World Cup 4.2: Giants sent home

by Alejandro Ramirez
9/21/2015 – Three of the top-10 players in the World were sent home today as they lost their matches in Baku. Svidler knocked out Topalov, giving a draw in a probably winning position after the Bulgarian made a series of mistakes. Caruana was unable to win against Mamedyarov and the tournament is over for him. Wesley So was also elminated: a big mistake led to a difficult endgame that MVL converted.

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World Cup

10th September – 5th October

Baku, Azerbaijan

Round Four - Game Two

Plenty of results, and plenty of fighting chess! Four people have been sent home, including the top seed:

Veselin Topalov will say bye to Baku after today's game

[Event "FIDE World Cup 2015"] [Site "Baku AZE"] [Date "2015.09.21"] [Round "4.2"] [White "Topalov, Veselin"] [Black "Svidler, Peter"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C84"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/2b2kp1/qNn1pn1p/p1P1p3/R3P3/2B3NP/Q4PPK/3r4 w - - 0 38"] [PlyCount "9"] [EventDate "2015.09.11"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 38. Bxa5 {White has a slight edge, but this disappears quickly!} Qb5 39. Nc4 ( 39. Qc4 $1) 39... Nxa5 40. Nxa5 Qxc5 41. Nb3 $2 (41. Nc4 $11 {Black's structure is bad but he is very active. Svidler should hold.}) 41... Qc3 42. Ra7 $4 {Probably this move came with a draw offer. Svidler took it, though he is winning:} (42. Ra7 Qe1 43. Rxc7+ Kg6 {White is getting mated and his knight is trapped. For example:} 44. Nf5 Qg1+ 45. Kg3 Nh5+ 46. Kf3 Rd3+ 47. Ne3 Nf4 { and White will soon be mated on g2.}) 1/2-1/2

Peter Svidler will be facing the winner of Wei Yi and Ding Liren. The duel between the Chinese players is not over as Wei Yi won and foces the tiebreak:

[Event "FIDE World Cup 2015"] [Site "Baku AZE"] [Date "2015.09.21"] [Round "4.2"] [White "Wei, Yi"] [Black "Ding, Liren"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C84"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/4r2k/3p1R2/1p1P2qp/1P1QP3/6P1/7K/8 w - - 0 53"] [PlyCount "55"] [EventDate "2015.09.11"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 53. Qf2 Kg7 54. Rxd6 h4 $1 {Resilience!} 55. Kh3 (55. gxh4 Qe5+ 56. Qg3+ Qxg3+ 57. Kxg3 Rxe4 58. h5 Rxb4 {is not that clear.}) 55... hxg3 56. Qf5 Qxf5+ 57. exf5 Re4 58. Rg6+ Kf7 59. Rxg3 Rxb4 60. Rd3 Rc4 61. d6 Rc8 $2 {Perhaps the losing move.} (61... Ke8 62. f6 (62. d7+ Kd8 63. f6 (63. Kg3 Rc7 $11) 63... Rf4 $11) 62... Rf4 63. d7+ Kd8 64. Rd6 b4 65. Kg3 Rf1 66. Kg4 b3 67. Rb6 Kxd7 $11) 62. Kg4 Kf6 63. Kf4 b4 64. Ke4 Rb8 65. Kd5 $2 (65. Rb3 $1 $18 {was far easier. The point is to first play d7 and Kd5-c6, only then take on b4.}) 65... b3 66. d7 b2 67. Rb3 Rxb3 68. d8=Q+ Kxf5 {it is amazing, but White has no way of winning the rook. Wei Yi tries to create as many problems as possible.} 69. Qd7+ Kg5 70. Qe7+ Kg4 71. Qe4+ Kg3 72. Qg6+ Kh4 $2 (72... Kf4 $1 {is a draw. I cannot explain why, it all comes down to a forced series of check sequences that humans are incapable of properly calculating. The computers understand these kind of positions, we simply don't.}) 73. Qb1 {The chess board is big, but not big enough for the rook to hide.} Kg5 74. Kc4 Rb8 75. Qg1+ Kf5 76. Qc5+ Kg4 77. Qd4+ Kf3 78. Qf6+ Ke4 79. Qe6+ Kf3 80. Qf5+ {White picks up the rook very soon.} 1-0

Wesley So, another giant, was eliminated today

MVL is through - he took advantage of So's badly coordinated pieces:

