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FIDE World Cup 2021 R2.1: Gukesh holds Dubov to a draw

by Shahid Ahmed - 16/07/2021

Three out of twelve Indian players won their respective games in Round 2.1. Adhiban scored a fantastic win with a beautiful finish, Praggnanandhaa played the endgame correctly and Harika outplayed her opponent positionally. Both Iniyan and Vaishali who were facing stronger Tomashevsky and Khotenashvili respectively, lost their games, and now they are in a must-win situation. Gukesh who is facing the much stronger Dubov, held his own and managed to make a draw with a very impressive play against the former World Rapid champion. Harikrishna, Vidit, Nihal, Aravindh, Padmini and Bhakti drew their respective games. Round 2.2 starts today at 5:30 p.m. IST. Watch the Live commentary and analysis on ChessBase India youtube channel with IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal. Photo: Anastasiia Korolkova/FIDE

Adhiban, Harika and Pragg win

Adhiban, Harika and Praggnanandhaa won their respective games which means they just need a draw in today's Round 2.2 game to advance to Round 3. Iniyan and Vaishali suffered a loss each. They are in a must-win situation to force tie-breaks and keep their chances in the tournament.

Harika won her first game against Aulia | Photo: Anastasiia Korolkova/FIDE

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

Quesada Perez - Harikrishna: 0.5-0.5

Harikrishna drew his first game against GM Yasser Quesada Perez (CUB).

Position after 26...Rxd4

27.Rxd4 Rxd4 and then 28.Qf3 with the idea of pushing the passed h-pawn could have probably made things slightly unpleasant for Black. The computer says White would have had a +3 decisive advantage. The game continued 27.Qf3 Rd5 28.c4 Rxd3 29.Rxd3 Rxd3 30.Qxd3 Qf2+ and Black decided to go for a perpetual check. Being an endgame expert, Harikrishna obviously realized what could have gone wrong, thus he decided a draw is a good result in this position.

Harikrishna drew with Quesada Perez in Round 2.1 | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Fier-Vidit: 0.5-0.5

GM Alexandr Fier (BRA) got an exchange but Vidit was never in any danger as he had enough compensation for it.

Position after 18.Bd7

White gains an exchange after 18...Rxd6 19.exd6 Bxd7 20.Rxb7 Be6 21.d7 Bg5 22.Rb8+ Kg7 23.d8=Q Bxd8 24.Rxd8. However, Black was no way in any kind of trouble. A draw was made after a few moves.

A solid start for Vidit

Gukesh - Dubov: 0.5-0.5

Gukesh has the toughest opponent of the round among all Indians. Former World Rapid champion Daniil Dubov is a very sharp and strong player.

Position after 23.Bb4

White confidently played 23.Bb4 and decided to give up a bishop pair for a rook and pawn which can be quite challenging since the position is open and Black has a double bishop.

Position after 43.e6

43.e6 shows that Gukesh is here to put up a very good fight against one of the seconds of the world champion. Dubov tested Gukesh a bit more by sacrificing an exchange.

Position after 48.Rc1

What a finish by Gukesh, 48.Rc1 just kamikaze's the rook. White will keep moving the rook on c-file to attack the queen and try to force an exchange as the resultant queen ending will be a draw. 48...Qa7 is not a good idea because 49.Rb1 followed by Rb7 will be deadly. A draw was agreed in the above position as Black cannot make progress.

Gukesh held his ground against Dubov | Photo: Anastasiia Korolkova/FIDE

Iniyan - Tomashevsky: 0-1

Iniyan was a bit surprised by GM Evgeny Tomashevsky's (RUS) choice of line in the Berlin.

Position after 20.d5

White was already behind in development. 20.d5 did not help with that, in fact it only made the pawn and the position weaker for White. 20.Rxf5 was a viable option. Tomashevsky exploited all weaknesses and eventually won the game.

Iniyan is in a must-win situation | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Praggnanandhaa - Sargissian: 1-0

Praggnanandhaa got himself in the driver's seat out of the Scotch Opening. Armenia no.2 GM Gabriel Sargissian wanted to get rid of White's well-placed knight at c6.

Position after 29.Rcd4

29...Bxc6 is not a good idea as it gives White a pawn wedge which eventually turned out to be the deciding factor of the game.

Position after 37.Qe6+

Black only wanting to move the queen and not activating the rook cost him dearly. White used his queen to gain the c7-pawn and then tuck his king at b2 for safety which forced a resignation by his opponent.

Praggnanandhaa is definitely hitting all the right notes to produce melody | Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE

Nihal - Sjugirov: 0.5-0.5

Nihal drew with GM Sanan Sjugirov (RUS). Previously they faced twice in an over-the-board at Aeroflot Open. Both times the result was a draw.

0017 Nihal Sarin | Photo: Anastasiia Korolkova/FIDE

Adhiban - Neuris: 1-0

If you were looking for fireworks, look no further. Adhiban unleashed his 'beast mode' on Paraguay no.1 GM Neuris Delgado Ramirez.

Position after 16...Nd7

White is completely winning here. Find out the winning combination.

