Baku Rd4 TB: Pure adrenaline

by Albert Silver
9/22/2015 – The title really says it all. Karjakin and Andreikin saved the excitement for the tiebreaks, and ended in Karjakin's favor. Anish Giri had little trouble stamping his authority on Wojtaszek, while Eljanov continued his great form and beat Jakovenko cleanly. The most exciting match by far was Wei Yi against Ding Liren with wild complications and playing with only one second on the clock!

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World Cup

10th September – 5th October

Baku, Azerbaijan

Round Four - Tiebreaks

Sergey Karjakin - Dmitry Andreikin

It was a significant gamble by both players, or a game of chicken depending on the perspective. In the previous World Cup, Dmitry Andreikin had taken nearly all his matches to the rapid tiebreakers where he successfully outlasted his opponents, many times much higher-rated. In fact, this year he avenged his loss in the final to Kramnik by beating the latter in... the rapid tiebreaker. It was nonetheless surprising to see how readily Sergey Karjakin agreed to this, since what else could it be called by drawing with black in just twelve moves, and a not much more exciting second game with white.

What about Sofia rules or the like? They do not have any here, and nor is there any need. Contrary to a normal tournament where a player could theoretically draw his way to the end, here each match will inevitably leave only one player standing, whether it be the classical games, rapids, blitz, or the final Armageddon.

The first game of their rapid tiebreaker was everything their first two games were not:  tense, imbalanced, exciting. It was also the turning point that sent Karjakin into the quarter finals.

[Event "FIDE World Chess Cup 2015"] [Site "Baku"] [Date "2015.09.22"] [Round "4.3"] [White "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Black "Andreikin, Dmitry"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A11"] [WhiteElo "2762"] [BlackElo "2720"] [PlyCount "107"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "AZE"] 1. c4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. cxd5 cxd5 6. d4 Nf6 7. Nc3 O-O 8. Ne5 Nc6 9. O-O Bf5 10. Be3 Rc8 11. Rc1 Be6 12. Nd3 Bf5 13. Ne5 e6 14. h3 h5 15. f3 Nxe5 16. dxe5 Nd7 {The temptation to win the piece with} 17. g4 {is understandable.} (17. f4 {was probably a little safer for White as he keeps a space advantage and Black struggles to activate his pieces.}) 17... hxg4 18. hxg4 Bxg4 19. fxg4 Nxe5 20. Bd4 Qh4 ({Things might have been less rosy for White had Black now played} 20... Nxg4 {and if} 21. Bxg7 {Black throws in the zwischenzug} Qh4 ({Black no doubt missed Qh4, and only saw that} 21... Kxg7 22. Qd4+ {leads to tragedy.}) 22. Rf3 Kxg7 {and now Black has three pawns for the piece and pressure against the exposed king with the knight-queen combo and potential h-file fun.}) 21. Qe1 Qxg4 22. Rd1 Nf3+ 23. Rxf3 Bxd4+ 24. Kf1 Be5 25. Qd2 Rc4 26. Qe3 Bg7 27. Qxa7 Rb4 ({Komodo 9 suggests the very interesting idea of} 27... g5 {followed by Qh5 and g4 to continue harrassing White.}) 28. b3 Rc8 29. Rdd3 Qg5 30. Nd1 Rg4 31. Qxb7 Rf8 32. Ne3 Bd4 33. Rxd4 Rxd4 34. Qc7 Rd2 35. a4 Rb2 36. Nd1 Rb1 37. Rd3 Rc1 38. Qh2 Rfc8 (38... Qf6+ {White would be hard-pressed to find a good answer to} 39. Ke1 (39. Bf3 e5 $1 {and ...e4 is fatal}) 39... Rfc8 40. Qg3 R8c2 {and White is losing.}) 39. Kf2 Qf6+ 40. Bf3 e5 $2 41. Ne3 $1 {and now White is in the driver seat.} d4 42. Ng4 Qg5 43. Nxe5 R8c3 {[#]} 44. Qh8+ $1 {Simple, decisive.} Kxh8 45. Nxf7+ Kg7 46. Nxg5 Rxd3 47. exd3 Rc3 48. a5 Rxd3 49. a6 Rd2+ 50. Ke1 Ra2 51. Ne6+ Kf6 52. Nc5 Ra5 53. b4 Ra2 54. b5 1-0

