Ni Hua, Kamsky, Robson Leave World Cup After Round 1

Ni Hua, Kamsky, Robson Leave World Cup After Round 1

| 27 | Chess Event Coverage

Ni Hua, Gata Kamsky and Ray Robson are among the players who have to leave the FIDE World Cup in Baku after just one round. The favorites are through without needing a tiebreak.

All photos courtesy of FIDE.

After two days of play, 40 of the 64 matches are already decided and 24 ended in 1-1. That means we'll see 48 players in the playing hall on Sunday for a tiebreak.

It also means that 40 players are through, and their 40 opponents have experienced the shortest possible World Cup. A trip to Baku, two games of chess, and you can go home.

Well, at least they made the net amount of $4,800. And some of them might stay to assist friends and become their seconds — that's quite common at World Cups.

Russian friends: Dmitry Jakovenko, Alexander Motylev, Sergey Karjakin, Ian Nepomniachtchi.

The first two days haven't seen huge surprises yet. The six rating favorites (Veselin Topalov, Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Anish Giri, Wesley So and Vladimir Kramnik) all went through without needing the tiebreak and except for Giri they all scored 2-0.

Other big names that went through: Levon Aronian, Sergey Karjakin, 2011 winner Peter Svidler, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Vassily Ivanchuk and Wei Yi. See the full results of days 1-2 at the end of this report.

Top seed Topalov cruised to the second round, and even got to show his old trademark, the exchange sacrifice. In this case the positional compensation was so obvious that more people would have played it!

Topalov shaking hands at the start of game two.

Nakamura's opponent Richmond Phiri (2252) of Zambia made mistakes early in the opening and lost without a fight. Their game from the first round was more interesting but also there the American won without problems:

After the round Nakamura posted on Facebook:

I am on to round 2 of the Fide World Cup here in Baku, Azerbaijan. So far, everything is going smoothly, but I would be...

Posted by Hikaru Nakamura on Saturday, September 12, 2015

Giri had played the longest game on Friday, but couldn't get through Arthur Ssegwanyi's defense. The latter played another excellent game on Saturday, but made a strategic mistake just before the time control, trading his rooks for the queen:

Kramnik nicely outplayed Deysi Cori from an Accelarated Dragon (reached via transposition) and, like his colleague Topalov, finished off with an exchange sac that few strong players would have hesitated on:

Kramnik, who is “defending” his 2013 World Cup title, won two nice games against Deysi Cori.

Seventh seeded Alexander Grischuk is the strongest player who hasn't reached the second round yet. IM Yusup Atabayev of Turkmenistan can pat himself on the back for holding the super GM to a draw twice! IM Ilia Iljiushenkok managed the same against Dmitry Jakovenko.

Grischuk couldn't beat the young IM twice.

After losing the first game, Ding Liren's opponent IM Tomas Krnan of Canada was happy to agree repeat moves and draw as early as move 18. He might have started his Baku sightseeing the same day.


Shakhriyar Mamedyarov did the same, and agreed to a draw
on move 16 already against Pouya Idani of Iran.

Evgeny Tomashevsky needs to play the tiebreak, and so does Boris Gelfand. The Israeli #1 drew a Sveshnikov as Black against Chilean Champion Cristobal Henriquez. Their first round game ended in a draw even though White was winning in the final position:

Update: For some reason Gelfand's last move 73.Qb5 wasn't registered by the DGT board. Because he noticed the strong move 73...Qe4 he offered a draw, accepted by his opponent who was playing on increment. Gelfand had about a minute left.

The winner of the 2009 World Cup has to play the tiebreak today.

The #1 female player Hou Yifan drew twice with Rafael Leitao of Brazil. Women's World Champion Mariya Muzychuk is already out: after an easy draw in game one, she was doing well again the next day but eventually got outplayed by Mickey Adams.

Mariya Muzychuk can leave the World Cup with a smile, having played fine chess against Adams.

