Chess World Cup: Karjakin hangs on to win the tournament

After ten decisive games, displaying phenomenal grit, Russian GM Sergey Karjakin (2762) won the 2015 Chess World Cup. This is Karjakin’s first World Cup victory.

After coming back from the dumps to tie the classical rubber 2.0-2.0, Karjakin won the first of the 15 minutes each rapid game but lost the second. In the 10 minutes each rapid games, Svidler managed to win the first game swiftly, however, ended up losing the second game.

In the deciding 5+3 games, Svidler managed to shoot himself on the foot. In the first game, in a completely winning position, he blundered a full rook. His initiative in the second game was not enough to win, even losing out of desperation.

Both Svidler and Karjakin had qualified to the Candidates by virtue of reaching the Finals of this tournament.

World Cup Final 04: Karjakin’s stellar comeback!

With a nice technical win over Svidler in the 4th game of the FIDE World Cup 2015 Finals, Karjakin successfully equalized the scores to take the match into the tie-breaks. This was Karjakin’s second win in as many games after being 2-0 down at the halfway point of the classical match.

Owing to the fact that a draw would help him clinch the title, Svidler opted for a calm approach against Karjakin’s Queen’s Pawn Opening. However, the opening battle resulted in a positional supremacy for Karjakin. Slowly but surely, Svidler made a comeback into the game, thus ensuring near-equality in the endgame. But his mistake on the 44th move helped Karjakin gain a huge advantage in the ensuing Rook endgame. Karjakin’s conversion of the advantage was smooth and he duly won the game on move 57.

With the tie-breaks to be played today, it would be interesting to see if Karjakin is able to maintain his momentum or Svidler succeeds in halting it. All in all, this 25-day long event is set for an exciting finish!

World Cup Final 03: Svidler blunders, Karjakin stays put in the Finals!

A shocking blunder by Svidler in the third game of the FIDE World Cup 2015 Final helped Karjakin stay alive in the finals, although Svidler still leads the match with a 2-1 scoreline.

With Karjakin trailing Svilder by a deficit of 2 points before the 3rd game, the former resorted to the Sicilian defence with a view to securing a complex battle. But Svidler chose the offbeat move 3. Qxd4 and the resulting middlegame seemed pretty level. Karjakin, in a bid to complicate the matters, made an inferior capture which enabled Svidler to acquire good control over the position. However, Svidler’s advantage was short-lived as he committed a devastating blunder with 29. Qd2, allowing Karjakin to decide the matters immediately in his favour.

Going into the fourth and last game of the Final, Svidler only requires a draw to clinch the World Cup title for the second time in his career.

World Cup Final 02: Karjakin blunders, Svidler 2/2!

The second game of the FIDE World Cup 2015 Finals witnessed a surprising sequence of events as Karjakin went on to lose after committing a couple of shocking blunders in an equal position.

The game took off with Karjakin opting for the Ruy Lopez opening and Svidler responding with the Breyer Variation. After a complex middlegame battle, an equal position arose and the game seemed to be heading towards a draw. However, Karjakin, in a desperate attempt to create winning chances, blundered on two successive moves which simply left him a piece down. Karjakin had no choice but to resign immediately.

Having won both the games in the final so far, Svidler requires only half a point more from the remaining two games to clinch the World Cup title for the second time in his career.

World Cup Final 01: Svidler’s Convincing Victory!

The first game of the World Cup Final between Peter Svidler and Sergey Karjakin saw the former score a convincing victory over his younger compatriot. This important win has put Svidler 1-0 ahead in this best-of-four finals.

The Svidler-Karjakin game took off with the King’s Indian Attack, a slightly surprising decision on Svidler’s part. Although the opening battle resulted in equality, Svidler was successful in grabbing the initiative as soon as the middlegame commenced. Karjakin, a strong defender in general, failed to tackle Svidler’s initiative effectively and soon, Svidler’s position was quite better. As the game progressed, Karjakin went further astray which allowed the 7-time Russian Champion to decide the matters on move 29.

Having suffered a disappointing defeat, Karjakin would be raring to equalize the scores at the earliest with just 3 more games to go in the classical section of the match.

World Cup Round 6 Tie-breaks: It’s Svidler vs Karjakin!

