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FIDE World Cup 2021 R3.1: Harikrishna, Vidit and Pragg score

by Shahid Ahmed - 19/07/2021

Harikrishna, Vidit and Praggnanandhaa won their respective first game in the third round of FIDE World Cup 2021. They just need a draw in the second game to advance to the fourth round. Both Harikrishna and Praggnanandhaa played the endgame very well to score a victory each. Adhiban just tried to do too much which cost him the game against Vidit. Nihal, Adhiban and Harika must win today to force tie-breaks. Arguably the must-see game of the day is Dubov's win over Malakhov. The second game of Round 3 starts today at 5:30 p.m. IST. Watch the Live commentary and analysis on ChessBase India youtube channel with IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal. Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE

Adhiban, Nihal and Harika in a must-win situation

Adhiban's all-out play against Vidit did not pay off. Nihal missed a draw against super strong Dmitry Andreikin. Harika played way too passive against Gunina and lost the game. Adhiban, Nihal and Harika - all three of them now win on-demand today to force tie-breaks and keep their chances in the tournament.

Praggnanandhaa is playing phenomenal chess | Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE

FIDE World Cup 2021 and FIDE Women's World Cup 2021 Official logo | Photo: Official site

Harikrishna - Lupulescu: 1-0

Harikrishna gained a pawn early in the middlegame against Romania no.1 GM Constantin Lupulescu.

Position after 14...Qd7

14...Qa5 would have kept the b5-pawn alive, but 14...Qd7 drops the pawn immediately after 15.Rb1.

Position after 24...Rc3

24...Rc3 is the final nail in the coffin for Black as 25.Qxc3 Bxc3 26.Rb8+ Qd8 27.Rxd8+ Rxd8 28.Kf1 and it's all over for the Romanian. Rest is just a matter of technique and we all know how strong Harikrishna is in the endgame.

Vidit-Adhiban: 1-0

Adhiban had a simple tactical oversight and lost a pawn for no compensation.

Position after 19...e4

White can simply get rid of the defender of the e4-pawn 20.Bxf6 Bxf6 21.Bxe4 which is exactly what Vidit did. Instead, 19...Ng5 would have been fine for Black. Adhiban lost another pawn after a while and the position had no hope left for him, thus he resigned.

"Adhiban goes all out always!" - Vidit after beating the Beast | Video: ChessBase India

Nihal - Andreikin: 0-1

Nihal made the questionable choice of playing 1.b3 against FIDE World Cup 2013 runner-up and two-time Russian champion, GM Dmitry Andreikin. Somehow the choice turned out to be in his favor as Nihal got a good position out of the opening.

Position after 14...Qg5

15.Qf3 would have been a slightly better choice as Black cannot take the e5-pawn with either of the pieces. 15...Qxe5 16.Qxe5 Nxe5 17.Nxe6 dxe6 18.Bxe5 and the position equalized.

Position after 34...a3

The above position is equal, however it is White's game to lose, minimum there is a draw for Black. Find out what should White do here to make sure it ends in a draw. 35.Bc2 allowed Black the breakthrough which he wanted. A rare mistake by Nihal in the endgame which cost him the game.

Nihal has to win the second game to force tie-breaks | Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE

Praggnanandhaa - Krasenkow: 1-0

Pragg's opponent GM Michal Krasenkow (POL) opted for the Petroff's Defense which is considered very solid and good to hold a draw with the black pieces, just like Berlin.

Position after 25.g4

To understand what goes through Pragg's mind, you have to decipher the reason behind 25.g4. Since Black is not interested in defending the d5-pawn with a passive placement of the rook at d8, White is preparing his next plan, h4-g5, a prophylaxis.

Position after 32.d5

White makes his intentions clear with 32.d5 as both c6 and e6-squares are now vacated, thanks to 31...f6. White is not bothered about losing the g5-pawn because the d5-pawn will be the deciding factor of the game.

Position after 35.Rb4

How meticulously Pragg plays 35.Rb4. After 35...fxg5, he does not rush in taking on g6. First he goes 36.Ra4 because the queenside pawns are more important in this position. Pragg continues to showcase his beautiful understanding for the rest of the game to beat Krasenkow who has a wealth of experience and won the Platinum Crown, for the best game of Round 2.

Praggnanandhaa's Karpovesque endgame play to down Krasenkow | Video: ChessBase India

Praggnanandhaa scored an incredibly impressive win over Krasenkow | Photo: Anastasiia Korolkova/FIDE

Gunina - Harika: 1-0

Harika played extremely passive which cramped her pieces, against Gunina.

Position after 28...Qg8

28...Qg8 does not seem comfortable for Black's pieces. Instead 28...exf4 29.Bxf4 d5 would have been a better practical attempt. Sure White has a bishop pair and Black has a pair of knights, still that would have given Black more chances than the text. 

Position after 31.d4

Extreme passive play by Black made 31.d4 to be extremely strong. Black has no good replies against it. Taking on d4 with either of the pawns was a better idea than 31...c4. It led to 32.hxg6 hxg6 33.fxe5 fxe5 34.Nh5 and it is over for Black.

Harika must win on-demand against Gunina to stay in the Women's World Cup | Photo: Anastasiia Korolkova/FIDE



GM Vidit Gujrathi - GM B Adhiban: 1-0

GM P Harikrishna - GM Constantin Lupulescu (ROU): 1-0

GM Praggnanandhaa R - GM Michal Krasenkow (POL): 1-0

GM Nihal Sarin - GM Dmitry Andreikin (RUS): 0-1



GM Valentina Gunina (RUS) - GM Dronavalli Harika: 1-0

Dubov - Malakhov: 1-0

Arguably the game of the day was played by the former World Rapid champion GM Daniil Dubov (RUS) who scored a beautiful win over compatriot GM Vladimir Malakhov (RUS).

The artist - Daniil Dubov | Photo: Anastasiia Korolkova/FIDE


Here are a few interesting finishes from Round 3.1

Magnus Carlsen (NOR) defeated GM Aryan Tari (NOR)

GM Bobby Cheng (AUS) lost to GM Vladislav Kovalev (FID)

GM Alexander Grischuk (RUS) defeated GM Alan Pichot (ARG)

GM Pia Cranling (SWE) lost to Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS)
Vidit beats Beast, Hari's endgame, Praggov! Round 3.1 summary | Video: ChessBase India
FIDE World Cup 2021 Round 3.1 Live Commentary by IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal | Video: ChessBase India

Photo Gallery

Both Adhiban and Nihal are in a must-win situation | Photo: Anastasiia Korolkova/FIDE

Carlsen beat compatriot Tari | Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE

Caruana was held to a draw by GM Rinat Jumabayev (UZB) | Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE

Giri and Adhiban all masked up | Photo: Eric Rosen/FIDE

The agony of a loss | Photo: Anastasiia Korolkova/FIDE

Battle of the legends: Pia Cramling and Alexandra Kosteniuk | Photo: Anastasiia Korolkova/FIDE

Replay Round 3.1 Open games

Replay Round 3.1 Women games




Official site

Men's Regulations

Women's Regulations

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