Radjabov Wins 2019 FIDE World Cup

After 22 days of action, and 432 games played, the 2019 FIDE World Cup has come to an end with today’s dramatic final tiebreak round. Teimour Radjabov defeated Ding Liren twice in the blitz tiebreak to win the World Cup Final by a score of 6-4. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave finishes in third place after winning his tiebreak against Yu Yangyi.

Ding appeared to be in the driver’s seat after his Round 2 Finals victory, but Radjabov roared back to life with an unlikely win in Round 3. After allowing Ding to play the Marshall Gambit, one of the most professional ways for Black to play for the drawn, Radjabov introduced a new idea on move 21 with 21.Qxf5 Bxf5 22.Ne4.

Objectively the novelty is nothing special, as Radjabov explained after the game, but it does require knowledge (22…c5 holds) and precision from Black. Ding underestimated White’s chances after 26.Ne6, and 29…Rxc8 (instead of 29…Nc2) was perhaps the key error. Radjabov won in 46 moves.

Anna Rudolf and Teimour Radjabov (photo Kirill Merkuryev)

With both players weary after so many games, it is perhaps understandable that Thursday’s Round 4 was drawn without much struggle. Ding chose the rare 7.Nxe5 against the trendy 6…Bc5 in the Reversed Dragon, but the resulting positions (analyzed by Avrukh and others) are dry and prospectless for White despite his being a pawn up.

The first four games – two rapid (G/25), two ‘quick’ (G/10) – of today’s tiebreaks between Ding and Radjabov were drawn, with both players defending solidly with Black. Radjabov broke through in the first blitz tiebreak game after Ding’s king went on an ill-fated jaunt across the board. IM John Watson analyzes this critical game.

He followed this up with a second blitz win after Ding burned bridges in an effort to tie the match.

The win earns Radjabov $110,000, while Ding takes home $80,000 for second place and the Brilliancy Prize for his win against Radjabov. Both players will be nominated to the 2020 Candidates Tournament, currently scheduled for Yekaterinburg in the spring.

While it appears that Maxime Vachier-Lagrave will be on the outside of the Candidates looking in after his loss to Radjabov in the Semi-Finals, he walks away from Khanty-Mansiysk with $60,000 for his third place finish. MVL defeated Yu Yangyi in both legs of today’s rapid playoff, wrapping things up with a flourish in the final game.

Yu finished in fourth place with a prize of $50,000.

FIDE World Cup Quick links

2019 World Cup Official Webpage

Pairings and Results

YouTube Coverage


  1. FANTASTIC AS IT HAPPENS SERIOUS PRO CHESS … NO NONSENSE OOVERAGE OF THE MONSTER 2019 KHANTI WORLD CUP…coverage that is prompt/ real deal and that we can be very VERY proud of… Mr. Hartmann and Mr. Watson are REALLY going great guns on the new Indianapolis speedway US chess web page …notice that tremendous highly theoretical deep study play by THE VASTLY UNDERATED 2019 WORLD CUP CHAMPION … grandmaster Radjabov uncorked..those who study(the more the better ala Fischer) ) …WIN. Please note Mr. Radjabov automaticly goes to he world chess championship candidates RIGHT NOW. . Get packed. Vacation is over everyone. This will be marvelous and not sheer utter nonsense .. certainly not the pathetic mickey mouse take a vacation slumberfest joke of the last truly pathetic 12 draw world title match. Jude Acers/ New Orleans ps the world chess federation has just announced THAT ONE PLAYER FROM EVERY (180 +) CHESS NATION IN THE WORLD REGARDLESS OF RATING will absolutely play in the knockout 2020 World Cup!!!!!…. The quicker the fabulous ON THE MOVE/’DISRUPTIVE’….new US CHESS VERY progressive leadership invites 100 players to knockout ..at least ONE PLAYER FROM EVERY US STATE AND TOP 50 AMERICAN MASTERS TO A KNOCKOUT 5 DAY $200,000 first prize US CHESS CUP (THE ‘US CHESS CHALLENGE’) the better we will all be. There are now an estimated 800 million chess phone app players..we must act now OR WE WILL BE TOTALLY REPLACED BY CASINOS/game web sites… AND WORLD GAME CONVENTIONS already gung ho in China.. the gambling island of Macau does ten times the Las Vegas revenue and could hold a promo family friendly/TAX WRITE OFF chess event with a 5 million dollar first prize right now……OUR NIFTY SLEEK FABULOUS US CHESS VENDORS CHESS/ BOOK SALES ARE WELL RUN…WILL ABSOLUTELY HAVE THE CASH…has millions available right now.. only a structure that allows the entire US nation (and the world) to play for the US chess national championship VIA REGIONAL FAST KNOCKOUT QUALIFIERS for all US CHESS PLAYERS REGARDLESS OF RATING…WILL ALLOW US CHESS TO SURVIVE. All draws by agreement must be banned as already announced in future world title play(one time control only for the whole game is definitely coming soon and ….that will be that.)SUDDEN DEATH 5 MINUTE PLAYOFF IF A LONG TIME CONTROL GAME IS DRAWN BY REFEREE DECISION ONLY ….and no player can ever leave the chess board during world fide rated events in this computer age. “Anyone who says that the grandmasters would not cheat using computers via cellphone or otherwise if permitted TO WALK OUT OF THE ROOM ..doesn’t know what they are talking about”-Grandmaster Ben Finegold/Atlanta Georgia CHEATING VIA CELL PHONE COMPUTER has happened hundreds of times/thoroughly documented world wide by the world chess federation. PERIOD. Leaving the board for one second during mega buckaroos world fide play must soon be absolutely out and all games must soon be played very quickly..or not at all at world level. The entire world must be able to watch with families and friends ALL world chess championship play quite easily via internet. It is coming friends, neighbors, countrymen! The age of elitism..watching 12 admittedly wonderful /very great players ponderously chase each other all year long around the table in a closet…must end.

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