Dominguez and Xiong Advance to Tiebreaks; So Eliminated

Faced with must-win games, Leiner Dominguez and Jeffery Xiong rose to the challenge. Dominguez defeated Alexander Grischuk, while Jeffery Xiong downed Jan-Krzysztof Duda. Both players move on to Sunday’s Round 4 Tiebreak Round at the 2019 FIDE World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk.

Wesley So could only draw against Nikita Vitiugov, and with his loss yesterday, he is eliminated from the 128 person knockout event.

IM John Watson sets the scene, and annotates two games for exclusively for CLO:

Wesley So did his best to create chances today, but was unable to get anything against Nikita Vitiugov’s accurate play. He was eliminated, and Vitiugov, playing inspired chess, moves on. For the other Americans, this round was an inspiring example of fighting against the odds and surviving. To put it in context, chess doesn’t offer the average professional many chances for a career-changing result, but the World Cup gives players like Leinier Dominguez Perez and Jeffrey Xiong the chance to join their peers in the Candidates Tournament, an achievement which only the select few players accomplish in their entire careers. Given those circumstances, the pressure of playing in a must-win situation against the world’s best is immense, and both came through with flying colors. Xiong played a technically flawless game against Jan-Krzysztof Duda.

 

Watson on Dominguez-Grischuk:

Dominguez faced the daunting task of having to defeat the elite grandmaster Alexander Grischuk. To Grischuk’s credit, he didn’t back down from entering into a wild , double-edged position. In severe time trouble he uncorked the reasonable looking 28…Nxg2, but Dominguez reacted coolly, exposing the drawbacks to Grischuk’s move and winning the game.

So’s 8.a4 in the Ruy Lopez took the game into more lightly trawled waters, but he could never generate the complications needed to defeat a 2700+ GM. The game was drawn in the minimum 30 moves, and So’s tournament is over.

Ian Nepomniachtchi and Peter Svidler were also eliminated on Saturday. Svidler drew against Maxime-Vachier Lagrave, while Nepomniachtchi lost to Yu Yangyi in an interesting Grunfeld battle.

Tomorrow sees playoff games between:

Ding Liren – Alekseenko
Aronian – Le Quang Liem
Mamedyarov – Radjabov
Dominguez – Grischuk
Duda – Xiong

The winners of these playoffs join Vachier-Lagrave, Vitiugov, and Yu Yanghi in the “Round of 8.”

Play starts on Sunday at 6am EDT. Live coverage is available at the FIDE YouTube Channel.


FIDE World Cup Quick links

2019 World Cup Official Webpage

Pairings and Results

Live YouTube Coverage (daily, 6am EDT)

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