Sam Sevian also drew his second game with Teimour Radjabov, so they're heading to the tiebreak as well. Leinier Dominguez suffered a surprising loss, but survived the match at the skin of his teeth:

Leinier Dominguez was almost the victim in what would have been the biggest upset.

Alexander Moiseenko of Ukraine was another player who desperately needed a win. He did so in great style! The 2013 European Champion played a great attacking game against Lu Shanglei of China:

For two American players the World Cup is already over: 2007 winner Gata Kamsky and Ray Robson. They can hardly complain as their respective opponents, Hrant Melkumyan and Yuri Vovk, aren't weak players.

Gata Kamsky is out.

The only 2700 GM who got ousted by Sandro Mareco of Argentina and almost-2700 Igor Kovalenko goes home after losing 0.5-1.5 to Wen Yang of China.

We finish the report with the encounter between two players from South-America. Peruvian legend Julio Granda, who eliminated Hrant Melkumyan, Peter Leko and Anish Giri two years ago, knocked out Alexander Fier of Brazil. Here's the game annotated by GM Dejan Bojkov:

The second round will see two matches with players from the same federation: Hikaru Nakamura will play Samuel Shankland and Pentala Harikrishna faces fellow Indian S.P. Sethuraman. But first we'll have the round 1 tiebreaks on Sunday!

Sam Shankland faces Hikaru Nakamura next.