With Svidler already through to the Finals, only the Eljanov-Karjakin match-up remained to be decided in the tie-breaks. However, this lone match provided a whole lot of excitement for the viewers with Karjakin making the cut to the finals.

The ’25+10′ rapids took off with Eljanov scoring a resounding victory in the first game. But Karjakin bounced back fantastically by scoring a nice technical win in the second encounter. Quite amazingly, it was Eljanov’s first loss in the tournament up to that point.

The match, then, entered the ’10+10′ rapid round. In the first game, Karjakin scored a crucial victory after Eljanov got over-ambitious on the King-side. With Eljanov requiring a forced win in the second game, the Ukrainian GM opted for an interesting approach against Karjakin’s Queen’s pawn opening. In fact, the approach worked out very well for Eljanov as he was seen dominating for the major part of the game. But Eljanov was unable to convert his large advantage and the game ended in a draw. Thus, Karjakin secured a place in the World Cup Final while also qualifying for the Candidates Tournament 2016.

With Svidler and Karjakin set to lock horns in the Final, it must be noted that an all-Russian World Cup Final will be witnessed for the 3rd consecutive time in as many editions.

World Cup 6.2: Svidler through to the Finals!

Into the Finals - Peter Svidler! (Pic Source:
Into the Finals – Peter Svidler! (Pic Source:

After overcoming Giri convincingly with the Black pieces in the first game, all Svidler had to do in the second game was to hold a draw from the White side. Svidler did exactly that as he held Giri without much fuss. With this result, the 7-time Russian champion has stormed into the Finals of this prestigious competition. A place in the Final of the World Cup also means a direct qualification to the Candidates Tournament 2016, which Svidler will now be eligible to play.

Meanwhile, the Karjakin-Eljanov encounter saw a quick draw in the English Opening. With the classical match tied 1-1, the duo will now fight for a final berth in the Tie-breaks to be played today.

World Cup Round 5 Tie-breaks: The Russians advance!

The Round 5 tie-breaks saw the Russian duo of Svidler and Karjakin make the semi-finals by overcoming Wei Yi and Mamedyarov respectively. Both the match-ups were decided in the ’10+10′ rapids after all the games in the ’25+10′ Rapid round ended in draws. Svider managed to beat Wei Yi 1.5-0.5 whilst Karjakin completed a 2-0 sweep against Mamedyarov.

Semi-Final Pairings:

Eljanov vs Karjakin

Giri vs Svidler

The semi-finals will be played after a rest day tomorrow.

World Cup 5.2: Nakamura, MVL Knocked-out

The Round 5.2 of the FIDE World Cup 2015 witnessed World No. 4 Nakamura and French No. 1 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave getting knocked-out of the competition. With Nakamura requiring a win on demand against an in-form Eljanov, the former could only manage a draw against Eljanov’s accurate play and as such, had to exit the competition.

Giri – Vachier-Lagrave
The game took off with MVL’s favourite Grunfeld Defence, with the Dutch GM choosing a calm approach against it. In fact, the opening battle ended favourably for Giri as he emerged with a slight advantage. Giri kept on pressurising MVL and the game soon went into a better endgame for White, which was anything but easy to win. However, Giri displayed impeccable technique which led to the French GM breaking under pressure. Giri duly grabbed his chances and rounded up the matters on move 69.

Thus, Giri and Eljanov have advanced to the Semi-Finals of this prestigious event whilst the other two match-ups – Wei Yi-Svidler and Karjakin-Mamedyarov – will be decided today in the Tie-breaks.

World Cup 5.1: Eljanov beats Nakamura

The Round 5.1 of the FIDE World Cup 2015 witnessed only one decisive game in which Pavel Eljanov swiftly overcame Hikaru Nakamura. Amongst the drawn games, Svidler – Wei Yi and Vachier-Lagrave – Giri turned out to be pretty sedate affairs while the Mamedyarov – Karjakin encounter proved quite interesting, with Mamedyarov even possessing the better chances for a decent part of the game.

With an in-form Eljanov pitted against the strong American, this match-up was expected to be a close call. However, the Ukrainian Grandmaster continued his fine run of form in this tournament as he defeated the World No. 4 player without allowing him even a single chance for counterplay. This convincing win takes Eljanov’s tally of victories in the Classical games in this tournament to 7, by far the highest.