China, USA Will Battle In Sunday Superfinal At FIDE Chess.com Online Nations Cup – Chess.com

Posted: May 10, 2020 at 12:44 am


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China and the USA will face each other in Sunday's Superfinal of theFIDE Chess.com Online Nations Cup. On Saturday, the USA lost toEurope in round one, but then they became the only team to beat China in the tournament. Thus, USA finished in a tie with Europe, advancing to the Superfinal due to scoring precisely half a board point more.

The Chess.com Day 5 Live Broadcast for replay.

The big clash between the USA and Europe was likely going to decide the fight for second place, considering the pairings for the final round where the USA would face the leader China, while Europe would play the Rest of the World.

After three tense games on the top three boards, where GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave was closest to a win vs. GM Hikaru Nakamura, it was the ladies' board where this key match was decided. GM Nana Dzagnidze always had a slight edge, and she eventually outplayed GM Irina Krush in a rook endgame:

With no chance for qualifying for the final, team captain Vishy Anand and player Vishy Anand must have agreed that he could take the day off.

Meanwhile, GM Yu Yangyi was the absolute star player of this event. Well, at least for nine rounds. He improved his score even further to 6.5/8 with another excellent win, this time against GM Baskaran Adhiban.

In a match that was only played for the history books, GM Sergey Karjakin learned the hard way how fast GM Alireza Firouzja has improved lately. He was completely outplayed and then beaten with a kingside attack:

The legendary Judit Polgar joined our live broadcast for a bit during the break.

Europe was going into the final round a match point ahead of the USA, and as said, with a much better pairing. But the unthinkable happened.

While Europe couldn't win their match, the USA did manage, with GM Wesley So becoming the first player to beat Yu in this tournament and, with that win, securing the two match points.

So where did it go wrong for Europe? As always, it's a team effort, but the one board that was lost was GM Levon Aronian's game with Firouzja. Unfortunately for Aronian and his team, the Iranian star had his best day of the event as he scored 2/2 with two fine games:

In another match where not much was at stake, GM Vladislav Artemiev stole the show with a flashy attack on GM Vidit Gujrathi's king. The Indian player later apologized on Twitter for his disappointing level of play in the event.

FIDE Chess.com Online Nations Cup | Final Standings

Tomorrow's Superfinal will start an hour later, so7:00 a.m. Pacific / 10 a.m. Eastern / 16:00 CEST. China will have white on boards one and three. As the winner of the round-robin, China got to choose colors and also has draw odds in the one match that is the final.

In other words, the USA needs to do for a second time what no other team has managed: beat China.

The FIDE Chess.com Online Nations Cup is a team competition held from May 5-10, 2020 on Chess.com featuring Russia, USA, Europe, China, India, plus a team representing the "Rest of the World." The total prize fund is $180,000, sponsored by Chess.com.

The first stage consists of a double round-robin, with each team playing each other twice. The top two teams after 10 rounds qualify for a "Superfinal" match.

All matches are played on four boards: three with male players and one with female players. The time control for all games is25 minutes + 10 seconds increment per move, starting from move one.

Games Day 5 for replay/download

During today's live broadcast, the songwriter and musician Juga released her latest chess song.

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China, USA Will Battle In Sunday Superfinal At FIDE Chess.com Online Nations Cup - Chess.com

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May 10th, 2020 at 12:44 am

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