Reports | July 15, 2013 10:25

World Cup: the pairings are there!

World Cup: the pairings are there!

Top seed Levon Aronian (2813) faces Mikhail Markov (2305) of Kyrgyzstan in the first round of the World Cup in Tromsø, Norway. The full pairings were published a few days ago on the tournament website. Fabiano Caruana (2796) of Italy plays IM G. Akash (2332) of India and the opponent of Vladimir Kramnik (2784) is FM Gillian Bwalya (2310) of Zambia. Some interesting pairings are Peter Svidler (2746), the winner of the previous World Cup, versus Women's World Champion GM Anna Ushenina (2500) of Ukraine and Alexei Shirov (2696) of Latvia versus Hou Yifan (2600) of China.

The World Cup is a knockout event that starts with 128 players. They qualified as follows (in order of priority): World Champion + 4 semi-finalists from the World Cup 2011, the Women's World Champion, the World Junior U-20 Champions 2011 & 2012, 18 rated players, 92 players from Continental Championships, 6 FIDE President nominees and 4 organiser nominees.

Below you can find all participants & how the qualified for the World Cup, followed by the pairings for round 1.


a) World Cup 2011 semi-finalists:
01. P. Svidler (RUS)
02. A. Grischuk (RUS)
03. V. Ivanchuk (UKR)
04. R. Ponomariov (UKR)

b) Women's World Champion 2012:
05. A. Ushenina (UKR)

c) Junior World Champions 2011 & 2012:
06. D. Swiercz (POL)
07. A. Ipatov (TUR)

d) From FIDE Rating List, average 3/2012 up to 1/2013:
08. L. Aronian (ARM) 2816,22
09. V. Kramnik (RUS) 2798,88
10. T. Radjabov (AZE) 2789,22
11. S. Karjakin (RUS) 2777,44
12. F. Caruana (ITA) 2775,44
13. H. Nakamura (USA) 2772,77
14. A. Morozevich (RUS) 2760,44
15. G. Kamsky (USA) 2748,55
16. S. Mamedyarov (AZE) 2744,88
17. Wang Hao (CHN) 2739,11
18. B. Gelfand (ISR) 2738,44
19. P. Leko (HUN) 2731,11
20. E. Tomashevsky (RUS) 2728,77
21. L. Dominguez (CUB) 2727,44
22. M. Adams (ENG) 2721,66
23. R. Wojtaszek (POL) 2721,55
24. A. Giri (NED) 2715,33
25. I. Nepomniachtchi (RUS) 2709,00
26. A. Shirov (LAT) 2708,33

e) 46 players from European Championships 2012 & 2013:
27. D. Jakovenko (RUS) 2012
28. L. Fressinet (FRA) 2012
29. V. Malakhov (RUS) 2012
30. D. Andreikin (RUS) 2012
31. E. Inarkiev (RUS) 2012
32. M. Matlakov (RUS) 2012
33. V. Bologan (MDA) 2012
34. F. Vallejo Pons (ESP) 2012
35. Y. Kryvoruchko (UKR) 2012
36. S. Azarov (BLR) 2012
37. E. Najer (RUS) 2012
38. V. Akopian (ARM) 2012
39. A. Volokitin (UKR) 2012
40. J. Smeets (NED) 2012
41. C.B. Gawain Jones (ENG) 2012
42. N. Vitiugov (RUS) 2012
43. E. Bacrot (FRA) 2012
44. A. Dreev (RUS) 2012
45. D. Khismatullin (RUS) 2012
46. M. Kobalia (RUS) 2012
47. V. Durarbeyli (AZE) 2012
48. A. Riazantsev (RUS) 2012
49. B. Jobava (GEO) 2012
50. A. Moiseenko (UKR) 2013
51. E. Alekseev (RUS) 2013
52. E. Romanov (RUS) 2013
53. A. Beliavsky (SLO) 2013
54. C. Lupulescu (ROU) 2013
55. S. Movsesian (ARM) 2013
56. H. Melkumyan (ARM) 2013
57. A. Korobov (UKR) 2013
58. I. Lysyj (RUS) 2013
59. A. Shimanov (RUS) 2013
60. A. Areshchenko (UKR) 2013
61. P. Eljanov (UKR) 2013
62. M. Kravtsiv (UKR) 2013
63. D. Dubov (RUS) 2013
64. M. Ragger (AUT) 2013
65. Z. Hracek (CZE) 2013
66. I. Popov (RUS) 2013
67. S. Brunello (ITA) 2013
68. S. A. Fedorchuk (UKR) 2013
69. E. Postny (ISR) 2013
70. V. Zvjaginsev (RUS) 2013
71. A. Istratescu (FRA) 2013
72. E. Safarli (AZE) 2013

