FIDE World Cup 2023 R4.2: Vidit and Arjun storm into Round 5
GM Vidit Gujrathi drew against GM Etienne Bacrot (FRA) to advance to the fifth round of FIDE World Cup 2023. He will face either GM Nihal Sarin or GM Ian Nepomniachtchi. GM Arjun Erigaisi is the only other Indian who advanced to the pre quarter-finals. Vidit will face the winner between GM Nihal Sarin and GM Ian Nepomniachtchi. GMs D Gukesh, GM Praggnanandhaa, GM Nihal Sarin and GM Koneru Humpy will play tie-breaks tomorrow. Humpy won her won must-win game against GM Bella Khotenashvili (GEO)? They will play tie-breaks. Round 4 Tie-break games start tomorrow at 3 p.m. local time, 4:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Maria Emelianova/chess.com
Gukesh, Nihal, Humpy and Harika to play tie-breaks
GM Koneru Humpy opted for the Hippopotamus Defense in a must-win situation. Her decision to play solid opening, definitely paid off in the end. She will play tie-breaks against GM Bella Khotenashvili (GEO).
Bacrot - Vidit: 0.5-0.5
GM Vidit Gujrathi (2723) needed just a draw against the France no.3 GM Etienne Bacrot (2662) to advance to the fifth round. However, Vidit took a bold approach. He sacrificed his bishop for two pawns.
Vidit could not resist the temptation of taking on g4. So he went 15...Bxg4 16.hxg4 Bxg4 17.Bxd4 cxd4. In hindsight, it was a good decision. The game became super messy, althoguh computer said equal many times but no human would agree to it. Vidit eventually ended the game in a draw via repetition as finding the win was not so easy and a draw was enough for him to advance to the pre-quarter finals which he did.
Arjun - Sindarov: 1-0
GM Arjun Erigaisi (2704) once again got a decisive advantage in the rook and few pawns endgame against GM Javokhir Sindarov (UZB, 2659).
As Arjun mentioned in the post-match interview that Black needed to go 36...Rd5 to keep things balanced. After 37.Re3 bxc3 38.bxc3 Kh7 39.Kf2 and White went on to win the game comfortably.
Carlsen - Keymer: 1-0
The world no.1 GM Magnus Carlsen (NOR, 2835) was in a must-win situation against the Germany no.1 GM Vincent Keymer (2701). If anyone in the world currently who can win on-demand against anyone in any format, the first name at the tip of everyone's tongue will be the Norwegian. However, the teenager got his chance. He just could not seize it in pressure.
Carlsen's expression after 17...Qxc3 was definitely worth a look. It was almost like he was saying non-verbally - did you see that, I just got a second life. 17...Nxe4 is what would have shattered Carlsen's World Cup hopes according to him.
Being in a must-win situation, Carlsen had no choice but to muddy the waters. So he went for the only break he could go for 34.e5 fxe5 35.fxe5 Nf7 36.Bf4 dxe5 37.Bxe5 a4 38.Bc3 axb3+ 39.Kb2 Re8 40.Rxe8+ Bxe8 Keymer completed the first time control without getting into grave danger. However, things were certainly not easy for him.
It would have taken a computer-like precision for Black to save the game 52...Be2 is what the computer recommends. Keymer opted for the humane 52...Bg2? The god of endgame had no trouble seizing his chance and winning the game in another ten moves starting with 53.Rf5.
Esipenko - Gukesh
The only chance GM D Gukesh (2751) had against GM Andrey Esipenko (2683) was when White went 39.Bg3. It was not easy to spot that 39...Nc3+ 40.Kd2 Re2+ 41.Kc1 Re6 42.Kd2 Rxa6 was the way to gain the a6-pawn and decisive advantage. Gukesh opted for the humane 39...Re3 40.Rxa7 Rxf3 and soon the game ended in a draw.
Bella - Humpy: 0-1
GM Koneru Humpy (2553) opted for the Hippopotamus Defence with the black pieces in the second Classical game against GM Bella Khotenashvili (GEO, 2475). One might wonder why she opted for a dubious opening. Well the outcome of the game has the answer.
White made a mistake of playing 24.Rc1? which allowed Qc3+ 25.Ke2 Nxd5 26.Rhd1 Nf4+ and Black went on to win the game. However, there was one last opportunity for White to fight back which Bella missed.
After 33.Rxf8+ Nxf8 34.Rd8 Ne6 White needed to sacrifice another exchange at f8 to keep fighting chances. 35.Rxf8+ Nxf8 36.Qh4 probably wouldn't have changed the outcome but still it was worth a try.
Results after Round 4.2
GM D Gukesh - GM Andrey Esipenko: 1-1
GM Javokhir Sindarov (UZB) - GM Arjun Erigaisi: 0.5-1.5
GM Hikaru Nakamura (USA) - GM R Praggnanandhaa: 1-1
GM Ian Nepomniachtchi - GM Nihal Sarin: 1-1
GM Vidit Gujrathi - GM Etienne Bacrot (FRA): 1.5-0.5
GM Koneru Humpy - GM Bella Khotenashvili (GEO): 1-1
IM Eline Roebers (NED) - GM Harika Dronavalli: 1-1
A total of 16 games in the Open and eight games in the Women's section took place in Round 4.2