[Event "FIDE World Cup 2015"] [Site "Baku AZE"] [Date "2015.09.21"] [Round "4.2"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A33"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "136"] [EventDate "2015.09.11"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Bf4 d5 7. e3 Bb4 8. Be2 O-O 9. O-O Bxc3 10. bxc3 Re8 11. Bg5 h6 12. Bxf6 Qxf6 13. cxd5 exd5 14. Qb3 Rd8 15. Bf3 Na5 16. Qb5 Qb6 17. Qxb6 axb6 18. Rfb1 Nc4 19. Rb4 Ra3 20. Nb5 Ra5 21. h3 Bd7 {So has a bit of a bind in the position. His structure is slightly better and generally he has good pieces. However, here he underestimates Black's activity.} 22. Bxd5 (22. a4 $1 $14 {Would have seen the American press for a while.}) 22... Ne5 {Perhaps So missed this, only expecting The weird thing about the position is that White couldn't save the piece...} (22... Nxe3 23. fxe3 Bxb5 24. Bxb7 $16) 23. Re4 (23. Nc7 Rc8 $19) (23. Nd4 Rxd5 $19) (23. c4 Bxb5 $19) 23... Ng6 24. Bxf7+ {This is the best try} Kxf7 25. Nd6+ Kg8 26. Nxb7 Bc6 $1 {An important resource, otherwise White is better.} 27. Rd4 Rxd4 28. Nxa5 Rd6 29. Nxc6 Rxc6 {Unforuntately for So he is down a piece here. His three pawns don't compensate and this will be quite a bit of suffering, though with perfect play I suspect this position is a draw.} 30. a4 Rxc3 31. a5 bxa5 32. Rxa5 Rc1+ 33. Kh2 Rc2 34. Kg3 Nf8 35. h4 Nd7 36. Kf3 Kh7 37. Rf5 Nc5 38. g4 Nd3 39. Kg3 g6 40. Rf7+ Kg8 41. Rf6 Kg7 42. g5 {It is hard to say where the American went wrong. I have a hunch that this move should be looked at more closely, as I believe it is a mistake to lock the structure like this. Karsten Muller will definitely take a look at this endgame for ChessBase Magazine with the truth of the position.} (42. Ra6 $1 Rc7 (42... Nxf2 $1 43. Ra7+ Kf6 44. Ra6+ Ke5 45. Rxg6 Ne4+ 46. Kh3 Re2 47. Rxh6 Rxe3+ 48. Kg2 Kf4 49. Rh7 Re2+ 50. Kh3 {And I don't yet see how Black wins, though it looks very scary.}) 43. Rd6 $15) 42... h5 43. f3 Ne1 44. e4 Rc3 45. Kf2 Nd3+ 46. Kg3 Ne5 47. Kg2 Rc6 48. Rxc6 Nxc6 49. f4 Kf7 50. Kf3 Ke6 51. Ke3 Kd6 52. Kd2 Kc5 53. Kd3 Kb4 54. Kd2 Kc4 55. Ke3 Kc5 56. Kd3 Nd8 57. Ke3 Nf7 58. Kd3 Nd6 59. Ke3 Kc4 60. f5 Ne8 61. fxg6 Ng7 62. e5 Kd5 63. Kf4 Kd4 64. e6 Kd5 65. e7 Ke6 66. Ke4 Kxe7 67. Ke5 Ke8 68. Kd5 Kd7 0-1

Daniel King takes a look at the game So vs Vachier-Lagrave

Wojtaszek-Giri never looked like the Dutch was in any sort of problems. He comfortably equalized in the Slav and tomorrow they will have their tiebreak.

Also going into a tiebreak with two draws in the classical games are Jakovenko and Eljanov. They played 60 moves in a Catalan, but it didn't seem as if any player was making any kind of progress at any point.

You have to value their commitment

Naka had no issues defending today in a Berlin against...

The last remaining American in the competition had some nice things to say about his opponent:

From Nakamura's official Facebook page

Caruana had some chances for an advantage in a rather complicated Open Spanish vs. Mamedyarov, but he misplayed the position and at some point it was Black who was better. Not taking any risks, the Azerbaijani forced a perpetual to win the match 1.5-0.5 and send Caruana home.

If you bet that Karjakin's game today would end in anything but a draw, you are not a very good betting man. The players barely tried to create something over the board (just like yesterday) and will decide their fortune in the tiebreaks.

