The FIDE World Cup Semifinals began in Khanty-Mansiysk on September 26.
Ding Liren and Yu Yangyi played the English Opening. After the game, the rating favourite confessed that he had mixed up something in the opening and had ended up in a worse position. However, Yu Yangyi was noticeably tired after a dramatic tie-break yesterday and did not manage to create serious problems for his friend and compatriot. The game was drawn by a threefold repetition on the 27th move.
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Teimour Radjabov had an opening discussion in the Rossolimo Sicilian. The Frenchman had White and improved his play compared to a recent game against Magnus Carlsen. However, after the queens were exchanged, Black was already out of danger, and after the rook was traded, White already needed to play accurately in order to preserve the balance. Nevertheless, Black decided not to squeeze water from a stone, and a draw was agreed on the 31st move.
The return games with the colours reversed will be played on September 27.
Text: Eteri Kublashvili
Photos: Kirill Merkuryev