02 Aug FIDE Chess World Cup 2021 – Round 1
The first day of the World Cup was held on Monday, 12th July 2021, at the Galaxy Entertainment And Leisure Complex. The round began at 3:00 pm sharp, and all clocks for White started.
Spectators believe that the Chilean Grandmaster Pablo Salinas Herrera played the best game of the day, and some believe it also might be the best game of the year. His opponent Andersen Mads (2579) began the game with the Queen Pawn opening, and Salinas began the fight for the centre on the 13th move by initiating free exchanges.
On the 19th Move
Salinas played a brilliant move that allowed him to invade Andersen’s King’s territory. Salinas then brought his Queen and Knight to strengthen and add to this attack and checkmated Andersen’s King on the 26th move. Viewers compared this game to a game between Fischer and Byrne that took place in 1963.
The tournament followed a knockout pattern where players of unequal seeds face each other in the first round. The first round came with quite a few surprises which included a remarkable result which was International Master Ravi Haria’s (2440) win over Grand Master Vadim Zvaginsev (2608).
This game began with a very solid variation of the French Defense, followed by an early trade of their Queens. This game had a precise Rook ending followed by a strategical win.
The most focused game of the event was played by the US wonder-kid Abhimanyu Mishra (2485), who was recently crowned as a Grandmaster at the mere age of 12, making him the youngest Grandmaster in the World. Abhimanyu played an excellent game against the Georgian GM Baadur Jobava (2603), where Abhimanyu gave the Grand Master a tough fight but had to concede eventually.
Another upset that almost took place was a match between IM Volodar Murzin (2502) and GM Viorel Iordachescu (2589), where the International Master almost defeated the Grand Master till the GM had a clear win towards the end where he had an extra pawn.
In the Women’s Category, the most exciting two results were the matches between the Women International Master (WIM) Tilsia Varela La Madrid (2072) and French IM Pauline Guichard (2413) and the match between Grand Master Anna Ushenina and Egyptian WIM Ayah Moaataz (2015).
On the 13th of July
the second game of the first round was held. A result that stood out was the match between GM Vadim Zvjaginsev’s (2608) and IM Ravi Haria (2440), where the GM took revenge for his loss in the first game.
The crucial point of this game was the 33rd move, where Haria made a blunder by playing the move Bf4, which allowed Zvjaginsev’s Knight to occupy the f5 square.
Another surprise that afternoon was International Master Chitumbo Mwali’s (2281) win against Grand Master Haik Martirosyan (2632). The two players had Kings that were in risky positions when the Grand Master made a mistake on the 33rd move that allowed Chitumbo to win a piece and the game.
Following the First Round
59 players graduated to the second round, while 38 players had to fight for their positions in the tie break round that happened the next day. Crowd favourites have cleared the first round moving up the ladder onto a set of some tough matches.