FIDE World Cup 2017: Aronian and Ivanchuk set up round five clash!

by Sagar Shah
9/14/2017 – We have 16 players in Tbilisi playing the fourth round of the World Cup 2017. Three of them (Aronian, Ivanchuk and Ding Liren) advanced to round five, three of them (Dubov, Giri and Wang Hao) got eliminated, and ten players will play in the tiebreaks. Aronian played the longest game of the day, breaking Dubov's fortress after 91 moves. Ivanchuk drew a winning game against Giri, but it was good enough to make it to the quarterfinals and Ding Liren showed technical superiority to down his countryman Wang Hao. | Photos: Amruta Mokal

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Aronian, Ivanchuk & Ding advance

World Cup

Aronian gets by Dubov

GM Simon Williams took a look at this game on our nightly World Cup round-up show:

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Levon Aronian vs Daniil Dubov

How difficult are chess endings? Let's have a look at the very interesting endgame reached by Levon Aronian against Daniil Dubov. This position was reached after 45 moves in Aronian-Dubov:


It's very easy to just brush off this problem by saying White will bring his king up the board, push black's king behind, win the g-pawn and go back home with the full point. And yes, when you start making the moves, I agree that the following position is easy to reach.


But now what? How should White win this game? Look closely at the position, the bishop will keep moving on the b1-h7 diagonal and White has to make progress. Rc7+ is met with Kg6 (guarding the f6) square. It's a nice position to think about and learn a few things about the endgame. Just so that you would not see the solution, I have given the analysis and explanation at the end of the article.

Levon Aronian advances to round five where he will meet Ivanchuk

A short chat with Levon Aronian after the game:


Sagar Shah (SS): Levon, these young Russian players are giving you a tough time. First Matlakov and now Dubov.

Levon Aronian (LA): Yes, it was never going to be easy at the World Cup. Both of them fought really hard but I am glad that I was able to beat them and advance to the fifth round.

SS: This idea with h6 and e6 after the opening looked really dangerous.

LA: Yes, it was a very dangerous idea for myself. I nearly landed in a losing position! If he would have played Rac8 instead of taking on d4 later I would have been in a lot of difficulties.

SS: Levon, everyone is curious to know about the cat t-shirt that you wore in your tiebreaks against Matlakov.

Why did Aronian wear the cat shirt?

LA: Well, you know I always come to World Cups with lot of clothes in the hope that if I keep advancing to the next rounds I will need a lot of them to wear. However, except for the one time that I won the World Cup, I had to always leave early making my clothes useless. So this time I decided that I would carry less clothes with me. As it turned out before the tiebreaks with Maxim, I had very few options available and I decided to wear this t-shirt. I am very much looking forward to my rest day tomorrow to go shopping and buy some new clothes."

SS: Ding Liren said that he was going to wash his clothes tomorrow on the rest day.

LA: Yes, I think I would also be doing something similar!

Vladimir Fedoseev vs Maxim Rodshtein

One thing that Vishy Anand and Magnus Carlsen had in common this past week was how they were eliminated: losing game one, with the white pieces, in their respective matches. Even though their opponents were rated more than a hundred points below them it was just impossible to create chances with the black pieces. However, Maxim Rodshtein was not only able to create chances with black, but also exploit them against higher rated opponent Vladimir Fedoseev.

The Russians having a nice time together as Rodshtein prepares himself for the battle

"My main intention was to choose a fighting opening," says Maxim. "I was quite irritated by my play in the first game because I was doing quite well until a point where I clearly went wrong. My opponent played a little too safely in the opening. In general it makes sense to play for a win even when you need a draw in this tournament. Because playing for a draw often puts you in an awkward situation. I was not better out of the opening, but I got this interesting option of taking on e5 with the bishop and creating some imbalance. In the end my opponent could have defended the rook endgame better, but it's very difficult to do it practice."


The tiebreaks between Rodshtein and Fedoseev are surely going to be very interesting. 

Anish Giri vs Vassily Ivanchuk

Anish Giri had been having a topsy turvy tournament here. He saved many a losing positions. Today he once again landed in a bad position against Vassily Ivanchuk.

Giri's luck ran out

A very interesting moment in the match. Anish Giri offers a draw to Ivanchuk. If Chucky accepts it, he would progress to the next round. However, the Ukranian GM had a winning position and he decided to continue playing

Anish defended staunchly and managed to create huge technical problems for Ivanchuk. Finally Chucky decided force a draw and he was happy to find a perpetual check to Anish's king.

The final draw from Ivanchuk captured in this video

One of the best qualities of Giri is that he doesn't get too flustered by the result. He keeps his calm and analyzes with the opponent.

Ivanchuk speaks about his win in the match. At the end he is asked the question what chess means to him. Check out what he has to say?

Ding Liren vs Wang Hao

Wang Hao played a strong tournament to knock out Boris Gelfand in round two. He also played well in the third round against Martyn Kravtsiv. However, he was knocked out in the fourth round. Ding Liren beat Wang Hao and advanced to the fifth round. It is for the first time that Ding Liren has gone this far in the World Cup. Last year he was eliminated by Wei Yi in the fourth round.

One of the two remaining Chinese had to go out this round

Is this Ding's year?


Ding speaks about his win over Wang and also tell us his plans for the rest day: to wash some clothes!

Baadur Jobava vs Wesley So

You have the spectators area filled with people because their local star Baadur Jobava is playing top class chess

Baadur had Wesley So in great trouble, but in the end the American managed to hold

Baadur clearly not happy with the draw against Wesley

A pleasant surprise for Alexander Grischuk as he meets and chats with Viktorija Cmylite-Nielsen. Did you know Viktorija is the wife of Peter Heine Nielsen and works in the Parliament of Lithuania?

Viktorija Cmylite speaks about her life in politics and chess

Alexander Grischuk made a quick draw against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. The two will play in the tiebreaks now.

Everyone in the around the playing hall are hooked onto chess. Here you see the guards trying to follow the game of Baadur Jobava.

Zurab and Nona Gaprindashvili discussing the game of their local hope Baadur Jobava

The press room from where you get all the information related to this tournament in various websites and newspapers!

The official commentators Keti Tsatsalashvili and Ivan Sokolov chat with Sagar Shah

Solution to Aronian vs Dubov


If you look closely at the position you will see that you can always force the black king to g6 with a check. After that is done, the bishop on b1 is left with five squares: b1,c2,d3,e4,f5.

White has the king and rook which will try to take squares away from the bishop. However at any given point of time, the rook can take away two squares from the bishop and the king can also do the same. That leaves the bishop with one extra square. This work has to be delegated to the g-pawn.

Hence the ideal setup would be rook to b2, king to d4 and pawn to g4. All the squares on the b1-h7 diagonal are covered (as the black king is on g6) and the bishop has to move off the diagonal.


I think the important thing to know in this position is that you have to push your pawn to g4. If you don't do that you will not be able to win. In the actual game Aronian made a lot of mistakes and was not able to find the winning plan. He won the game when his opponent blundered. A very thematic and interesting position.


All results


Replay all games of round 4:



Sagar is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder and CEO of ChessBase India, the biggest chess news portal in the country. His YouTube channel has over a million subscribers, and to date close to a billion views. ChessBase India is the sole distributor of ChessBase products in India and seven adjoining countries, where the software is available at a 60% discount. compared to International prices.


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