3 August 2021

Jan-Krzysztof Duda Defeats Magnus Carlsen and Makes It to FIDE World Cup Final

Tan Zhongyi takes bronze medal at the FIDE Women's World Cup.

Photo credit: Anastasia Korolkova / FIDE
Photo credit: Anastasia Korolkova / FIDE

August 3, the semifinal/third-place tiebreakers of the FIDE Open and Women’s World Cups, respectively, finished in Krasnaya Polyana.

The symbolic first move in the semifinal game one between Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Poland) and Magnus Carlsen (Norway) was made by the Deputy Governor of the Krasnodar Krai Alexander Vlasov.

The Polish GM was White in game one. The game was rich in double-edged struggle, but ended in a draw. In game two, the world champion handled the opening rather passively as White: Duda got a comfortable play and an edge. In the endgame, the Polish grandmaster first missed the strongest continuation by offering the trade of rooks, and Carlsen was close to escaping. However, the Norwegian made an error and lost in a strong time pressure. 

The final match between Sergey Karjakin (Russia) and Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Poland) beings on August 4.

Playing black in game one of the Women's Tournament, Tan Zhongyi (China) outplayed Anna Muzychuk (Ukraine). White put oil in the fire by sacrificing a pawn for the kingside attack, but got no compensation for the missing material. The Chinese player, in her turn, organized an offensive against the opponent's king that had castled long and gradually converted her advantage.

Finding herself in a must-win situation as Black in the return game, Muzychuk went all-in with the Albin Countergambit in its ultra-modern interpretation. Nevertheless, it did not take the ex-world champion by surprise:  Tan got a substantial edge rather quickly and delivered a beautiful blow on move twelve that destroyed Black's defenses. As a result, the Chinese forced a draw in the winning position and won the match 2.5:1.5 to become the bronze medalist of the Women's World Cup.

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