World Cup: Half and half

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
7/24/2021 – Exactly half the matches in both sections were decided on Friday at the World Cups in Sochi. Among those needing to return to the playing hall for Saturday’s tiebreaks is world champion Magnus Carlsen, who got a winning position but could not break through against Radoslaw Wojtaszek. | Pictured: Andrey Esipenko | Photo: Eric Rosen

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


Winning on demand

On top board, Magnus Carlsen could not win his match against Radoslaw Wojtaszek in the classical phase, as the world champion got a clearly superior position but failed to find the winning blow in the second sharp struggle of the match.


25.Rxh7 was the winning move, as after 25...fxg6 26.Qxg6 Black needs to part with his queen in order to avoid a quick mate. Surprisingly, however, the world champion missed this chance and played 25.Bc2. Wojtaszek managed to escape from what had been a miserable position after 25...Qf2 26.gxf7+ Kxf7 27.Bxf5 (27.Qe4 was stronger). A draw was agreed seven moves later.

Magnus Carlsen, Radoslaw Wojtasze

Magnus Carlsen and Radoslaw Wojtaszek | Photo: Eric Rosen

The Carlsen v Wojtaszek match will be 1 of 8 confrontations that will be decided in Saturday’s tiebreakers. They will be joined, among others, by Pavel Ponkratov and Nodirbek Abdusattorov, who scored full points on-demand against Etienne Bacrot and Vasif Durarbayli respectively.

Meanwhile, 8 players will get a rest day before the round-of-16 kicks off on Sunday:

  • Kacper Piorun knocked out Javokhir Sindarov (1½-½)
  • Jan-Krzysztof Duda knocked out Pouya Idani (1½-½)
  • Vidit Gujrathi knocked out Jeffery Xiong (2-0)
  • Vladimir Fedoseev knocked out Vladislav Kovalev (2-0)
  • Amin Tabatabaei knocked out Pentala Harikrishna (1½-½)
  • Haik Martirosyan knocked out Ante Brkic (1½-½)
  • Maxime Vachier-Lagrave knocked out Praggnanandhaa (1½-½)
  • Sam Shankland knocked out Rinat Jumabayev (1½-½)

Sam Shankland

Sam Shankland | Photo: Eric Rosen 

All games - Round 4, Day 2 


Replay all the games from the World Cup at

Much like in the open section — but in a field of half the size — 2 players scored wins on-demand to take their matches to tiebreaks in the women’s section, as Aleksandra Goryachkina and Nana Dzagnidze won with white to level the score against Antoaneta Stefanova and Polina Shuvalova respectively.


Dzagnidze found 17.Bxh6 in the above position, and went on to score a remarkable 27-move victory over Shuvalova.

On the other hand, 4 players who came from drawing on Thursday scored wins in game 2 to secure a spot in the event’s quarterfinals:

  • Anna Muzychuk knocked out Elisabeth Paehtz (1½-½)
  • Alexandra Kosteniuk knocked out Mariya Muzychuk (1½-½)
  • Valentina Gunina knocked out Nino Batsiashvili (1½-½)
  • Tan Zhongyi knocked out Sarasadat Khademalsharieh (1½-½)

Anna Muzychuk, Elisabeth Paehtz

Good friends — Anna Muzychuk and Elisabeth Paehtz | Photo: Anastasiia Korolkova

All games - Round 4, Day 2


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

Endgame analyses by GM Karsten Müller

Looking at Friday’s games, our in-house specialist found 3 instructive positions that highly differ from each other. In the Russian duel between Andrey Esipenko and Daniil Dubov, the latter managed to hold a draw with knight and pawn against rook and pawn.


Details matter — GM Müller shows why Esipenko’s 69.Kd5 was not the most precise, while 69.Kd4 would have won the game with correct play in the ensuing position!

The remaining two positions see Elisabeth Paehtz failing to defend in a rook position against her friend Anna Muzychuk, and Nodirbek Abdusattorov activating his king to beat Vasif Durarbayli in an ending with rooks and bishops on the board.



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.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register