Radjabov qualifies for World Cup final and Candidates with win over MVL


The return games of the FIDE World Cup Semifinals were played in Khanty-Mansiysk on September 27.

Teimour Radjabov and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave had a discussion in the English Opening. After Black rejected to exchange the queens early in the game, White created a powerful attack on the kingside. The French grandmaster defended resourcefully and saved his king, but lost a pawn in process, while White kept a dominating position with strong pressure on the kingside. Black kept avoiding exchanging the queens, and by the 40th move, White's attack was already decisive. In a hopeless position, Vachier-Lagrave blundered a rook and resigned on the 45th move. Teimour Radjabov has become the first finalist of the FIDE World Cup.

Yu Yangyi and Ding Liren played the Nimzo-Indian Defense and up to a certain point followed an earlier game between Yu Yangyi and Nikita Vitiugov. On the 18th move, Ding Liren improved Black's play. The game simplified, and the players agreed to a draw in an equal queen ending on the 30th move, having spent less than an hour at the board.

A tie-break between Ding Liren and Yu Yangyi will be played on September 28. Yu Yangyi has White in the first game.

Text: Eteri Kublashvili
Photos: Kirill Merkuryev

Radjabov, Teimour - Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 1-0
FIDE World Cup 2019 / Semifinal game 2

1 Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e3 Nxc3 6. dxc3 Qc7 7. e4 e6 8. Bd3 Be7 9. Qe2 Bd7 10. O-O O-O 11. e5 Bc6 12. Ng5 h6 13. Bh7+ Kh8 14. Bc2 c4 15. Re1 Qd8 16. Nh3 Qd5 17. Nf4 Qc5 18. Bb1 Bg5 19. Nxe6 fxe6 20. Bxg5 Qd5 21. Qg4 Nd7 22. Be4 Nxe5 23. Qh5 Qb5 24. Bxh6 Bxe4 25. Bf4+ Kg8 26. Qxe5 Bd5 27. Re2 Rf5 28. Qe3 Qe8 29. f3 Qg6 30. h4 Raf8 31. Bg5 a6 32. Rd1 Qe8 33. Rd4 Qc6 34. Rg4 Kh7 35. Bf4 R8f7 36. Be5 b5 37. Qf2 Qd7 38. Qg3 Rh5 39. Bd4 Qc7 40. Re5 Rhf5 41. Rg5 Kg8 42. h5 Rxg5 43. Qxg5 Qe7 44. Qg4 Rf5 45. Qxf5 1-0