Pavel Eljanov On 6.0/6 At World Cup

Pavel Eljanov On 6.0/6 At World Cup

| 21 | Chess Event Coverage

Pavel Eljanov also defeated Alexander Grischuk 2-0 and so the Ukrainian GM has started his FIDE World Cup in Baku with six straight victories. He gained 26 Elo points so far.

Photo courtesy of FIDE.

Although he never managed to break through to the chess elite (or rather, stabilize there), Pavel Eljanov certainly scored some fine results in his career. The 32-year-old grandmaster from Kharkiv:

  • won the Corus B tournament in 2007;
  • won the 2009 Bosna Chess Tournament in Sarajevo;
  • won the 2010 Astrakhan Grand Prix;
  • shared first place at the 2012 Aeroflot Open;
  • won the 2013 Reykjavik Open;
  • won the 2013 Karpov Tournament in Poikovsky;
  • won the 2014 Gashimov Memorial B tournament.

Now, Eljanov has a chance to “do a Caruana,” as some still call it when a player scores seven out of seven. For that he needs to beat Dmitry Jakovenko, his opponent in the quarterfinals on Sunday. Today's win against Grischuk went surprisingly easily:

“I played with some handicap,” Eljanov told “I played for two results, and Alexander for only one. With Black it's a very difficult task.”

And so we see another pre-tournament favorite leave the World Cup. Like the other players who leave the World Cup after the third round, Alexander Grischuk takes home U.S. $12,800 (€11,270). But there was something else at stake as well, as Martin Bennedik informs:


Grischuk is out; Eljanov moves to 6.0/6.

This is about the two rating qualifiers for the candidates, for which the 12 ratings lists of 2015 will be used. Both Kramnik and Grischuk will play chess after the World Cup; for instance both play for the same team “Siberia” at the European Club Cup in October in Skopje!

Fabiano Caruana comfortably reached the next round by drawing his black game with Anton Kovalyov. He didn't get immediate equality as Black, but always kept things under control.

“I think I was maybe a bit worse at some point and at the end I suddenly had winning chances,” said a smiling Caruana to “I'll have to check if I missed anything!”

Two more players reached round four by drawing their second game: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (vs S.P. Sethuraman) and Sergey Karjakin (vs Yu Yangi). The latter was winning in the final position, but he accepted his opponent's draw offer.


A surprisingly smooth mini-match for Karjakin, unlike the previous!

Anish Giri eliminated former world championship contender Peter Leko in impressive manner. From an Open Catalan the game reached a ending that looked very drawish.

Perhaps inspired by Nakamura, who beat Anand in St. Louis last month in this line, Giri continued playing for a win — and he won, in the style of Capablanca, as IM Jeroen Bosch put it in his press release for the Dutch Chess Federation.

The key moment was 33.Rc5!? Kd6? 34.Rc3! as Giri explained to “Now there are just too many ideas: Ne5, Rb3, e5...”


An excellent game by Giri, who created something out of almost nothing.

One more top 10 player reached the fourth round without playing a tiebreak: Ding Liren. He outplayed local hero Gadir Guseinov nicely, after the latter made an early mistake. “14...c4 was a bad move,” Ding told “I have the idea a2-a4 and his pawns will become very weak.”

Ding admitted that playing Wei Yi in the next round will be extra difficult. “We played many times in China. We are good friends. In the past I was strong but now I don't know. He developed rapidly!”


Guseinov did well so far, but Ding was just a bit too strong.

Wei Yi finished his game shortly before Ding. He ousted Alexander Areshchenko, the player who had knocked out Levon Aronian in the previous round. In a Poisoned Pawn Najdorf, the Ukrainian quickly lost track of all the possibilities:


The Poisoned Pawn was one of Fischer's favorite lines but is a rare guest at top level nowadays.

The first player to qualify for the quarterfinals was in fact Dmitry Jakovenko. The Russian can still qualify for the candidates via his third place in the Grand Prix, in case Caruana or Nakamura reaches the final, but he can also simply reach the World Cup final himself!

On Friday he defeated Vassily Ivanchuk, who hasn't really played a big role in our news reports. He defeated Ahmed Adly and Maxim Rodshtein both with 1.5-0.5, but today the legendary Ukrainian was out-calculated.

Annotations by GM Dejan Bojkov:


Ivanchuk (photographed yesterday) also leaves the World Cup.

Another player that has remained somewhat in the background is Radek Wojtaszek, although the Polish GM has played some very strong chess. Today he played a very inspiring game, going for the black king right after the opening:


Lu Shanglei played the Ponziani against Topalov (“I just wanted to play natural chess”) and their game was drawn relatively quickly. Svidler and Radjabov already drew after 13 moves in a Fianchetto Grünfeld; Dominguez_Adams, Nepomniachtchi-Nakamura and Le-So weren't very spectacular either.

Vachier-Lagrave had reason to be relieved after drawing his game with Evgeny Tomashevsly. “Either I mixed something up or I couldn't remember,” he told “It was more difficult than it should have been, especially after I went wrong on move 40.”


That was an unpleasant afternoon for MVL.

Arguably the most interesting draw was played between Vladimir Kramnik and Dmitry Andreikin. The ex-world champion seemed to be playing one of his masterpieces, but Andreikin was also playing (defending) on a very high level:

2013 winner Vladimir Kramnik is still in the race.

Tomorrow we'll see the following tiebreak matches: Topalov-Lu, Radjabov-Svidler, So-Le, Vachier-Lagrave-Tomashevsky, Nepomniachtchi-Nakamura, Adams-Dominguez and Andreikin-Kramnik.

2015 World Cup | Round 3 Results

# White Black 1 2 Score
1 Topalov, Veselin Lu, Shanglei ½-½ ½-½ 1-1
2 Nepomniachtchi, Ian Nakamura, Hikaru ½-½ ½-½ 1-1
3 Caruana, Fabiano Kovalyov, Anton 1-0 ½-½ 1.5-0.5
4 Leko, Peter Giri, Anish ½-½ 0-1 0.5-1.5
5 So, Wesley Le, Quang Liem ½-½ ½-½ 1-1
6 Andreikin, Dmitry Kramnik, Vladimir ½-½ ½-½ 1-1
7 Grischuk, Alexander Eljanov, Pavel 0-1 0-1 0-2
8 Guseinov, Gadir Ding, Liren ½-½ 0-1 0.5-1.5
9 Areshchenko, Alexander Wei, Yi ½-½ 0-1 0.5-1.5
10 Ivanchuk, Vassily Jakovenko, Dmitry ½-½ 0-1 0.5-1.5
11 Karjakin, Sergey Yu, Yangyi 1-0 ½-½ 1.5-0.5
12 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime Tomashevsky, Evgeny ½-½ ½-½ 1-1
13 Granda Zuniga, Julio E Wojtaszek, Radoslaw ½-½ 0-1 0.5-1.5
14 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar Sethuraman, S.P. 1-0 ½-½ 1.5-0.5
15 Adams, Michael Dominguez Perez, Leinier ½-½ ½-½ 1-1
16 Radjabov, Teimour Svidler, Peter ½-½ ½-½ 1-1

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