Baku (Azerbaijan): Youngest ever GM Sergey Karjakin of Russia annexed the World Cup Chess Championship defeating compatriot Peter Svidler 6-4 in a thrilling finale that concluded here today.
Karjakin and Svidler thus joined five-time World Champion Viswanathan Anand of India, Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria and American duo of Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura in the line-up for the Candidates tournament to decide the challenger for Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the next world championship.
Setting himself up for an unlikely bout in the tiebreak games after being down 2-0 under normal time control in the four-game mini-match, Karjakin showed stronger nerves in the final that will be best remembered for massive blunders in a high quality contest.
Karjakin and Svidler now There are two places still left to be filled for the 'Candidates' that is likely to be held in March next year.
The World Cup had six Indians and only SP Sethuraman had lasted till the third round under the knock-out format that started with 128 players.
Sethuraman caused a major upset in round two defeating highest rated Indian P Harikrishna. In the final, Svidler missed several opportunities to become the first player ever to win the world cup twice.
Leading 2-0 under normal games, the Russian was just a draw away from the crown when a disaster happened and he lost the next two games on the trot.
With Karjakin forcing a tie-break, Svidler lost the first rapid game but came back to square once again while in the ten-minute games that ensued, he again missed a real opportunity to seal the contest in his favour.
The match was finally decided in the blitz tiebreak wherein Karjakin won two on the trot to win the title. The World Cup had two games under normal time control except the final which was played over four games. In case of a tied result, games of shorter duration were played to determine the winner.