Alexandra Kosteniuk is the 2021 FIDE Women’s World Cup champion after offering a draw in winning position to secure victory over Aleksandra Goryachkina. Her feat of winning the title without needing a tiebreaker once was a repeat of how she won the 2008 Women’s World Championship, while the 43 ranking points she earned brought her back. in the Women’s Top 10. Elsewhere, Sergey Karjakin reached the final and secured a place in the Candidates after an opening disaster for Vladimir Fedoseev, while Magnus Carlsen and Jan-Krzysztof Duda will play tie-breaks after Duda pressed hard but failed. could not break through.
You can replay the FIDE World Cup matches of the day using the selectors below.
And here’s today’s live commentary from Jan Gustafsson and Peter Svidler.
Alexandra Kosteniuk, 37, reiterated the triumph she won in 2008 at the age of 24, when she won the title of women’s world champion by beating Atousa Pourkashiyan, Tatiana Kosintseva, Anna Ushenina, Pia Cramling then Hou Yifan, all without the need for a tiebreaker.
At the time, Kosteniuk was seeded 9th, while this time she was seeded 14th but also won all her matches without a tiebreaker, against Deysi Cori, Pia Cramling (as in 2008!), Mariya Muzychuk , Valentina Gunina, Tan Zhongyi and finally Aleksandra Goryachkina. She explained what it meant to win such a knockout again:
Many! When you’re young and you win you don’t appreciate it that much, and when you get older, well at least in my case, every win is like something amazing, because you start to appreciate it a lot more. victories and of course as time goes on you think about retirement and all that more often. These victories motivate you to keep going, and I don’t know for how long, but of course I’m very happy.
The final match was the one Kosteniuk only had to shoot after winning a crazy match the day before – she admitted while talking to Sergey Shipov after the final match that it helped her that she just didn’t. didn’t realize how bad his position had been. this game.
In the second game, the opening was curious, neither Kosteniuk nor Goryachkina seeming to make the optimal choices for their match situation.
Nonetheless, we had a tense position where any mistake could have been fatal. Instead, there weren’t any clear mistakes, but certainly some questionable decisions.
Here, Kosteniuk said later that she thought 28.Qa6 was simply winning, but the practical choice would have been to play 28.xd8! Rxd8 (28… Qxe2 ?? 29.R1d7 # is checkmate!) 29.Dxg4 hxg4 30.Txd8 and the bishop of the opposite color should have been a comfortable draw.
Instead, things remained tense, but in the end, a blow Kosteniuk had missed for her opponent helped her clinch the title.
Here Goryachkina went for 38… Bxf4 ?! when Kosteniuk was forced to trade on d8 in a crazy ending of the opposite color, but which turned out to be very good for White. Alexandra commented:
Closer to time issues, I missed Bxf4. I’m not sure what the rating of this endgame is, but it suddenly became very double-edged with all those past pawns running forward. Fortunately, I was right on time.
The game ended when Kosteniuk put a queen on her pawn, and Goryachkina made a timely draw offer, because if she had put her own pawn, she probably would have lost a queen ending three pawns with her opponents being the first to give. checks.
This meant that Kosteniuk had only collected 43 and not 48 ranking points for an incredible tournament!
It was a well-deserved victory for Alexander Kosteniuk, while Alexandra Goryachkina suffered the final heartbreak shortly after also placing second in the Women’s World Championship. The 22-year-old nonetheless shows consistency at a very high level and has done better than most seeds have historically succeeded in these big knockout events.
The Women’s World Cup isn’t quite over, as the 3rd place match between Anna Muzychuk and Tan Zhongyi goes into tiebreaks on Tuesday. For a while, it looked like Tan Zhongyi was going to repeat her feat against Kateryna Lagno by taking over and winning the second game with the black pieces, but this time she failed to find the finishing touch.
Karjakin reaches final as Carlsen-Duda goes to tie-breaks
The 2015 World Cup winner Sergey Karjakin reached the final again after defeating Vladimir Fedoseev in the 2nd classic match. The game was almost decided in a clean opening that both players knew well. Anish Giri noted in a previous comment that Sergey worked so hard on chess as a child that whenever he decides to focus again he can quickly return to the highest level.
This is why at move 16 he was not tempted by 16.f4?!, Since he noted that at 11 he already knew the trap 16… Bc5 + 17.Kh2 Bc8! 18.fxe5? Ng4 +! since he had managed to play it against Gata Kamsky on Internet Chess Club.
In fact until 19… f5 the game still followed Tari-Vidit from the 2018 Tata Steel Challengers and Oparin-Morozevich from the 2015 Nutcracker Tournament.
Sergey thought 24 minutes before moving on to the new move 20.h4 !? and it is here that Fedoseev’s most powerful weapon during the 2021 FIDE World Cup – his playing speed – became his greatest weakness. He blitzed 20… Fe7 21.h5 Rf8? and, just like that, was almost lost.
The movement of the tower had some logic – as Sergey pointed out, he was preparing Qe8 to attack the h5 pawn – but now Sergey has included first 22.axb5 axb5 23.Rxa8 Bxa8 before making a move that he could also have made immediately, 24.e6!, opening a gaping hole at e5 for the white knight.
Too late, Vladimir sank into a 25-minute reflection, before making the sad retreat 24… Re8. He came down with a fight, sacrificing a piece on f2, but 31.d5! made sure Sergey kept full control, and the resignation came a few moves later.
Like everyone involved in the World Cup, Sergey Karjakin fought exhaustion and subsequently commented:
I am very happy. I have to say that when I played against Shankland I was kind of… of course I wanted to win, but at the same time it felt like if I won then I lost to Fedoseev and I had to play one more match, and then if I lose one more match, it’ll just be horrible, but luckily it didn’t! Because I have a feeling that this third place game is kind of pointless, and I want to win this game more than any other game.
Sergey is not only in the final but already qualified for the 2022 Candidates Tournament, but in fact it is quite possible that the match for 3rd place has more at stake than the final – if Carlsen reaches the final, then Duda- Fedoseev would play for a place in the Candidates.
It’s a big if, however, with Jan-Krzysztof, the player who came closest to securing a place in the final in a tense classic 2nd game on Monday. Magnus created a surprise in an Anti-Marshall with 8… Rb8 !?
Duda paused but then responded confidently, and he would be curious if he had received any advice from his compatriot Poland and Vishy Anand’s longtime mate, Grzegorz Gajewski.
Either way, Duda opted for an absolute Marshall Mainline with the difference that Rb8 and the pawn swap on b5 had been included. Our commentators suspected that this meant that a line that is normally considered more or less harmless with Qf1 could suddenly have more venom.
This impression was reinforced by the fact that Magnus took over 28 minutes to respond with 18… Qxf1 and after 19.Rxf1 Bf5 Duda played a stunt often seen in the Marshall:
20.Nd2! seems to have been a perfectly correct trade sacrifice.
As the game progressed, Duda did what Magnus likes to do to his opponent, applying slow positional pressure.
Our commentators did not see an easy solution for Magnus.
If there was no easy fix, however, it seems Magnus found it difficult, playing computer-approved moves that ultimately steered the game towards a clearly drawn position.
Magnus was visibly unhappy at the end.
Still, nothing bad was done, and now Magnus will play his 3rd World Cup tiebreaker, for a place in the final. This is just the second tiebreaker for Duda, who is now the only undefeated player in the overall World Cup standings.
You don’t want to miss it, with Jan Gustafsson and Peter Svidler commenting again live from 2:00 p.m. CEST right here on chess24: Open | Women