Anish Giri - Radoslaw Wojtaszek

Anish Giri was another player who decided his match in the first tiebreaker. His first game against Polish GM Radoslaw Wojtaszek was quite lopsided, and it was instructive at just how quickly a seemingly inoffensive position went bad, and decisively so.

Anish Giri put his stamp of authority in the rapids

[Event "FIDE World Chess Cup 2015"] [Site "Baku"] [Date "2015.09.22"] [Round "4.3"] [White "Giri, Anish"] [Black "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A18"] [WhiteElo "2793"] [BlackElo "2741"] [PlyCount "53"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "AZE"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 3. e4 d5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. e5 Ne4 6. Nf3 Bf5 7. d4 Bb4 8. Bd2 Bxc3 9. Bxc3 O-O 10. Be2 c5 11. dxc5 Nxc3 12. bxc3 Be4 13. O-O Nd7 $2 {This is the beginning of Black's problems.} ({Instead, Black needed to play more actively with the queen and knight with} 13... Qe7 $1 14. Qd2 Nc6) 14. Nd4 Nxc5 15. f3 Bg6 16. Nb5 Re8 17. f4 Be4 $2 (17... Ne4 $1 {and if} 18. f5 Qb6+ 19. Qd4 {Black has the nice shot} Nxc3 $1) 18. Nd6 Re7 19. c4 dxc4 20. Bxc4 (20. Qd4 { does not threaten to win anything since the Nd6 is actually pinned due to the unprotected queen on d4.}) 20... Bc6 21. Qc2 Ne6 {You don't need to be a grandmaster to realize Black is in very big trouble. Anish executes his rival as quickly and efficiently as possible.} 22. Rad1 Qb6+ 23. Kh1 g6 {White is threatening f5! however this does nothing to stop it.} 24. f5 Nd4 25. Qd2 {The idea is simple: f6 - Qh6 - Qg7 mate.} Nxf5 26. Rxf5 gxf5 27. Nxf5 1-0

Pavel Eljanov - Dmitry Jakovenko

Although Pavel Eljanov was the lowest rated player among the final 16, it bears remembering that he peaked at World No. 8, something his opponent and several others cannot make so bold a claim to. His form thus far has been nothing short of exceptional, having gone unbeaten until now, and gaining a massive 26 Elo. This has moved him up from No. 32 to No. 16 on the Live Ratings list.

Pavel Eljanov is having an amazing tournament and is playing like his former Top Ten self

His opponent Dmitry Jakovenko has had an excellent year, nearly overcoming a bad start in the FIDE Grand Prix to come within a whisker of qualifying for the Candidates with two excellent results in Khanty-Mansiysk and Tbilisi. This was effectively his last chance to secure a place on his own, which was stamped out by the Ukrainian.

