22 September 2015

Yellow Card for Handling

The World Cup's 3rd round is reviewed by our correspondent Eteri Kublashvili.

The 3rd Round of the World Cup in Baku, judging by strength and toughness of the lineup, looks like an expaned supertournament, where recognized superstars, experienced, wise veterans, and the younger generation all play together.

Actually, it is a real pleasure for chess professionals and amateurs to watch the matches such as Nakamura-Nepomniachtchi, So-Le Quang Liem, Kramnik-Andreikin, Svidler-Radjabov, Jakovenko-Ivanchuk, Dominguez-Adams.

In the first round of the third stage only four games ended with a decisive result, but it doesn't mean that drawn games were less interesting. Without any doubt, all games have already been analyzed in detail, that's why I dwell only on the decisive games.

As we know, Sergey Karjakin got the number of Chinese players, that's why his match with Yu Yangyi continued after their summer battle in China. 

Karjakin – Yu Yangyi
Round Three, Game One


After 37.Bf3 black rooks are cramped.

37…Rb6 38. Rxd7+ Kxd7 39. Bxc5 e4 40. Bg4+, and Black was defeated soon.

Pavel Eljanov outplayed Alexander Grischuk, winning both games. 

Grischuk – Eljanov
Round Three, Game One

A temporary blackout – and the white king voluntarily goes in the mating net...

55. Kd4? Qd5+ 56. Ke3 Kе5 White resigned.

Caruana – Kovalyov
Round Three, Game One

Anton Kovalyov – a surprise of the event – didn't withstand Caruana's pressure, committing a suicide.

42…f5?! 43. gxf6 Rxf6 44. Rxe5 Nxe5 45. Bxe5 Qf8 46. Bxf6 Qxf6 47. Qg3, and the American firmly rolled out his advantage. 

Mamedyarov – Seturaman
Round Three, Game One

Poisoned pawns cannot be taken: after 40…Kxf5? 41. Re8 Black resigned because transposing to a lost pawn ending is unavoidable.

The next round had more decisive games than the previous one, and these games also decided the matches.

Having defeated Vassily Ivanchuk, Dmitry Jakovenko became the first player who advances to the next round. The Ukrainian grandmaster stopped the clock in a very difficult, but not yet lost position, apparently considering his saving chances to be very poor. 

Jakovenko – Ivanchuk
Round Three, Game Two

In this position Black resigned.

Magnus Carslen twitted that he would like to see nine draws in the match Giri-Leko, but it didn't happen. Already in the second classic game the Dutch gained the upper hand.

Giri – Leko
Round Three, Game Two

Black just took a pawn on а4, and faced an extremely accurate response 41. Nd8!

Further followed 41…Kg8 42. Re7 f5+ 43. Kh5 Kh7 44. Rxe8 Rb2 45. h3 Rh2 46. Kh4, and Black resigned.

Wei Yi – Areshchenko
Round Three, Game Two

A very sharp position occurred in the famous variation with a poisoned pawn, where White turned out to be stronger.

19. Nxe6! Qe5?

As the computer shows, Black does not lose after 19…fxe6 20. Qxe6+ Kd8 21. Qe7+ Kc7 22. Qd6+ Kd8 23. f7 Bg7 24. F8Q+ Rxf8 25. Rxf8+ Bxf8 26. Qxf8+ Kc7 27. Qd6+ Kd8 28. Bg4 Qb5 29. Bxd7 Bxd7 30. Rf1 Kc8.

In the game he had to part with the material: 20. Nc7+ Kf8 21. Qxe5 Bxe5 22. Nxa8 etc.

The second Chinese – Ding Liren – upset the Azeri chess fans, beating Gadir Guseinov. Julio Granda, defeated by Radoslawj Wojtaszek, also leaves Baku.

Fabiano Caruana (defeated Anton Kovalyov), Dmitry Jakovenko (defeated Vassily Ivanchuk), Wei Yi (defeated Alexander Areschenko), Ding Liren (defeated Gadir Guseinov), Radoslawj Wojtaszek (defeated Julio Granda), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (defeated S. Sethuraman), Sergey Karjakin (defeated Yu Yangyi), Anish Giri (defeated Peter Leko), Pavel Eljanov (defeated Alexander Grischuk) advanced to the 4th Round.

The matches Topalov–Lu Shanglei, Nakamura-Nepomniachtchi, Radjabov-Svidler, So-Le Quang Liem, Dominguez-Adams, Tomashevsky-Vachier-Lagrave, Kramnik-Andreikin were drawn 1-1 and proceeded to the tie-break.

The tiebreak turned out to be nervous and long, as usual.

In the rapid games Veselin Topalov, Dmitry Andreikin and Peter Svidler defeated their opponents.

The highest rated player of the World Cup outplayed Lu Shanglei in the first game, and had an advantage at some point in the second one, although in the end he had to defend a bishop and knight versus rook and knight ending. Veselin managed to save the game and advanced to the next round.

Dmitry Andreikin by miracle drew a lost position versus Vladimir Kramnik in the first game and won the second one, thus avenging for 2013 World Cup final.

Andreikin – Kramnik
Rapid, Game Two

White meets the challenging 14…d5 very calmly.

15. exd6 Qxe4 16. Qxe4 Rxe4 17. f3 Nf2 18. fxe4 Nxd1 19. Ba6 Bax6 20. Rxd1 Bc5 21. a4!, and Dmitry managed to win the opposite colored bishops ending with the extra material.

Peter Svidler, playing against Teimour Radjabov, in the first game saved an ending being down an exchange. In the second one he won a pawn in the opening and gradually converted it later. Not without complications, though, but it ended well for the Russian.

After four draws in the classic and rapid games Maxime Vachier-Lagrave was stronger than Evgeny Tomashevsky, winning 2-0 in the quick 10+10 games .

In the match between Michael Adams and Leinier Dominguez everything was decided in the blitz. In the first game Dominguez was close to the victory in the opening, but then he missed some tactics... The second blitz game was played as if directed by Adams and ended with his victory.

A truly dramatic game, as you know, happened in the match between the Russian and the American. In the quick match 10+10 Hikaru Nakamura won first, then Ian Nepomniachtchi got his own back. In the blitz Ian won the first game, but Nakamura won on demand to secure the Armageddon.

This Armageddon frayed a lot of everybody's nerves. Nakamura eventually won as Black, but after the game Ian submitted a complaint, because in one of the moments (not for the first time in his carrier) Nakamura played a castling using both hands, touching the rook first. During the game both Nepomniachtchi and arbiters haven't fixed the violation.

The Appeals Committee reviewed the complaint and decided that the result of the match shall stand in favor of Nakamura. This is due to the fact that the player should stop the clock and call the arbiter immediately to inform about the violation. During the game Nepomniachtchi did not do it, thus his appeal was denied. For a long time Ian insisted on his decision, making arguments, but the ruling remained unchanged. 

Appeals Committee member Zurab Azmaiparashvili explains the ruling to Marina Makarycheva


Arbiters gave a warning to Nakamura, and if the same violation occurs again, he would be punished much more seriously. The Committee returned back the appeal fees (US $500) to Nepomniachtchi.

After such a highly charged day I'd rather have a break, but the 4th round starts already on September 20, where we will see the following games:

Topalov-Svidler, Ding Liren-Wei Yi, Giri-Wojtaszek, So-Vachier-Lagrave, Nakamura-Adams, Eljanov-Jakovenko, Caruana-Mamedyarov, Andreikin-Karjakin.

Enjoy watching chess!