The 2nd stage of the European Hybrid Qualification Tournament for the FIDE World Cup 2021 took place on May 26 and 27.
144 players participated in Round 2, and half of them (72) advanced to the next stage – Round 3. They are just one step away from qualifying for the FIDE World Cup. Round 3 will decide who goes to Sochi and the final Swiss stage will determine the prizes.
Of the 72 matches in the 2nd round, 22 had to be decided in a tiebreak to determine the qualifier for the 3rd round. Seven rapid matches ended in ties and the Armaggedon games were required.
The vast majority of rating favorites advanced to a final knockout stage. However, there were major upsets.
No.5 on the starting rank list – David Navara (CZE, 2697) suffered a loss to GM Ibarra Jerez Jose Carlos (ESP, 2558). After 1-1 result in the classical game, the Spanish Grandmaster was convincing in the rapid match, overwhelming Navara with the 2-0 result.
Ukrainian Grandmaster and No.12 on the starting rank list – Eljanov Pavel (UKR, 2672) was defeated by 20 years old IM Gumularz Szymon (POL, 2517). The Polish youngster took a 2-0 victory in the rapid match to qualify for the 3rd round.
An interesting situation arose in the game between the Israeli chess star GM Gelfand Boris (ISR, 2676) and GM Pechac Jergus (SVK, 2519). After two draws in games with classical time control, the first rapid game ended with the same result. The second rapid game went sharply when Gelfand suffered a mouse-sleep on move 16 and placed the queen on the attacked square, giving it away.
Pechac Jergus proved that chess is a gentleman’s game and in the spirit of majestic sportsmanship offered a draw. Gelfand accepted and the winner of the match was decided in an Armageddon game. Pechac Jergus had the white pieces and won the dramatic match, earning a place in the 3rd round.
Read more: Fair play at its best
Despite Gelfand, three more favorites finished the competition here after the Armageddon game. European Chess Champion 2019, Kacper Piorun (POL, 2615) lost as White to a young Turkish GM Sanal Vahap (TUR, 2563), even though he needed only a draw to advance further.
A similar scenario happened to Maxime Lagarde (FRA, 2638) who lost the Armaggeddon with White pieces to the Norwegian GM Agdestein Simen (NOR, 2552).
Afanasiev Nikita (RUS) did what he needed to do, he won the death game with White pieces against GM Santos Latasa Jaime (ESP, 2608).
European Online Chess Champion 2020, Alexey Sarana (RUS, 2649) got defeated in the classical part of the match. Brkic Ante (CRO, 2592) secured participation in the next round defeating him with a 1.5-0.5 result.
With the exact score, Sarana’s compatriot Chigaev Maxim (RUS, 2631) suffered a loss to Can Emre (TUR, 2569).
All the games were broadcasted live through the ECU Twitch channel, together with live commentaries by WGM Keti Tsatsalasvili and GM Marcin Tazbir.
More about European Hybrid Qualification Tournament:
European Hybrid Qualification Chess Tournament 2021 – information and participants
European Hybrid Qualification Chess Tournament 2021 LIVE
European Hybrid Qualification Chess Tournament 2021 – pairing tree / R1 report – European Hybrid Qualification Chess Tournament / European Hybrid Qualification Tournament with Over-the-Board games / European Hybrid Qualification Chess Tournament – Photo gallery of the venues