World Cup: Radjabov wins World Cup in blitz!

by ChessBase
10/4/2019 – Teimour Radjabov qualified to the next Candidates Tournament by knocking out Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the classical phase of the World Cup semi-finals, which meant he had an extra rest day heading into the final match against Ding Liren. In parallel, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is facing Yu Yangyi in the match for third place. Live games and commentary from 10:0 UTC (12 Noon CEST / 6:00 AM EDT). | Photo: FIDE

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Final and 3rd place matches, Tiebreaks

The FIDE World Cup is taking place in Khanty-Mansiysk. It is a seven-round knock-out event for 128 players, with a total prize fund of US$ 1.6 million and a first prize of US$ 110,000. The matches consist of two classical games with a time control of 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move. The finals consist of four classical games. Full schedule.


Tie-breaks of the FIDE World Cup Final and 3rd place match were played on October 4 in Khanty-Mansiysk.

Teimour Radjabov had White in the first rapid game. An advantage passed from one player to another a few times, yet the game ended in a draw. The second game took a calmer course and also ended peacefully.

In the first 10-minute game Radjabov got an advantage as Black, but Ding Liren managed to survive. The second 10-minute game also ended in a draw.

In the first blitz game Radjabov, playing Black, outplayed his opponent in a minor piece ending. In the return game, the Chinese grandmaster tried to mount a comeback but was eventually defeated as well.

Thus, the score in the Final is 6-4 in favor of Teimour Radjabov, and he becomes the winner of the 2019 FIDE World Cup.

In the 3rd place match, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave celebrated a convincing victory in the first game, playing White. The Chinese player was unable to alter the course of the match in the second game, losing as White in 24 moves. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave wins the bronze of the World Cup.

In an interview afterward, the Frenchman said he is very happy about his play in the rapid games. He is planning to get some rest and will play the 3rd leg of the FIDE Grand Prix in November.

Both finalists of the FIDE World Cup secured spots in the Candidates Tournament, which will take place in spring 2020 in Yekaterinburg. According to the regulations, the 3rd place finisher of the World Cup can also be included in the Candidates Tournament, if nominated by the organizer.

Total prize fund of the FIDE World Cup is $1,600,000. The winner received $110,000, the runner-up got $80,000.

Text: Eteri Kublashvili

Reports on the finals: Game 1, Game 2, Game 3, Game 4

Games and commentary


Commentary by IM Anna Rudolf and GM Evgeny Miroshnichenko

Final Friday

Game four of the final match was the shortest one of the duel so far, with the players reaching a drawn rook endgame by move 31. Eteri Kublashvili interviewed the players and, while Radjabov jokingly responded that they will need to play a hundred bullet games to find a winner, Ding correctly pointed out that he is already used to playing tiebreakers — the Chinese star only won his match-ups without play-offs in round one and in the quarter-finals.

On the other hand, Radjabov had a fantastic run in classical chess at the World Cup: his 10 out of 16 score gained him 9 rating points, a particularly impressive outing if we take into account he faced two 2500-players. The Azeri grandmaster, in fact, climbed to ninth place in the live ratings list. Tomorrow we will find out if the semi-retired former child prodigy leaves Khanty-Mansiysk as champion.

All in all, Friday's tiebreaks will put an end to a draining and memorable event. As Maxime Vachier-Lagrave declared when Kublashvili asked him to estimate his chances in the play-offs: "Tomorrow is the last day, and that is very welcome".

All results


FIDE Press release

The opening ceremony of the FIDE World Cup took place in the Arts Center for Gifted Children of the North on September 9.

Opening ceremonyIt started with a chess-themed laser show followed by “Heart of taiga” dance performance with the colourful introduction of countries participating in the event.

The protocol part of the ceremony started with speeches by Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation Pavel Kolobkov and FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich.

Pavel Kolobkov, Russian Minister of Sport, greeted everyone in the capital of Ugra and wished the participants of the World Cup exciting games and brilliant victories.

Kolobkov“I am happy that Russia got the right to carry out such a significant event, thus making Khanty-Mansiysk a chess capital of the world. I wish everyone a good contest, and may the strongest win”, said the Minister.

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, speaking on behalf of the International Chess Federation, congratulated the players on the start of the World Cup, and thanked the organizers – Government of Ugra and Governor Natalya Komarova – for hosting such an important tournament.

DvorkovichArkady Dvorkovich: “We are all familiar with a wonderful chess tradition of Ugra, the region that organized almost all the most important chess tournaments, including the Olympiad. It is wonderful that this region develops chess for everyone regardless of occupation or age. Still, everybody loves to watch games of the strongest players, and the strongest players are present here tonight. I wish you excellent play and best of luck, and declare the 2019 FIDE World Cup open!”

Mr Dvorkovich also announced that on September 8 FIDE Presidential Board approved a bid for the 2020 Candidates Tournament from Yekaterinburg and Russian Chess Federation.

For the drawing of lots, Ding Liren, the highest-rated player of the tournament, was assisted by Chief Arbiter Ashot Vardapetyan two actors dressed as chess kings. The Chinese grandmaster picked a black piece. Therefore, all players with odd numbers will be playing Black in the first game of the first rounds.


Ding Liren drew a black piece at the opening ceremony | Photo: FIDE

The protocol part was followed by an art show by the Art Center for Gifted Children of North, “Grotesque” Theater of Plastic Arts and Pantomime, “Light It” modern dance studio, and Youth Theater. The evening was concluded by the Million Voices song performed by White and Black chess queens.

A press briefing with Natalya Komarova, Pavel Kolobkov, and Arkady Dvorkovich took place after the conclusion of the opening ceremony.

Natalya Komarova, Governor of Ugra: “In chess community, FIDE World Cup is strongly associated with Khanty-Mansiysk. Four out of nine World Cups were carried out in Ugra, and today we are starting the fifth one. One can safely call Khanty-Mansiysk home of this tournament. The organizers do their best to make our guests feel at home.

The World Cup is not only a major sporting event but also an opportunity to experience being a part of a large and close-knit chess family. Ugra and chess are inseparable. We wish to present the exciting world of chess to thousands of Ugra people. By 2024 we want 55% of them engaged in various sports activities, in accordance with the national project “Sport is the way of life”.


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