World Cup - Express report

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
7/23/2021 – Half the matches in the open section of the FIDE World Cup finished decisively on Thursday, with Kacper Piorun (pictured), Vidit, Vasif Durarbayli and Sam Shankland scoring crucial wins with the black pieces. In the women’s section, Antoaneta Stefanova and Polina Shuvalova won their first games in the round-of-16. | Replay the games played today and find links to all relevant information. Full report to follow shortly. | Photo: Anastasiia Korolkova

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Round 4, Day 1

The World Cup and the Women’s World Cup are taking place from July 10 to August 8 at the Gazprom Mountain Resort in Sochi. The open event includes 206 players, while the women’s tournament includes half that amount: 103 participants.

The two finalists of the open event will qualify for the 2022 FIDE Candidates Tournament, while the three best players of the women’s competition will get spots in the FIDE Women’s Candidates Tournament.

All matches consist of two classical games and, in case of a tie, a playoff that takes place on the third day.

Open tournament - Highlights from Day 10

As it is often the case, Magnus Carlsen’s game was the main attraction in Thursday’s round of classical games. The world champion had the black pieces against Radoslaw Wojtaszek, and a highly enticing position appeared on the board in the middlegame, with both players giving up material before entering a dynamic, imbalanced battle nearing the time control. The game suddenly came to an end on move 35, when the world champion offered a draw, which was understandably accepted by his opponent.

Out of the 16 games played, 8 finished with decisive results. The biggest upset rating-wise was Amin Tabatabaei beating Pentala Harikrishna with the white pieces.

Meanwhile, three players that upset elite grandmasters in the previous round kicked off the fourth round with losses — Rinat Jumabayev (knocked out Fabiano Caruana) was defeated by Sam Shankland, Nodirbek Abdusattorov (Anish Giri) lost against Vasif Durarbayli, while Javokhir Sindarov (Alireza Firouzja) was beaten by Kacper Piorun.

The remaining four winners of the day:

  • Etienne Bacrot beat Pavel Ponkratov 
  • Vidit Gujrathi beat Jeffery Xiong
  • Vladimir Fedoseev beat Vladislav Kovalev
  • Haik Martirosyan beat Ante Brkic

All games - Round 4, Day 1 


Replay all the games from the World Cup at

Women’s tournament - Highlights from Day 10

The 16 surviving participants in the women’s section are 3 match victories away from reaching the Candidates, and 2 of them kicked off the round-of-16 with a win.

Former women’s world champion Antoaneta Stefanova made the most of Aleksandra Goryachkina’s blunder to score a crucial win with the white pieces, while 20-year-old Polina Shuvalova beat Nana Dzagnidze, also with white — Dzagnidze had also lost her first game in the previous round, against Carissa Yip, before bouncing back with three straight wins to convincingly prevail in that match.

In the most lopsided match rating-wise, 17-year-old Kazakhstani IM Bibisara Assaubayeva held second seed Kateryna Lagno to a draw with the black pieces.

All games - Round 4, Day 1


Replay all the games from the Women’s World Cup at


Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.
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Michael Jones Michael Jones 7/19/2021 10:37
Nice attempt at a swindled stalemate by Tari. Pity for him it didn't work!
Kasparov100 Kasparov100 7/19/2021 11:29
I think we should stop always searching for excuses and try to establish workarounds if someone - we are fond of? - failed. The Fischer time increments were invented to avoid the loss of a game just out of time reasons. We now have it, now even that is Not enough? But as a matter of fact you have to move fast, when you before took to much time for your other moves at the beginning of the game. A wise old chess player said: ‚Loss of the game due to endless thinking‘. One has to adjust and not always search for excuses. There was a discussion recently, if a chess pro who makes an obvious mouse slip in an online Game, should be allowed to take back the move, even at least we expect nowadays an excuse from the lucky winner, because ‚he only has won the game due to the mouse slip of his opponent‘. So come one! In reality these discussions are rubbish! Why? For instance in an online game you are generally able to execute much more moves than in an OTB game with the same time controll. You have the advantage of ‚per-moving‘ and so on. And then those players who lose a game due to a mouse slip, considering the above facts and therefore having more than ususal time to execute there moves properly on the screen, that no mouse slip can happen, begin to complain bitterly ‚asking‘ their opponents for understanding and so on. Its only a matter of degenerated ‚Zeitgeist‘, but not for real reasons...
bbrodinsky bbrodinsky 7/18/2021 10:44
Followed Carissa Yip's game. What a midgame battle! Impressive win for a 17-year old.
EL2400 EL2400 7/18/2021 01:25
• The match between Olga Badelka and Ana Matnadze was decided in Armageddon. Badelka "won" with white to advance to round 3.
to watch at least from 6:18:50.
The video including the moments of the that game. Time was 5m vs 4m (+ 3s/61).
The last 2 moves of Olga Badelka were illegal and she had less time , the pieces fall and she put the N on Na4 and not on Na5!
Because of that illegal moves the right decision of the result was at least a draw and a win in the match for Ana Matnadze.
I think that women should get more time in Armageddon blitz/ 5m vs 4m + increment of 4s from move 40 or 30!!
Few reasons: Because they are much less pro than the men and because their standard are lower. And yes, also because they are women!!
ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 7/17/2021 07:44
Impressive win by Magnus over Martinovic...
ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 7/17/2021 07:43
Well done, Pragganandha, NIhal, Adhiban, Gukesh.....
Michael Jones Michael Jones 7/16/2021 10:46
This is a seriously impressive performance from Ravi Haria - only an IM himself but he's already knocked out one 2600+ GM and with this comeback win has given himself a chance of repeating the feat. Makes me wonder why he's the only English player in the tournament - no Adams, Short, Howell, McShane, Jones etc.?
tip4success tip4success 7/13/2021 12:12
The game between Andersen and Salinas is well worth playing over, nicely played!
stierlitz stierlitz 7/13/2021 09:47
I doubt that news about 25oo+ player beating another 2500+ qualifies to be called a highlight.
ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 7/13/2021 05:41
best wishes to the young Indian army!
basalaziz basalaziz 7/13/2021 01:38
Go Puteri Munajjah go!