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Tuesday, 01 Oct 2019 4:13
World Cup final: Ding Liren draws first blood


The second games of the FIDE World Cup Final and the match for the 3rd place were played on October 1.

Ding Liren and Teimour Radjabov played a well-known line of the English Opening, in which White sacrifices a pawn. The Chinese grandmaster got significant compensation and launched an attack on the kingside, while the black pieces were blocked on the three back ranks. Most likely Radjabov committed the decisive mistake on the 23rd move by advancing his pawn from e6 to e5 – the white pieces flooded into the Black's camp wreaking havoc. Ding Liren was building up pressure with precise play and forced his opponent to capitulate on the move 40.

This is the first loss of the Azerbaijani player in this tournament. However, it does not seem to affect his spirits: "Psychologically I was ready for this result from the first round till the end of the tournament. Anything can happen; you can lose at any moment. I do not have any special thoughts about it. I am just playing game after game. Losses happen, it's a part of chess life."

This victory is Ding Liren's gift not only to himself but also to his compatriots who are celebrating a big day today – the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Yu Yangyi played the Petrov’s Defense. According to the French grandmaster, who had White in this game, he was exerting a certain pressure, but then underestimated a precise reply from the opponent, who was very well prepared for this variation. After the major pieces were exchanged, a balanced position arose, and the players agreed to a draw after the 30th move.

The third games of both matches will be played on October 2, once again with colors reversed.

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The competition is organized by the Government of Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Ugra, International Chess Federation (FIDE), Ugra Chess Federation, and Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation.

Official website: https://khantymansiysk2019.fide.com/en/

General partner – Gazpromneft-Khantos LCC.
Official airline – Utair.
Official partners of the competition: OJSC RostelecomUgra Chess AcademyRussian Chess FederationAB InBev Efesand PJSC Rosneft.
FIDE official partner – JSCo "RZD".
General media partner – News Agency TASS.
Media partners – Match TVWorld of Chess social network, OTRC "Ugra"Ugra-news.ru News of Ugra regional newspaper, AIF-Ugra newspaper.