It’s been a very exciting week of chess and there is still more to come, as all eyes are on the ongoing FIDE World Cup. For this edition, we have chosen to analyze 3 games played in this very strong tournament.
We’ll start by the surprise knock out of the ex-World Champion Boris Gelfand by the young Chilean IM Cristobal Henriquez Villagra. After two draws in the classical game, the talented young player managed to outplay Gelfand with the black pieces in the rapid game, securing his spot into the next round.
He obtained a slight advantage after the opening and, although there wasn’t any immediate win, black’s position was clearly favorable to play thanks to white’s bad bishop and lack of space. In a try to open the position, Gelfand made a few mistakes that were immediately punished by Henriquez Villagra.
Another surprise was produced by the American GM Alexander Onischuk, who played a nice game against top GM Sergey Karjakin. Although the position that resulted after the opening was equal according to the engines, it required precise play by black. After an inexact move, white managed to activate his pieces and his bishop pair and won the game.
The last game we analyzed is Wesley So’s win over Hungarian Balogh Csaba, where he teaches a strategy lesson on how to play against two weaknesses. After putting his opponent into passivity, he first improved his pieces and only after this went on to open up the game.
So far, he is the only player with 4 out of 4, which says a lot about his style of play and determination in this tournament.
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