[Event "FIDE World Chess Cup 2015"] [Site "Baku"] [Date "2015.09.22"] [Round "4.4"] [White "Eljanov, Pavel"] [Black "Jakovenko, Dmitry"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E15"] [WhiteElo "2717"] [BlackElo "2748"] [PlyCount "97"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "AZE"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Ba6 5. b3 d5 6. Bg2 Bb4+ 7. Bd2 Bxd2+ 8. Qxd2 c6 9. Nc3 Nbd7 10. Ne5 Nxe5 11. dxe5 Nd7 12. f4 O-O 13. O-O Qe7 14. Rfd1 Rad8 15. cxd5 exd5 $2 {Though some games saw errors swing back and forth, in this game, it was all Eljanov needed and he never let go of the reins.} (15... cxd5 {The difference from the game is that now after} 16. e4 dxe4 17. Qd6 Qxd6 18. Rxd6 e3 $1 {Black is able to contain White.} 19. Re1 Nb8 20. Rxd8 Rxd8 21. Rxe3 Rd2 {and Black is ok.}) 16. e4 dxe4 17. Qd6 {Black is probably already lost strategically.} Qxd6 18. Rxd6 Nc5 19. Nxe4 Nxe4 20. Bxe4 Rxd6 21. exd6 Rd8 22. Rd1 c5 23. Bc6 Kf8 24. Kf2 g6 25. g4 c4 26. Ke3 c3 27. Rd4 (27. d7 {was stronger and more expedient.} Ke7 28. Rc1 Kd6 29. Rxc3 $18) 27... c2 28. Kd2 Be2 29. g5 Bg4 30. Be4 Ke8 31. Bxc2 Kd7 32. b4 b5 33. Bd3 Kc6 34. a3 a6 35. Be4+ Kb6 36. Ke3 Be6 37. h4 a5 38. Bd3 ({White misses the amazing shot} 38. f5 $3 gxf5 39. Bf3 Rc8 40. Kf4 Rc4 41. Ke5 Bd7 42. bxa5+ Kxa5 43. Bd5 $1 {and after} Rxd4 44. Kxd4 Ka4 45. Bxf7 {Black cannot stop both the d- and g-pawns from queening.}) 38... axb4 39. axb4 Re8 40. Kf3 Kc6 41. f5 Bd7 42. Be4+ Kb6 43. Kf4 Ka6 44. Rd2 Kb6 45. Rd4 Ka6 46. Bd5 Bxf5 47. Bxf7 Rf8 48. d7 Rd8 49. Ke5 ({Black resigned since after} 49. Ke5 Rxd7 50. Rxd7 Bxd7 51. Bg8 Kb6 52. Bxh7 Bf5 53. h5 {it is over.}) 1-0

This does not mean it is over for Jakovenko in the Candidates, just that it is not entirely up to him. Right now, you can be certain no one is rooting more for Nakamura's success than Jakovenko. The reason is that if Nakamura makes it to the final, the Grand Prix spot would open up to the overall third place winner.... you guessed it: Dmitry Jakovenko. Don't be surprised if you see him in the audience waving that US flag like the most hard-core Yankee Doodle patriot.

Wei Yi - Ding Liren

Anyone who has seen the games of the Chinese Championships can attest to the absolutely wild swashbuckling that goes on. Even after winning his tiebreaker, Anish Giri joined the live commentary to watch this final bout, almost critical of the choice of sharp moves at every turn possible. "Sometimes a quiet move is just as good", he commented, implying also the lack of necessity of putting oneself at risk.

The first two games at 25 minutes ended in draws, but there was nothing sedate or controlled about them. For many, it was hard to know who had the advantage going in. Their rapid and blitz ratings seemed completely out of touch with their actual strength, and though Ding Liren is the higher rated of the two, and in the Top Ten, 16-year-old Wei Yi has won the Leon Rapid two years in a row, including this year when he defeated Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the final.

16-years old and into the quarter-finals of the World Cup

A taste of the brilliance can be seen in game five, played at ten minutes with a ten-second increment.

The opening raised eyebrows to say the least, and it is White to play. His queen is attacked and cannot continue to protect the knight on e5 – after 12.Qf3 Black will play Qxe5. What did White play to not stare at 0-1 before the game had even started?

