Mamedyarov, Abdusattorov Out Of World Cup As Carlsen, Caruana Cruise

Mamedyarov, Abdusattorov Out Of World Cup As Carlsen, Caruana Cruise


Singapore’s GM Tin Jingyao, seeded 120 in the 2023 FIDE World Cup, knocked out ninth seed GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in a dramatic day of round-two action. A dark horse to win the event, GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov, fell to 112th seed GM Vahap Sanal, while GM Sam Shankland found no way back after his blunder the day before. 

GM Wesley So almost joined them, but a great escape against Turkish GM Emre Can means he’ll play tiebreaks alongside GMs Hikaru Nakamura, Anish Giri, and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. The action begins on Friday, August 4, at 7 a.m. ET / 13:00 CEST / 4:30 p.m IST.

   How to watch the 2023 FIDE World Cup

Another brutal harvest at the Baku World Cup saw 57 players leave the event on Thursday, 34 in the Open section and 23 in the Women’s. Another 78 will now battle for survival in tiebreaks on Friday, when we have 30 matchups in the Open section, and nine in the Women’s. Let’s take a look at the day’s action.

FIDE World Cup Round 2.2: Carlsen Brilliancy As First Big Names Fall

For some, the second day of round two was a walk in the park. GM Fabiano Caruana cruised to a 2-0 win over GM Mikheil Mchedlishvili, GM Ian Nepomniachtchi was never in danger as he wrapped up a 1.5-0.5 win over GM Vugar Asadli, while top seed GM Magnus Carlsen briefly seemed to get a more complex game than he might have hoped for against GM Levan Pantsulaia.

Carlsen checks out Nepomniachtchi’s game. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Any discomfort, however, was rewarded by Carlsen getting to play a beautiful finish. 

Carlsen smiled after the game was over.

A curiosity is that Carlsen will now play the Norwegian number-two, GM Aryan Tari, in round three, just as he did at exactly the same stage in 2021. The world number-one will be hoping for the same 2-0 scoreline. 

Other favorites to ease through included GMs Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Leinier Dominguez, and Teimour Radjabov, with the 2019 World Cup winner ending his game against the solid Hungarian GM Viktor Erdos with a sudden blow.

Radjabov talked afterward about the experience of playing on home soil.

17-year-old GM Dommaraju Gukesh didn’t need to win the second game against GM Misratdin Iskandarov to win their match, but he did anyway, and thereby climbed to world number-nine on the live rating list and took over from GM Viswanathan Anand as the Indian number-one.

If he keeps that place on the next official list, it will be the end of a glorious 37-year reign by Anand.  

The moment Gukesh took over from Anand as Indian number-one. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Not all the top players had come to fight, however. After pushing hard but failing to win with the white pieces the day before, Nakamura made a careful 32-move draw with Black against GM Karthik Venkataraman. Other top stars had also decided to head for tiebreaks, with quick draws for the likes of GMs Giri and Vachier-Lagrave.

GM Vasyl Ivanchuk is another player facing tiebreaks on Friday. Photo: Anna Shtourman/FIDE.

We soon got to see why transferring the match decision to at least two tiebreak games might be a more prudent choice than staking everything on a single game. Local Azerbaijani hero Mamedyarov is a master of wild attacking chess, but it was 23-year-old Tin from Singapore who triumphed on this occasion.

That was our Game of the Day, and has been annotated by GM Rafael Leitao below. 

One of the potential winners of the event was Uzbek GM Abdusattorov, who at 18 years of age has already established himself in the world’s top-30 in classical chess, while as a former world rapid champion few would relish taking him to tiebreaks. His World Cup is already over, however, after he lost his way against 25-year-old Turkish GM Sanal.

Praggnanandhaa is in round three, but Abdusattorov is out. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

At first, Abdusattorov correctly sacrificed a pawn, but his later play was criticized by Leko as a case of going all-in without due cause.

Vahap Sanal spoiled a lot of World Cup brackets. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Another victim was 22nd seed Shankland, who fell to the 150th seed, GM Ivan Schitco, though in this case all the damage had been done by a huge blunder in game one. Just how difficult it is to come back on demand was illustrated by the fact that just one player managed it in the whole Open section, GM Eduardo Iturrizaga, who bounced back against GM Anton Korobov.

Iturrizaga has already won on demand twice at this World Cup. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Those upsets came close to being overshadowed by the fall of the sixth seed, So. The three-time U.S. champion had been slightly worse with the white pieces in the first game against 219-point-lower-rated Can from Turkey, but in the second he was borderline lost. Move 45 may have been the moment Can missed his best chance.

“I think now Emre will fall from his chair!” said Leko about the way that So defended at the end. 

So has been given another life, and such reprieves can be the spark needed to go far in a tournament like the World Cup.   

FIDE Women’s World Cup Round 2.2: Comeback Kids 

20th seed IM Gunay Mammadzada was unable to come back from her loss the day before to IM Alina Bivol, and it was the same story for 13th seed IM Sara Khadem against IM Medina Warda Aulia. Khadem, who noted she’d had a “very large gap” in her chess career, conceded of her opponent, “She played really well and she deserved it.” 

In contrast to the Open event, however, we did see a series of big wins on demand in the Women’s section, and while higher-rated IM Irina Bulmaga hit back against IM Mai Narva, the other wins were triumphs for the underdogs.

Alexandra Kosteniuk had a surprisingly tough day at the office. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Chinese WIM Tianqi Yan shocked defending champion GM Alexandra Kosteniuk, IM Carissa Yip hit back against GM Zhao Xue, a player with a peak rating topped by only four female players in Baku, and IM Deysi Cori struck back against IM Meri Arabidze.

The Canada-U.S.A. battle ended in the youngster’s favor. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

One of the most impressive performances was how 21-year-old Canadian WGM Maili-Jade Ouellet bounced back against eight-time U.S. Women’s Champion GM Irina Krush in a long but dominant game.

All those comebacks will have a followup in tiebreaks on Friday, when top seed GM Ju Wenjun, defending champion Kosteniuk, and number-four seed GM Kateryna Lagno will all be in action.

GM David Howell will be among those in tiebreak action. Photo: Anna Shtourman/

In total, across both the Women’s and Open sections, we’ve got 39 matches to look forward to, so the action is sure to be frenetic. 

The 2023 FIDE World Cup and Women’s World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan, are big knockout events that will determine six spots in the 2024 FIDE Candidates Tournaments. The action begins July 30 and ends August 24, with a combined $2.5 million prize fund.

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