FIDE World Cup - Round 3 Report: Caruana, Mamedyarov, Giri Out


Round 3 of the FIDE World Cup finished yesterday with a series of surprises, upsets and interesting games. 

The current World Champion - GM Magnus Carlsen (2847) - beat his Norwegian countryman GM Aryan Tari (2639) to get through to round 4. However, Carlsen appeared to have an uphill struggle in the first game against Tari despite eventually winning. As Carlsen confessed to Lichess (represented by IM Laura Unuk) in a post-game interview, he is still “playing himself into form”

[Title image: Anastasiia Korolkova / FIDE]
Meanwhile, American GM Fabiano Caruana (2806) (who entered the event as the second best player in the world) was knocked out by Kazakh GM Rinat Jumabayev (2637).

Caruana being defeated by Jumabayev has pushed the American down to third in the live world rankings - behind Chinese GM Ding Liren. Liren last played the Candidates tournament earlier this year, but is not at this event. 

But Caruana wasn’t the only elite player to be eliminated in round 3 - world number 6 Azerbaijani GM Shakhrihyar Mamedryarov (2782) was beaten in tiebreaks by Armenian GM Haik Martirosyan (2632). And, world number 8, Dutch GM Anish Giri (2776) was beaten in tiebreaks by Uzbek prodigy GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov (2634). GM Magnus Carlsen and GM Alexander Grischuk are the only players remaining in the top 10 in the tournament. 

A highlight of some of the games we found particularly interesting or were surprise results are covered below:

Round 3, Game 1 - Open:

In one of the major surprises of the round, GM Haik Martirosyan (2632) convincingly beat world number 6 GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2782). Mamedyarov seemed unwilling to settle for an equal endgame and attempted to create counterplay. In doing so, Mamedyarov created too much of a vulnerability in his position which Martirosyan was able to seize upon and after a few moves more, Mamedyarov resigned.

Mamedyarov wasn’t the only player rated over 2700 to lose their game in this round. the frequent streamer on Lichess, Swedish GM Nils Grandelius (2661) won a deeply theoretical and technical endgame against GM Jeffery Xiong (2709), in a game which lasted over 100 moves. For endgame theoreticians, the endgame is worth checking out, as Xiong could have held the position to a draw had he found the only drawing move.

Can you find the only drawing move in this position for black?

Meanwhile, Wijk aan Zee winner GM Jorden van Foreest (2688) lost after a mistake on move 39 - just a single move before he would receive additional time to think against his opponent GM Kacper Piorun (2608).

Indian 3rd top player battled Indian 4th top player - as compatriots GM Santosh Vidit (2726) and GM Adhiban Baskaran (2660) fought it out - with number 3 coming off better in this first encounter. Vidit gave his thoughts and analysis on the game in an interview with Lichess:

Round 3, Game 1 - Women’s

In the women’s section, GM Aleksandra Goryachkina (2596) maintained her 100% record in the tournament with a win against Belarussian IM Olga Badelka (2418)

GM Anna Muzychuk (2527) also maintained her current 100% record in the tournament against IM Pauline Guichard (2413) with black. Muzychuk was able to advantageously trade-off queens in the late middle-game, winning a pawn in the process. Going into a winning endgame, Muzychuk was able to win an additional pawn - at which point her opponent resigned. Muzychuk also gave her thoughts on her games to the Lichess commentary:

Round 3, Game 2 - Open

By far the biggest surprise of game 2 was GM Fabiano Caruana (2806) being eliminated by GM Rinat Jumabayev (2637). After a solid draw in game 1, Caruana played a very high-risk high-reward opening, followed by sacrificing an exchange.

Although the engine was not impressed with Caruana’s ideas, Jumabayev had to sacrifice his queen to not be overwhelmed by Caruana’s attack. But unfortunately for Caruana, Jumabayev was able to play tenaciously and after a mistake, allowed Jumabayev to seal the deal.

