Kazakhtan’s top ranked Rinat Jumabayev advanced to the fourth round of the FIDE World Cup in Sochi after he eliminated world number two Fabiano Caruana.
The first game of the two ended in a solid draw and it looked like Caruana would be pressing in the second game, especially with the white pieces.
In a complex variation of the Carlsbad Queen’s Gambit, Caruana played for a kingside attack with the thematic, albeit risky, 17.g4 push. He then sacrificed an exchange for some piece play compensation, although the computer is not impressed at all.
Jumabaev wasn’t able to defend with precision, and had to improvise with a queen sacrifice to keep the balance. The game was equal but very tricky and just one mistake (41.Qc4?) was enough for Black to win a piece tactically and seal the deal.
The first qualifier of the day was Daniil Dubov, who advanced to Round 4 defeating Vladimir Malakhov by a clear 1.5-0.5 score.
Although Games 2 was quite solid, the key was in the previous game when Dubov played a very enterprising e5-e6 pawn thrust, taking the game into dark territory, from which he emerged victorious. His opponent in the 1/16 finals will be fellow Russian Andrey Esipenko.
Also qualifying at a speedy pace was 2015 World Cup winner, Sergey Karjakin of Russia. His opponent Grigoriy Oparin had to win in the second game after losing an equal ending in the first game. However, defeating the former world champion contender with Black was not an easy task, and Oparin had to concede the draw after 38 moves.
Meanwhile, World Champion Magnus Carlsen grinded out his out his second win against his team-mate Aryan Tari in an opposite-color bishop ending with a rook each. Tari had some better defensive chances at some point but Magnus’ technique proved to be too much for him and he had to resign on move 67.
In the women’s competition top seeds Aleksandra Goryachkina, Kateryna Lagno and Anna Muzychuk all drew their second game today but will advance to the next round.
Former World Champion Zhongyi Tan eliminated her opponent Marie Sebag of France 2-0, the same result as Nino Batsiashvili, who also advanced to the next round with a conclusive 2-0 score.