GM Leinier Dominguez and GM Alireza Firouzja did not survive the FIDE World Cup’s second-round tiebreaks as they lost to Uzbek GMs Jakhongir Vakhidov and Javokhir Sindarov, respectively. Two matches were decided in wild armageddon games.
Fan-favorite Firouzja, at 18 already dubbed a strong candidate for becoming a world champion one day, had to leave the World Cup early. Somewhat ironically, the French-Iranian grandmaster lost to one of the few players in Sochi younger than himself: 15-year-old Sindarov.
…wondering if Firouzja is feeling old tonight…
— Jonathan Tisdall (@GMjtis) July 17, 2021
So, who is Sindarov? Well, you might remember his name from a certain stat: before GM-elect Abhimanyu Mishra, he was in fact the first player to become a grandmaster before turning 13 since GM Sergey Karjakin did so. Only two other boys in history have made GM before turning 13: GM Gukesh D. and GM Praggnanandhaa R.
Congratulations to GM Javokhir Sindarov for the awesome performance in the Fide World Cup. Very inspiring!! pic.twitter.com/0Nx8JziXr9
— Abhimanyu.mishra.chess (Youngest GM in the world) (@ChessMishra) July 18, 2021
Sindarov (2558) is part of a generation of very promising players from Uzbekistan. They also include 16-year-old GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov (2634), 19-year-old GM Nodirbek Yakubboev (2598), and 19-year-old Shamsiddin Vokhidov. The latter should not be confused with Vakhidov, who beat Dominguez, who is a bit older: 26.
Earlier Uzbek successes include GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov’s victory at the 2004 FIDE knockout world championship and Uzbekistan’s no less sensational silver medal at the 1992 Manila Olympiad with a team that included Chess.com author Grigory Serper (still an IM at the time but rated 2540; his 8.5/13 must have been good for a GM norm).
Sindarov defeated Firouzja in the first 10+10 game with the black pieces, before holding the next to a draw.
The very impressive play by the young Javokhir Sindarov in his match against Alireza Firouzja reminded me a lot of the play by a young @MagnusCarlsen in his match against @LevAronian from the Fide World Cup in Libya back in 2004!
— Hikaru Nakamura (@GMHikaru) July 17, 2021
Vakhidov won both rapid games against Dominguez. In the first, Black lost an exchange in the early middlegame due to a hard to foresee pawn move:
The open section of the World Cup said goodbye to its last two non-grandmasters in the field. As expected, 14-year-old IM Volodar Murzin couldn’t create an upset vs. GM Vladislav Artemiev, and IM Ravi Haria went down against GM Etienne Bacrot.
An up-and-down match was GM Yaroslav Zherebukh vs. GM Alexei Shirov, who had traded wins in the classical games and continued doing so in the two rapid games. In the end, this matchup wouldn’t see a single draw as Shirov ended up winning both 10+10 games. Here’s his win in the second 25+10 game, a must-win for the former world number-two:
An upset was “Blindfold King” GM Timur Gareyev (U.S.) beating GM Dmitry Jakovenko (Russia) by winning the first rapid game:
Another honorable mention goes to 55-year-old GM Kiril Georgiev, who eliminated 20-year-old Iranian GM Parham Maghsoodloo.
Several tiebreak matches went into the 10+10 games, but only one also saw 5+3 games, and that one was eventually decided in an armageddon game, the first in this World Cup. It was the Bulgarian GM Ivan Cheparinov who knocked out GM Rasmus Svane of Germany.
In this format, White gets five minutes, and Black, who has draw odds, four. For what follows, it’s important to note that from move 61, there’s a two-second increment for both.
From the bare moves, the game looked like a walkover but in fact, Cheparinov was down to his last two seconds when he was a queen up. Svane made two more moves but as it turned out, the players had reached move 60. When Cheparinov made two quick moves with his queen and his clock went from 0:02 to 0:06, Svane could only resign.
Yesterday the #FIDEWorldCup saw two matches decided in an armageddon game, where White must win but starts with less time on the clock. We captured both in one shot.
