Peter Svidler had Black pieces in the second game and he would have been content to draw with Sergey Karjakin. But to Svidler’s great advantage, Karjakin committed a few avoidable blunders and lost. None of the experts or the commentators could have conjured the outcome, when Svidler opted for the Breyer Ruy Lopez. Svidler didn’t want to lose but Karjakin dropped a victory in his opponent’s lap. With 2-0 lead after two games, all that the man from St. Petersburg needs, is a draw and he could be holding the FIDE World Chess Cup aloft for the second time. On Saturday, Svidler will have a massive edge on Karjakin, when he begins with the White pieces. On the other side, the task for his Russian mate has already become untenable. After playing admirably all through the tournament, Karjakin made errors at the most crucial juncture. With two classical games still remaining, it is unfathomable as to how Sergey Karjakin could come back on level terms with Peter Svidler, when he begins the third game with Black pieces on Saturday.
Peter Svidler is merely a draw away from taking the 2015 FIDE World Chess Cup after winning the second game with Black Pieces against Sergey Karjakin on Friday October 2. Having already won the first game, Svidler only wanted to ensure the draw since Karjakin had the advantage of playing with Whites. Svidler settled for the Ruy Lopez with a Breyer line, which was the most sensible thing for Black and even Karkakin didn’t mind the complex developments in later moves. Svidler played his c6-knight to d7 and opened up the bishop on b7. Nothing untoward happened until the 15th move, when Karjakin played 15.Qc2. This move was introduced into tournament practice in 1980 by Gennady Timoshchenko. But unknown to his opponent, Svidler had something up his sleeve.
An extremely interesting and sharp idea from Svidler in move 17 solved all his problems. He deviated from Karjakin’s 2013 game against Carlsen in Stavanger. It was a surprise for Karjakin, who might have planned for slow maneuvering and positional struggle. But the critical line adopted by Svidler forced the Muscovite to calculate several forcing options and evaluate various exchanges of the pieces. Since Karjakin still had his bishop’s pair, he was able to fork out some good moves and claimed a slight advantage. All this while, Svidler still looked for further simplifications to reach the draw with black. Despite lots of pieces vanishing from the board, Svidler was still unsure of the much-needed draw. After 26 moves, Karjakin still had the bishop pair and the pawn on d6. These were the pieces, Svidler would have wanted to target but he was running out of time. Just as the game looked like heading to a draw, Karjakin committed a tragic mistake. He played 37. Rb5, instead of 37. Qd5 or other safer options. Svidler was quick to win a piece and turned the tables on Karjakin with another victory, when Karjakin committed one more blunder.
Svidler told media that the deviation of pushing the c-pawn on move 17 changed the course of the game. But he didn’t want the credit for that move. He revealed that he had been in touch with his friends on Skype and the idea emerged after discussing with them. The 2-0 lead is almost like victory but Svidler refuses to accept that either, saying that the victory would come only when that half-point was taken.