Sergey Karjakin and Peter Svidler returned today to the playing hall at the Fairmont Flame Towers in Baku to finally decide the FIDE World Cup winner in quick-play tie-breaks. After the games with the classical time control the result was even 2-2.
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In the first set of the rapid games Karjakin prepared a surprise with the white pieces but Svidler reacted well and achieved good position. At some point black was even slightly better.
Being under the severe time pressure black lost a pawn, but still managed to reach an ending with opposite-colored bishops. Black set the blockade and white tried to walk the king across the entire board in order to press the enemy pawns from behind.
Playing quickly in order to gain time from the increment Svidler missed an excellent opportunity to push 68…g5, which apparently was sufficient for a draw.
White prepared his own breakthrough 80.d5+ and proceeded to advance the passed e-pawn to finally clinch a victory.
In the return game Svidler employed the King’s Indian Attack, but unlike the classical match, he pushed the pawn 9.e5 instead of trading on d5.
White started piling pieces towards the opponent’s king, but then he shifted the focus to combat black’s queenside counterplay and win a pawn in the process.
Black was able to take the pawn back while trading a bunch of pieces in the process, but white emerged with a dominant centralized knight.
After black allowed the trade of the queens, Svidler reached the back rank and started exerting strong pressure. Black position collapsed and the score was leveled once again.
In the next set of the rapid games with faster time control the players got a Benoni setup on the board, which according to the tournament commentators is not in their opening repertoires. Svidler, playing black, got the better of it and proceeded to win the game in convincing fashion.
In the return game Svidler once again avoided the Naidorf Sicilian and went for the Maroczy setup. But he mixed the plans, lost a pawn early on and Karjakin used the opportunity to strike back.
In the blitz time control we had it all: great opening preparation, wonderful tactical shots and, inevitably, blunders. Karjakin won both blitz games and emerged winner of the 2015 FIDE World Cup!
Full set of World Cup results and pgn files can be found on http://www.bakuworldcup2015.
Photo gallery is available at http://www.bakuworldcup2015.
The total net prize fund of the 2015 FIDE World Chess Cup was 1,6 million USD. In addition, the tournament awarded two places in the 2016 Candidates Tournament, part of the FIDE World Championship cycle.