Stunning Comebacks and Decisive Matches: Nakamura, So, Nihal, Giri Victorious
Anish Giri hugs Danny Rensch after winning his armageddon game. Photo: Eric Rosen/

Stunning Comebacks and Decisive Matches: Nakamura, So, Nihal, Giri Victorious

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In a day loaded with decisive games and shocking comebacks, GMs Wesley So, Hikaru Nakamura, Nihal Sarin, and Anish Giri advanced to the semifinals on Thursday at the Global Championship Finals.

Nakamura won an all-decisive-games match vs. GM  Jan-Krzysztof Duda. Though the result seemed like a foregone conclusion after Nakamura's 4-0 lead the day before, Duda made it a real fight today, winning two must-win games in a row. Nakamura's perceptive attacking play ended his opponent's run in game seven. 

So displayed the extensive range of his abilities, outplaying GM Dmitry Andreikin in various types of positions to win the match in just six games. Sarin's sharp and creative play under pressure helped him stage a comeback vs. GM Sam Sevian in the battle between the two youngest competitors. 

In a neck-and-neck match between two players who specialize in precision, GM Teimour Radjabov fought back vs. Giri, tying the match after a two-point deficit. In the armageddon playoff, Giri proved victorious with the black pieces.

The semifinals start on Friday, November 4, starting at 9 a.m. PT / 17:00 CET.

How to watch?
You can watch the 2022 Global Championship on You can also enjoy the show on our Twitch channel and catch all our live broadcasts on Games from the event can be viewed on our events page.

Live broadcast of Thursday's matches, hosted by GMs Robert Hess, Aman Hambleton, Daniel Naroditsky, and IM Levy Rozman.

So was the first to reach the semifinals. Beginning the day up 3-1, he extended his lead with a comfortable endgame victory in game five.

Though he only required a draw in the next game, So sealed the match victory with bold, active play that kept Andreikin under pressure in what commentator Hess called "the most wild game of all." Hambleton insightfully described So's incredible skill in complex positions: “The way that he handles these tense positions where that eval bar isn’t jumping different directions, you just always feel that he has a plan.”

Duda entered the day down 4-0, facing up to four must-win games vs. Nakamura. It's hard to imagine a more impossible task in rapid chess. Yet, he stunned us with a confident win to start the day. 

In the next game, Duda's comeback gained momentum, converting a drawish pawn-up opposite-color bishop ending. With this win, Duda's losses and contentious choice to play the Bongcloud Attack yesterday began to fade into a distant memory. How far could he take his impossible comeback?

Nakamura had the answer. With the white pieces and draw odds in game seven, he created a more effective attack in a double-edged position with the kings castled to opposite sides.

Nihal kicked off the day by immediately tying the match with quick-witted tactical play. As commentator Rozman put it: “it’s never over with Nihal Sarin." 

In game six, Nihal took over the match lead with pressure against Sevian's hanging pawns in the queenless middlegame. 

Despite starting the day down by a point in the match, Nihal's resilience set the tone for the remainder of games. Game seven, our Game of the Day, was perhaps the greatest example of this: despite being completely lost for several moves, he posed practical problems and would not go down. 

Nihal sealed the match victory with exquisite positional play in game eight.

With two of the highest accuracy percentages in the field, it's little surprise that Giri vs. Radjabov was the closest match. 

Giri extended his lead in game five, crashing through on the kingside with a picturesque view of all four knights lined up on the f-file. 

Down two points with no victories, Radjabov struck back in game six and won a topsy-turvy game seven to tie the match. 

After a balanced eight-game struggle, Giri tipped the scales with pristine play in the armageddon playoff, winning with the black pieces. As Rozman described: "That was one of the most clutch, cold-blooded performances with Black I've ever seen." 

Toronto Global Chess Championship 2022
The playing hall in Toronto. Photo: Eric Rosen/

So, Nakamura, Giri, and Nihal advance closer to their chance at the $200,000 first prize for the 2022 Global Champion. Duda, Andreikin, Sevian, and Radjabov each earn $25,000 for their efforts as quarterfinalists. 

All games day 2

Quarterfinals Scoreboard

Quarterfinals Bracket

The 2022 Global Championship (CGC) is the first global championship cycle open to all verified players. Players compete in official verified events for their share of the $1,100,000 prize fund and the Global Champion title.

Chess legends, such as GMs Viswanathan Anand, Vasyl Ivanchuk, Vladimir Kramnik, and Veselin Topalov, compete against today's best (online) players, including GMs Hikaru Nakamura, Ding Liren, Levon Aronian, and Jan-Krzysztof Duda, and more. 

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