FIDE World Cup Final: Aronian wins tiebreak! (Express report)

by ChessBase
9/27/2017 – After four draws in Classical games, we are now down to the tiebreaks. It's going to be two games of 25+10 followed by 10+10 if required, and then 5+3 and finally armaggedon. Games kick off at 13:00 CEST (7:00 AM EST) with live commentary from Tbilisi by GMs Evgeny Miroshnichenko and WGM Keti Tsatsalashvili and live updates by our reporters Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal.

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World Cup Finals tiebreak

World Cup

Games and commentary


Commentary by GM Evgeny Miroshnichenko and WGM Keti Tsatsalashvili

Live updates

Interview with Levon Aronian after he became the World Cup 2017 champion!

Ding Liren was a gracious loser and gave full credit to his opponent's superior play

Start of game one of 25'+10" rapids at the World Cup 2017

Brilliant attack by Levon Aronian to win game one of the 25+10 rapid tiebreak

Light analysis of game one of 25'+10"

[Event "FIDE World Cup 2017"] [Site "Tbilisi"] [Date "2017.09.27"] [Round "7.5"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Ding, Liren"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D43"] [WhiteElo "2802"] [BlackElo "2771"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "59"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [EventType "k.o."] [EventCountry "GEO"] [SourceTitle ""] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceQuality "1"] [TimeControl "1500+10"] 1. c4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 2. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} e6 { [%emt 0:00:02]} 3. Nc3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} d5 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 4. d4 {[%emt 0:00: 00]} c6 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 5. Bg5 {[%emt 0:00:02]} h6 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 6. Bxf6 { [%emt 0:00:02]} Qxf6 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 7. Qb3 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Nd7 {[%emt 0:00: 16]} 8. e4 {[%emt 0:00:07]} dxe4 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 9. Nxe4 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Qf4 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 10. Bd3 {[%emt 0:00:06]} e5 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 11. O-O {[%emt 0: 00:04]} Be7 {[%emt 0:00:12] All this is pretty well known and standard. And now Levon unleashed this novelty with Rae1.} 12. Rae1 $5 $146 {[%emt 0:00:04] Levon has this huge bunch of interesting novelties which he is uses one by one at these rapid games.} exd4 {[%emt 0:03:35]} 13. Bb1 $5 {[%emt 0:00:08]} O-O { [%emt 0:00:47]} 14. Ng3 {[%emt 0:00:03]} Bd8 $6 {[%emt 0:05:48] After this Black's position becomes critical mainly because his pieces are undeveloped.} ( 14... Bd6 {This might look like a playable move, but it loses to} 15. Qd3 $1 ( 15. Nf5 Nc5 $19) 15... g6 16. Re6 $3 $16 Nf6 17. Ne2 Bxe6 18. Nxf4 Bxf4 19. Qxd4 $16) (14... Nc5 {might be the best move.} 15. Qa3 Qc7 $13 16. b4 $6 Ne6 $17) 15. Qd3 {[%emt 0:00:36]} g6 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 16. h4 $1 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:04:51]} 17. h5 $1 {[%emt 0:01:11] Levon was playing very fast and had a lot of time on his clock, while his opponent Liren was taking a lot of time for his moves.} g5 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 18. Ne5 $1 {[%emt 0:03:10]} (18. Nxd4 $14) 18... Ba5 {[%emt 0:04:38]} (18... Bc7 19. Ng6 fxg6 20. Qxg6+ Kh8 21. Re7) 19. Ng6 $1 {[%emt 0:01:04]} Qd2 {[%emt 0:00:05] It seems like Black has defended himself, but White keeps the initiative going.} 20. Ne7+ {[%emt 0:06: 03]} Kg7 {[%emt 0:00:25]} (20... Kh8 21. Qf3 $18) 21. Qb3 {[%emt 0:00:58]} (21. Ngf5+ Kh8 (21... Bxf5 22. Nxf5+ Kh8 23. Qb3 Bb6 24. c5 Bxc5 25. Nxh6 $18) 22. Qb3 $16) 21... Qf4 {[%emt 0:00:53]} 22. Rd1 {[%emt 0:01:14]} (22. Nef5+ Kh8 $1 23. Re7 Bd8 $13) (22. Ngf5+ $1 Bxf5 (22... Kh8 23. g3 $1 $18) 23. Nxf5+ Kh8 24. Re7 $18) 22... Bb6 {[%emt 0:01:16]} 23. Ngf5+ {[%emt 0:06:03]} Bxf5 {[%emt 0: 00:02]} 24. Nxf5+ {[%emt 0:00:01]} Kh8 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 25. g3 $1 {[%emt 0:00: 02] A very nice little move, The black queen is out of squares near her king.} (25. Nxh6 $14) 25... Qg4 {[%emt 0:03:31]} (25... Qc7 26. Nxh6 $16) 26. Nxh6 { [%emt 0:00:04] Black's position is already very difficult, but now he blunders. } Qxh5 {[%emt 0:01:22]} (26... Qe6 27. Rde1 $18) 27. Kg2 $1 $18 {[%emt 0:00:17] A powerful move, making way for the rook to come to h1.} d3 {[%emt 0:00:04]} 28. Qc3 $1 {[%emt 0:00:48]} (28. Rh1 Qe2 $1 {was the final trick.} 29. Nf5+ Kg8 {White has no good way to defend f2 and has to make a draw.}) 28... Kg7 { [%emt 0:00:38]} 29. Nf5+ {[%emt 0:00:20]} Kg6 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 30. Rh1 { [%emt 0:00:14] A great attacking game by Levon handing Ding Liren his first defeat of the tournament.} 1-0


