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FIDE World Cup 2023 R3 TB: A short day at the office for Nihal, a grueling long one for Vidit and Harika

by Shahid Ahmed - 08/08/2023

GM Nihal Sarin needed only two 25'+10" Rapid games to eliminate Romania no.2 GM Bogdan-Daniel Deac. The teenager will face the former world championship challenger, GM Ian Nepomniachtchi in Round 4. Both GM Vidit Gujrathi and GM Harika Dronavalli had long day. After starting the day with a loss, Vidit made a strong comeback to knock out Germany no.3 Matthias Bluebaum. GM Harika could have finished things in the second Rapid game. However, she missed her chance and had to battle in six more tie-break games to finally eliminate IM Lela Javakhishvili (GEO). Harika will face IM Eline Roebers (NED) in the Pre Quarter-finals. GM Jaime Santos Latasa (ESP), GM Nijat Abasov (AZE) and IM Teodora Injac (SRB) eliminated FIDE World Cup 2019 winner - GM Teimour Radjabov (AZE), World no.7 GM Anish Giri (NED) and the defending FIDE Women's World Cup winner - GM Alexandra Kosteniuk (SUI). Today is a rest day. Round 4 Game 1 starts tomorrow at 3 p.m. local time, 4:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Jaime Santos Latasa, Nijat Abasov and Teodora Injac knockout Giri, Radjabov and Kosteniuk

The third round tie-break witnessed the exit of three more top players - GM Anish Giri (NED), GM Teimour Radjabov (AZE) and GM Alexandra Kosteniuk (SUI). Kosteniuk suffered a 2-0 loss in the tie-breaks against IM Teodora Injac (SRB). Radjabov lost the first game against GM Jaime Santos Latasa (ESP). GM Nijat Abasov (AZE) made a strong comeback by winning the must-win second 25'+10" Rapid game. After three draws, Abasov defeated Giri when the latter ran out of time in an already lost position.

GM Nihal Sarin just needed two 25'+10" Rapid games to eliminate GM Bogdan-Daniel Deac (ROU) | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

FIDE World Cup 2023 and FIDE Women's World Cup 2023 Official logo | Photo: Official site

Deac - Nihal, Round 3.3

Position after 33...Bd6

GM Nihal Sarin (2684) is very good at converting minute advantages with great technique. Black's bishop is a very good stopper here. The d5-pawn is blocking the light-square bishop's path. It was not easy for GM Bogdan-Daniel Deac (ROU, 2698) to continue or hold the position. Nihal slowly improved his position and won the game. The teenager was winning the second game too. However, he drew as it was enough to advance to the next round.

Positional Genius of Nihal Sarin against Bogdan-Daniel Deac | Video: ChessBase India

GM Nihal Sarin will face GM Ian Nepomniachtchi in Round 4 | Photo: FIDE/Anna Shtourman

GM Jaime Santos Latasa (ESP) knocked out FIDE World Cup 2019 winner - GM Teimour Radjabov | Photo: Maria Emelianova,
World Cup is a match of 2 games, if you make one mistake, it is very likely that you are out - GM Jaime Santos Latasa (ESP) | Video: ChessBase India

Bluebaum - Vidit, Round 3.3

Position after 47.Rh6

The rook and pawn endgame was a draw in the first 25'+10" rapid tie-break between GM Matthias Bluebaum (GER, 2670) and GM Vidit Gujrathi (2723). However, Vidit blundered in time trouble 47...Rxf5?? 48.a7+- Ra5 49.Rh8 Ra2+ 50.Kxg3 and White won.

Vidit - Bluebaum, Round 3.4

Position after 34...Nc6

In a must-win situation, Vidit took every opportunity he was presented to score the equalizer. 34...Nc6? 35.bxc6 Qxa6 36.g4 Rxc6 37.gxf5 exf5 38.Qxf5 Qf8 39.Qd7 White improved his position and gained Black's queen for two of his rooks, arriving at a winning position. The next two 10'+10" Rapid games ended in draws. Vidit won the first 5'+3" game before losing the next one. Then he won the sudden death 3'+2" Blitz game, to win the match and advance to the fourth round where he will face GM Etienne Bacrot (FRA, 2662).

Vidit vs Bluebaum - Final sudden death game, Round 3.9 | Video: ChessBase India
"Thank God tomorrow is a rest day!" - Vidit Gujrathi after his win over Bluebaum | Video: ChessBase India

GM Vidit Gujrathi is through to Round 4 after almost 5.5 hours long grueling battle

Nijat - Giri, Round 3.4

Position after 39.Rc7+

After losing the first 25'+10" Rapid game, GM Nijat Abasov (AZE, 2646) was in a must-win situation. He managed to win the game when his opponent, World no.7, GM Anish Giri (NED, 2769) retreated his king incorrectly 39...Kf8?? Instead, 39...Kd8 would have been fine. 40.Nd6+- Rf4 41.Rg4 Rxf3+ 42.Kg2 and Black cannot avoid material loss. After three more draws, Nijat won the second 5'+3" game when Giri ran out of time in an already lost position.

GM Anish Giri (NED) loses on time in a lost position against GM Nijat Abasov (AZE) | Video: ChessBase India
So far I don't have any feelings as it was quite a tense match - GM Nijat Abasov | Video: ChessBase India

The final handshake between GM Anish Giri (NED) and GM Nijat Abasov (AZE) after the former ran out of time | Photo: FIDE/Stev Bonhage

Teodora - Kosteniuk, Round 3.3

Position after 34.Rc7!

