Uzbekistan’s 15-year-old Sindarov beats eighth seed Firouzja at Chess World Cup

Uzbekistan’s 15-year-old Javokhir Sindarov, seeded 121st, produced the shock of the second round today at the Vakhidov International Chess Federation (FIDE) World Cup in Sochi as he knocked out France’s eighth-seeded Alireza Firouzja.

Sindarov earned his progression by winning two concluding rapid matches after the scores had been level at 2-2, and he will now meet 57th seed Jorge Cori of Peru.

Uzbekistan also produced another big surprise result as 137th-seeded Jakhongir Vakhidov defeated the world number 13 and ninth seed Leinier Dominguez of the United States.

Vakhidov won both rapid games in their tiebreak to advance by a 3-1 scoreline and will now meet Russia’s 73rd seed Pavel Ponkratov.

Another home player, Volodar Murzin, who turns 15 tomorrow, was unable to earn himself the gift of a third-round appearance.

But the teenager, seeded 151st, produced an excellent showing against his 23rd-seeded compatriot Vladislav Artemiev, taking the match to a tiebreak before losing by a point.

Artemiev now advances to play Israel’s 42nd seed Boris Gelfand.

Ravi Haria, seeded 169th and the only English player at the World Cup, was on the brink of producing another upset after bringing his match back to a tie by winning the second game against French 41st seed Etienne Bacrot.

But the Frenchman prevailed in the tiebreak and moved through to a third-round meeting with Egypt’s 24th seed Bassem Amin, who beat Hovhannes Gabuzyan of Armenia.

Brazilian 123rd seed Krikor Mekhitarian, who had earned a second draw with sixth seed Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan, to take their match to a tiebreak, was also frustrated in the speed games today as the favourite won 2-0 to complete a 3-1 scoreline.

Mamedyarov now meets Armenia’s 59th seed Haik Martirosyan.

Macedonia’s 55-year-old Kiril Georgiev progressed at the expense of his 20-year-old opponent Parham Maghsoodloo of Iran.

Meanwhile in the inaugural Women’s World Cup 17-year-old Carissa Yip of the United States advanced to a third-round meeting with Georgia’s fifth seed, Nana Dzagnidze after winning both rapid matches in her tiebreak against Ukraine’s Nataliya Buksa, who had levelled the match with a victory.

“I was devastated after losing yesterday,” Yip, seeded 28th, told FIDE.

“It took some time emotionally get myself back together for the tiebreaks today.”

Meanwhile FIDE reported that the two Indonesian Women’s World Cup players Medina Warda Aulia and Irene Sukandar, are “feeling well and have had negative testing” following the positive COVID-19 result returned by their male team mate Susanto Megaranto.

Megaranto was defaulted from his match against Fabiano Caruana, the second seed from the United States, who was sent into isolation as a precaution before his prospective third-round meeting with Rinat Jumabayev, the 66th seed from Kazakhstan.

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