Today (or yesterday, depending on where you are) there were tiebreaks for those round 2 matches that were undecided after a pair of classical games, and after 15 tiebreakers the field at the World Cup has been whittled down to 32 players.
Of those 15 tiebreakers, the higher-rated player won in 13 of them. Success stories include Grand Chess Tour participants Hikaru Nakamura (winning in the second 25' + 10" game against Sam Shankland), Anish Giri (won both 25' + 10" games vs. Alexander Motylev) and Alexander Grischuk (a winner in the second 10' + 10" game against Vladimir Fedoseev). Other high-rated winners include Sergey Karjakin, Dmitry Jakovenko, Evgeny Tomashevsky, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (who eliminated women's #1 Hou Yifan with a win and a draw in the 25-minute games) and Michael Adams, the latter winning the Armageddon game with White against Viktor Laznicka.
One other favorite who advanced was Wei Yi, who won an incredible match against Yuri Vovk. Pretty much every game they played was spectacular, and almost all of those games were decisive as well. If you only look at one match from the second round, be sure to make this one your choice.
There were two upsets, as noted above. The first was fairly mild, with Le Quang Liem going 1.5-.5 against Nikita Vitiugov in the 25' + 10" games. Le is below 2700 at the moment, but has been over and is a beast at faster time controls, having won the world blitz championship in 2013.
The other upset was a monster result. Alexander Areshchenko defeated Levon Aronian in both 25-minute games to send to send the world's #7 player (and the 5th highest-rated player in the tournament) packing. Aronian had been in poor form for much of the past two years, but having recently won the Sinquefield Cup he seemed to be in great shape. (One wonders...is there any chance that spending an extra 2-3 days in St. Louis interfered with his preparations and with his ability to acclimate to the venue and the time zone? For that matter, one could wonder about Giri's hiccup in the first round against an FM and Grischuk's inability to win a single game so far in either classical chess or at the 25-minute time control. Fedoseev is a very good player, but Grischuk's first round opponent, Yusup Atabayev, isn't someone one would think Grischuk could only defeat in 5-minute chess. Many, many years ago Mikhail Botvinnik suggested going to events of this sort a couple of weeks in advance, and as in so many other matters when it came to training he was probably right or at least on the right track.)
On to round 3, which has the following pairings (given in bracket order):
- Veselin Topalov - Lu Shanglei
- Teimour Radjabov - Peter Svidler
- Alexander Areshchenko - Wei Yi
- Gadir Guseinov - Ding Liren
- Wesley So - Le Quang Liem
- Maxime Vachier-Lagrave - Evgeny Tomashevsky
- Julio Granda Zuniga - Radoslaw Wojtaszek
- Peter Leko - Anish Giri
- Fabiano Caruana - Anton Kovalyov
- Shahkriyar Mamedyarov - S. P. Sethuraman
- Sergey Karjakin - Yu Yangyi
- Dmitry Andreikin - Vladimir Kramnik
- Alexander Grischuk - Pavel Eljanov
- Vassily Ivanchuk - Dmitry Jakovenko
- Michael Adams - Leinier Dominguez
- Ian Nepomniachtchi - Hikaru Nakamura