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

BeachBum2 BeachBum2 9/8/2017 07:34
This tournament is fun to watch, with players actually somewhat forced to play to win!
The table with results is confusing though... for example,
Erdos 1/2, 0, 1/2, 1/2,
Svidler 1/2, 1, 1/2, 1/2,
I normally read left to right, but this seem to be right to left (first, classical games on the left)?
oldsalt7 oldsalt7 9/8/2017 06:16
Hou Yifan has become very strong in Classical chess. But she has some way to go in faster time controls. Judith is still Queen in that department. Hope to see a Chinese ( Ding? ) in the candidates.
Petrosianic Petrosianic 9/8/2017 04:12
The FIDE Lottery is generating even more random results than ever. I don't think we've ever seen two Top 10 players knocked out as early as Round 2.

They should eliminate this tournament and pick one candidate with a round of Pin the Tail on the Donkey.
Steven E DuCharm Steven E DuCharm 9/7/2017 11:22
Anand/Roman Reigns was defeated by Kovalyov/John Cena
KevinC KevinC 9/7/2017 07:58
Karjakin also out...big names.
VVI VVI 9/7/2017 04:09
what makes it tragic, is Anand`s opponent is a part time chess player.
VVI VVI 9/7/2017 04:06
Anand is eliminated from the world cup in the 2nd round itself. That`s the first time in 10 years he will be out of the world championship or Candidates tournament.
bondsergey bondsergey 9/6/2017 08:44
Another young talent plays Karyakin. Sergey was very unlucky in the draw.
macauley macauley 9/6/2017 05:16
@treetown No recent games should be to the right. But this is a relatively new feature coming from the system, so feedback like this is most welcome. The advantage is that results will always be current on pageload.
treetown treetown 9/5/2017 11:17
The All Results table is confusing. Are the most recent games between players on the left hand side?
Aighearach Aighearach 9/5/2017 10:10
Claiming that equal rating + black pieces makes a player an "underdog" is absurd, and the claim that it is not an editorial judgment is a falsehood.
macauley macauley 9/4/2017 09:17
@nbeqo - Strictly on the basis of equal rating and winning with black. It's not an editorial judgement. But point taken that when players are more or less equal in rating the term has little meaning. But where else could this result go? In the "expected" table? Then it becomes subjective, whereas the point was to provide a comprehensive overview (also why no results are omitted).
nbeqo nbeqo 9/3/2017 09:40
How can you call Dreev's win an upset? Dreev is a legend in chess!
Malcom Malcom 9/3/2017 09:32
I like your system of giving results... good idea!