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FIDE World Cup 2021 R1.1: Indian Men and Women off to a fantastic start

by Shahid Ahmed - 13/07/2021

Indian Men and Women made a fantastic start to their FIDE World Cup 2021 campaign. Only Gukesh was held to a draw by IM Pawel Teclaf (POL). Gukesh needs to win his next game to advance to Round 2, a draw means he will have to play tie-breaks tomorrow. Adhiban, Aravindh, Nihal, Praggnanandhaa, Iniyan, Vaishali and Padmini scored a victory each. Iniyan is the only Indian who defeated a higher rated opponent, Sebastian Bogner (SUI). Harikrishna, Vidit and Harika got a Bye in Round 1. They will directly play Round 2 on 15th July. Bhakti advanced to Round 2 where she will face Natalija Pogonina (RUS). Round 1.2 starts today at 5:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE

Teclaf holds Gukesh to a draw

Adhiban, Aravindh, Nihal, Praggnanandhaa, Iniyan, Vaishali and Padmini made a winning start to their World Cup campaign. Only Gukesh was held to a draw by Polish IM Pawel Teclaf. IM Bhakti Kulkarni advanced to Round 2 as her opponent had to withdraw from the event due to medical reasons. So far Bhakti's Round 2 opponent is confirmed - WGM Natalija Pogonina (RUS).

Adhiban scored a comfortable win | Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE

FIDE World Cup 2021 and FIDE Women's World Cup 2021 Official logo | Photo: Official site

Chipanga - Adhiban: 0-1

CM Chiletso Chapanga (MAW) went for an all-out attack against Adhiban which backfired for him.

Position after 23...Qb6

It's all over for White as c4, d4 is coming and there is no good defence against it.

Adhiban arrived first for his game | Photo: Anastasiia Korolkova/FIDE

Aravindh - Concio: 1-0

Aravindh Chithambaram scored a comfortable win over IM Michael Concio Jr. (PHI).

Position after 19...b6

White is already in a firm control. Find out what should White do here to captitalize the advantage.

Aravindh played some attacking chess | Photo: Anastasiia Korolkova/FIDE

Ssegwanyi - Nihal: 0-1

IM Arthur Ssegwanyi (UGA) made a good start against Nihal. The Ugandan got a good position.

Position after 24...Qa6

It is clear that White has a good position but getting just a good position is not enough against Nihal. He waited, maneuvered his pieces and just when the opportunity he struck and claimed the full point.

Position after 48.Rb1

White moved both of his major pieces to the queenside, far away from the action point. Find out the winning continuation for Black in the above position.

Ssegwanyi really started well against Nihal | Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE

Bersamina - Praggnanandhaa: 0-1

IM Paulo Bersamina (PHI) started well against Praggnanandhaa until he could not maintain the tension at the center and decided to exchange pieces and go into a lost endgame.

Position after 27.exd5

27.exd5 is not a good idea as Black will eventually get the backward d3-pawn and that will be deciding factor which is what happened in the game.

Praggnanandhaa scored a comfortable victory | Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE

Teclaf - Gukesh: 0.5-0.5

IM Pawel Teclaf (POL) made a solid draw with Gukesh. However, there was a moment in the endgame where Gukesh could have pushed for a win.

Position after 39.Kf3

Find out the correct continuation for Black in the above position.

Teclaf really put up a good fight against Gukesh | Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE

Iniyan - Bogner: 1-0

Iniyan faced the toughest opponent on paper among all Indians in the first round as he was up against Switzerland no.2 GM Sebastian Bogner (2581).

Position after 17.Ng6

It is not necessary to play the best move or execute the best idea in every position. Sometimes you just have to play something that can rattle your opponent. 17.Ng6 does not do a lot for White, however a move like that shows the confidence White has. White gains a rook and pawn for two minor pieces which is generally not a good idea, After 17...fxg6 18.Bxe6+ Rf7 19.d5 Bd7 20.Bxf7+ Kxf7 21.d6, the position definitely looks much more pleasant for White even though the computer may not agree with it.

