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Champions Showdown Chess9LX Day 2: Dominguez Leads, Kasparov Scores 2.5/3
Garry Kasparov had his best day of chess in years. Photo: Austin Fuller/Saint Louis Chess Club.

Champions Showdown Chess9LX Day 2: Dominguez Leads, Kasparov Scores 2.5/3

PeterDoggers
| 12 | Chess Event Coverage

Scoring 3/3 on the second day, GM Leinier Dominguez took over the lead from GM Fabiano Caruana at the Champions Showdown Chess9LX tournament in St. Louis. GM Garry Kasparov had an excellent day. He scored 2.5/3, moved to shared third place, and then paraphrased Mark Twain: "The rumors of my chess death have been slightly exaggerated!"

Round 6 standings

# Fed Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Pts
1 Leinier Dominguez 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 4.5/6
2 Fabiano Caruana 1 ½ 1 ½ 0 1 4.0/6
3 Garry Kasparov ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 0 3.5/6
4 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 0 1 0 ½ 1 1 3.5/6
5 Sam Shankland 0 0 1 ½ 1 1 3.5/6
6 Wesley So 0 ½ 1 0 ½ 1 3.0/6
7 Levon Aronian ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 0 2.5/6
8 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 0 1 0 ½ 0 1 2.5/6
9 Hikaru Nakamura 0 1 0 0 0 ½ 1.5/6
10 Peter Svidler 0 0 0 0 1 ½ 1.5/6

"I missed a few chances more than I gained today," said Caruana as he ended on 1.5/3 and dropped to second place. The same score was reached by his compatriot GM Hikaru Nakamura (better than his 0/3 on the first day!), who was lost but ended up beating Caruana in round four:

Hikaru Nakamura Chess960
The American team members analyzing the position for round four. Photo: Austin Fuller/Saint Louis Chess Club.

After a draw and a loss, Dominguez has won four games in a row, including all three on Thursday. The Cuban-American GM was somewhat surprised himself, as he usually doesn't do so well early in tournaments. 

"It comes down to this middlegame. If you're able to solve problems quickly and to avoid blunders, then you will do well," Dominguez said.

His win against GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was crushing:

Leinier Dominguez
Leinier Dominguez. Photo: Austin Fuller/Saint Louis Chess Club.

The most inspiring story of the day, however, is how Kasparov bounced back after his disappointing Croatia blitz tournament earlier this summer and his 1/3 on the first day. The Beast from Baku defeated both GM Sam Shankland and GM Levon Aronian before drawing with Caruana.

The rumors of my chess death have been slightly exaggerated.
—Garry Kasparov

Shankland was set aside with small, positional means. Kasparov was happy with his maneuvers 8.Be3 and 9.Qf2 and also 7.b3 and 12.a4 on the queenside and remarked that his game "could go into the textbooks."

Kasparov Shankland Chess960 Chess9LX
Kasparov vs. Shankland. Photo: Austin Fuller/Saint Louis Chess Club.

"I'm very proud of my second game; that was really good," Kasparov said about his win vs. Aronian. "Levon played very aggressive, interesting chess... and I had to defend, defend, defend. And at the end, in time-trouble, I just found, I'm very proud, 34...Rg2 and then 36...d4+, the intermediate check."

Levon Aronian
Levon Aronian, who recently moved to St. Louis, playing Kasparov. Photo: Bryan Adams/Saint Louis Chess Club.

All games day 2


Previous report:

PeterDoggers
Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by Chess.com in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

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