Svidler takes control

After two rounds (of the scheduled four) Peter Svidler has taken complete control of the Final of the World Cup in Baku.   He won both games, largely due to blunders by his opponent Sergei Karjakin.

The second game today, with Svidler playing Black, reached the following position with White to play:

According to Stockfish, almost any sensible rook move, such as Rc2, Rd2, Re2 or Rb1 is a draw.   But Karjakin played 37. Rb5, an error that he compounded after … Kh8, with 38. Rd5??, an almost incomprehensible blunder.   Of course, 38. Bxf7 is answered by … Qxb5, but would have been better than 38. Rd5.   From a level position, Karajakin was -5 in just two moves.   He resigned after Black’s next move (Nb6).

Svidler needs only a draw from the last two games to win the tournament.   The consolation for Karjakin is that as a finalist in the World Cup, he has qualified for the Candidates, taking place in March next year.

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