The full game five with the solution:

[Event "FIDE World Chess Cup 2015"] [Site "Baku"] [Date "2015.09.22"] [Round "4.5"] [White "Wei, Yi"] [Black "Ding, Liren"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C24"] [WhiteElo "2734"] [BlackElo "2782"] [Annotator "Robot 11"] [PlyCount "62"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "AZE"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 c6 4. Nf3 d5 5. Bb3 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Bxd2+ 7. Qxd2 dxe4 8. Nxe5 O-O 9. dxe4 Qe7 10. Qf4 Nh5 11. Bxf7+ Kh8 {[#]} 12. Qg3 $3 Rxf7 ({The point is that after} 12... Nxg3 $2 13. Ng6+ $1 hxg6 14. hxg3+ {Black gets mated!}) 13. Nxf7+ Qxf7 {Instead of being dead lost, the ball is in White's camp with rook and two pawns for the two pieces and the better center. That said, Ding Liren was not about to tuck his tail between his legs, and fought back hard and drew the game.} 14. Qd6 Be6 15. Nc3 Nd7 16. O-O-O Re8 17. Rhf1 Bc4 18. Rfe1 Ne5 19. b3 Ba6 20. Kb1 h6 21. f3 Nf4 22. Rd2 Kh7 23. Red1 Re6 24. Qb8 Qf6 25. Na4 Be2 26. Rc1 b6 27. Nc3 Ba6 28. Rcd1 Nc4 29. bxc4 Qxc3 30. Qxf4 Qb4+ 31. Ka1 Qc3+ 1/2-1/2

Game six was a crazy game that showed not only how badly both wanted to win it, but the nerves of steel of Wei Yi. The opening was nearly catastrophic for Black and Wei Yi's fans were praying for a slip to allow him to just survive. It was long in the coming and after some imprecisions (this was just a ten-minute game after all), Wei Yi could finally loosen his collar and count on a draw. Or so thought everyone watching. The game was nearly devoid of any risk or action but the 16-year-old was not happy, and possibly sensed weakness in his rival. Suddenly the game was alive as he injected life with some serious risk-taking, and he even found himself making a move with exactly one second left on the clock!

As you can see, Black's hand is a blur as he races to make his move
(and succeeds) with just one second left on the clock

Somehow he not only held but it was his senior opponent (kind of funny calling a 22-year-old 'senior') who cracked at the very end, blundering a drawn position, and Wei Yi took the match. The lad has alligator blood. Alligator as in cold-blooded killer.

Although he still has some hurdles to leap, notably Peter Svidler in the next round, the question has now come up more seriously: if by some miracle Wei Yi made it to the final, and thus qualified for the Candidates, would he beat Bobby Fischer's record? Bobby Fischer may have earned his spot before his 16th birthday, but he was 16 years and 5 months 29 days old when the 1959 Candidates started. The answer is: not quite. Presuming the Candidates in 2016 took place in March or thereabouts, Wei Yi would be around 16 years old and nine months. So Fischer's record will still hold no matter how the stars align in Baku.

It is worth noting that Magnus Carlsen played in the 2007 Candidates Tournament at age 16 years 5 months and ... 26 days. However, at the time the World Championship was still recovering from the fractured title that had prevailed for several years, and FIDE qualified 10 players from the World Cup to lead to an eight-player tournament to decide the World Champion.

 

Bobby Fischer was just 16 years old when he played in the 1959 Candidates Tournament

Daniel King analyzes the round four tiebreaks

All Round 4 tiebreak games

Round Four Results

Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
V. Topalov (BUL) 2816
0
½
              0.5
Peter Svidler (RUS) 2727
1
½
              1.5
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Ding Liren (CHN) 2782
1
0
½
½
½
0
      2.5
Wei Yi (CHN) 2734
0
1
½
½
½
1
      3.5
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Anish Giri (NED) 2793
½
½
1
½
          2.5
Radoslawj Wojtaszek (POL) 2741
½
½
0
½
          1.5
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Wesley So (USA) 2773
½
0
              0.5
M. Vachier-Lagrave 2744
½
1
              1.5
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 2814
1
½
              1.5
Michael Adams (ENG) 2742
0
½
              0.5
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Pavel Eljanov (UKR) 2717
½
½
½
1
          2.5
Dmitry Jakovenko (RUS) 2748
½
½
½
0
          1.5
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Fabiano Caruana (USA) 2808
0
½
              0.5
S. Mamedyarov (AZE) 2736
1
½
              1.5
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Dmitry Andreikin (RUS) 2720
½
½
0
½
          1.5
Sergey Karjakin (RUS) 2762
½
½
1
½
          2.5