All Round 4.2 Games

Round Four Pairings

Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
V. Topalov (BUL) 2816
0
½
              0.5
Peter Svidler (RUS) 2727
1
½
              1.5
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Ding Liren (CHN) 2782
1
0
              1.0
Wei Yi (CHN) 2734
0
1
              1.0
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Anish Giri (NED) 2793
½
½
              1.0
Radoslawj Wojtaszek (POL) 2741
½
½
              1.0
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Wesley So (USA) 2773
½
0
              0.5
M. Vachier-Lagrave 2744
½
1
              1.5
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 2814
1
½
              1.5
Michael Adams (ENG) 2742
0
½
              0.5
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Pavel Eljanov (UKR) 2717
½
½
              1.0
Dmitry Jakovenko (RUS) 2748
½
½
              1.0
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Fabiano Caruana (USA) 2808
0
½
              0.5
S. Mamedyarov (AZE) 2736
1
½
              1.5
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Dmitry Andreikin (RUS) 2720
½
½
              1.0
Sergey Karjakin (RUS) 2762
½
½
              1.0

Photos and information from the official website and their Facebook page

Links

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Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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Samuel Abrash Samuel Abrash 9/22/2015 11:23
I'm shocked that the Giants were sent home. I thought they played baseball, not chess!
DPLeo DPLeo 9/22/2015 06:37
"Chvsanchez 9/21/2015 08:25
In the Topalov-Svidler game, it would be impolite to refuse the draw offer."

Impolite?? Isn't it impolite to offer a draw when your opponent has a forced win on the board?
SisyphusRedux SisyphusRedux 9/22/2015 03:42
The 1996 DeFirmian–Adams game that Nakamura watched was memorable. GM John Fedorowicz, who was a contemporary and buddy of DeFirmian, says Nick used to go on for hours about how to defeat the Marshall Gambit - until that game: 0–1 in 32. http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1014759
karavamudan karavamudan 9/22/2015 03:59
MVL is a quiet and gentlemanly player and sometimes nice guys do win. (Not that others are nasty). Nowadays chess players behave in a gentlemanly fashion - thanks to influence of Vishy Anand
yesenadam yesenadam 9/22/2015 03:01
Yuan: Ramirez obviously has an unreasonable bias towards So. 8|
But seriously.. Larsen and Moro are 'legends'. I take your point, So is young and a newcomer to the chess stratosphere. But come back in 10 years, is there any doubt he will be a fully-fledged giant? 'Young giant' then perhaps.. although most giants are, nowadays.
Yuan Mei Yuan Mei 9/22/2015 01:38
There's something facile about calling So a giant. What would you call Larsen or Morozevich, then, to name but two?
babycroc babycroc 9/22/2015 01:04
I'm surprised you should refer to So as a 'giant'. He is certainly higher rated than MVL at the moment, but MVL has been an elite player for longer, and one could argue that while it was an evenly-matched bout, if anything it would be an upset if MVL lost. (Despite the ratings.) They're both great talents, and I'm only quibbling about the 'giant' tag. Please don't use it if an 'upset' takes place down the road. No one is a 'giant' in relative terms anymore.
KevinC KevinC 9/21/2015 09:30
@Karbuncle, it just seems like it was questioned why he did not see the win...he did not have to.
KrushonIrina KrushonIrina 9/21/2015 08:38
Classy remarks by Naka, the sole remaining American in the Round of 8.
Chvsanchez Chvsanchez 9/21/2015 08:25
In the Topalov-Svidler game, it would be impolite to refuse the draw offer.
idratherplay960 idratherplay960 9/21/2015 08:20
Best guess after watching all the rounds is that Karjakin, Wei Yi, Jakovenko, and Giri will come through. Giri is never in trouble, Wei Yi has the speed and nerves, Dmitry and Karjakin will have it tougher but should show their class.
Karbuncle Karbuncle 9/21/2015 07:59
Kevin, you are of course correct, but it would be remiss not to at least evaluate the final position when writing about how the game ended.
KevinC KevinC 9/21/2015 07:50
In the Topalov-Svidler game, it is great if you see the mate, but the goal is to win the match, and a draw offer there achieved the goal with no chance to have a horrible blunder happen.
scoobeedo scoobeedo 9/21/2015 07:34
I am not sure that this ever has happened before in the chess history.

If you go at this moment to the webpage www.2700chess.com which all of us know, the top six players in the world lost ranking points. I have never seen this before.

I am happy to see MVL in the next days back in the Top Ten. The reason is simple, he belongs to the Top Ten.
Unfortunately is it soooo easy to lose rating points and a very hard work to get them back. Well done, MVL.
maestrocalcio maestrocalcio 9/21/2015 06:52
Great round, i'm curious if Wesley So is american cittizen now or he just changed chess federation? Changing chess federation and to represent another country is a simple procedure, while becoming american is something else. Why don't you call him Wesley So, simply ? But i like your articles and videos, thanks Alejandro for the hard work.
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