"All his pieces were sleeping! He had no chance!" - Adhiban on his win over Delgado Ramirez | Video: ChessBase India

Adhiban is always ready to play exciting chess | Photo: Anastasiia Korolkova/FIDE

Abdusattorov - Aravindh: 0.5-0.5

Over the past year, Aravindh has played against GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov (UZB) plenty of times in online. Aravindh has a plus score against the young Uzbekistan no.2. They had a well-contested draw.

Aravindh has a psychological edge over Abdusattorov | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Harika - Aulia: 1-0

Harika got herself a very good position early in the middlegame against IM Medina Warda Aulia (INA).

Position after 21.Nb8

21.Nb8 may not add a lot to the position for White, but it is definitely aesthetically satisfying if you do it on the board at a tournament. Harika outplayed her opponent positionally and converted her advantage into a win comfortably.

9th World Cup of her career - Harika | Video: ChessBase India

Harika during a post-match interview | Photo: Anastasiia Korolkova/FIDE

Padmini made a quick 15-move draw with IM Sara Khadem | Photo: Anastasiia Korolkova/FIDE

Bhakti - Pogonina: 0.5-0.5

Bhakti was eliminated by WGM Natalija Pogonina (RUS) almost three years ago in the first round of Women's World championship. However this time things are different, Bhakti is much stronger now, and she started with a solid draw.

Bhakti would definitely like to avenge her elimination by Pogonina last time

Khotenashvili - Vaishali: 1-0

Vaishali went wrong in an extremely complex queen and minor piece ending against GM Bela Khotenashvili (GEO).

Position after 37.Ne2

Queen endings are always very complex. White having a queen-knight against queen-bishop only put Vaishali more at a disadvantage.

Position after 41.Ke1

Black's only attempt to save this game would be to get a perpetual check. To do that, 41...Bc7 42.Qxb7 Kh6 43.Qxc7 Qb1+ 44.Kd2 Qd3+ 45.Kc1 Qc4+ is one of the way but certainly not the forced one. It is difficult for a human to figure that out but the idea should be tuck the black king at h6 and try to give up the bishop in order to get a perpetual check which is much easier said than done. Khotenashvili is a very strong player and she managed to eventually win the game.

Vaishali must win the second game to force tie-breaks | Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE



Gukesh D - GM Daniil Dubov (RUS): 0.5-0.5

Iniyan P - GM Evgeny Tomashevsky (RUS): 0-1

GM Alexandr Fier (BRA) - Vidit Gujrathi: 0.5-0.5

B Adhiban - GM Neuris Delgado Ramirez (PAR): 1-0

GM Yasser Quesada Perez (CUB) - Pentala Harikrishna : 0.5-0.5

GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov (UZB) - Aravindh Chithambaram: 0.5-0.5

Nihal Sarin - GM Sanan Sjugirov (RUS): 0.5-0.5

Praggnanandhaa R - GM Gabriel Sargissian (ARM): 1-0



Dronavalli Harika - IM Medina Warda Aulia (INA): 1-0

IM Sara Khadem (IRI) - IM Padmini Rout: 0.5-0.5

IM Bhakti Kulkarni - WGM Natalija Pogonina (RUS): 0.5-0.5

GM Bela Khotenashvili (GEO) vs WGM Vaishali R: 1-0


Here are a few interesting finishes from Round 2.1

GM Elshan Moradiabadi (USA) drew with GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA)

GM B Adhiban won against GM Neuris Delgado Ramirez (PAR)

GM Sandro Mareco (ARG) defeated GM Jorge Cori (PER)

GM Anna Ushenina (UKR) defeated IM Karina Cyfka (POL)
FIDE World Cup 2021 Round 2.1 Live Commentary by IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal | Video: ChessBase India

Photo Gallery

Magnus Carlsen receives the 2020 Fair Play Svetozar Gligoric award | Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE

David Navara dons a chess-themed mask | Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE

Kazakhstan's latest GM Zhansaya Abdumalik started her campaign with a loss against compatriot IM Bibisara Assaubayeva | Photo: Anastasiia Korolkova/FIDE

Anish Giri scored a victory over GM Boris Savchenko (RUS) | Photo: Anastasiia Korolkova/FIDE

The sixth woman ever to cross 2600 - Aleksandra Goryachkina won her first game | Photo: Anastasiia Korolkova/FIDE

IM Volodar Murzin is definitely a talent to watch out for | Photo: Anastasiia Korolkova/FIDE

One of the funniest accidental handshake happened before the game between GM Alireza Firouzja (FRA) and GM Javokhir Sindarov (UZB).


FIDE announced via twitter that Armenia no.1 Levon Aronian will forfeit his first game against Australia no.2 GM Bobby Cheng, due to some health concerns.

A few hours after the start of Round 2.1, FIDE tweeted that one of the player was tested positive. The result was known during the game, thus he was declared lost and immediately asked to leave the premises.

As per privacy regulations, FIDE did not reveal the name of the player.

However, those who were following the games live, could easily guess who the player was. The former World Championship challenger and current World no.2 expressed his concern for his opponent and he was quite shocked with the way his game ended abruptly.

Netherlands no.1 and World no.8 Anish Giri tweeted a question which many had in their mind

FIDE responded the reason behind the delay in getting the results before the start of the round

Replay Round 2.1 Open games

Replay Round 2.1 Women games




Official site

Men's Regulations

Women's Regulations

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