Magnus Carlsen looked sharp as he got off to a winning start against birthday boy Sasa Martinovic on Thursday when the big guns joined the FIDE World Cup, but the chess was overshadowed by turmoil caused by COVID-19. Levon Aronian was forced to forfeit against Bobby Cheng, while Fabiano Caruana’s game against Indonesian GM Susanto Megaranto was suddenly stopped midway when test results came back showing Susanto was infected. Fabiano got a win by default, but faces more tests himself.
Round 2 marked the point at which the top 50 seeds in the Open and the top 25 seeds in the Women’s event joined the action, and, given the complexity of travel during the pandemic, it was impressive that there was just one game out of 96 that didn’t start on Thursday. It was a big one, however, with world no. 5 and 2-time World Cup winner Levon Aronian forced to forfeit a game against 24-year-old 2552-rated Australian GM Bobby Cheng. The official communication from FIDE was oddly worded.
- Official website
- All the games with computer analysis and commentary on chess24: Open | Women
- Magnus Carlsen plays the 2021 World Cup
- FIDE World Cup 2021 pairings are out
- FIDE World Cup 1.1: The battle begins
- FIDE World Cup 1.2: 80 players out, 28 tiebreaks
- FIDE World Cup 1.3: 14-year-old Volodar Murzin scores upset win