Round five predictions

by Sagar Shah

Eight players remain at this point in the tournament and they are from seven different countries: two Ukrainians, one Chinese, one American, one Frenchman, one Dutch, one Russian and one Azeri – a tournament that has brought together the best of players from all over the globe, truly a World Cup. With only four games to be played, anything is possible as all the players are quite evenly matched. To reach up to this point in the World Cup would definitely mean that you are in good form. In the fourth round out of the eight battles, we were able to correctly predict six outcomes. Keeping this positive result in mind, we are giving this another go!

Wei Yi – Peter Svidler

Just two months ago, in July 2015, Wei Yi and Peter Svidler sat across each other to play in the China-Russia Summit. Wei Yi, who was white, played the Ruy Lopez and Peter showed his urge to play the Marshall. The Chinese youngster steered the game along the Anti-Marshall path and soon an equal endgame was reached. Both sides had two rooks, two knights and seven pawns. What happened next clearly showed what is lacking in Wei Yi’s game. Svidler centralized his king and created pawn weaknesses. His knights danced all over the board and his rook swung from one corner to another. The 16-year-old was clueless and the game ended in the Russian’s favour without much of a fight.

There is no doubt about Wei Yi’s ability and caliber. But if there is someone who can be an extremely uncomfortable opponent for him, then it is Peter Svidler. With his years of experience and deep understanding of the game he can outclass his opponent like he did in the encounter two months ago.

Prediction: Peter Svidler

Maxime Vachier Lagrave – Anish Giri

In this entire tournament Anish has remained unbeaten. In fact, he hasn’t lost a game since his last 41 classical games. The last one where he had to taste defeat was in French Team Championships in June 2015 against Yuri Solodovnichenko. But Maxime has a good chance of getting past Anish – the reason being that Anish has never really been able to show his best against Maxime. In their 22 encounters, Anish has only won twice. Besides, Giri has excellent chances of qualifying to the Candidates based on rating even if he was knocked out from the World Cup. Maxime might just want this victory more than his opponent.

Prediction: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov – Sergey Karjakin

Sergey Karjakin just knocked out his nemesis Dmitry Andreikin – a player whom he hadn’t been able to beat in a classical game since last ten years. He must be feeling good about it, but not as much as Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Carrying the expectations of the entire home nation on his shoulders Mamedyarov delivered by knocking out Fabiano Caruana in round four. In their personal head to head battles Mamedyarov has been doing quite well with 15 wins against Karjakin’s ten out of the 47 times they have played each other. Both of them really want to get through to the semi-finals as unlike Giri or Nakamura this is their only way to qualify, but I think it will be the Azeri who will come out alive.

Prediction: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Pavel Eljanov – Hikaru Nakamura

Eljanov has been having a phenomenal tournament at the World Cup 2015. 7.0/8 in classical time control games and 1.5/2 in rapids. But he faces one of the strongest players of this event in the next round. Hikaru Nakamura is enjoying himself in Baku. After every round he writes a Facebook status praising the opponent whom he has just defeated. The American might want to continue this tradition right until the very end. At his very best, Eljanov should not be such a huge hurdle for Hikaru to overcome.

Prediction: Hikaru Nakamura

It is highly possible that your predictions will differ from ours. So make sure that you write them in the comments section below.

