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IM Balogun Oluwafemi of Nigeria to play World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen!


IM Balogun Oluwafemi of Nigeria to play World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen!

IM Balogun Oluwafemi  of Nigeria  will meet the current World Champion Magnus Carlsen in round 1 of the 2017 World Cup.  The event starts on 2nd September and runs to 27th September in Tiblisi, Georgia.

No player from Africa has ever had an opportunity to play a reigning World Chess Champion.

IM Balogun Oluwafemi of Nigeria. Photo credit Chess Zealot of Facebook.

The two time Nigerian Olympiad player (Istanbul 2012 & Tromso 2014) earned his slot in the 2017 World Cup by winning the Zone 4.4 Championship held in Monrovia, Liberia.

Players from Africa

Africa has 6 representatives in this event.

Other big moments for Africa in round 1 will be the following games;

  • IM Kenny SolomonGM Fabiano Caruana of USA.
  • GM Essam El GindyGM Alexandra Grichuk of Russia
  • IM Daniel CawderyGM Levon Aronian of Armenia.
  • GM Mohamed HaddoucheGM Liren Ding of China.
  • GM Bassem AminGM Viktor Erdos of Hungary.

The 128 player Knock Out tournament brings together the strongest players in the world, as well as qualifiers from every region of the globe.  It boasts of  an impressive prize fund of USD 1.6 million .

Participants include the World Champion and number one in rating list Magnus Carlsen, and three former World Champions Viswanathan Anand.  Vladimir Kramnik,  Ruslan Ponomariov, and Sergey Karjakin are the other participants. The participation of the 15 top players makes this event the strongest World Cup in history.

The event will also have the top two women players.  World number one and former Women`s World Champion Hou Yifan and top Georgian woman player and current European Woman Champion Nana Dzagnidze.

The top two players will qualify for the next FIDE Candidates Tournament which will take place in March 2018 and determine the challenger for the FIDE World Championship match in 2018.

Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony will take place at 4 pm and the technical meeting at 6 pm at the Funicular restaurant. The organisers of the event include;

  • FIDE.
  • Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs of Georgia.
  • Georgian Chess Federation.
  • Organising Committee of The 2018 World Chess Olympiad.
  • Tbilisi City Hall.


The title Sponsor is SOCAR.

Title sponsor.
Other sponsors and organisers.

Time control

The time control for each two-game match is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one. If the score is equal there are two rapid chess tiebreak games, played at a rate of 25 minutes for each player with an increment of 10 seconds per move.

If the score is still equal then two accelerated games will be played, with a time control of 10 min + 10 sec. Should the score still be equal then two more games will be played at 5 min + 3 sec. If the winner is still not determined then a final Armageddon game with 5 minutes for White and 4 minutes for Black, with a 3 sec increment after move 60, will be played. In this game Black has draw odds (i.e. he wins if the game is drawn). The games start at 3 pm local time on 3rd of September.