The 2nd round of the FIDE World Chess Cup 2021 brought several upsets and surprising results. 29 matches, in both Opean and Women’s sections, were decided in tiebreaks.
Shortly before the start of the Round 2, Levon Aronian announced that he will definitely withdraw from the event due to a high fever.
After Megaranto Susanto (Indonesian Grandmaster) was tested positive on Covid19, Fabiano Caruana advanced to Round 3 without playing. Just before the game 2 of the 2nd round, Susanto’s compatriots, Medina Warda Aulia and Irene Sukandar (participating in Women’s section), decided to forfeit the second game. As FIDE explained, the decision was brought together with the organising committee, in order to not risk the safety of other participants.
Speaking about chess, some of the favorites of the Round 2 matches suffered upsets. One of the biggest “surprise result” happened in a match between Velimir Ivic (Serbia 2581) who defeated Vallejo Pons Francisco (Spain 2710) with a convincing 1.5-0.5 score.
With the same score, lower rated Nihal Sarin (India 2620) kicked out Russian Grandmaster Sjugirov Sarin (Russia 2661). A similar scenario happened in a match between Brkic Ante (Croatia 2592) and Kryvoruchko Yuriy (Ukraine 2699) as Brkic, as an underdog, won the first game and hold the draw in the second, securing the seat in the Round 3.
Polish Senior player, Krasenkow Michal (Poland 2591) showed that chess requires experience defeating the young chess star Alekseenko Kirill (Russia 2699) with the same 1.5-0.5 result.
In the clash of the chess prodigies, 15 years old Sindarov Javokhir (Uzbekistan 2558) defeated Firouzja Alireza (France 2759) after the tiebreak match. Tiebreaks started the same as classical games, with two draws. However, Sindarov managed to win the 3rd rapid game as black and hold the draw with White pieces in the final 4th game, advancing to round 3.
Meanwhile, the Women’s section saw only a few interesting results. Assaubayeva Bibisara (Kazakhstan 2389) defeated her compatriot Abdumalik Zhansaya (Kazakhstan 2472). After two decisive games in the classical time control match and the result of 1-1, the winner was decided in tiebreaks. The first game ended in a draw, but Assaubayeva won the second game.
With two convincing victories in the classical part of the match, WGM Zawadzka Jolanta (Poland 2403) kicked out Bodnaruk Anastasia (Russia 2446).
16 years old Garifullina Leya (Russia 2399) was victorious against Russian representative Girya Olga (Russia 2448) with 1.5-0.5 result.
Mammadova Gulnar (Azerbaijan 2382) and Javakashvili Lela (Georgia 2473) proceeded to rapid games after 2 draws in first two classical games. Gulnar won both rapid games, convincingly winning the spot for the Round 3.
Maybe the most interesting match of the Women’s section Round 3 was seen between Salimova Nurgyul (Bulgaria 2395) and Paehtz Elisabeth (Germany 2456). After ups and downs, draws and decisive results throughout the match, the result was even and the Winner was decided in an Armaggeddon game. Paehtz had black pieces and hold the draw, which was enough to advance further in the FIDE World Cup 2021.
Round 3 kicks off today and brings the following top matches that are broadcasted through chessdom.com: