Five Americans Advance in FIDE World Cup, Yip to Women's Round of 32

GM Sam Sevian and IM Carissa Yip at the 2021 FIDE World Cup
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GM Sam Sevian and IM Carissa Yip are two Americans who have advanced into the third round of FIDE's World Cup and Women's World Cup. // photo Eric Rosen, FIDE


Five Americans have advanced into the third round of the 2021 FIDE World Cup, as well as IM Carissa Yip who remains in Sochi, Russia as the last American standing in the Women’s World Cup.

The International Chess Federation’s first-ever women’s bracket has been whittled down to 32 remaining players, including the 17-year-old Yip, who advanced after winning in tiebreaks over Ukraine WGM Nataliya Buksa on Saturday. US Chess’ No. 2 rated female had won the first of her two-game classical match against Buksa, but then admitted to being “devastated” after losing the second, needing some emotional recovery before entering the weekend tiebreakers that began with a set of rapid 25+10 games.


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Yip appeared to rebound as well as possible, winning both tiebreakers, and credited the 2020 U.S. Chess Women’s Championship, held online for the first time last October with a similar time control, for better-adjusting her to the rapid pressure in Sochi. After a straightforward win with the white pieces in the first tiebreaker, Yip toppled Buksa using some polished rapid strategy, despite her unfamiliarity with the line.

“I usually don’t play the Classical Sicilian, so I'm not really familiar with sidelines and such. I’ve never seen this Qd3 move,” Yip told a FIDE interview. “I just decided I would just try to play natural moves, play quickly, hopefully get her low on time so she would blunder.”

[pgn][Event "FIDE World Cup Women 2021"] [Site "Krasnaya Polyana RUS"] [Date "2021.07.17"] [Round "2.4"] [White "Buksa, Nataliya"] [Black "Yip, Carissa"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B62"] [WhiteElo "2413"] [BlackElo "2430"] [Annotator "Tactical Analysis 4.1 (2s)"] [PlyCount "70"] [EventDate "2021.07.12"] {[%evp 13,70,59,96,97,97,92,93,99,99,90,96,96,129,88,128,131,128,128,121,42,31, 11,0,-21,-4,-12,-12,-9,111,104,133,-6,1,9,72,78,162,55,54,53,69,69,94,60,59,24, 33,-18,-19,-31,-25,-707,-711,-692,-732,-29989,-29987,-1685,-776]} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd3 a6 8. Nxc6 {B62: Sicilian: Richter-Rauzer: 6...e6: Unusual White 7th moves.} bxc6 9. Qg3 Qa5 { ...Nxe4 is the strong threat.} 10. O-O-O {White is better.} Rb8 11. Bc4 h6 12. Bd2 $146 ({Predecessor:} 12. Be3 Nd7 13. Bb3 c5 14. Bf4 e5 15. Bd2 Qc7 16. Nd5 Qb7 17. Ba5 c4 18. Nc7+ Ke7 19. Bxc4 Qxb2+ 20. Kd2 Qd4+ 21. Qd3 Qc5 22. Qd5 Qxf2+ 23. Kc3 {1-0 (23) Paravyan,D (2627)-Stocek,J (2592) Prague 2019}) 12... Qb6 {[%csl Gb8][%cal Rb6b2]} 13. b3 d5 14. Bd3 d4 15. Na4 Qa7 16. c3 (16. Nb2 $16) 16... c5 $1 $14 17. cxd4 cxd4 18. Kb1 Bd7 19. Nb2 a5 20. Bxa5 Ra8 (20... Be7 $1 $11) 21. Nc4 $36 {[%mdl 2048] White is really pushing.} Bb5 {[#]} 22. Qe5 ({White should try} 22. Nb6 $1 $16 Bxd3+ 23. Qxd3 Qxa5 24. Nxa8) 22... Bxc4 23. Bxc4 Bc5 (23... Qxa5 $11 24. Bb5+ Nd7) 24. Bb5+ Kf8 {[#]} (24... Nd7 $16 { is a better defense.}) 25. a4 $1 Ng4 $14 26. Qg3 Qxa5 27. Qxg4 g6 28. Rd3 Kg7 { White must now prevent ...Rhb8.} 29. Rc1 Ba3 {And now ...Rhb8 would win.} 30. Rc6 Rhc8 31. Ka2 {Threatens to win with Rxc8.} ({Don't go for} 31. Rxd4 $2 Rxc6 32. Bxc6 {[#]} Qc3 $1 $19 {[%mdl 512]}) 31... Be7 {aiming for ...Qxb5.} 32. e5 $2 {[%mdl 8192] This move loses the game for White.} Qxb5 $19 33. Rxc8 Qxd3 34. Rxa8 Qc2+ 35. Ka1 Bb4 {Weighted Error Value: White=0.63/Black=0.18} (35... Qc1+ $142 36. Ka2 Qd2+ {[%mdl 64] Double Attack} 37. Kb1 Ba3 38. Qxd4 Qxd4 39. Kc2 Qe4+ {[%mdl 64] Double Attack} 40. Kc3 Bb4+ 41. Kb2 Qe2+ {[%mdl 64] Double Attack} 42. Kb1 Ba3 43. Rg8+ Kxg8 44. h4 Qb2#) 0-1 [/pgn]


IM Carissa Yip at the 2021 FIDE Women's World Cup
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US Chess No. 2 rated female IM Carissa Yip advanced to the FIDE Women's World Cup round of 32 in Sochi, Russia. // photo Eric Rosen, FIDE

Also emerging from Round 2 tiebreaks were American GMs Timur Gareyev and Sam Sevian in FIDE’s open World Cup, which began with twice the player pool as the women's bracket and has 64 players remaining. Gareyev advanced after scoring a nice win with the black pieces in the first of his rapid tiebreaker over Russian GM Dmitry Jakovenko, then held for a draw as White to advance. But two rapid games weren’t enough to separate Sevian from his second-round opponent, Dutch GM Benjamin Bok, needing a second set of rapid tiebreakers with a faster 10+10 time control to settle the score -- the Massachusetts 20-year-old won both.

[pgn][Event "FIDE World Cup 2021"] [Site "Krasnaya Polyana RUS"] [Date "2021.07.17"] [Round "2.3"] [White "Jakovenko, Dmitry"] [Black "Gareyev, Timur"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A15"] [WhiteElo "2684"] [BlackElo "2596"] [Annotator "Tactical Analysis 4.1 (2s)"] [PlyCount "86"] [EventDate "2021.07.12"] {[%evp 9,86,9,11,8,27,27,40,8,11,11,11,11,9,0,3,3,18,-5,29,29,52,40,57,63,63, 83,88,40,38,-11,-11,-24,1,-39,-41,-106,-118,-115,-112,-115,-112,-112,-105,-149, -148,-181,-159,-159,-148,-148,-61,-135,-107,-107,-79,-67,-67,-61,-71,-103,-89, -394,-138,-133,-101,-157,-157,-163,-124,-124,-129,-132,-145,-132,-124,-265, -265,-405,-423]} 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 d6 3. d4 g6 4. Nc3 Bf5 5. d5 Bg7 6. Nd4 { E61: King's Indian: Early deviations for White, including Smyslov System.} Bd7 7. e4 e5 8. Nc2 {White is slightly better.} (8. dxe6 $5 fxe6 9. Bg5 $11) 8... a5 9. Be2 Na6 10. Be3 Nc5 11. f3 $146 ({Predecessor:} 11. Bf3 O-O 12. Qe2 Ne8 13. g4 f5 14. gxf5 gxf5 15. O-O-O fxe4 16. Nxe4 Nxe4 17. Bxe4 {1/2-1/2 (90) Xiang,Z (2400)-Peng,X (2424) Shanghai 2018}) 11... Nh5 12. g3 O-O 13. Na3 f5 14. exf5 $1 gxf5 15. Qc2 (15. f4 Nf6 $11) 15... Na6 16. O-O-O Nb4 17. Qd2 f4 18. Bf2 (18. gxf4 $16 Nxf4 19. Nab5) 18... e4 $1 $14 {[%cal Re4e3]} 19. fxe4 ( 19. Nxe4 $14 {is superior.} Nxa2+ 20. Kb1) 19... f3 $11 20. Bd3 Qf6 21. Kb1 Qg6 22. Nc2 (22. Nab5 $15) 22... Nxd3 $17 23. Qxd3 Bxc3 24. Qxc3 Nf6 25. e5 (25. Qxf3 $2 Nxe4 26. Qd3 Nxf2 $19) 25... Ne4 26. Qe1 (26. Qe3 $142 dxe5 27. Ka1) 26... dxe5 27. Ka1 Ba4 28. Rc1 Bxc2 29. Rxc2 Rae8 ({Better is} 29... a4 $17 30. a3 Nxf2 31. Rxf2 e4) 30. Be3 (30. Qxa5 $15 Nxf2 31. Rxf2) 30... b6 31. Rf1 Nc5 (31... Rf7 {looks sharper.} 32. Qd1 Qg4 33. Kb1 Kg7 34. h3 Qh5) 32. Bxc5 bxc5 33. Rc3 e4 34. Qe3 Qh5 {aiming for ...f2.} 35. Qxc5 {[%mdl 8192] [#]} (35. Rf2 $17) 35... Qxh2 $2 (35... Qh3 $19 36. Rf2 e3 37. Rxe3 Qh6 38. Rfxf3 {[#]} Qxe3 $3 {[%mdl 512]} 39. Qxe3 Rxe3 40. Rxf8+ Kxf8) 36. Qe3 Rf5 ({Don't go for} 36... Qxg3 $2 37. Rg1 $18) 37. a3 (37. Kb1 $142) 37... Qg2 $40 {[%mdl 128] Black wants a kill.} ({And not} 37... Qxg3 38. Rg1 $16) 38. Rcc1 f2 39. c5 Qf3 40. Rc3 {With the idea Qxf3.} Qxe3 ({Stronger than} 40... Rxd5 41. Qxf3 exf3 42. Rxf2 $11) 41. Rxe3 Kf7 42. c6 (42. Ka2 $17 {is a better defense.}) 42... Kf6 $19 43. Ka2 (43. d6 $142 cxd6 44. Kb1) 43... Ke5 {Weighted Error Value: White=0.33/Black=0.16} 0-1 [/pgn]


GM Timur Gareyev at the 2021 FIDE World Cup
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Would American GM Timur Gareyev arrive to the 2021 FIDE World Cup in any other way? A parachute, perhaps? // photo Anastasiia Korolkov, FIDE


The stakes intensified Saturday, capping off a wild second round that delivered the tournament’s first big-name bow-outs. World No. 5 Armenian GM Levon Aronian was the first headline exit, announcing his withdrawal from the tournament after not feeling well enough to play his match against Australia GM Bobby Cheng. And World No. 12 GM Alireza Firouzja couldn’t find a win through six games with Uzbekistan GM Javokhir Sindarov, drawing five and dropping his bid as White in the second set of rapid tiebreakers. 

Though team US Chess was not immune from the second-round sting: World No. 13 Leinier Dominguez-Perez drew twice classically with Uzbekistan GM Jakhongir Vakhidov, then dropped both rapid overtime games on Saturday for a top-seed exit. GM Elshan Moradiabadi played to a draw with French World No. 16 GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, though lost as Black in the second classical game. GM Yaroslav Zherebukh fought to decisions in all six games against Spain GM Alexei Shirov, though lost as White in the second set of rapid tiebreaks. And three of four US Chess women dropped in the second round, 0-2. 


GM Leinier Dominguez-Perez 2021 FIDE World Cup
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GM Leinier Dominguez-Perez at the 2021 FIDE World Cup in Sochi, Russia. // photo Eric Rosen, FIDE
Round 2 Results 

GM Fabiano Caruana def. Indonesia GM Susanto Megaranto, 2-0
GM Sam Shankland def. Georgia GM Jobava Baadur, 1.5-0.5
GM Jeffery Xiong def. Israel GM Victor Mikhalevski, 1.5-5
GM Sam Sevian def. Netherlands GM Benjamin Bok, 4-2
GM Timur Gareyev def. Russian GM Dmitry Jakovenko, 2.5-1.5
Uzbekistan GM Jakhongir Vakhidov def. GM Leinier Dominguez-Perez, 3-1  
Spain GM Alexei Shirov def. GM Yaroslav Zherebukh, 4-2
Russia GM David Paravyan def. GM Alexander Onischuk, 2-0
French GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave def. GM Elshan Moradiabadi, 1.5-0.5
Sweden GM Nils Grandelius def. GM Varuzhan Akobian, 2.5-1.5

Women’s World Cup

WGM Carissa Yip def. Ukraine WGM Nataliya Buksa, 3-1
Russian GM Aleksandra Goryachkina def. WGM Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova, 2-0
Kazakhstan WGM Dinara Saduakassova def. WGM Jennifer Yu, 2-0
Ukraine GM Anna Muzychuk def. WGM Tatev Abrahamyan, 2-0


WGM Jennifer Yu at the 2021 FIDE Women's World Cup
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WGM Jennifer Yu at the 2021 FIDE Women's World Cup in Sochi, Russia. // photo Anastasiia Korolkova, FIDE


Sevian and Gareyev join three more Americans in the third round beginning Sunday -- GMs Jeffery Xiong, Sam Shankland and World No. 2 GM Fabiano Caruana. The latter each received first-round byes as top seeds in the event, and needed just two classical games to advance from round 2, employing Saturday as a rest day.

American third-round matches in the 2021 FIDE World Cup

GM Fabiano Caruana, 2806 vs. Kazakhstan GM Rinat Jumabayev, 2637
GM Sam Shankland, 2709 vs. Ukraine GM Alexander Areshchenko, 2687
GM Jeffery Xiong, 2709 vs. Sweden GM Nils Grandelius, 2661
GM Sam Sevian, 2647 vs. Poland GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda, 2738
GM Timur Gareyev, 2596 vs. Russia GM Vladimir Fedoseev, 2696

Women's World Cup

IM Carissa Yip, 2430 vs. Georgia GM Nana Dzagnidze, 2523


Each round in the FIDE World Cup is scheduled across three days, played as a two-game match that alternates white and black pieces over the first two days. Each match game is played with a classical time control, using 90 minutes on the clock plus an additional 30 minutes after 40 moves, with a 30-second per-move increment. If needed, the third day is used for tiebreaker games that decrease in time control until one player breaks through, beginning with two rapid 25-minute, 10-second increment games; then followed by two rapid 10-minute, 10-second increment games; two blitz 5-minute, 3-second increment games, and then finally forcing a winner with sudden death Armageddon.  

Games begin every day at 8:00 a.m. eastern, with full rest days scheduled before round 4 on Wednesday, July 21, and before round 7 on Saturday, July 31.  For complete information on the FIDE World Cup 2021 and the Women's World Cup, visit the official website.

FIDE World Cup 2021 Quick Links

Official Website with Live Broadcast

World Cup Bracket and Results

Women's World Cup Bracket and Results


Live games on

Live games on


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