f) 20 players from Americas:
73. G. Kaidanov (USA) Continental 2012
74. J. Granda Zuniga (PER) Continental 2012
75. A. Shabalov (USA) Continental 2012
76. E. Hansen (CAN) Continental 2012
77. A. Ramirez (USA) Zonal 2.1
78. A. Onischuk (USA) Zonal 2.1
79. C. Holt (USA) Zonal 2.1
80. L. M. Christiansen (USA) Zonal 2.1
81. R. Robson (USA) Zonal 2.1
82. I. R. Ortiz Suarez (CUB) Continental 2013
83. D. Flores (ARG) Continental 2013
84. J. Cori (PER) Continental 2013
85. D. Cori T. (PER) Continental 2013
86. R. Felgaer (ARG) Zonal 2.5
87. S. Mareco (ARG) Zonal 2.5
88. R. Leitao (BRA) Zonal 2.4
89. A. Fier (BRA) Zonal 2.4
90. B. Sambuev (CAN) Zonal 2.2
91. L. Bruzon (CUB) Zonal 2.3
92. E. Iturrizaga (VEN) Zonal 2.3

g) 20 players from Asia/Oceania:
93. Negi Parimarjan (IND) Continental 2012
94. Yu Yangyi (CHN) Continental 2012
95. Salem A. R. Saleh (UAE) Continental 2012
96. Liu Qingnan (CHN) Continental 2012
97. Oliver Barbosa (PHI) Continental 2012
98. Nguyen Ngoc Trung Son (VIE) Zonal 3.3
99. Wesley So (PHI) Zonal 3.3
100. G. Akash (IND) Zonal 3.7
101. Z. Rahman (BAN) Zonal 3.2
102. Lou Yiping (CHN) Zonal 3.5
103. Wan Yunguo (CHN) Zonal 3.5
104. Li Chao B (CHN) Continental 2013
105. M. Paragua (PHI) Continental 2013
106. Le Quang Liem (VIE) Continental 2013
107. B. Adhiban (IND) Continental 2013
108. K. Sasikiran (IND) Continental 2013
109. I. Bjelobrk (AUS) Zonal 3.6
110. Darini Pouria (IRI) Zonal 3.1
111. A. Filippov (UZB) Zonal 3.4
112. M. Markov (KGZ) Zonal 3.4

h) 6 players from Africa:
113. Amin Bassem (EGY) Continental 2013
114. A. Adly (EGY) Continental 2013
115. E. El Gindy (EGY) Continental 2013
116. Ali Sebbar (MAR) Zonal 4.1
117. S. Shoker (EGY) Zonal 4.2
118. Gillian Bwalya (ZAM) Zonal 4.3

i) 6 nominees of the FIDE President:
119. M. Vachier-Lagrave (FRA)
120. Hou Yifan (CHN)
121. J. Polgar (HUN)
122. D. Navara (CZE)
123. J-K. Duda (POL)
124. Wei Yi (CHN)

j) 4 nominees of the local Organising Committee:
125. Jon Ludvig Hammer (NOR)
126. Simen Agdestein (NOR)
127. Leif Erlend Johannessen (NOR)
128. Torbjorn Ringdal Hansen (NOR)