Jumabeyav very kindly spent over twenty minutes discussing his game on the Lichess commentary, in a fascinating must-watch:

Meanwhile veteran GM Michal Krasenkow (2591) - a top 10 player in the world in 2000 - played an exciting and dynamic game against Indian prodigy GM Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa (2608). Praggnanandhaa was better for much of the game, until succumbing to a tactic h8 = Q which, after Q x Q no longer protects black’s c1 square and allowed Krasenkow considerable counterplay with Re4 in a simply winning position. Krasenkow also kindly gave his thoughts on the game for Lichess:

Consequently, Krasenkow and Praggnanandhaa will be playing tiebreaks, where they will also be joined by Mamedyarov, Giri, Vachier-Lagrave, Svidler, Artemiev, Vidit and Xiong amongst others.

Round 3, Game 2 - Women’s

In the women’s section, all three of the top seeds drew their second games against their opponents, ensuring GM Aleskandra Goryachkina, GM Anna Muzychuk, and GM Kateryna Lagno (2559) all progressed through to round 4. Lagno was kind enough to discuss her games with us:

Meanwhile, several other players had to get a win on demand to ensure they secured an additional rest day rather than playing the tiebreaks. One of these players - IM Dinara Saduakassova (2483) - spoke with us regarding her two convincing wins against GM Elina Danielian (2407).

Round 3 Tiebreaks - Open & Women’s

In a surprising result in the rapid tiebreaks, GM Shakrihyar Mamedyarov was eliminated by GM Haik Martriosyan. Martriosyan discussed his games against Mamedyarov with us after winning the tiebreaks:

In an equally surprising result, GM Anish Giri (2776) was eliminated by Uzbek prodigy GM Nodirbek Abudattsarov (2634). His fellow compatriot and prodigy, GM Javokhir Sindarov already went through against GM Jorge Cori. Consequently, both prodigies will make it through to the final 16. 

Russian GM David Paravyan (2625) showed impressive form to draw six games with Frenchman GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (2749) to force the game to the Armageddon stage. Vachier-Lagrave - the winner of the Croatian Rapid and Blitz tournament held as part of the Grand Chess Tour - achieved a winning position in the blitz portion of the tie break. 

But in a strange situation, Paravyan claimed a threefold repetition in the sixth tiebreak game, which the arbiters mistakenly accepted. Vachier-Lagrave had to plead his case to the arbiters - namely that the repetition had not occurred as he had not completed his move. Surprisingly, the arbiters conceded they had misinterpreted the rule, and both players were requested to resume the game from the position it had left off in. Despite having a winning position, Vachier-Lagrave was perhaps thrown by the bizarre situation he was found in and miscalculated how to make progress. Both players consequently agreed a draw regardless, forcing the Armageddon game as a final tie break. Vachier-Lagrave won the coin toss to determine which colour to play with, choosing white and going on to cruise to victory with a crushing attack, time advantage, and positional advantage.

Meanwhile, the American IM Carissa Yip (2430) was defeated by the veteran Georgian GM Nana Dzagnidze (2523), being eliminated from the competition. Ukranian team mates GM Mariya Muzychuk (2550) and GM Anna Ushenina (2429) battled it out with Muzychuk eventually overcoming Uschenina, to join her sister - GM Anna Muzychuk - in round 4.

In a promising sign for Russian women's chess, 20 year old IM Polina Shuvalova (2489) slogged it out against 16 year old WGM Leya Garifullina (2390). Garifullina achieved winning positions several times throughout the tiebreak games, including difficult to spot table-base victories. But the greater experience of Shuvalova, the Vice Russia Women Chess Champion, overcame Garifullina. Shuvalova shared some thoughts on her games with us:

IM Laura Unuk will be continuing the commentary she has been doing for Lichess, from midday (12:00 UTC) on the 22nd and 23rd of July, which you can watch live either on Twitch or YouTube.