The first round of the FIDE World Chess Cup has just finished and 64 players proceeded to the next stage.
The 24 pairs of players who tied their matches with the classical time control returned to the playing hall at the Fairmont Flame Towers in Baku to settle the scores in the rapid and blitz games.
After the first set of the rapid games the Chilean champion Cristobal Henriquez sensationally eliminated the former World Championship challenger Boris Gelfand and, according to the World Cup commentator Emil Sutovsky, created the biggest upset in the history of the FIDE knockout events.
Other notable results included the convincing win of Sergei Zhigalko who is going against top-seeded Veselin Topalov in the next round, the advance of the local stars Teimour Radjabov and Gadir Guseinov, and the good play of the still reigning World Junior Champion Lu Shanglei.
In the next batch of rapid with faster time control only two matches were decided – Balogh Csaba eliminated Eltaj Safarli, while Igor Lysyj scored 2-0 against Constantin Lupulescu.
The adrenaline run high in the veins of the players and the spectators alike.
As many as five matches moved on to the blitz games. And only then the world-class Grandmasters Alexander Grischuk and Dmitry Jakovenko broke the resistance of the much lower rated opponents – International Masters Yusup Atabayev and Ilia Iljiushenok, respectively.
After seven consecutive draws Anton Kovalyov eventually won against former World Champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov, as did Alexander Motylov against his compatriot Boris Grachev.
Mateusz Bartel and Gabriel Sargissian were to solve the dispute in the Armageddon game. Bartel had white and 5 minutes, while Sargissian had black, 4 minutes and draw odds. The increment was coming in only from the 61st move. It seemed as Bartel obtained certain advantage, but Sargissian was able to simplify the position down to the rook ending, which he successfully held to advance to the next round.
Round 2 will start on Monday, September 14, at 12:00 CET.
Round 2 pairings:
Veselin Topalov (BUL) – Sergei Zhigalko (BLR)
Shanglei Lu (CHN) – Hao Wang (CHN)
Peter Svidler (RUS) – Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu (GER)
Teimour Radjabov (AZE) – Ilia Smirin (ISR)
Ding Liren (CHN) – Ernesto Inarkiev (RUS)
David Navara (CZE) – Gadir Guseinov (AZE)
Levon Aronian (ARM) – Alexander Areshchenko (UKR)
Yi Wei (CHN) – Yuri Vovk (UKR)
Anish Giri (NED) – Alexander Motylev (RUS)
Peter Leko (HUN) – Yang Wen (CHN)
Cristobal Henriquez Villagra (CHI) – Julio Granda Zuniga (PER)
Radoslaw Wojtaszek (POL) – Vladislav Artemiev (RUS)
Wesley So (USA) – Csaba Balogh (HUN)
Nikita Vitiugov (RUS) – Le Quang Liem (VIE)
Evgeny Tomashevsky (RUS) – Ngoc Truong Son Nguyen (VIE)
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA) – Gabriel Sargissian (ARM)
Hikaru Nakamura (USA) – Samuel Shankland (USA)
Laurent Fressinet (FRA) – Ian Nepomniachtchi (RUS)
Michael Adams (ENG) – Viktor Laznicka (CZE)
Lenier Dominguez Perez (CUB) – Hrant Melkumyan (ARM)
Alexander Grischuk (RUS) – Vladimir Fedoseev (RUS)
Pavel Eljanov (UKR) – Alexander Ipatov (TUR)
Dmitry Jakovenko (RUS) – Amin Bassem (EGY)
Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR) – Maxim Rodshtein (ISR)
Fabiano Caruana (USA) – Rauf Mamedov (AZE)
Sandro Mareco (ARG) – Anton Kovalyov (CAN)
Pentala Harikrishna (IND) – P.R. Sethuraman (IND)
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE) – Yifan Hou (CHN)
Vladimir Kramnik (RUS) – Lazaro Batista Bruzon (CUB)
Dmitry Andreikin (RUS) – Anton Korobov (UKR)
Sergey Karjakin (RUS) – Alexander Onischuk (USA)
Yangyi Yu (CHN) – Igor Lysyj (RUS)