World Cup 2013 | Pairings round 1

Seed Name - Seed Name
1 Levon Aronian - 128 Mikhail Markov
64 Igor Lysyj - 65 Andrei Istratescu
32 Evgeny Tomashevsky - 97 Alejandro Ramirez
33 Wesley So - 96 Alexander Ipatov
16 Alexander Morozevich - 113 Bator Sambuev
49 Ernesto Inarkiev - 80 Rafael Leitao
17 Nikita Vitiugov - 112 Conrad Holt
48 Markus Ragger - 81 Ivan Popov
8 Gata Kamsky - 121 Lou Yiping
57 Aleksandr Shimanov - 72 Gawain Jones
25 David Navara - 104 Sandro Mareco
40 Sergei Movsesian - 89 Jon Ludvig Hammer
9 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov - 120 Samy Shoker
56 Maxim Matlakov - 73 Jan Smeets
24 Ian Nepomniachtchi - 105 Wei Yi
41 Alexei Shirov - 88 Hou Yifan
4 Alexander Grischuk - 125 Igor Bjelobrk
61 Vadim Zvjaginsev - 68 Dariusz Swiercz
29 Le Quang Liem - 100 Oliver Barbosa
36 Francisco Vallejo Pons - 93 Diego Flores
13 Peter Svidler - 116 Anna Ushenina
52 Victor Bologan - 77 Zbynek Hracek
20 Teimour Radjabov - 109 Jorge Cori
45 Lazaro Bruzon - 84 Evgeniy Najer
5 Sergey Karjakin - 124 Ali Sebbar
60 Krishnan Sasikiran - 69 Constantin Lupulescu
28 Dmitry Jakovenko - 101 Mark Paragua
37 Pavel Eljanov - 92 Sabino Brunello
12 Wang Hao - 117 Liu Qingnan
53 Alexey Dreev - 76 Sergei Azarov
21 Dmitry Andreikin - 108 Darini Pouria
44 Vladimir Akopian - 85 Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son
2 Fabiano Caruana - 127 G. Akash
63 Yu Yangyi - 66 Alexander Beliavsky
31 Vladimir Malakhov - 98 Eric Hansen
34 Laurent Fressinet - 95 Larry Christiansen
15 Peter Leko - 114 Leif Erlend Johannessen
50 Julio Granda Zuniga - 79 Hrant Melkumyan
18 Anish Giri - 111 Saleh Salem
47 Li Chao - 82 Evgeny Postny
7 Boris Gelfand - 122 Ziaur Rahman
58 Evgeny Romanov - 71 Anton Filippov
26 Etienne Bacrot - 103 Simen Agdestein
39 Alexander Moiseenko - 90 Ahmed Adly
10 Leinier Dominguez Perez - 119 Essam El Gindy
55 Alexander Onischuk - 74 Eduardo Iturrizaga
23 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave - 106 Alexander Shabalov
42 Judit Polgar - 87 Isan Reynaldo Ortiz Suarez
3 Vladimir Kramnik - 126 Gillan Bwalya
62 Denis Khismatullin - 67 Mikhail Kobalia
30 Alexander Areshchenko - 99 Gregory Kaidanov
35 Alexander Riazantsev - 94 Ruben Felgaer
14 Michael Adams - 115 Wan Yunguo
51 Yuriy Kryvoruchko - 78 Parimarjan Negi
19 Vassily Ivanchuk - 110 Jan-Krzysztof Duda
46 Andrei Volokitin - 83 Ray Robson
6 Hikaru Nakamura - 123 Deysi Cori
59 Eltaj Safarli - 70 Bassem Amin
27 Evgeny Alekseev - 102 Baskaran Adhiban
38 Radoslaw Wojtaszek - 91 Alexandr Fier
11 Ruslan Ponomariov - 118 Torbjorn Ringdal Hansen
54 Sergey Fedorchuk - 75 Daniil Dubov
22 Anton Korobov - 107 Vasif Durarbayli
43 Baadur Jobava - 86 Martyn Kravtsiv

Only four players from the current top 30 are not playing: Magnus Carlsen of Norway, Viswanathan Anand of India, Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria and Ding Liren of China. You might be surprised to see Levon Aronian and Vladimir Kramnik here, but they need to participate in this World Cup. According to a new rule, players can only qualify on rating for the 2014 Candidates Tournament if they play in either the FIDE Grand Prix series or the World Cup (or both, obviously) and the two top GMs declined to play in the GP.