Start of game two of 25'+10"

Four of the greatest champions of women chess in the press room

Final moments of game two of the rapid that crowned Aronian's campaign!

The hall erupts into applause after Levon Aronian becomes the World Cup Champion!

Levon Aronian's manager Grant Akopian after the victory

[Event "FIDE World Cup 2017"] [Site "Tbilisi"] [Date "2017.09.27"] [Round "7.6"] [White "Ding, Liren"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D38"] [WhiteElo "2771"] [BlackElo "2802"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "66"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [EventType "k.o."] [EventCountry "GEO"] [SourceTitle ""] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceQuality "1"] [TimeControl "1500+10"] {Ding Liren was in a must win situation as he had lost the first game with black against Aronian.} 1. d4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:00]} 2. c4 { [%emt 0:00:00]} e6 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 3. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} d5 {[%emt 0:00:01]} 4. Nc3 {[%emt 0:00:00]} Bb4 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 5. cxd5 {[%emt 0:00:00]} exd5 { [%emt 0:00:02]} 6. Bf4 {[%emt 0:00:00]} c6 {[%emt 0:00:41]} 7. e3 {[%emt 0:00: 07]} Bf5 {[%emt 0:00:10]} 8. Be2 {[%emt 0:00:10]} O-O {[%emt 0:00:15]} 9. O-O { [%emt 0:00:02]} Be7 {[%emt 0:00:03] After this move Ding was out of his preparation as he said after the game.} 10. Nh4 {[%emt 0:00:23]} Bg6 {[%emt 0: 00:03]} 11. Nxg6 {[%emt 0:00:34]} hxg6 {[%emt 0:00:12]} 12. Qb3 {[%emt 0:00:07] } Qb6 {[%emt 0:00:41]} 13. Qc2 {[%emt 0:00:02]} (13. Qxb6 axb6 14. a4 $5 $14) 13... a5 {[%emt 0:00:44]} 14. g4 $5 {[%emt 0:00:45] This move is doubled edged. It gains space and has some aggresive intentions but Black is very solid and can defend without too much trouble.} Nbd7 {[%emt 0:01:28]} 15. g5 {[%emt 0:00: 01]} Ne8 {[%emt 0:01:53]} 16. e4 {[%emt 0:00:02] Something seems to be wrong with White's play . He first pushed the pawn in front of his king and later broke in the centre. That's what a must win game can do to you.} dxe4 {[%emt 0: 03:03]} 17. Nxe4 {[%emt 0:01:22]} (17. d5 $5 Qd8 18. Rad1 $13 Bxg5 19. Bg3 $44) 17... Qd8 {[%emt 0:00:42]} 18. h4 {[%emt 0:01:06]} Nb6 {[%emt 0:00:03]} 19. Be5 {[%emt 0:02:08]} Nd5 {[%emt 0:00:59] Over the last few moves Black has consolidated his position, but White has been able to create imbalance which helps him continue to play ambitiously.} 20. Bg4 {[%emt 0:00:52]} Kh8 $6 { [%emt 0:08:12]} (20... Nef6 $1 21. gxf6 gxf6 22. Bh2 f5 23. Bxf5 gxf5 24. Nc3 $13) (20... Nd6 21. Nc5 $14) 21. Rae1 $1 {[%emt 0:01:29] White is not just better. He has all his pieces well placed and we can hope that he could have taken advantage of it. But it was not to be.} Nef6 $5 {[%emt 0:04:31] This move is a little too late. White has a way to keep his advantage.