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FIDE World Cup 2023 R4.1: Vidit vanquishes Bacrot, Vincent Keymer beats Magnus Carlsen for the first time

by Shahid Ahmed - 09/08/2023

GM Vidit Gujrathi scored a scintillating victory over GM Etienne Bacrot in Round 4.1 of FIDE World Cup 2023. Vidit launched a devastating attack on the kingside by rolling his pawns f4, e5, f5, f6 which yielded him a decisive advantage within the first 20 moves. He needs a draw in the second game to advance to the next round. GM Arjun Erigaisi missed a great opportunity to win in the rook and extra pawn endgame against GM Javokhir Sindarov (UZB). GM R Praggnanandhaa got a great grip in his position against GM Hikaru Nakamura (USA). He loosened it and allowed his opponent to escape. GM Harika Dronavalli survived a lost pawn endgame which was a bit complex, against IM Eline Roebers (NED). Out ofseven Indians, GM Koneru Humpy suffered the sole loss among Indian players, against GM Bella Khotenashvili. Humpy needs to win tomorrow to force tie-breaks. Germany no.1 GM Vincent Keymer defeated the world no.1 GM Magnus Carlsen for the first time in his career. The Norwegian must win tomorrow to force tie-breaks. Round 4 Game 2 starts tomorrow at 3 p.m. local time, 4:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Arjun misses, Harika makes a narrow escape and Humpy in a must-win situation

GM Arjun Erigaisi missed a huge opportunity in the endgame to beat GM Javokhir Sindarov (UZB). GM Harika Dronavalli survived a lost pawn endgame against IM Eline Roebers. The win was not easy to find.

GM Vidit Gujrathi scored a cracker against GM Etienne Bacrot (FRA) | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

FIDE World Cup 2023 and FIDE Women's World Cup 2023 Official logo | Photo: Official site

Vidit - Bacrot: 1-0

The only time GM Vidit Gujrathi (2723) played a rated game against France no.3 GM Etienne Bacrot (2662) was almost eight years ago at World Rapid. Vidit lost that battle as Bacrot was rated higher than him. Things have changed a lot during that time. Vidit went for a 6.Ncb5 surprise in Taimanov opening, something that he implemented successfully against GM Kateryna Lagno at Pro Chess League this summer.

Position after 16.f6!

Vidit launched a devastating attack 15.f5! Nxe5 16.f6! Here he felt that 15...Bxf6 is how Black should have played 17.Rxf6 Nxd3 18.cxd3 gxf6 and he couldn't find a concrete way to win. However, Black played 16...gxf6 which gave White a substantial decisive advantage. 17.Bf4 Rd8 18.Rae1 Rd4 19.Bxh7+ Kf8 20.Qh5 and White won the game in another ten moves.

Vidit Gujrathi on his blistering attack to beat Etienne Bacrot | Video: ChessBase India
When Vidit attacked without a care in the world! Vidit vs Bacrot | Video: ChessBase India

GM Vidit Gujrathi is just a draw away from advancing to the fifth round | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Keymer - Carlsen: 1-0

The Germany no.1 GM Vincent Keymer (2701) has never defeated the world no.1 GM Magnus Carlsen (NOR, 2835) in a rated game. It is well-known that the teenager is a very strong player. Recently, he secured a second place finish at 56th Biel Chess Festival Grandmaster Triathlon 2023. There is no doubt that he was coming into this event with all the moment. He won both of his round 2 and 3 matches in just two games against GM Daniel Dardha (BEL, 2598) and GM M Amin Tabatabaei (IRI, 2696).

Position after 22...Rxa5

White found a nice tactic 23.Nxd5. Keymer's trainer GM Peter Leko (HUN) mentioned during the chess24 live commentary that he also hadn't seen this type of tactical motif before, of course he spotted it within seconds when it occurred. Keymer executed it to restore balance in the position. Nevertheless, it is a beautiful one and something that doesn't happen every day.

Position after 36...Nc7?

36...Nc7? turned things in White's favor as 37.Nd6 guaranteed White a pawn. 37...g6 38.Nxb7 Rb1 39.Nd8 Rb5 40.Rxb5 cxb5 41.Nc6 Ke8 here Keymer felt Black should have Nd5 as it led to a complex line.

Position after 48...Nh5

In the above position, Leko and GM Daniel Naroditsky (USA) were discussing an interesting line 49.d5 f5 50.gxf6 Nxf6 51.e5+ Kxd5 52.exf6 Ke6 which leads to a draw. Of course, White is not forced to play it and Keymer saw it. So he went with 49.Ke3 and won the game in another nine moves.

GM Vincent Keymer (GER) on his win against GM Magnus Carlsen (NOR) | Video: ChessBase India
The pain and agony of Magnus Carlsen losing to 18-year-old Vincent Keymer | Video: ChessBase India

GM Vincent Keymer (GER) en route his first-ever victory over GM Magnus Carlsen (NOR) | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Nakamura - Praggnanandhaa: 0.5-0.5

GM Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 2787) has played four rated games against GM R Praggnanandhaa (2707). All of them were Blitz games and at Tata Steel Chess India in 2018 and 2022. They drew the first two of them and the World Fischer Random champion won the next two. Praggnanandhaa is yet to beat the 'Speed King'. Today, he got a positional advantage in the middle game.