The World Cup starts on August 10th, 2013 with the opening ceremony. The first round will be played on August 11th-13. Every round consists of two classical games and a possible rapid/blitz tiebreak on the third day. The final will consist of four classical games. 

The winner and the runner up of the World Cup 2013 will qualify to the Candidates stage of the World Championship cycle 2012-2014. If there is a 3rd place qualification, a match will be organized together, and with the same terms, with the final match of the World Cup to decide the 3rd place.

Time control

The time control is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an addition of 30 seconds per move from move one. The tiebreaks start with two games of 25 minutes for each player with an addition of 10 seconds after each move. If the score is 1-1, another mini-match of two games will be played with a time control of 10 minutes plus 10 seconds increment after each move. If the score is 2-2, another mini-match of two games will be played with a time control of 5 minutes plus 3 seconds increment after each move. If the score is 3-3, an Armageddon game will decide with 5 minutes for White and 4 minutes for Black who has draw odds. (In this game, from move 61 there will be a 3-second increment).


Round Prize Subtotal
Round 1 losers: 64 x USD 6,000 (net 4,800) USD 384,000
Round 2 losers: 32 x USD 10,000 (net 8,000) USD 320,000
Round 3 losers: 16 x USD 16,000 (net 12,800) USD 256,000
Round 4 losers: 8 x USD 25,000 (net 20,000) USD 200,000
Round 5 losers: 4 x USD 35,000 (net 28,000) USD 140,000
Round 6 losers: 2 x USD 50,000 (net 40,000) USD 100,000
Runner-up: 1 x USD 80,000 (net 64,000) USD 80,000
World Cup winner: 1 x USD 120,000 (net 96,000) USD 120,000
Total   USD 1,600,000


The tournament will be held in Tromsø, Norway. It is the largest city in Northern Norway and the second largest city anywhere north of the Arctic Circle. Its population of 71,000 is boosted by 9,500 students attending the University of Tromsø, giving this modern city a youthful and spirited vibe. Tromsø is situated on an urban island, amid beautiful nature, fantastic fjords and dramatic mountain peaks. More info on this beautiful city can be found here.

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


pravardhan's picture

Well, I guess the excitement begins only from the third round onwards!!!
So, here is my list of pairings for round 3 and quarter finals unless there's some miracle!!

3rd round:

Aronian vs Tomashevsky/So
Morozevich vs vitiugov
Kamsky vs Navara
Mamedyarov vs Nepomniatchi/Shirov
Grischuk vs Le Quang Liem
Svidler vs Radjabov
Karjakin vs Jakovenko/Eljanov
Wang Hao vs Andrekin
Caruana vs Fressinet
Leko vs Giri
Gelfand vs Bacrot
Dominguez vs Vachier-Lagrave
Kramnik vs Areschenko
Adams vs Ivanchuk
Nakamura vs Alekseev
Ponomariov vs Korobov


Aronian vs Mamedyarov
Grischuk vs Karjakin
Caruana vs Gelfand
Kramnik vs Nakamura

Anonymous's picture

Strange that Rapport did not get a pass ...

Anonymous's picture

What, no Ivanov?

Stephen's picture

He was the engines' nominee... allegedly,

Ivanov's picture

You are kinda late with the report, enjoying summer vacations I guess:)

Anonymous's picture

Enjoying time-off from chess Borislav?

anon's picture

Pravhardan have you ever played chess? No excitement until the 3rd round? There are some great games in the 1st round already a lot to be proven and learnt tests and pressure great new ideas and creative fighting

pravardhan's picture

Well, if these pairings does show up in third round, give me ur address. I will come there and slap you!!!!

anon's picture

You miss my point stop being a spectator and try and appreciate the quality of other grandmasters istead of just looking at moves try to underststand the reasons behind them and then you'll truly appreciate the elite

strana's picture

Pravhardan must be a poor beginner to write something like this . Many surprises happen in this kind of competition ( short matches), specially if it is considered that many young players are underrated ( like Wei Yi). Also ukranian champion, Kryvoruchko, is a good example. He is clearly a 2700+ but oficially is only 2678.

ff2017's picture

Yeah Hou Yifan and Judit!!

