lu Shanglei (vs Topalov), Guseinov (vs Ding), Areshchenko (vs Wei Yi) and Kovalyov (vs Caruana).

For Jakovenko all is well, so far. Not only is he still alive, but both Caruana and Nakamura as well. The Russian GM qualifies for the Candidates (as bronze medalist in the Grand Prix) if either American reaches the final.

2015 World Cup | Round 2 Results

Bd Name Name C1 C2 R1 R2 R3 R4 B1 B2 A Score
2 Nakamura Shankland ½-½ ½-½ ½-½ 1-0           2.5-1.5
4 Giri Motylev ½-½ ½-½ 1-0 1-0           3-1
7 Fedoseev Grischuk ½-½ ½-½ ½-½ ½-½ ½-½ 0-1       2.5-3.5
10 Jakovenko Amin ½-½ ½-½ ½-½ 1-0           2.5-1.5
11 Onischuk Karjakin 1-0 0-1 ½-½ ½-½ 0-1 0-1       2-4
12 Tomashevsky Nguyen ½-½ ½-½ ½-½ ½-½ 1-0 ½-½       3.5-2.5
15 Laznicka Adams 1-0 0-1 0-1 1-0 0-1 1-0 ½-½ ½-½ 0-1 4-5
16 Svidler Nisipeanu ½-½ ½-½ 1-0 ½-½           2.5-1.5
17 Smirin Radjabov ½-½ ½-½ 0-1 0-1           1-3
18 Nepomniachtchi Fressinet ½-½ ½-½ ½-½ ½-½ ½-½ ½-½ ½-½ 1-0   4.5-3.5
19 Hou Mamedyarov ½-½ ½-½ 0-1 ½-½           2.5-1.5
22 Yu Lysyj ½-½ ½-½ ½-½ ½-½ ½-½ 1-0       3.5-2.5
24 Wei Yi Vovk 1-0 0-1 ½-½ ½-½ 0-1 1-0 1-0 ½-½   4.5-3.5
26 Areshchenko Aronian ½-½ ½-½ 1-0 1-0           3-1
28 Vitiugov Le ½-½ ½-½ ½-½ 0-1           1.5-2.5


2015 World Cup | Round 3 Pairings

  Left Half       Right Half  
Topalov vs Lu Shanglei   Nakamura vs Nepomniachtchi
Svidler vs Radjabov   Adams vs Dominguez
Ding Liren vs Guseinov   Grischuk vs Eljanov
Areshchenko vs Wei Yi   Jakovenko vs Ivanchuk
Giri vs Leko   Caruana vs Kovalyov
Granda vs Wojtaszek   Sethuraman vs Mamedyarov
So vs Le Quang Liem   Kramnik vs Andreikin
Tomashevsly vs Vachier-Lagrave   Karjakin vs Yu Yangyi

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