BOTW: 2017.09.03

2017 World Cup

September 2-28, 2017
Tbilisi, Georgia

128-player knock-out tournament, where the top two finishers qualify for the World Championship Candidates' Tournament.

Canadian pairings:

Anton Kovalyov (#74, 2649) plays Varuzhan Akobian (#55, 2662, USA).

This might look like a good pairing for Anton -- better than 2015 when he beat former FIDE World Champion Kasimdzhanov in round 1 --  but Akobian has a plus score against Kovalyov, including three wins as Black, which suggests a stylistic difference which (so far) has worked in Akobian's advantage.

The winner of Kovalyov - Akobian plays the winner between Vishy Anand and... plays Vishy Anand.

Bator Sambuev (#115, 2529) plays Chinese phenom 18-year-old Wei Yi (#14, 2748).

This is obviously a difficult pairing for Bator: who gives up 200+ rating points to a player many consider a future World Champion. OTOH, Bator has a lot more experience preparing, and did win his first game against Morozevich at the previous World Cup.


UPDATE: Bator and Anton both won their round 1 games!

2017 World Cup Notes

  • WC Magnus Carlsen is playing, not because he needs to qualify for the Candidates, but because he says he approves of the format and thinks the World Championship should be decided this way. Carlsen's participation might be controversial if he reaches the finals, as his opponents in previous rounds could miss a chance at the Candidates by being knocked out by someone who is not eligible for the Candidates. As the pairings have worked out, if results go according to rating, then Carlsen will play MVL in the quarter-finals. 
  • Sergey Karjakin is playing, but has already qualified for the Candidates as the loser of the previous World Championship match.
  • The top 3 from the USA: So, Caruana and Nakamura are on the same side of the draw, so at most one of them can qualify;
  • former World Champions Vladimir Kramnik and Vishy Anand are both playing.
  • former FIDE World Champion Veselin Topalov is not playing in the World Cup.
  • Anish Giri has a very tough road to qualify. If results go according to rating, Giri will play Kramnik in the quarter-finals, and the winner will meet Lev Aronian in the quarter-finals, and the winner will play Carlsen in the semi-finals. 


Live Games (7am EST)

The ChessBrahs (Eric Hansen, Robin van Kampen and Aman Hambleton in Montreal) + Yasser Seirawan (Seattle) will be doing live commentary

Official Site (GM Ivan Sokolov and guests)