International Chess Federation
Wednesday, 06 May 2020 20:41
FIDE Online Nations Cup: China extends lead

China increased its lead at the FIDE Online Nations Cup to two match points on the second day of play. The USA and Europe are tied for second place, followed by Russia, Rest of the World, and India. Levon Aronian became the only player on Day 2 to win two games. 

Round 3

China-Russia was an interesting matchup in many respects. Sergey Karjakin was playing his first official game since the World Blitz Championship in December; the two participants of the last women's world championship faced one another again. The games on these two boards ended in draws.

Vladislav Artemiev scored a convincing win against Wei Yi on board two, but China tied the match as Ding Liren defeated a still struggling Ian Nepomniachtchi. The latter almost came back to full equality after being put under pressure in the opening in what looked like deep prep from the Chinese player — the kind of material that could have been seen at the Candidates.

Coming from a loss and a draw on day one, GM Levon Aronian did much better on the second day of play as he won both of his games. Even so, he wasn't too happy about his play. One moment in Aronian's game with Vidit Gujrathi was special: the way he created a passer with 47.b2-b4!! while also shutting off his opponent's bishop was brilliant:

After 47...axb3 48. Bb2! h5 49. g5! h4 50. a4 it turns out that White’s a-pawn is unstoppable: 51...Kg8 51. a5 Kh7 52. a6 Bd1 53. Kxd1 d2 54. Qxg7+ Qxg7 55. Bxg7 Kxg7 56. Kxd2 1-0  

It's high time to say a couple of words about the ladies and there's no better opportunity than the USA vs. Rest of the World match where GM Irina Krush secured the two match points by beating IM Dinara Saduakasova with the black pieces. Krush fearlessly accepted a pawn sacrifice by young Kazakhstani and demonstrated nicely why it didn't work.

Round 4

Russia was too strong for the Rest of the World: Nepomniachtchi was back in shape in his encounter with Teimour Radjabov and Sergey Karjakin won a somewhat topsy-turvy game against Jorge Cori.

Aronian scored his second win, this time against Leinier Dominguez. It started as a Petroff, not an opening the Armenian grandmaster normally plays. The game transposed into an endgame in which the American was a pawn up at the cost of a terrible pawn structure. Black had full compensation and maybe a slightly better position but hardly more. Nevertheless, from that point on Dominguez went downhill and resigned on move 48. Nana Dzagnidze demonstrated an excellent endgame technique converting an extra pawn in the game with Anna Zatonskih. It is worth mentioning, that Black scored two victories in this match. 

In another hard-fought match, it was Wang Hao who got the victory for China against India thanks to a relatively easy win against Vidit Gujrathi. The Indian GM mixed something up in the opening and was soon looking at a hopeless position. Viswanathan Anand held Ding to a draw from the black side of a Queen's Gambit Declined by defending an endgame with an atrocious pawn structure.

The tournament will be broadcast live across multiple outlets including FIDE's and's own channels across Twitch, YouTube, Mixer, Twitter, and other international streaming platforms. With an estimated audience of several million worldwide, commentary by chess experts will be conducted in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Russian, Mandarin, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Turkish, and Polish. You can watch live broadcasts and replays on FIDE YouTube channel:

Text: Peter Doggers (

David Llada
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Nick Barton