Thomas Oliver's picture

Aronian and Kramnik have to play the World Cup to keep their rating spots for the candidates event - they merely have to show up and could afford to lose in the first round. But rating spots are just fourth priority among the qualifying criteria (behind loser of the Anand-Carlsen WCh match, World Cup finalists and top 2 of the Grand Prix Series).
Hence, if Aronian and/or Kramnik "accidentally" reach the World Cup final, others will get their rating spots. According to my calculations, next in line would be Karjakin and - yes indeed - Radjabov.

Helmer's picture

1.Karjakin 2.Radja 3.Caruana 4.Nakamura 5.Grischuk

(Topalov already qualified from the GP)

Mihaly Szalontay's picture

Thomas, are you sure that if Kramnik/Aronian reach the finals, others will get their rating spots?
Here is what the bulletin says:
"The winner and the runner up of the World Cup 2013 will qualify to the Candidates stage of the World Championship cycle 2012-2014. If there is a 3rd place qualification, a match will be organized together, and with the same terms, with the final match of the World Cup to decide the 3rd place."
My interpretation is that if Kramnik or Aronian reach the finals, they still qualify by rating, so someone else has to with the remaining qualification spots in the World Cup, hence we might need a 3rd place tie-break match.

Thomas Oliver's picture

The FIDE regulations on how to qualify for the candidates event seem pretty clear, also regarding "order of priority":
2.1 "The player who lost the 2013 World Championship Match qualifies."
2.2 "The two (2) top winners of the World Cup 2013 qualify. In case one of the two top winners of the World Cup qualifies from 2.1 above, then the qualification spot goes to 3rd place of the World Cup." [So only if Anand or Carlsen reach the World Cup final and then lose their WCh match, 3rd place in the World Cup is relevant]
2.3 "The two (2) top players from the FIDE Grand-Prix 2012/2013 qualify to participate. In case any of the two top winners of the FIDE Grand-Prix qualify from 2.1 or 2.2 above, then the qualification spot(s) are given to the next player(s) in the final standings of the Grand-Prix."
2.4 "Two (2) players qualify to participate by rating (excluding the players who qualify from articles 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 above)."

So the rating spots go to players who didn't qualify by any other means. Accordingly, if Aronian and/or Kramnik reach the World Cup final, they qualify via the World Cup and one or two other players get their rating spots - these would be Karjakin, then Radjabov (then Caruana and Nakamura - but that's now irrelevant as Karjakin can no longer qualify via the GP series).

pravardhan's picture

@Thomas Oliver
I guess, qualifying for the candidates tournaments may be the main motivation to win the world cup but not the only one. Even winning 120,000 dollars could be the one. Its not a small amount when it comes to chess. So Kramnik and Aronian could try to win this one for the sake of 120,000$.

Thomas Oliver's picture

Being there anyway, Kramnik and Aronian may well go for the main prize - even if it is "just" 96,000$ net. But at least for Kramnik, this (realistically maybe a 10% chance as knockouts are notoriously unpredictable) apparently wouldn't have been motivation enough if he could have skipped the event: in an interview he said "unfortunately I will have to play the World Cup" - the new rule wasn't yet widely noticed, some people speculated that it was part of a deal to skip the Norwegian supertournament. In another interview, Aronian said "I think the new rule is a good one".

At some stage, Kramnik might face a difficult "choice": if he reaches the final, he "qualifies" Karjakin for the candidates event - who isn't just a dangerous opponent in his own right, but might compete with him for Russian sympathies, media attention or even resources (financial support and seconds). If he reaches the semi-final, he can "choose" between Karjakin and his opponent (could be Caruana, Gelfand, Dominguez, Leko, Giri, ...) joining the candidates event.

SirSchratz's picture

great to see simen agdestein playing ...

he then can't work as a commentator

Anonymous's picture

I kind of enjoyed him as a commentator. And he could not be rooting too much for Magnus in this event...