} (21... f5 22. gxf6 gxf6 23. Ng5 fxe5 24. Ne6 Qd7 25. Qxg6 $18) 22. gxf6 {[%emt 0:03:51]} gxf6 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 23. Bh2 {[%emt 0:00:29]} (23. Bg3 f5 24. Bxf5 gxf5 25. Nc3 $1 $16 (25. Qd1 {Ding wanted to play this during the game. This move is also very strong.})) 23... f5 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 24. Bxf5 {[%emt 0:00:01]} gxf5 { [%emt 0:00:02]} 25. Qd1 {[%emt 0:00:31]} (25. Nc3 Bd6 26. Bxd6 Qxd6 27. Qxf5 $13) 25... Rg8+ {[%emt 0:00:42]} 26. Kh1 {[%emt 0:00:05]} Rg4 $1 {[%emt 0:00: 32] This move was missed by Ding Liren.} 27. Ng3 {[%emt 0:01:29]} Rxh4 { [%emt 0:00:06]} 28. Nxf5 {[%emt 0:00:35]} Rh7 {[%emt 0:01:18]} 29. Nxe7 { [%emt 0:04:24]} Nxe7 {[%emt 0:00:02]} 30. Re5 {[%emt 0:00:01] Ding would like to exchange his rooks via h5, but Levon's next move stops that.} Nf5 $1 { [%emt 0:01:28]} (30... Qd6 $1 $15) 31. Rfe1 {[%emt 0:04:37]} (31. Qg4 Qh4 32. Qxh4 Nxh4 $15) 31... Qh4 {[%emt 0:00:52]} 32. Re8+ {[%emt 0:03:21]} Kg7 $1 { [%emt 0:00:02]} (32... Rxe8 33. Rxe8+ Kg7 34. Qg1+ Kf6 $19 {Also would have won, but what Levon does is much better.}) 33. Rg1+ {[%emt 0:00:02]} Kf6 { [%emt 0:00:01] A historic game. This gave us the new World Cup champion - the first man in the history of the game to have won the World Cup twice.} 0-1

Format of the finals

The finals of the World Cup 2017 has a different format from the other rounds. Instead of the usual two classical games, we will witness four. And in case of a 2-2 tie, the match will go into the tiebreaks on 27th of September. Levon Aronian has the white pieces in game one. The winner takes home USD 120,000 (net 96,000) and the runner-up receives 80,000 (net 64,000). 

Make your predictions

A word of caution: Ding Liren after his win against Wesley So told us that he saw the predictions of his semi-final match and was not pleased to see only 25% of people thought he could win! Of course, the Chinese player proved himself by playing some fantastic chess. Noting his form in this tournament and his past record against the Armenian grandmaster, do you still think Aronian is the favourite?


A look back

When Ding Liren finished his semi-final game and was interviewed by ChessBase, the game between Aronian and MVL was in progress. Ding Liren was asked,"Who is it that you would prefer to play against in the finals?", he replied, "Against Aronian I have a plus score, while against MVL I have done very badly." It was obvious that he preferred to play against Aronian. And this is how well Ding has done against Aronian:

Ding Liren has three wins — all in classical chess, against Aronian's none, and four draws

Levon Aronian won a thriling contest against MVL in the Armageddon and qualified to the finals. Of course, we let Aronian know Ding Liren's thoughts about his final opponent. To which Levon Aronian said, "It's true I have a bad score against Ding Liren, but this is a chance to improve it!"

