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FIDE WORLD CUP – Calm before the storm

The 2021 FIDE World Chess Cup reached the 5th round. Only 16 players emerged in the Open event and 8 players in the Women’s section.

The first games of the 5th round ended in a peaceful manner. Only one game in the Open section and one game in the Women’s section ended with decisive results.

Having black pieces, Armenian Grandmaster Martirosyan Haik defeated GM Tabatabaei Amin (Iran). The game reached a drawish endgame where Martirosyan had a pawn up. Under time and positional pressure, Tabatabei made a mistake which led to losing position after the perfect technique of Martirosyan.

Kosteniuk Alexandra was the only one who took a great step ahead to Semi-finals of FIDE Women’s World Chess Cup 2021. Kosteniuk was victorious over her compatriot, Valentina Gunina. The game was full of ups and downs, with many blunders. However, Kosteniuk managed to use last Gunina’s mistake, winning a Bishops endgame with White pieces.

Replay the game: Alexandra Kosteniuk – Valentina Gunina


Top boards of the FIDE World Cup round 5 are transmitted live through chessdom.com:

Magnus Carlsen – Andrey Esipenko
Peter Svidler – Sam Shankland
Vladimir Fedoseev – Velimir Ivic
Alexander Grischuk – Jan-Krzysztof Duda


FIDE Women’s World Chess Cup Quarterfinals pairings and live games:

Aleksandra Goryachkina – Dinara Sadukassova
Zhongyi Tan – Kateryna Lagno
Alexandra Kosteniuk – Valentina Gunina
Nana Dzagnidze – Anna Muzychuk


Round 4 report:

The 4th round brought great fights. Reigning World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen met Polish representative Radoslaw Wojtaszek. Wojtaszek had a nicer position in the 1st classical game, when the World No.1 missed the winning move in game 2, and the match advanced to tiebreaks. With 1.5-0.5 score in the rapid match, Carlsen qualified for the 1/8 finals.

Read more: FIDE WORLD CUP 2021 – Top seeds join the fights

Photo by Anastasia Korolkova


The Russian encounter between Dubov Daniil and Esipenko Andrey started with 2 draws and tiebreaks were required to determine the qualifier for Round 5. The first two rapid games ended in the same result, when Esipenko took the lead winning the 3rd game with White pieces. Holding the draw in the last rapid game, Esipenko advanced to the Top 16 phase.

Photo by Anastasia Korolkova

After two decisive results in the first two games, Ettiene Bacrot and Ponkratov Pavel proceeded to rapid match. The first game ended in a draw, but Ettiene took decisive advantage in the early part of game 2. Eventually, he was victorious with White pieces, advancing to Round 5.

Photo by Anastasia Korolkova

Alexander Grischuk and Anton Korobov also played tiebreaks to determine who will qualify for the next round. Grischuk won the first rapid game and hold the draw in second to advance in 1/8 finals.

Photo by Anastasia Korolkova

The match between Azerbaijan 2021 Chess Champion, Vasif Durarbayli, and 16 years old Abdusattorov Nodirbek brought a lot of excitement. All the 6 games played within the match ended in decisive results. After 1-1 in the classical part of the match, the same result happened in the first two rapid games. Durarbayli won both 10+10 rapid matches for the final 4-2 result and booked the seat in the Round 5.

Read more: Vasif Durarbayli wins Azerbaijan Chess Championship 2021

Photo by Anastasia Korolkova

18 years old Serbian prodigy, Ivic Velimir, again surprised and defeated experienced Russian GM, Dmitry Andreikin. After a draw in the first classical game, Ivic had winning chances in the game 2, but the game went into a drawish endgame where Ivic had a Queen for a Rook. Tiebreaks started sharply and Ivic searched for complications. He convincingly won both rapid games and entered the Top 16 elite.

Velimir Ivic gives an interview after victory over Andreikin:


In Women’s section, Anna Muzychuk, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Tan Zhongyi and Valentina Gunina booked the seats for Quarterfinals after only two classical games, all winning their matches with 1.5-0.5 scores.

The top seed of the FIDE Women’s World Cup, Aleksandra Goryachkina, forced tiebreaks after victory in the second classical game over Antoaneta Stefanova. Goryachkina was convincing in rapid games, winning the tiebreak with 2-0 result.

Read more: Stefanova: “Nobody wants to resign!”- Goryachkina in a must win situation!

Photo by Eric Rosen

Russian representative Kateryna Lagno won the tiebreak match against 17 years old Bibisara Assaubayeva. After two classical games ended in a draw, Lagno won the 1st rapid game to took decisive leadership. The second game ended in a draw and Lagno proceeded to the Quarterfinals.


Nana Dzagnidze was victorious over the 2019 World Girls U-20 Champion, Polina Shuvalova. The match started with two decisive results for Whites. Dzagnidze took the lead in the tiebreaks, winning the first rapid game, but Shuvalova stroke back, winning the second game, having White pieces. Another rapid match started with victory for Dzagnidze and the last game ended in a draw, expelling Shuvalova out from the competition.

Photo by Anastasia Korolkova

Dinara Saduakassova defeated Alina Kashlinskaya in an exciting tiebreak match to reserve the seat for Quarterfinals. After two draws in games played with classical time control, both players managed to win the games with White pieces in the first rapid match. However, in the second rapid match, Saduakassova won both games to advance to round 5.

Photo by Anastasia Korolkova

Round 5 – live games:

Magnus Carlsen – Andrey Esipenko
Peter Svidler – Sam Shankland
Vladimir Fedoseev – Velimir Ivic
Alexander Grischuk – Jan-Krzysztof Duda

Aleksandra Goryachkina – Dinara Sadukassova
Zhongyi Tan – Kateryna Lagno
Alexandra Kosteniuk – Valentina Gunina
Nana Dzagnidze – Anna Muzychuk