Tactics And Armageddon in Baku
By Vanessa West   
September 19, 2015
Three American players still remain in contention at the World Cup, Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana and Wesley So.

Fabiano was the only of the three to win in the classical portion. 


Caruana faces Mamedyarov in round four.

So won in the playoff and faces Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in round four.


Nakamura's match against  Nepomniachtchi went to Armageddon, where he scored the win (needing only a draw) with black.


He will face Michael Adams in the next round.

While our three top players remain, even more have made their mark on this incredibly strong knockout tournament.

Here's a look at some of the tactical combinations played by our top players. How many can you solve?

Tactic #1

Hikaru Nakamura vs. Richmond Phiri, Round 1
Tactic 1 Nakamura-Phiri.jpg

White to move.

Phiri has wasted too much time in the opening and is unable to castle. How did Nakamura gain a material advantage?

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Tactic #2

Wesley So vs. Csaba Balogh, Round 2
Tactic 2 So-Balogh.jpg

White to move.

Balogh's position is clearly dubious: His king is loose and several of his pieces are undeveloped. How did So take advantage?

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Tactic #3

Samuel Shankland vs. Ivan Popov, Round 1
Tactic 3 Shankland-Popov.jpg

White to move.

How did Shankland get the upperhand in this endgame?

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Tactic #4

Alexander Onischuk vs. Andrei Volokitin, Round 1
Tactic 4 Onischuk-Volokitin.jpg

White to move.

Although Onischuk is technically behind in material, his advanced passed pawn and better placed pieces give him a significant advantage. How did he turn it into a win?

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