The two players and their path to the finals

Replay all games between Ding and Aronian


All results




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Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors

death35 death35 9/30/2017 12:55
El más grande... Levon Aronián.
Steven E DuCharm Steven E DuCharm 9/28/2017 02:09
I think 21...Nef6 is one of the greatest moves ever!
gcajaiba gcajaiba 9/28/2017 12:24
Congratulations Sagar for this amazing coverage! A job done by a chess passionate for chess passionates. The chessboard on the screen during the players comments was a great idea. Very useful for mere mortals like me that cannot follow a deep blindfold analysis. We can note that you've worked hard. You need a team! Kudos!
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 9/27/2017 06:47
To Jefferson. Good approximate candidates list. However, it appears that, following the catastrophe which happened to Vlad in the Isle of Man, it is unlikely he will qualify by ratings, and likely that Wesley will (average of monthly Fide ratings of 2017). Mamedyarov has very good chances through the Grand Prix (unlikely he does not make it), Grischuk has better chances but MVL, and maybe others, also have real chances through the Grand Prix.

If MVL misses qualification through the Grand Prix by just some little points, given that he also missed the Candidates by an Armageddon and if, in addition, he is the highest rated non-designated candidate, and considering that he never had a chance to participate, he should seriously be considered as the wild card ("should" used in equity meaning, not in probability meaning).
ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 9/27/2017 06:10
in recent tmts., aronian in many games has played h4...h5 ..playing calculative/romantic chess with great results!!
ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 9/27/2017 05:54
aronian ....a deserving winner .....ding liren....put up a great fight!
BonaFides BonaFides 9/27/2017 02:34
Evgeny should let Keti to talk. Anyway she looks gorgeous no matter whether she talks or not.
Ayman gambit Ayman gambit 9/27/2017 02:01
Why aren't there any shows about the Isle of Man ?
Sri Devagata Sri Devagata 9/24/2017 08:42
Several days I have the pleasure to follow your work directly in the press room, you are an excellent team of professionals, thank you.

The conversation today with Maya about the Indian cinema and the old actors was touching, is not it?
jefferson jefferson 9/22/2017 03:35
looks we're in for an older looking Candidates with multiple top 10 players missing this year. Here's what the lineup will probably be:


This current list would miss So, MVL, Nakamura, and Anand-- 4 players from the current top 10!
Green22 Green22 9/21/2017 09:41
Also Re8 by Aronian and MVL goes BxR and LA doesn't go RxQ+ he takes the rook? If he takes the Q with check where is blacks threats? the board is on an angle maybe i'm missing something which i'm sure I am.. I don't even see this game in the games list.
Green22 Green22 9/21/2017 09:29
Why did Aronian resign or was there a draw declared in the blitz game at the end? Video is above. MVL moves Qd5 and Aronian looks up they shake hands.
KrushonIrina KrushonIrina 9/21/2017 07:15
Broadcast is tragically amateurish.

The semis are over, so don't just sign off. Tell us when exactly the finals are, what is format, etc.

Broadcasters seem to have no sense that there is an audience of curious chess fans out there.

Just bad.
Petrosianic Petrosianic 9/21/2017 05:30
Another example of how ridiculous this tournament format is. MVL and Aronian didn't want to risk their ratings, so they simply skipped the Classical games and went straight to unrated games to decide it.
Rod Plant Rod Plant 9/21/2017 03:55
Dear Sagar, I'm following every bit of your excellent coverage. As a reader with diminished hearing, I have one request - please get an external mike!

Listen to the difference in your volume (fine) and any of the interviewees. Today I'm in a cafe with background noise and I can't make out a word Levon (usually the clearest) or Maxime are saying. Ding is shyly quiet naturally but a lapel mike or even on the table would increase the technical quality of your work considerably.

Thanks for "hearing" me lol.
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 9/20/2017 07:54
@Ayman, he went to play in the Isle of Man tournament.
vlad88 vlad88 9/19/2017 04:52
Did Wesley miss Rh2? Should have taken the knight on b3 and play for two results. Now he has to force a draw...
Ayman gambit Ayman gambit 9/19/2017 01:52
Where is GM Ivan skolov
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 9/17/2017 09:54
Quarter finals - all players more rated than their opponents pass to the following round.

The lowest rated remaining player, on the 4 of the 168 at start, is Ding Liren, world #11 (live ratings Sept. 17). In the semi-final, we will have world #2 (Aronian) against world #3 (MVL) (live ratings Sept. 17). Wesley So is world #7 (live ratings, Sept. 17).