Position after 36...Rc3

Find out the winning continuation for White after 36...Rc3.

Iniyan started his World Cup campaign with a confident victory | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Vaishali - Zhou: 1-0

WGM Vaishali R scored a fine victory over WGM Qiyu Zhou (CAN).

Position after 32.Bb5

White is already winning but 32.Bb5 accelerates things.

Position after 36...Ne6

37.a7 is winning for White, however white will not get a queen because Black can sacrifice both knights via c7 and capture the promoted piece at a8. What is the better continuation for White here?

Vaishali is just a draw away from advancing to Round 2| Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE

Padmini - Fataliyeva: 1-0

IM Padmini Rout scored an emphatic victory against WGM Ulviyya Fataliyeva (AZE).

Position after 28.gxh5

White is not bothered about 28...gxh5+ because the plan is to bring the knight to g5 and queen to h4 anyway.

Padmini beat Fataliyeva convincingly | Photo: Anastasiia Korolkova/FIDE
Indians dominate day 1 with 8.5/9 | FIDE World Cup 2021 Round 1 Summary | Video: ChessBase India

Open results:

CM Chiletso Chapanga (MAW) - GM B Adhiban: 0-1

GM Aravindh Chithambaram - IM Michael Concio Jr. (PHI): 1-0

IM Arthur Ssegwanyi (UGA) - GM Nihal Sarin: 0-1

IM Paulo Bersamina (PHI) - GM Praggnanandhaa : 0-1

IM Pawel Teclaf (POL) - GM D Gukesh: 0.5-0.5

GM Iniyan P - GM Sebastian Bogner (SUI): 1-0

Women results:

WGM Vaishali R - WGM Qiyu Zhou (CAN): 1-0

IM Bhakti Kulkarni - WGM Anastasya Paramzina: 2-0

IM Padmini Rout - WGM Ulviyya Fataliyeva: 1-0


Arguably the most exciting win of the round 1.1 was scored by Chile no.2 GM Pablo Salinas Herrera (2514) against Denmark no.2 GM Mads Andersen (2579)

Position after 19.a3

Would you believe it, if I tell you White's best continuation was 19.Qxe4 dxe4 20.Rxd7 Qf6 21.Rxb7 Bxc3 22.Nxc3 Qxc3 24.Rd1. If you can figure out Black's best continuation in the above position then you will realize why 19.a3 is a mistake and 19.Qxe4 was the way to go.

Position after 24...d4

The queen is attacked twice but neither of them can capture it as there is a checkmate threat at h2. 25.Rd1 was played but that does not stop Black's idea. Find the beautiful finish. This is definitely an early contender for game of the tournament.

FIDE World Cup | Interview with Pablo Salinas (Spanish audio) | Video: FIDE

Pablo Salinas Herrera made a blazing start with a brilliant game | Photo: Anastasiia Korolkova/FIDE

Fun fact: Two Uzbekistan players - GM Shamsiddin Vokhidov (2530) and GM Jakhongir Vakhidov (2534) defeated two Georgians of the exact same rating 2564 - GM Luka Paichadza and GM Levan Pantsulaia.


WIM Ayaah Moaataz (2015) of Egypt stunned former women's world champion GM Anna Ushenina (2429) of Ukraine.

Position after 32...Re7

White is an exchange down and the position does not look promising either, still she can take a chance here. What would that be?

Position after 38...Rbd7

Black had several chances of playing Rxe3 to save the game and win immediately too, but a passive play did not help her. 38...Rbd7 certainly sealed Black's fate. Find out how. Ushenina must win her round 1.2 game to keep her chances for Round 2.

FIDE World Cup 2021 Round 1.1 Live Commentary by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India

Photo Gallery

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich makes the first move on the top board | Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE

Playing arena | Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE

Players and Officials at the Inauguration Ceremony | Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE

No matter what the result is, a smile can brighten up the day | Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE

Replay Round 1.1 Open games

Replay Round 1.1 Women games




Official site

Men's Regulations

Women's Regulations

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