*Warning: this video contains potentially disturbing imagery that may be harmful to some viewers.* 😵 pic.twitter.com/2wAu1UCc2k
— Chess.com (@chesscom) July 18, 2021
Results round 2 tiebreaks
|GM Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar||2782||–||GM Mekhitarian, Krikor Sevag||2554||½-½||½-½||2-0|
|GM Firouzja, Alireza||2759||–||GM Sindarov, Javokhir||2558||½-½||½-½||1½-2½|
|GM Vakhidov, Jakhongir||2534||–||GM Dominguez Perez, Leinier||2758||½-½||½-½||2-0|
|GM Fier, Alexandr||2569||–||GM Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi||2726||½-½||½-½||½-1½|
|GM Esipenko, Andrey||2716||–||GM Nguyen, Thai Dai Van||2588||½-½||½-½||1½-½|
|GM Gukesh, D||2578||–||GM Dubov, Daniil||2714||½-½||½-½||½-1½|
|IM Murzin, Volodar||2502||–||GM Artemiev, Vladislav||2704||½-½||½-½||½-1½|
|GM Maghsoodloo, Parham||2698||–||GM Georgiev, Kiril||2594||½-½||½-½||½-1½|
|GM Gareyev, Timur||2596||–||GM Jakovenko, Dmitry||2684||½-½||½-½||1½-½|
|GM Predke, Alexandr||2683||–||GM Durarbayli, Vasif||2625||½-½||½-½||0-2|
|GM Salem, A.R. Saleh||2682||–||GM Indjic, Aleksandar||2607||1-0||0-1||1½-½|
|IM Haria, Ravi||2440||–||GM Bacrot, Etienne||2678||0-1||1-0||½-1½|
|GM Tabatabaei, M. Amin||2613||–||GM Berkes, Ferenc||2673||½-½||½-½||½-1½|
|GM Akobian, Varuzhan||2614||–||GM Grandelius, Nils||2661||½-½||½-½||½-1½|
|GM Bluebaum, Matthias||2669||–||GM Erdos, Viktor||2614||½-½||½-½||1½-½|
|GM Svane, Rasmus||2615||–||GM Cheparinov, Ivan||2667||1-0||0-1||3-4|
|GM Sargsyan, Shant||2626||–||GM Abasov, Nijat||2656||½-½||½-½||½-1½|
|GM Shirov, Alexei||2662||–||GM Zherebukh, Yaroslav||2620||1-0||0-1||3-1|
|GM Bok, Benjamin||2624||–||GM Sevian, Samuel||2647||1-0||0-1||1-3|
|GM Deac, Bogdan-Daniel||2639||–||GM Oparin, Grigoriy||2654||½-½||½-½||½-1½|
|GM Mareco, Sandro||2629||–||GM Cori, Jorge||2652||1-0||0-1||1½-2½|
|GM Sarana, Alexey||2640||–||GM Kovalev, Vladislav||2637||½-½||½-½||1½-2½|
The women’s section saw one armageddon game as well, which was played simultaneously with Cheparinov-Svane (also visible in the tweeted video above). The final phase between IM Olga Badelka (Belarus) and IM Ana Matnadze (Spain) had nothing to do with chess as the players knocked over several pieces while pushing the clock without the arbiter stepping in. It was Matnadze who flagged while Badelka had two seconds left on the clock.
IM Bibisara Assaubayeva (17) had beaten GM Zhansaya Abdumalik (21) in the first classical game but then lost the second. In this all-Kazakhstani matchup, the younger of the two prevailed as Assaubayeva won the second rapid game after surviving a close to lost position:
It’s inspiring to see 58-year-old GM Pia Cramling, who came close to winning the open Swedish championship before this event, reaching the third round as she eliminated GM Monika Socko in the tiebreak. The Swedish GM, the oldest player in the tournament, had won the first 10+10 game:
MOM QUALIFIED FOR ROUND 3 OF THE WORLD CUP I’M SO HAPPY GO MOM!!
— Anna Cramling (@AnnaCramling) July 17, 2021
Results round 2 tiebreaks
|IM Badelka, Olga||2418||–||IM Matnadze, Ana||2421||½-½||½-½||4-3|
|IM Buksa, Nataliya||2413||–||IM Yip, Carissa||2430||0-1||1-0||0-2|
|IM Javakhishvili, Lela||2470||–||IM Mammadova, Gulnar||2385||½-½||½-½||0-2|
|IM Salimova, Nurgyul||2395||–||IM Paehtz, Elisabeth||2466||½-½||½-½||2½-3½|
|GM Cramling, Pia||2459||–||GM Socko, Monika||2393||½-½||½-½||2½-1½|
|IM Skripchenko, Almira||2411||–||GM Sebag, Marie||2483||½-½||½-½||1½-2½|
|IM Padmini, Rout||2370||–||IM Khademalsharieh, Sarasadat||2494||½-½||½-½||0-2|
|GM Abdumalik, Zhansaya||2505||–||IM Assaubayeva, Bibisara||2389||0-1||1-0||½-1½|
The FIDE World Cup takes place in the Galaxy Leisure Complex in Sochi, Russia, until August 6, 2021. Each round consists of two classical games and, if necessary, a rapid/blitz tiebreak on the third day. Starting from round two, the Open section has 128 players and the women’s section, 64.