Still not statistically significant, but not that much against statistical expectations inferred from rating.

Nevertheless, any rating system can only reflect past history - not actual level in a real game over the board in real time. Full suspense.
geraldsky geraldsky 9/17/2017 03:25
my prediction is Wesley So - MVL in the final
Peter B Peter B 9/15/2017 02:32
Fedoseev and Rapport just playing for the rapids against So and Ding Liren. You can't blame them, but it shows how this format is no way to choose a world champion,
truthadjustr truthadjustr 9/14/2017 03:51
Good win for Wesley So against Badur Jobava. But I am bit unsatisfied with the quality of his moves there, particular his Kf2,Ke2 waste.
oldsalt7 oldsalt7 9/12/2017 07:14
No disrespect to his opponents, but would surely love to see Chucky in the candidates.
libyantiger libyantiger 9/12/2017 06:12
time passes kings raise and fall......but chucky is chucky
NimzoCapa NimzoCapa 9/11/2017 11:13
I think we may be reading a lot into a performance that loses Carlsen exactly one rating point.
oldsalt7 oldsalt7 9/11/2017 07:11
Are the anti cheating measures adequate for such an important event as the FIDE World Cup?. Surely a wolf or two can exist in sheep's clothing?
anuj shrivatri anuj shrivatri 9/11/2017 01:18
I thin So will win
Fianshetto Fianshetto 9/10/2017 10:45
A 1st grade kid can speak better English than Zurab, may be FIDE should consider a change in the language skill requirements for an organizer/arbiter/director...oh wait sorry they can't they are too busy bullying chess players...
libyantiger libyantiger 9/10/2017 10:06
fiansheto i am completely agree with you .....magnus is used to play certain level of chessers ....with whom he is very well prepared and he knows how they play and thier playing styles apart from the psychological edge he already have over the high class...i cant say carlsen play is not universal that can eliminate all sorts and styles but every now and then a player with fresh prospective can deprive him from being a champion at least for a day or 2
Kilovs 2016 Kilovs 2016 9/10/2017 09:46
Go Wesley!!
koko48 koko48 9/10/2017 09:35
@anonimous The live stream is the live updates
anonimous anonimous 9/10/2017 09:26
"Live updates
During the round we will bring you regular updates — pictures, interviews, news.

Stay tuned!"

Is this for real? I have been checking this article every day and there are NEVER live updates. Any sort of update, even just the basic results, are published hours and hours after the round is over.

I understand that the time difference between Georgia and India makes it hard for the author to indeed publish live updates, but if that's the case then he shouldn't advertise it. Chessbase is making a fool of themselves with these "reports".
river77 river77 9/10/2017 07:20
My favourites are still running: Ivanchuk and Aronian!
koko48 koko48 9/10/2017 07:00
@Fianshetto I'm sure Carlsen knew going in, this format is a bit of a lottery. I applaud him for taking the risk and throwing his lot in with the "unwashed masses"....Especially because he had a lot more to lose than win, by playing
Fianshetto Fianshetto 9/10/2017 06:41
Carlsen learned a tough lesson .....As the world champion, it might not always be a good idea to play in the world cup...especially if you are used to playing only with a group of very familiar opponents as opposed to playing with the countless underrated players of the world... who still know how to swindle even the "world champion"...
KrushonIrina KrushonIrina 9/10/2017 06:29
Kovalyov ousted for wearing shorts??!!
Zurab's a clown.
Next round, in protest, everyone wear shorts!
koko48 koko48 9/10/2017 04:16
Sokolov is a great commentator, I love his analysis and sense of humor
TMMM TMMM 9/9/2017 05:01
Exit Carlsen?!
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 9/8/2017 10:12
It seems that I am not the only person to be completely lost with the list of results !!!
bonnie charles bonnie charles 9/8/2017 08:18
Artemiev,V 2692 1 1 1 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 4.5
Radjabov,T 2742 00 0 1 1 ½ ½ ½ 3.5
I have no idea about the whole system. It says the tiebreak games will have a time control of 25 minutes for each player with an addition of 10 seconds after each move. According to the table after the first two draws in classical format the next two games are played in rapid of two 25 mins games. The first game was a draw then Radjabov won so he should have won the match. Why did they continue to play? If it happened in a different way this tablebase is confusing and useless.