Akobian, Rambaldi Win Titled Tuesday
Akobian and Rambaldi won December's 2nd Titled Tuesday. | Photos: Mike Klein and Wikipedia

Akobian, Rambaldi Win Titled Tuesday

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In a tight Titled Tuesday field, GMs Varuzhan Akobian and Francesco Rambaldi, both living in St. Louis, topped's second Titled Tuesday in December. They each achieved the critical 8.5/10 score, a half-point ahead of three players in shared third: GMs Jose Ibarra and Gabriel Sargissian and FM Max Warmerdam.

Race to the Top

The critical round seemed to be the eighth. In that round, Akobian and Rambaldi were each leading with 6.5/7 and were paired against each other. A nice win by Akobian put him in incredible position to win the tournament as he had 7.5/8.

Varuzhan Akobian, Titled Tuesday

GM Akobian grabbed a big lead in round eight. | Photo: Mike Klein/

From there, Akobian coasted in with two draws, but Rambaldi applied his foot to the pedal again, closing strong with two wins and catching Akobian for a fine shared first place. Here's an interesting moment from his ninth-round win.

"Unbelievable Turn of Events"

In what was almost certainly the highlight of the event, GMs Salem Saleh and Axel Bachman contested a thrilling game with many creative tricks and traps as well as queen sacs from both players.

Erik Wins Titled Tuesday

So how did our CEO Erik win Titled Tuesday? Well he wasn't playing chess, but he did find himself in the middle of an off-the-board battle in chat.

A chat user asserted that he was playing 95% computer users on A bit skeptical, Erik offered the user a deal.

"I'll check your last 300 games. If you have lost more than 50% of them, you get lifetime membership. If you have NOT lost more than 50%, then your account gets closed. Deal?"

With his account on the line, the user took the deal, but the math came out in Erik's favor:

"140 losses out of 300 games. 9 draws. 151 wins."

The full and extensive chat conversation is available here:

Final Standings | MasterClass Titled Tuesday Blitz, December 2017

Place Seed Fed Title Username Name Score
1 44 GM Kaphrep Francesco Rambaldi 8.5
2 21 GM GMAkobianSTL Varuzhan Akobian 8.5
3 15 GM jcibarra José Carlos Ibarra Jerez 8
4 17 GM Arm-Akiba Gabriel Sargissian 8
5 162 FM xamax2000 Max Warmerdam 8
6 40 GM A-Fier Alex Fier 7.5
7 19 IM renatoterrylujan Renato Alfredo Terry Lujan 7.5
8 24 GM daro94 Dariusz Swiercz 7.5
9 49 GM chito89 Axel Bachmann 7.5
10 26 GM bs86 Boris Savchenko 7.5
11 25 GM ShimanovAlex Aleksandr Shimanov 7
12 11 IM JSPrepz Johan-Sebastian Christiansen 7
13 92 IM gammagramma Vasily Usmanov 7
14 39 IM HarutyunianTigranK Tigran Harutyunyan 7
15 37 IM Kacparov Kacper Drozdowski 7
16 150 FM benhal Benjamin Haldorsen 7
17 61 IM Keaton87 Keaton Kiewra 7
18 51 FM DrVelja Velimir Ivic 7
19 22 GM Trade09 Krikor Sevag Mekhitarian 7

Find the full Titled Tuesday results and crosstable here!

Hansen provided commentary for the complete Titled Tuesday on Rewatch the whole event on and

Watch Titled Tuesday! from Chess on

For shared first place, Rambaldi and Akobian each received $450. Ibarra, Sargissian, and Warmerdam each received $167 as they mopped up the prize money for 3-5 place.

Our two nominees for the streamers' prize are GM Krikor Mekhitarian and Kevin Bordi. Cast your vote on Twitter for your favorite stream! If you want to be considered in future, just stream your event and tweet a link at @chesscom!

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