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Pavel Eljanov, Anish Giri qualify for FIDE World Cup Semifinal

The return games of the fifth round of the 2015 FIDE World Cup were completed in the Fairmont Flame Towers in Baku.

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Previous reports: Round 1 pairingsRound 2 tie-breakRound 3 picturesque reportEljanov with six straight winsAndreikin defeats Kramnik in Russian derbyRound 4 started with 4 winsMamedyarov, Nakamura, Svidler, Vachier-Lagrave advanceGiri, Karjakin, Eljanov, Wei Yi qualify for 5th round/ Eljanov defeats Nakamura

Hikaru Nakamura had to play for a win in order to equalize and stay in the match with Pavel Eljanov. White’s weapon of choice was the English opening, which Eljanov already faced on three occasions earlier in the tournament. Speaking at the press conference after the game, Eljanov felt that Nakamura should have tried something more aggressive and appropriate to his style.

White obtained the pair of bishops but black’s position was very solid. Eljanov said he was very confident after 23…h5, which effectively forced the trade of the queens. Then the black’s task of holding the draw was much easier. Eljanov did just that and became the first player to qualify for the World Cup Semifinal.

Nakamura tweeted later: “When your opponent plays better than you in a short format like this, there’s not much one can do but move on to the next event!”

Anish Giri chose a modest opening setup with white, looking to avoid opponent’s fantastic preparation in the Gruenfeld Indian defence. Still, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave sacrificed a pawn in a typical Gruenfeld-fashion at the first possible moment.

Giri was happy how the game progressed, having exchanged the queens and keeping the extra pawn to pose some problems for black’s defence.

Vachier-Lagrave tried to simplify the position, but the resulting rook ending was quite difficult for black, who on many occasions had to find the only moves just to stay in the game. White was still able to press hard for a win. Despite the black’s resourcefulness in defence, Giri skillfully converted the advantage and joined Eljanov in the Semifinal.

Vachier-Lagrave tweeted: “First classical loss in a World Cup, courtesy of @anishgiri! Time to refresh now!”

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov prepared another opening surprise for his opponent, but Sergey Karjakin was able to find the best moves and weather the storm away. After white safely castled, Mamedyarov offered a draw on move 14.

Being faced with the Italian opening Peter Svidler decided to win the bishops pair at the cost of doubling the pawns. It appeared as black got the upper hand and was expected to push for a win. But Wei Yi forced timely exchanges of pieces and found a very important 28.h4. Seeing no way to make further progress, Svidler offered a draw.

The matches Mamedyarov vs Karjakin and Svidler vs Wei Yi are to be settled in quick-play on Friday afternoon.

The total prize fund of the 2015 FIDE World Chess Cup is 1,6 million USD. In addition, the tournament also awards two places in the 2016 Candidates Tournament, part of the FIDE World Championship cycle.

The players are getting 100% of their prizes, not 80% as most are quoting. This is because the Organizers paid the FIDE share on top of the Prize Fund.

Full set of results and pgn files can be found on

Photo gallery is available at

According to the Regulations (3.8 Tie-breaks)  , after a new drawing of colors, two tie-break games with the time control 25min + 10sec will be played.

If the scores are still level, then, after a new drawing of colors, a match of two games with the time control 10min + 10sec will be played.
In case of a level score, another match of two games will be played, with a blitz time control of 5min + 3sec.

If still there is no winner, one sudden-death game will be played. The player who wins the drawing of lots may choose the color. The player with the white pieces shall receive 5 minutes, the opponent with the black pieces shall receive 4 minutes whereupon, after the 60th move, both players shall receive an increment of 3 seconds for each move from move 61. In case of a draw the player with the black pieces is declared the winner.

Anish Giri victorious in the longest game of the day

Anish Giri victorious in the longest game of the day

Pavel Eljanov held a draw against Hikaru Nakamura and qualified for the Semifinal

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Sergey Karjakin are to settle the score in tie-breaks

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Sergey Karjakin are to settle the score in tie-breaks

Wei Yi and Peter Svidler tied the classical match

Wei Yi and Peter Svidler tied the classical match



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