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Tiebreak To Decide World Cup Final After 4th Draw
Aronian and Ding drew again and head to a tiebreak. | Photo: Anastasiya Karlovich, official website.

Tiebreak To Decide World Cup Final After 4th Draw

The final of the FIDE World Cup between Ding Liren and Levon Aronian will be decided in a tiebreak on Wednesday as the fourth game also ended in a draw. It was again Aronian who had the better chances.

After winning their dramatic semifinals with which they reached the Candidates', Ding and Aronian slowed down a bit. All of their games in the World Cup final ended in draws, and so we'll see at least two rapid games tomorrow, and possibly blitz and Armageddon. The winner will earn $120,000 whereas the loser takes home $80,000. 

Fed Player Fed Player Classical Rapid Blitz Arm. Score
Aronian (2802) Ding Liren (2771) ½-½, ½-½, ½-½, ½-½ 2-2

In a way game four was a copy of game two, with Ding quickly losing his opening advantage as White, getting into a worse endgame but then defending stubbornly. The difference was that in this game, Aronian never seemed to have a concrete, winning advantage.

Ding's preparation wasn't perfect, even though he said he spent much more time on his white games than on his black games. Today the problem was that he hadn't looked back far enough into history. He got caught by surprise as early as move six, even though Aronian had played the same way before—but that was seven years ago.


The start of the last classical game in Tbilisi. | Photo: Anastasiya Karlovich, official website.

Especially after trading queens Aronian was better in this Ragozin. He won a pawn, but at least Ding got to play with a bishop vs a knight. That proved to be just enough compensation.

"It was not a high-quality game for us," said Ding, who again was the only one to be interviewed by FIDE press officer Nastja Karlovich. "I was much worse out of the opening."

The Chinese GM had completely missed the move that forced a trade of queens. He had the typical experience, which occurs at every level, to see his opponent's move only after letting go of his piece. "Immediately after I played 18.Qh5 I saw he could play 18...Qh4."

About the tiebreak, Ding said: "The good news is I play Black first, as usual. It's a good sign!"



Ding survived an ending a pawn down. A tiebreak it is! | Photo: Anastasiya Karlovich, official website.

Download all games in PGN

Games from TWIC.

The World Cup takes place September 3-27 in Tbilisi, Georgia. Each round consists of two classical games (four in the final), and possibly a rapid and blitz tiebreak on the third day. The total prize fund is $1.6 million, including a first prize of $120,000. The top two finishers will qualify for the 2018 Candidates' Tournament. 

Chess.com relays the games at Chess.com/Live. You can watch also live commentary on Chess.com/TV provided by the Chessbrahs, which includes some of the best commentators on the planet: GM Eric Hansen, GM Robin van Kampen, GM Yasser Seirawan and IM Aman Hambleton.

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