Ray's picture


SierraSunset's picture

I do not understand the sentence starting with "if there is a 3rd place qualification..." As I recall, the top three finishers of the last World Cup advanced to the Candidates. What is the difference this time?

calvin's picture

only the top 2 advance in this cycle.
if anand/carlsen had played and finished in the top 2, then the 3rd place qualification would be needed, as anand/carlsen have already qualified.

given the current participamts, dont see how that would be needed; since world cup has priority over the gp. if gp winners and world cup winners are the same, the #3 and #4 from gp would make it.

Thomas Oliver's picture

The difference is that this time there is again a Grand Prix series deciding two spots in the candidates event. The last candidates event had the loser of the Anand-Gelfand match, three spots from the World Cup, three by rating and one organizer nominee. The forthcoming one will have the loser of the Anand-Carlsen match, the two World Cup finalists, two from the GP Series, two by rating and one organizer nominee. At this moment, four of the final nine in the next WCh cycle are already known: Anand and Carlsen (either world champion or seeded into the candidates event), plus Aronian and Kramnik by rating.

The sentence you quote actually seems by now redundant. It would or did apply if one of the World Cup finalists were Anand or Carlsen - but both skip the event and are already (at least) qualified for the next candidates event.

Going Down's picture

Wesley So will lose in the first round. He's going down.

pinoypride's picture

Wesley will go to the quarters, you are going down!

Going Down's picture

Ian Nepomniachtchi will lose against the young Chinese boy. First round. Ian is going down.

calvin's picture

anyone knows about this president's nominee:
123. J-K. Duda (POL)

Thomas Oliver's picture

Jan-Krzystof Duda is an IM and GM-elect (he should get that title at the FIDE congress during the Olympiad forthcoming October) born in 1998. I first noticed him when he played at the top boards of the U18 World Championship last year, finishing shared third while still eligible for the U14 section. Then at the European Championship this year when he started with draws against Jakovenko and Navara.

IMO his wildcard is as justified as the one of Wei Yi (*1999), even if other names would also have "made sense": Why not Artemiev, also *1998 and slightly higher-rated than Duda (2554 vs. 2536)? Why not Rapport or Nyzhnyk? Germans might have liked to see Naiditsch who (if my calculations are correct) "almost" qualified by rating. For the last three names, the rationale might be that they had their chance(s) to qualify via the European Championships 2012 and/or 2013, as Dubov (born in 1996 like Rapport and Nyzhnyk) did.

saturnz's picture

pity nobody representing South Africa this time round, all the best to the participants, especially the ones from Africa!

RG13's picture

The only possible first round upset that I see is Hou Yifan over Alexei Shirov. What makes it possible is that Hou has a dangerous style and has shown that she can hurt a 2700+ opponent (she recently defeated David Navara in a match). What makes it improbable however is that Alexei Shirov is no slouch when it comes to preparing for a match - as Valadimir Kramnik had to learn the hard way. If Shirov doesn't bother taking her seriously because of her much lower rating then he can end up like Navara.

Anonymous's picture

Navara lost one armageddon game. Big difference.

Anonymous's picture

And he hasn't done well in exhibition matches anyway; although losing to Kramnik and Polgár was not unreasonable, he was almost whitewashed by them (Kramnik lost one game just to give him some "consolation"), and played far below his rating.

RG13's picture

That match had to be pretty even to come down to an Armageddon game - that is the point.

Ajedrez's picture

Tomashevsky - Ramirez
vote for Alejandro

Anonymous's picture

The Coris have a tough draw right in the first round. I'm hoping one of them pulls an upset.

Kennedy's picture

You have no idea what is our Wesley So capable of....give him few more years and he will be our world champion.

Going Down's picture

pinoypride - grow up.

Going Down's picture

Kennedy - no way will Wesley So be World Champion. Carlsen, Caruana, Karjakin, Aronian, and perhaps Nakamura and Hao and Liren will be fighting for the title in the coming years, after that Rapport, Artemiev, Dua, Dubov, and young Wei Yi from China will be the next generation to challenge for the world title.

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GB's picture

I have a feeling the young man Gillian from Zambia can cause an upset by drawing

against Kramnik He is definitely will be the
2nd GM in Zambia after Amon Simutowe

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