Round five pairings

Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Peter Svidler (RUS) 2727
-
-
              1.5
Wei Yi (CHN) 2734
-
-
              3.5
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Anish Giri (NED) 2793
-
-
              2.5
M. Vachier-Lagrave 2744
-
-
              1.5
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 2814
-
-
              1.5
Pavel Eljanov (UKR) 2717
-
-
              2.5
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
S. Mamedyarov (AZE) 2736
-
-
              1.5
Sergey Karjakin (RUS) 2762
-
-
              2.5

Photos and information from the official website and their Facebook page

Links

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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


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johnmk johnmk 9/25/2015 02:04
The editors are busted! They should have recognized the Yei Wi-Ding opening, which appeared in the publication New in Chess, Jan 2014, in an article by W. Hendriks (as mentioned also below by pathikd). This game followed that game right thru the "amazing" Qg3 move. No wonder Yei could play such a move at blitz speed!
yesenadam yesenadam 9/24/2015 07:29
pathikd: I couldn't understand much of your first message; it seems throughly garbled. Only I recognized a reference to the game that Krabbe gives. I was asking about the Qg3, or the Kh8 before it, neither of which appeared on the board in that game.
ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 9/24/2015 06:26
my prediction --- the winners will be ---wei y, lagrave, shakriyar and eljanov!
pathikd pathikd 9/24/2015 09:24
@yesenadam: Actually this would be the third time first as i mentioned between IM Willy Hendriks VS Timothy Spanton and again when IM Willy Hendriks played against Kerigan and Wei Yi VS Ding is the third.
chessbibliophile chessbibliophile 9/24/2015 05:23
Nostalgia rules.
Don't miss Bobby Fischer video.
You would also find Tal.
chessbibliophile chessbibliophile 9/24/2015 04:23
Deeply sorry for Jakovenko.
yesenadam yesenadam 9/23/2015 03:42
pathikd: You beat me to it! I was wondering how many would recognize it from Tim Krabbe's Chess Diary No 382 on this page: http://timkr.home.xs4all.nl/chess2/diary.htm - the same board position as given above for Wei - Ding. Is this the first time it's actually occurred otb?
ajerifoz ajerifoz 9/23/2015 03:09
Wei Yi
Anish Giri
Sergey Karjakin
Hikaru Nakamura
bbrodinsky bbrodinsky 9/23/2015 03:06
Yi beats Naka by disqualification, as a can of Red Bull is spilled on the board during the Armageddon game.
ChessHulk ChessHulk 9/23/2015 12:04
Svidler, LaGrave, Nakamura and Mamedyarov will go through
disneychannel disneychannel 9/23/2015 11:49
Overall,anything can happen.I predict that it will be Wei Yi vs Anish Giri in the finals.It will be the Chinese who might have more chances to win in that encounter.

Regards,
disneychannel.
disneychannel disneychannel 9/23/2015 11:43
My predictions-Wei Yi,Anish Giri,Shakriyar Mamedyarov,Hikaru Nakamura.
Camembert Camembert 9/23/2015 11:23
And my prediction is...:
No prediction !
Tejas_Cavale_2 Tejas_Cavale_2 9/23/2015 11:04
I feel Wei,Yi Will beat Svdler
Hugs4chess Hugs4chess 9/23/2015 10:49
Wei Yi
Giri
Karjakin
Nakamura
cptmajormajor cptmajormajor 9/23/2015 10:12
I predict:
Wei , Anish Giri, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov& Hikaru Nakamura
flaskebekk flaskebekk 9/23/2015 10:10
2 Ukrainians left...? Counting Karjakin as Ukraininian is correct in a way, but I don't think he or the Russian federation will agree.

Also Ding was close to having a won poition in the last game and pressed for most of the game, before he blundered the h5 pawn in time trouble. Wey Yi therefore a little bit lucky but there is no doubt that he has future world champ potential.

I think all final 8 has some chance to win, a final between Nakamura vs Wey Yi or MVL would be cool and great for chess. Agree with those that say Giri is too Leko-like and drawish.
nhanduyenhoahop nhanduyenhoahop 9/23/2015 10:03
Agree with Silver prediction but I still hope for Wei to make a suprise!
pathikd pathikd 9/23/2015 09:40
Damn! Damn!! Damnnnn!! Wei Yi game against Ding is the exact replica of the game between author and IM Willy Hendriks and Timothy Spanton (Hastings 2006) up till move 11th. The author shares with the reader the exact puzzle shown above and mentions that 12. Qg3!! would have been his "Most beautiful move" only if he he would have seen it and got a chance to play if his opponent had played 11..Kh8.

