Poland’s Jan-Krzysztof Duda has been crowned the 2021 Chess World Cup champion after defeating Russian Sergey Karjakin in the final in Sochi.
The 12th seed, who knocked out world champion Magnus Carlsen in the semi-finals, anticipated the opening move from his 10th-seeded opponent to take control early in the game following the pair’s draw yesterday.
Karjakin, the Chess World Cup champion from 2015, played the Semi-Tarrasch Queen’s Gambit line, which he used against compatriot Vladimir Fedoseev in the semi-finals, but Duda had already faced this defence earlier in the competition against Russian fifth seed Alexander Grischuk.
After a few exchanges, the Polish player had the upper hand and continued to press his opponent who was facing a race against the clock.
Exhausted, Karjakin made a blunder to open up the game for Duda who killed off the game and the match to become the new Chess World Cup champion.
Carlsen claimed third spot with a second victory over 30th seed Fedoseev, aggressively pushing his opponent into mistakes.
Fedoseev lost the rights to castling and from there, Carlsen added more pressure all over the board.
The Norwegian world ended the game with a sacrifice exchange – the same finish as their first game – which caused Fedoseev’s rook to be caged in, unable to protect the king.
The Chess World Cup Closing Ceremony and prizegiving is set to be held tomorrow at the Galaxy Centre in Sochi.
Three days ago, Russian 14th seed Alexandra Kosteniuk became the inaugural Women’s Chess World Cup champion with a victory over top seed and compatriot Aleksandra Goryachkina.
Michael Houston is a reporter at insidethegames.biz. He has worked at several major events, including the cycling at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. He also has experience working for the World Curling Federation and British Athletics.
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