FIDE World Cup is shortly entering the semi-finals. With big stars such as Carlsen, Caruana, Karjakin and Nakamura being eliminated in early rounds, the remaining quarter is now Levon Aronian, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Ding Liren and Wesley So.
The latter faced our local hero Baadur Jobava in the round of 16 (fourth round) and Jobava was very close to winning the second classical game as white after a solid draw in the first game. In the third round Jobava had eliminated the strong Russian grandmaster Nepomniachtchi.
Here is the position after 41. Kf3 where experts were saying that Jobava likely had a winning position, but the question is how to proceed.
– My idea was to first prepare for e4 with Re1 and then exchange the knights with an easy win in the rook ending, says Jobava exclusively to Malmö AS.
– But I missed his Re7 in move 44 and I had to settle into a draw.
Also commentary GM Ivan Sokolov critized Jobava for playing too fast in some critical situations since Jobava was far ahead of So on the time control, and So being in time trouble.
– Yes it’s true. I should have stayed more calm and used my time better, Jobava admits after the game.
Then in the first rapid game, Jobava lost and then he did not manage to recover in the second rapid game which ended in a draw. So former World Number 2 Wesley So was quite lucky to advance to the quarter final after this epic battle!
Another game of Jobava against Yu Yangyi in the second round contained one of Jobava’s hallmark games with a beautiful knight sacrifice.
For a full report on this game, read Lars Grahn’s blog.
Some Youtube links regarding Jobava’s World Cup.