Meier Scores Yet Another Titled Tuesday Victory
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NEXT TITLED TUESDAY, May 5th at 11am Pacific 2pm Eastern.
GM Georg Meier is a jolly good blitz fellow. Less than two weeks after crushing GM Sam Shankland in Death Match 31, the German grandmaster won the eighth Titled Tuesday event.
Staying clear of the field with 7.5/9, Meier clinched the $500 first prize in what was his third victory in Titled Tuesday history. He also won the second edition, and tied for first with two others last month.
Only GM Baadur Jobava beats that record. The popular Georgian GM, who might have skipped this edition because of his honeymoon (he married WGM Aleksandra Dimitrijevic on March 29) won the first, fourth and fifth edition and tied for first in the sixth.
It would be too much (or too little) to start showing Meier's first-round winner. He won it by playing the killer move 1.Nf3, and three minutes later the score was 1-0. GM Vladimir Belov must have had connection problems as he promptly withdrew.
If anyone named Danny still had doubts, GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (GM LyonBeast) showed that his victory against our own IM Danny Rensch, in a match with giant pieces last summer, was no coincidence. MVL duly won their round one game.
Because it was good fun, let's embed one of these games one more time here:
Back to last Tuesday. GM Maxim Dlugy, another blitz specialist in the field, barely needed 20 moves to win his game against CM Juan Antonio Urbina Perez:
MVL played a crazy tactical game in round two, plenty of pieces sacrificed or hanging. Hugaski was just winning on move 27, but then played a logical but inaccurate move that allowed a perpetual.
The game of the tournament was Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs Yaacov Norowitz. The French number one got a strong attack that finished with a queen sacrifice followed by a bishop giving mate. GM Meier joined the chat to call the mate “naughty.”
By this point three players were leading with 4.5/5: MVL, Dlugy and Argentinian IM Lucas Liascovich (Megarompa). The latter drew with Meier while Vachier-Lagrave defeated Dlugy quickly:
In the same round something remarkable happened in the game between IM Bjarke Sahl and IM Rensch. The Norwegian master offered a draw a few moves after reaching the KBN v K ending, admitting he would never find the mate in the time he had left.
So far the Titled Tuesday regulations have worked out fine, and one can hardly imagine that a fun online blitz tournament needs anti-draw rules. However, after the 12-move draw between Vachier-Lagrave and Edouard, Chess.com staff might have to reconsider.
Keeping the lead, MVL commented “superbe!” but some spectators were not amused!
The game Dlugy vs GM Daniel Fridman deserves special attention because in the final phase Fridman had two knights and Dlugy only a pawn. This famous endgame was discovered by the Frenchman Chapais around 1780, although Gioachino Greco is said to have used it in a composition as early as 1620.
Later it was analyzed heavily by several endgame fanatics, and these days the tablebase has solved all the mysteries.
The main point is that two knights cannot force a checkmate because the defending side always escapes with stalemate... except when he has a pawn left! The attacker needs to try and push the enemy king into a corner while keeping the pawn from queening.
The starting position in Dlugy-Fridman was a draw, but White quickly erred. Fridman failed to spot the right idea and had to maneuver for about 35 moves, but eventually he found it!
The key game for the tournament was MVL vs Meier in round eight— an incredible encounter! Meier was outplayed in the opening and gave up a rook for three pawns to create some chaos. Objectively speaking he was totally lost, but he somehow managed to get passed pawns rolling and made White's extra rook look helpess.
Meier moved into lead with 6.5/8, while a large group was sitting on 6.0/8 including MVL, Fridman and Megarompa. The leader secured sole victory with another win in a nice knight-and-pawn endgame:
The second place was shared by GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, FM Marko Sokač (who won his last two games) and GM Romain Edouard. All scored 7.0/9 and earned $150.
IM Jeffery Xiong was only one at 6.5/9, finishing clear fifth ($50) and commenting in the chat: “How can I claim check?”
Titled Tuesday, 7 April 2015 | Final Standings
|2||FRA||GM||LyonBeast||Vachier Lagrave, Maxime||7||40.5|
|6||ARG||IM||megarompa||Liascovich, Lucas A.||6||35.25|
|8||ESP||IM||JRgascon||Gascón D., Jose Rafael||6||27|
|10||PER||FM||renatoterrylujan||Terry Lujan, Renato Alfredo||6||24.5|
|14||ESP||GM||jcibarra||Ibarra Jerez, José Carlos||5.5||20.5|
|34||ESP||CM||jaup||Urbina Perez, Juan Antonio||4||10|
|36||USA||NM||iFrancisco||Guadalupe II, Francisco||4||8.5|
If you think this might be fun, take note that the Titled Tuesday tournaments take place every first Tuesday of the month, and that there is no entry fee!
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The next Titled Tuesday event will be Tuesday, May 5, 11 am Pacific (GMT -7), 2 pm Eastern (GMT -4), 8 pm CET (GMT +1). All players with any FIDE title are invited to attend.
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