Svidler Wins 1st Game In World Cup Final

Svidler Wins 1st Game In World Cup Final

| 26 | Chess Event Coverage

Peter Svidler immediately took the lead in the final of the 2015 FIDE World Cup. The St. Petersburg resident defeated Sergey Karjakin of Moscow with the white pieces in a King's Indian Attack. 

All photos courtesy of FIDE.

Both Karjakin and Svidler left no doubt that their main goal was qualifying for the Candidates. Still, in what both players see as a “bonus final,” there is a fair bit at stake.

Now that they've reached the final, they'll surely fight for that trophy, and the U.S. $96,000 (net) first prize. (The loser gets net U.S. $64,000.)

Svidler didn't need a tiebreak against Anish Giri, and so he could enjoy two rest days. Karjakin eliminated Pavel Eljanov in a dramatic tiebreak where a draw claim decided matters, two days ago.

And so, after three weeks of play, 126 participants have been eliminated, and the Fairmont Hotel's grand ballroom was left with just one table, two chairs, for just two players. On the program: a mini-match of four classical games, and if necessary a tiebreak.

Just one game is played on stage during the few last days.

It is a final between two Russian players, just like two years ago. During Soviet times it was said that every cab driver played chess better than most of the Western grandmasters. This morning Karjakin tweeted a variant:

But Karjakin missed the luck today. Svidler got off to a great start: he convincingly won the first game with the white pieces. As the winner of the 2011 Grand Prix, the seven-time Russian champion may write further history in the coming days.

The opening was a King's Indian Attack, something which Svidler has played a few times recently — also against Karjakin. At the Russian team championship in 2014 he went for the more classic approach 9.e5 (like e.g. Bobby Fischer used to play); this time he took on d5.

Both players made some natural moves, Svidler opened the center with d3-d4 (a temporary pawn sacrifice), activated some of his pieces and... suddenly he was winning! That is how the commentators saw it, and most fans probably too.

Svidler playing the King's Indian Attack.

Svidler's execution at the end was very precise, although at some point there was more than one way to win. Here's the game, annotated by GM Dejan Bojkov:


Below you can watch the press conference by Svidler.

As can be seen in the video, Svidler wasn't sure about the opening. “Objectively I suspect my position out of the opening may have been objectively worse,” he said. “With 32 pieces on the board it's very complicated to play for both sides.”

As said, the 2013 final was played between two Russians as well. Vladimir Kramnik started with a win against Dmitry Andreikin and after three draws, the cup went to the 14th world champion.

After the game Karjakin told Svidler that he had “forgotten about 26.Qc4.”


2015 World Cup | Round 7 Results

Name Name C1 C2 C3 C4 TB Score
Peter Svidler Sergey Karjakin 1-0         1.0-0.0

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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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