Position after 19...Ne5

The computer suggests White to go 20.b4 here to prevent Black from doing the same. 20...cxb4 21.Qd2 Bg4 22.Kh1 and the position is balanced. However, 20.Qd2 immediately allowed Black to get b4. After few moves Black decided to move his knight out of d4 and exchange it with the bishop at f4. It loosened Black's firm grip of the position. Things soon turned into White's favor before it ended in a draw.

World no.2 Nakamura vs 17-year-old Praggnanandhaa | Video: ChessBase India
What Did Nakamura tell Praggnanandhaa after their game | Video: ChessBase India
Chess Kids are TOUGH!! Wild Day at World Cup! | Video: GMHikaru

GM R Praggnanandhaa got a great grip of the position against GM Hikaru Nakamura (USA) | Photo: Maria Emelianova/
The curious touch-move incident in Nepo vs Nihal | Video: ChessBase India
Nihal Sarin: "I think I managed to make a draw without too much trouble" | Video: FIDE

GM Nihal Sarin drew his first-ever Classical rated game against GM Ian Nepomniachtchi | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

GM D Gukesh - GM Andrey Esipenko: 0.5-0.5 | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Sindarov - Arjun: 0.5-0.5

The last three encounters between GM Javokhir Sindarov (UZB, 2659) and GM Arjun Erigaisi (2704) ended in Arjun winning all three. They were two rapid and one blitz game. Their only two Classical games with the last one taking one taking place at the 44th Chess Olympiad, also ended in a draw. Arjun had a great opportunity to register his first win over the Olympiad Gold medal winning Uzbek in a Classical rated game. However, he missed his chance.

Position after 46...g5

White made an incorrect en passant 47.hxg6? which completely shifted things in Black's favor after Rxg6 48.Kf2 Rxd3 49.Rbxb3 Rxc3 50.Rxc3 Kc6. The resultant rook and many pawns endgame gave Black a decisive advantage due to having an extra pawn.

Position after 62.Rd3+

Black had a critical decision to make. Where should he move his king - Queenside or Kingside? This decision became critical in the outcome of the game.

Arjun Erigaisi's attack vs Javokhir Sindarov's Defence | Video: ChessBase India

GM Arjun Erigaisi quickly needs to regroup and go for the full point tomorrow again | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Eline - Harika

Position after 46...Ke7

The major piece endgame liquidated into a pawn endgame which was winning for White. It was not easy to spot 47.f4 to be winning for White. The game continued 47.Kf2 d5? 48.c5! White just sidesteps away from the problems. 48...Kd7 49.Ke2 Kc6 now 50.f4 is winning. However, 50.Kd3 is a draw. Find out the key difference between them.

GM Harika Dronavalli survived a tough game against IM Eline Roebers (NED) | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

GM Koneru Humpy was reeling for the better part of the game against GM Bella Khotenashvili (GEO) | Photo: Shahid Ahmed
Bella Khotenashvili on defeating Koneru: "Before the game I thought that a draw is a good result" | Video: FIDE

GM Anna Muzychuk (UKR) drew against GM Mariya Muzychuk (UKR). Tomorrow one of the Muzychuk sisters might get eliminated | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Video Gallery

FIDE World Cup 2023 Round 4.1 starting moments feat. Carlsen, Keymer, Nakamura, Praggnanandhaa, Vidit, Arjun, Nihal | Video: ChessBase India
Nihal Sarin's thrilling final tie-break - Nihal vs Deac | Video: ChessBase India
World Blitz 2023 winner - GM Liem Quang Le (VIE) vs World Champion 2002-4 - GM Ruslan Ponomariov (UKR) | Video: ChessBase India
FIDE World Cup 2023 Round 4.1 Live Commentary by IM Irine Sukandar (INA) and GM Irina Krush (USA) | Video: FIDE
FIDE World Cup 2023 Round 4.1 Live Commentary by IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal | Video: ChessBase India

Round 4.1 results

GM D Gukesh - GM Andrey Esipenko: 0.5-0.5

GM Javokhir Sindarov (UZB) - GM Arjun Erigaisi: 0.5-0.5

GM Hikaru Nakamura (USA) - GM R Praggnanandhaa: 0.5-0.5

GM Ian Nepomniachtchi - GM Nihal Sarin: 0.5-0.5

GM Vidit Gujrathi - GM Etienne Bacrot (FRA): 1-0

GM Koneru Humpy - GM Bella Khotenashvili (GEO): 0-1

IM Eline Roebers (NED) - GM Harika Dronavalli: 0.5-0.5


A total of 16 games in the Open and eight games in the Women's section took place in Round 4.1

Replay Round 4.1 Open games

Replay Round 4.1 Women games





Official site

Open Regulations

Women Regulations

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