Chess World Cup | Magnus Carlsen loses to Bu Xiangzhiin; Anton Kovalyov not allowed to participate after breaching dress code

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Chess World Cup | Magnus Carlsen loses to Bu Xiangzhiin; Anton Kovalyov not allowed to participate after breaching dress code

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SportsCafe Desk


Magnus Carlsen’s 100 percent score came to an end with a shock defeat to Bu Xiangzhiin in the third round. He will now need to win as Black in the next game to stay in the tournament. In a strange incident, Canadian Grandmaster Anton Kovalyov was asked to leave the venue after turning up in shorts.

World Champion Magnus Carlsen was the only player with a 100 percent score, but that was soon ended by Bu Xiangzhiin. The Norwegian international made a faulty start to the game deciding to go with the Bishop's Opening that soon resembled a Ruy Lopez without ...a6 and ...b5.

His Chinese opponent hardly took a step wrong and his mysterious rook move 9...Rab8 soon saw the Marshall'esque pawn sacrifice 10...d5!?, which Carlsen should have accepted immediately but chose to wait for one more move.

31-year-old Bu took a calculated risk by sacrificing his bishop on h3 before continuing with ...Rbe8 and ...f5, and later ...g5. His attack found Carlsen awestruck as it was impossible to defend. Carlsen risks going out of the tournament if he doesn’t win as Black in the next game.

In an odd incident, Canada’s Anton Kovalyov, who defeated India’s Viswanathan Anand in the last round, was not allowed to participate in the competition by European Chess Union President Zurab Azmaiparashvili as his clothes didn’t match the dress code of the World Cup. He was warned by the tournament arbiter earlier for wearing shorts and was asked to choose a different attire.

However, the Canadian forfeited the game following this incident, which allowed Israel’s Maxim Rodshtein to get an automatic qualification to the next round. Incidentally, Kovalyov was also in shorts in the last round, when he overcame former champion Anand by winning a game and drawing another.

India are not all hopeless in the tournament yet as Vidit Gujrathi and SP Sethuraman are still very much in the game. Gujrathi came dangerously close to beating Ding Liren with the black pieces, and that could have placed him in a dominating position.

Alexander Grischuk played David Navara in one of the longest games of the day that saw the Czech Grandmaster heroically save a knight endgame a pawn down by playing the Move of the Day. The other games were hardly noteworthy as Fabiano Caruana drew quickly with Evgeniy Najer and Vassily Ivanchuk followed the same path against Vladimir Kramnik, while Levon Aronian started with a win over Maxim Matlakov.

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