FIDE Chess World Cup 2021 – Round 5

FIDE World Cup 2021

On 25th July, the fifth round of the FIDE World Cup took place where the first game that ended was between GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (2749) and GM Sergey Karjakin (2757).

The game began with the Berlin variation of the Ruy Lopez but ended in a draw by three-fold repetition. Following this match, the second match that finished was between Magnus Carlsen (2847) and GM Andrey Esipenko (2716).

Carlsen began with the Catalan Opening, and Esipenko developed ‘hanging pawns’ set-up that created a good position for Esipenko. Since Carlsen couldn’t find a win in the position, he offered a three-fold repetition, that Esipenko accepted.

The next game to finish was a great match that GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda (2738) played against GM Alexander Grischuk (2778). Grischuk sacrificed a pawn in the opening to pose an attack on Duda’s Kingside. However, Duda had a strong defence and a few sacrifices that could pose forceful movements. These factors led to a draw leaving the result of this duo upon the match on the next day. 

The only game that had a definitive result on this day was the match between GM Haik M. Martirosyan (2632) and M. Amin Tabatabaei (2613). Tabatabaei lost a pawn in the middle game and Martirosyan took complete advantage of this situation, and he converted it into a win. All the remaining games in the open category ended up as draws.

Women’s Category

In the women’s category GM Aleksandra Goryachkina (2596) drew against Kazakhstan’s number one player, IM Dinara Saduakassova (2483). Although the GM had a slight advantage throughout the game, Saduakassova defended her pieces very well.

The two players that finished their match last were GM Alexandra Kosteniuk (2472) and GM Valentina Gunina (2437). Gunina had an advantage throughout the game and could have won as well if she would have played Rf4 on the 37th move.

However, Gunina missed two brilliant moves she could have played in the course of the game, and Kosteniuk won an opposite colour Bishop end game. The two other games in this group ended as draws in the first game of the 5th round.

Second Day

On the second day of the fifth round, the first two qualifiers for the next round were Sam Shankland and Vidit Santosh Gujrathi who played exceptionally well. After a draw in his first game, Shankand went all out with an aggressive move in the opening, against his opponent GM Svidler.

The two players then castled on opposite sides and played an extremely attacking game. Svilder made a mistake on the 24th move that Shankland took advantage of and used this advantage to win the game.

Vidit Gujrathi was the other winner of the day and he played a side-line in the Ruy Lopez Opening. He played against GM Vasif Durarbayli, whose Bishop was eventually blocked on the board which Vidit took complete advantage of.

The last decisive result of the day was the match between Iran’s GM M. Amin Tabatabaei (2613) and GM Haik M. Martirosyan (2632). In the end game, Martirosyan miscalculated an exchange and resigned a few moves later.

All the remaining games of the day ended as draws and these players progressed to play the tiebreaker on the next day.