Fabiano Caruana knocked out of chess world cup in stunning upset

·Contributor
·1 min read
Rinat Jumabayev of Kazakhstan stuns world no.2 Fabiano Caruana of United States in the 2021 FIDE World Cup Open. (Photo: FIDE - International Chess Federation/Facebook)
Rinat Jumabayev of Kazakhstan stuns world no.2 Fabiano Caruana of United States in the 2021 FIDE World Cup Open. (Photo: FIDE - International Chess Federation/Facebook)

Chess Grandmaster Fabiano Caruana crashed out of the 2021 FIDE World Cup Open after Rimat Jumabayev pulled the upset rug underneath the world no. 2 in the third round of the knockout tournament, Monday (July 19) at Krasnaya Polyana in Sochi, Russia.  

Following a solid draw in the first game, Jumabayev of Kazakhstan, who had a rating of 2637, strung a series of momentum-swinging moves to seize control of a complex Carlsbad Queen's Gambit in the second game. Jumabayev sacrificed his queen to gain the upper hand at the end, sending Caruana packing.

The American grandmaster even offered a draw on move 30 but the Kazakhs declined as he sensed that he already had the advantage.

Jumabayev, who is ranked outside the top 100, will move on to the round 4 after producing the biggest upset of the chess tournament so far.

Meanwhile pandemic hit the FIDE World Cup after three Indonesian chess players tested positive of COVID-19. Armenian GM Levon Aronian announced his withdrawal from the competition after he forfeited his game for having fever symptoms.

Several top players cited COVID-19 for not participating in the chess World Cup including World No. 3 Chinese GM Ding Liren and World No. 9 Philippine-born GM Wesley So.

Ohmer Bautista is a sports journalist who has covered local and international sporting events in the Philippines. The views expressed are his own.

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