FIDE World Cup 2017: Flawless Aronian crushes Chucky

by Sagar Shah
9/15/2017 – It was a day of three draws and one brilliant game. The two draws between Fedoseev-So and Rapport-Ding were very short. The fight between Svidler and MVL was intense, but at the end they also decided to split the point. It was Levon Aronian who stole the show with a very nice pawn sacrifice in the opening followed by purposeful and dynamic play. Ivanchuk looked completely off-colour and had to resign in 24 moves. We have pictures, Aronian's video explaining his win and in-depth analysis. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

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Aronian wins, three draws

World Cup

Results of Quarter-finals, game one


Aronian vs Ivanchuk

This was the most anticipated match-up of the quarter-finals. Ivanchuk was in the best form of his life knocking out players like Vladimir Kramnik and Anish Giri. Levon Aronian on the other hand is always a class act and is capable of creating a masterpiece on any given day.

Ivanchuk and Aronian show respect towards each other. In the first photo Aronian arrives to the board and Ivanchuk gets up to greet him. In the second image the game is about to begin and Aronian gets up from his seat slightly to shake hands. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Everyone had expected a tough fight between the two gladiators, but it turned out to be an utterly one-sided contest. Ivanchuk was simply blown off the board by the Armenian grandmaster. How did this happen? Let's try to find out.

The first critical moment of the game came as early as move 11. Vassily had played in ambitious fashion with the black pieces, simply neglecting his kingside development. If there was one thing that was absolutely neccessary for Black to play, after having made the moves Nd7 and Rc8, was c5. And hence when Levon played the move 10.d4 Ivanchuk had to play c5, or simply accept a worse position. He did go for ...c5, but only after 42 minutes of thought!


Of course, Levon reacted with 11.d5! in just 15 seconds. The main idea is to get Queen's Indian kind of play after 11...exd5 12.Nh4! The Ukrainian grandmaster was not only in trouble but also low on time. He made one weak move after another and within 24 moves it was all over. When we asked Levon if this was his easiest game of the tournament. He thought for a while and said, "Maybe!".


Levon Aronian speaks about his brilliant win over Ivanchuk

Developing the initiative

Dynamic play is what makes your chess effective and most importantly fun! Timur Gareyev shows severeal examples which aspects are important to remember when seizing for the initiative!

When you play a game like that, the chances of you getting mobbed are good, but if your name is Levon Aronian, then it is for sure! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Media houses were waiting to get Aronian's thoughts on not only the game, but also the tournament and other general stuff | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Svidler vs Vachier-Lagrave

Peter Svidler and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave have a similar opening repertoire. Both are experts in the Gruenfeld and hence there was some sort of dance going on in the first few moves, where both the players were trying to get the other into an uncomfortable position.

Svidler and MVL preparing to engage in an "opening dance" | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Peter had all the reasons to be upset with himself for botching up such a promising position. He did everything right in the opening and soon got a position that was extremely comfortable.


The only problem for Svidler was the pawn hanging on h4. He could have given it up and taken the pawn on c5, but he wanted to preserve it. After all c5 was a weakness, why not win it for free. He wasn't wrong. But it just gave Maxime enough time to setup some sort of a defensive fortress. A few inaccuracies and the game was already heading towards a draw.

We started with 64 boards, and are down to four now! | Photo: Amruta Mokal


MVL and Svidler share their thoughts after the game

If both of them win their matches, it will be Svidler versus Aronian in the semi-finals! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The other two games of the day hardly had any fights. Vladimir Fedoseev got absolutely nothing against Wesley So's Petroff and agreed to a draw in 19 moves. Richard Rapport fared even worse and just drew in eleven moves with the white pieces.

As Wesley explained in his interview after round four tiebreaks, the best thing about the Petroff is that you get it on move two. Very hard for White to avoid it. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Ding Liren took off his national team jacket for the game and we didn't miss his choice of t-shirt! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Coach of the Chinese national team Xu Jun and Vladimir Fedoseev's friend Marat Biktiakov | Photo: Amruta Mokal

I would say Ding Liren is an opponent against whom all the players have to tread carefully. He not only has the coach Xu Jun backing him but I see many of the Chinese players still in the hotel. Most notably Wei Yi, Bu Xiangzhi and Wang Hao. It could be quite possible that they are all helping Ding Liren to prepare. If that is the case he has the strongest team of seconds one can possibly have at this point of time!

But smartly dressed Richard Rapport is a guy whose openings are absolutely impossible to guess! It's going to be a interesting game two between Ding Liren and the Hungarian grandmaster | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Can you guess who the lady in the centre is? Hint: She is a famous tennis player! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The arbiters who work hard day and night to ensure the success of the tournament. From left to right: Faig Gasanov, Marika Japaridze and Ashot Vardapetyan | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Video impressions at the start of round five, game one

Famous chess photographer Lennart Ootes speaks about his colourful life in the world of 64 squares

Make your predictions:






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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