The original game had deviated with 11...Rxf7 instead of 11...Kh8 as in the above game.
Denix Denix 9/23/2015 09:02
The predictions are too good to be true!
carlseng carlseng 9/23/2015 08:55
my prediction
1 Wei Yi
2. Giri
3. Karjakin
4. Nakamura
Moab2021 Moab2021 9/23/2015 08:37
Yi and Nakamura in the finals.
Phillidor Phillidor 9/23/2015 08:08
Agree with all the results Sagar has predicted. Giri plays very strong, but i think MVL won't let him enjoy the initiative. Or, should we say, Anishative.
oputu oputu 9/23/2015 07:34
@ HubertKnott : You just spoke my mind. Thanks to the SLCC you can download the live coverage of the games and replay them since some people work!! I have tried downloading the World Cup coverage but it wont download. Even sent emails to the organizers but still no response. Please kindly upload on youtube. We all cant keep to your schedule and would like to watch the games at the comfort of our homes afterwards!!

Much appreciated!

As an aside, I wonder why we think MVL will beat Giri. When was the last time you saw Giri in a losing position? I see MVL in losing positions in his Grunfeld all the time. He miraculously holds though but to win? Nah! Maybe he takes it to tiebreaks and beats Giri there since he is much faster.

@ Albert Silver; you didnt make a comment on Karjakin's Qxa7 and Qxb7. Those moves won that game. It takes absolute confidence in your opponents inability to mate you, or sheer lack of a 'danger sense'. No light thinking patzer would try that. The mare sight of a queen hovering on g4 is scary enough, plus the low clock? Jeez.......I love chess!!!
AzingaBonzer AzingaBonzer 9/23/2015 07:31
Wei Yi beat an in-form Ding Liren who is rising up in the ranks in his own right, whereas Svidler got here by beating an out-of-form Topalov. Form-wise, that's a pretty clear indicator who's "hot" right now--and it ain't Svidler.
HubertKnott HubertKnott 9/23/2015 06:48
Just a general question. While all these chess websites on Chess Olympiads and World Cups and other major events rightly deserve our praise, these websites more often than not become absolutely dead links afterwards. I wonder if anyone has the wherewithal to actually put many films from these websites on youtube so that we need not worry about dead links of the original sites. The St. Louis organization does a commendable job of this, but I feel unsure that 99% of other websites for analogous events will follow this obvious idea.
KrushonIrina KrushonIrina 9/23/2015 06:31
Carlsen may have ice in his veins, but Wei Yi is a cold-eyed killer.
Papá Papá 9/23/2015 06:14
Svidler, Giri, Karjakin and Nakamura, who will win the whole thing.
Bertman Bertman 9/23/2015 06:14
@Peter B Thanks, I updated the article.
Jorge Shinozaki Jorge Shinozaki 9/23/2015 06:04
My prediction: Wei Yi, Giri, Mamedyarov and Eljanov.
dy587393@bigpond.net.au dy587393@bigpond.net.au 9/23/2015 06:02
I predict:
Peter Svidler, Anish Giri, Sergey Karjakin & Hikaru Nakamura to win next round
ashchess ashchess 9/23/2015 05:55
I think probably Elijanov will beat Nakamura. He is on such great form now and will be very hard to beat. But I think Nakamura will have a good chance of winning if he can bring the match to the rapids. Also, I think Giri should be able to beat MVL, with all due respect to both players, as Giri's form now is simply unbeatable ;)

A very nicely written article! Thank you!
Logos Logos 9/23/2015 05:51
Agree with two of Sagar Shah's predictions. Karjakin will beat Mamedyarov and Giril will overcome MVL.
Peter B Peter B 9/23/2015 05:42
Carlsen qualified for the 2007 Candidates just after his 15th birthday, and played in the Candidates at 16 years, 5 months and 27 days. However it was a 16 player Candidates so qualification was a little easier.
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