2015 World Cup | Round 1 Results

# White Black Day 1 Day 2 Score
1 Topalov, Veselin Adu, Oladapo 1-0 1-0 2-0
2 Phiri, Richmond Nakamura, Hikaru 0-1 0-1 0-2
3 Caruana, Fabiano Zaibi, Amir 1-0 1-0 2-0
4 Ssegwanyi, Arthur Giri, Anish 1/2 0-1 0.5-1.5
5 So, Wesley Maghsoodloo, Parham 1-0 1-0 2-0
6 Cori T., Deysi Kramnik, Vladimir 0-1 0-1 0-2
7 Grischuk, Alexander Atabayev, Yusup 1/2 1/2 1-1
8 Krnan, Tomas Ding, Liren 0-1 1/2 0.5-1.5
9 Aronian, Levon Wiedenkeller, Michael 1-0 1-0 2-0
10 Iljiushenok, Ilia Jakovenko, Dmitry 1/2 1/2 1-1
11 Karjakin, Sergey Espinosa Veloz, Ermes 1-0 1-0 2-0
12 Rahman, Ziaur Tomashevsky, Evgeny 1/2 1/2 1-1
13 Gelfand, Boris Henriquez Villagra, Cristobal 1/2 1/2 1-1
14 Illingworth, Max Harikrishna, Pentala 0-1 1/2 0.5-1,5
15 Adams, Michael Muzychuk, Mariya 1/2 1-0 1.5-0,5
16 Can, Emre Svidler, Peter 0-1 1/2 0.5-1.5
17 Radjabov, Teimour Sevian, Samuel 1/2 1/2 1-1
18 Perez Ponsa, Federico Dominguez Perez, Leinier 1-0 0-1 1-1
19 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar Idani, Pouya 1-0 1/2 1.5-0.5
20 Lalith, Babu M.R. Wojtaszek, Radoslaw 1/2 0-1 0.5-1.5
21 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime Ortiz Suarez, Isan Reynaldo 1-0 1/2 1.5-0.5
22 Iordachescu, Viorel Yu, Yangyi 0-1 0-1 0-2
23 Ivanchuk, Vassily Adly, Ahmed 1-0 1/2 1.5-0.5
24 Salem, A.R. Saleh Wei, Yi 0-1 1/2 0.5-1.5
25 Navara, David Nabaty, Tamir 1/2 1/2 1-1
26 Jumabayev, Rinat Eljanov, Pavel 0-1 0-1 0-2
27 Andreikin, Dmitry Zhou, Jianchao 1-0 1/2 1.5-0.5
28 Ter-Sahakyan, Samvel Vitiugov, Nikita 1/2 1/2 1-1
29 Leko, Peter Goganov, Aleksey 1-0 1/2 1.5-0.5
30 Mareco, Sandro Ni, Hua 1-0 1/2 1.5-0.5
31 Fressinet, Laurent Brkic, Ante 1/2 1/2 1-1
32 Lu, Shanglei Moiseenko, Alexander 1-0 0-1 1-1
33 Wang, Hao Perunovic, Milos 1-0 0-1 1-1
34 Zhao, Jun Nepomniachtchi, Ian 1/2 1/2 1-1
35 Kasimdzhanov, Rustam Kovalyov, Anton 1/2 1/2 1-1
36 Wen, Yang Kovalenko, Igor 1-0 1/2 1.5-0.5
37 Le, Quang Liem Durarbayli, Vasif 1/2 1-0 1.5-0.5
38 Solak, Dragan Korobov, Anton 0-1 1/2 0.5-1.5
39 Cheparinov, Ivan Ipatov, Alexander 1/2 0-1 0.5-1.5
40 Guseinov, Gadir Matlakov, Maxim 1-0 0-1 1-1
41 Robson, Ray Vovk, Yuri 0-1 1/2 0.5-1.5
42 Iturrizaga Bonelli, Eduardo Rodshtein, Maxim 1/2 0-1 0.5-1.5
43 Lysyj, Igor Lupulescu, Constantin 1/2 1/2 1-1
44 Bartel, Mateusz Sargissian, Gabriel 1/2 1/2 1-1
45 Artemiev, Vladislav Ganguly, Surya Shekhar 1-0 1/2 1.5-0.5
46 Leitao, Rafael Hou, Yifan 1/2 1/2 1-1
47 Kamsky, Gata Melkumyan, Hrant 0-1 1/2 0.5-1.5
48 Edouard, Romain Smirin, Ilia 0-1 1/2 0.5-1.5
49 Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter Anton Guijarro, David 1-0 1/2 1.5-0.5
50 Akobian, Varuzhan Laznicka, Viktor 1/2 0-1 0.5-1.5
51 Sjugirov, Sanan Sethuraman, S.P. 0-1 0-1 0-2
52 Fier, Alexandr Granda Zuniga, Julio E 1/2 0-1 0.5-1.5
53 Nguyen, Ngoc Truong Son Kempinski, Robert 1-0 1/2 1.5-0.5
54 Volokitin, Andrei Onischuk, Alexander 1/2 1/2 1-1
55 Saric, Ivan Amin, Bassem 0-1 0-1 0-2
56 Khismatullin, Denis Areshchenko, Alexander 0-1 1/2 0.5-1.5
57 Inarkiev, Ernesto Quesada Perez, Yuniesky 1/2 1/2 1-1
58 Adhiban, Baskaran Fedoseev, Vladimir 1/2 1/2 1-1
59 Bruzon Batista, Lazaro Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi 1/2 1/2 1-1
60 Safarli, Eltaj Balogh, Csaba 1/2 1/2 1-1
61 Motylev, Alexander Grachev, Boris 1/2 1/2 1-1
62 Mamedov, Rauf Najer, Evgeniy 1-0 1/2 1.5-0.5
63 Shankland, Samuel L Popov, Ivan 1-0 1/2 1.5-0.5
64 Zhigalko, Sergei Bukavshin, Ivan 1/2 1/2 1-1

A tiebreak starts with two rapid games (25 minutes plus 10 second increment), if necessary two more (10 minutes plus 10 seconds), if necessary two blitz games (five minutes plus two seconds). If the score is still even, a sudden-death game follows with five minutes for White, four minutes for Black, a three-second increment from move 61, with Black having draw odds.

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.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

In October, Peter's first book The Chess Revolution will be published!

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