Traps, Tricks & Mistakes: Missed Chances

How many winning chances can a top chess player miss in the same game?

The FIDE World Cup 2021 was exceptional because a new generation of young players took part with great success.

The World Cup has the format of a Knock-out system with individual matches. Every match consists of two classical games of 90 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes to finish, and a 30-second increment from move 1. If tied, a playoff consists of two 25+10 rapid games. If still tied, then two 10+10 games, then two 5+3, and finally an Armageddon game, where White has 5 minutes to Black’s 4 but a draw counts as a win for Black.

Top players like Caruana, Mamedyarov, Giri, Firouzja were eliminated in early rounds by emerging stars.

GM Anish Giri (27) faced the young Uzbek GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov (16) in round 3 and after two draws in the classical games, they went for the tie break.

In the first tie break, Abdusattorov, playing Black, defeated his opponent. In order to have the chance to stay in the competition, Giri needed to win the second game. Below is that second game where Giri surprisingly missed his chances many times.

Surprisingly, up to five times missed Giri his chance in the game. And in the endgame, instead of accepting the draw by repetition, he even lost the whole point. Because Giri started this game focused on winning it, he lost the sense of objectivity at the end and refused to accept the unavoidable draw.

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