Karjakin wins World Cup, joins Anand for ‘Candidates Meet’

Sergey Karjakin became the champion of the 128-player knockout event by emerging victorious in both the blitz games. Interestingly, all 10 games in the final produced decisive results.

Sergey Karjakin... showing strong nerves in the final.   -  Rakesh Rao

Sergey Karjakin of Russia won the chess World Cup, beating compatriot Peter Svidler 6-4 in the final in Baku, Azerbaijan. The title was decided via the tiebreakers after the two won two classical games each.

In the tiebreaker, Svidler drew first blood, winning the opening rapid game, but his younger rival equalised by winning the second. Karjakin became the champion of the 128-player knockout event by emerging victorious in both the blitz games. Interestingly, all 10 games in the final produced decisive results.

By reaching the final, both Karjakin and Svidler qualified for the Candidates tournament to be held in March, which will identify Norwegian Magnus Carlsen's challenger for the next World Championship. India’s Viswanathan Anand, and two Americans Fabiana Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura are the others who have qualified.

Three more slots remain to be filled for the eight-player tournament.