IM Teodora Injac (SRB, 2420) played outstanding to win the both 25'+10" Rapid games against the defending Women's World Cup champion, GM Alexandra Kosteniuk (SUI, 2532). 34.Rc7! is an excellent exchange sacrifice which Black should have not accepted. 34...Nxc7 35.dxc7 only helped White to improve her position further. 35..Qh3 36.Qxb6 and a few mistakes later Black lost the game.

Kosteniuk - Teodora, Round 3.4

Position after 15...d4

Once again, Teodora played sensible chess which allowed her to outplay her opponent. 15...d4 attempting to lock down the center 16.c4 allowed Black to open up the queenside Bc5 17.a3 bxc4 18.dxc4 a5 19.Qd3 a4 20.Nf5 Qc8 21.Qf1 Qa6 22.Bd3 Rab8 23.Bc1 Na5 24.Nd2 Nb3 25.Nxb3 Rxb3 26.Rg3 Rfb8 27.Qe2 Bb6 28.Bd2 Ba5 29.c5 Bxd2+ 30.Qxd2 Bc4 White was forced to deal with Black's onslaught on the queenside instead of launching an attack of her own on the kingside.

"I am extremely happy, probably more excited than I was before the game" -Teodora Injac KOs Kosteniuk | Video: ChessBase India

IM Teodora Injac (SRB) played excellent chess to outplay the defending champion GM Alexandra Kosteniuk (SUI) twice and eliminate her | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Lela - Harika, Round 3.4

Position after 30.Qa1?

GM Harika Dronavalli (2500) could have won the match in the second 25'+10" Rapid game if she spotted her opponent, IM Lela Javakhishvili's (GEO, 2441) mistake 30.Qa1? Here Black needed to play 30...Rd7 and White would not have been able to avoid a material loss. The game continued 30...Qc7 31.Ba6 and it ended in a draw in another four moves.

Lela - Harika, Round 3.6

Position after 11.0-0-0

Harika won the first 10'+10" game. It seemed like she is well on track to at least hold a draw in the second one. Black correctly chose 11...dxc3 12.Bh7+ Kh8 13.Rxd8 cxb2+ 14.Kb1 Rxd8 and gained more than enough compensation for the queen. However, some incorrect play led to a loss. The next two 5'+3" and the first sudden death 3'+2" Blitz games ended in a draw. Harika won the second 3'+2" game to win the match and advance to Round 4.

IM Lela Javakhishvili (GEO) vs GM Harika Dronavalli, Round 3.10 | Video: ChessBase India

GM Harika Dronavalli during one of her tie-break games | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Harika was exhausted after playing eight tie-break games in over 5.5 hours | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Interview with IM Medina Warda Aulia (INA), IM Teodora Injac (SRB), GM Jaime Santos Latasa (ESP) and GM Nijat Abasov (AZE) will be published soon, stay tuned!


How Magnus Carlsen spent his virtual rest day

The new India no.1 and World no.9, D Gukesh tried some tennis with Grzegorz Gajewski

Photo Gallery

Top class play by IM Teodora Injac (SRB) to eliminate top-level defending champion, GM Alexandra Kosteniuk (SUI) | Photo: FIDE/Anna Shtourman

A fan with the legend - GM Vasyl Ivanchuk (UKR) | Photo: FIDE/Anna Shtourman

Azerbaijan's hero of the day - GM Nijat Abasov signs an autograph for a fan | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Fabiano Caruana (USA) has his eyes on the prize | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

GM Ferenc Berkes is the sole Hungarian in Round 4 where he will face... | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

The former World Champion - Ruslan Ponomariov who outsmarted Liem Quang Le (VIE) in Ponomariov's second tie-break match at this event | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Video Gallery

FIDE World Cup 2023 Round 3.3 Tie-breaks starting moments feat. Caruana, Giri, Rauf, Vidit, Nihal | Video: ChessBase India
Gentleman vs Genius | David Navara vs Praggnanandhaa, Round 3.2 | Video: ChessBase India
Ruslan Ponomariov: "I already proved myself many many years ago. I said okay when next time we are going to be in World Cup. I will try to enjoy as much as possible." | Video: FIDE
Medina Warda Aulia becomes the first Indonesian woman to advance to Round 4 - FIDE Women's World Cup | Video: ChessBase India
Wesley So: "You don't know what form you're in until you're going in the tournament" | Video: FIDE
FIDE World Cup 2023 Round 3 TB Live Commentary by IM Irine Sukandar (INA) and GM Mateusz Bartel (POL) | Video: FIDE
FIDE World Cup 2023 Round 3 TB Live Commentary by IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal | Video: ChessBase India

Results after round 3 TB

GM Vidit Gujrathi - GM Matthias Bluebaum (GER): 5-4

GM Nihal Sarin - GM Bogdan Daniel Deac (ROU): 2.5-1.5

IM Lela Javakhishvili - GM Harika Dronavalli: 4.5-5.5


A total of 51 games were played in the Open and 16 in Women in Round 3 Tie-breaks.

Round 4 pairings

GM D Gukesh vs GM Andrey Esipenko

GM Javokhir Sindarov (UZB) vs GM Arjun Erigaisi

GM Hikaru Nakamura (USA) vs GM R Praggnanandhaa

GM Ian Nepomniachtchi vs GM Nihal Sarin

GM Vidit Gujrathi vs GM Etienne Bacrot (FRA)

GM Koneru Humpy vs GM Bella Khotenashvili (GEO)

IM Eline Roebers (NED) vs GM Harika Dronavalli

Replay Round 3 TB Open games

Replay Round 3 TB Women games





Official site

Open Regulations

Women Regulations

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