Bogdanovich, Sebag Qualify For FIDE Isle Of Man Grand Swiss
These two grandmasters earned their way to Isle of Man.

Bogdanovich, Sebag Qualify For FIDE Isle Of Man Grand Swiss

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On Wednesday, the Ukrainian GM Stanislav Bogdanovich (@Padenie_Zvezd) and the French GM Marie Sebag (@Etoilegeniale) qualified for the 2019 FIDE Grand Swiss in Isle of Man.

The two grandmasters each defeated three other men and women who all earned their way to the qualifier with top performances in the four previous Titled Tuesday events.

Bogdanovich had won the round-robin portion convincingly, scoring 5/5 after starting with a loss to the runner-up, the Vietnamese IM Tuan Minh Le. The latter defended strongly after facing a bishop sacrifice:

Isle of Man qualifier | Round-robin final standings

# Fed Player Handle Rtg Born Pts
1 GM Stanislav Bogdanovich @Padenie_Zvezd 2603 1993 5
2 IM Tuan Minh Le @wonderfultime 2517 1996 3.5
3 IM Abdulla Gadimbayli @GadimbayliA 2414 2002 2
4 GM Rasmus Svane @rasmussvane 2615 1997 1.5

Bogdanovich survived a match point in the decisive one-on-one match as he leveled the score after being 1.5-2.5 down:

Bogdanovich then completed a stunning comeback in the sudden-death bullet tiebreak, defeating the man thought to be the favorite in bullet, Le, who had taken a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five blitz series.

Isle of Man qualifierThe qualifier format. 

The regulations had stipulated that if the mini-match were tied after five games, a 1|1 bullet game would be played with alternate colors from the previous game. If this game were drawn, colors would be reversed and games would be played until a winner emerged.

After a draw in the first one, Bogdanovich won the second as White:

Le was shaken after the event, holding his face in his hands as he watched a golden opportunity slip from his fingers. Indeed, Le initially held a 500-point rating advantage over Bogdanovich (whose rating was still provisional) heading into the bullet portion, but Le wasn't able to hold his nerves to secure victory.

"It's gonna be a very strong tournament," Bogdanovich said about the FIDE Grand Swiss. "I don't have chance for a high place but it will be very interesting. I really like going to Isle of Man and [playing] this tournament!"

In the women's section, Sebag was able to overcome the Russian WGM Vera Nebolsina (@VeraNebolsina) in straight games of the knockout portion after a dizzying display in the round-robin, where she went 3.5/4 from the first half of games to all but secure her place among the top two with multiple games to spare.

Isle of Man qualifier | Round-robin final standings (women)

# Fed Player Handle Rtg Born Pts
1 GM Marie Sebag @Etoilegeniale 2451 1986 5
2 WGM Vera Nebolsina @VeraNebolsina 2269 1989 3.5
3 WIM Filiz Osmanodja @FilizO 2254 1996 2.5
4 WGM Petra Papp @cukus 2341 1993 1.5

The French GM was on fire all day, putting in a stellar performance. Coming off an appearance in the Women's Speed Chess Championship, Sebag will be looking to surprise the field as she will come in as one of the underdogs of the Grand Prix tournament.

"The last time I played against Harika on was very difficult for me, but today I played very good; I was in super form!" Sebag said.

Marie Sebag Isle of Man
Marie Sebag qualified for Isle of Man with the win.

With their victories, Sebag and Bogdanovich receive all-expense paid trips to the FIDE Grand Swiss in Isle of Man and will compete with some of the top players in the world.

Four of the highest-placing men and women in the past four months of Titled Tuesday got their place in Wednesday's qualifier. When the Titled Tuesday tournament was won by a player already in the FIDE Grand Swiss, the qualifier spot passed to the next-best finisher.

The qualifier consisted of a double round-robin in both the men's and women's sections. The time control was 3|2 (three minutes plus two-second increment). The top two finishers in each section played a mini-match to determine the overall winner, which was a best-of-five.

The winners of the men's and women's sections each receive $250 and a spot in the FIDE Grand Swiss. 

Second-place finishers Le and Nebolsina got $150 each; the other players got $100 each.

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