Dubov Wins Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge In Armageddon
Daniil Dubov became the winner of the Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Dubov Wins Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge In Armageddon

| 106 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Daniil Dubov won the Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge on Wednesday. The Russian grandmaster defeated GM Hikaru Nakamura in the armageddon game to clinch the $45,000 first prize. Nakamura won $27,000.

How to watch?
The games of the Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge can be found here as part of our live events platform. GM Robert Hess and WFM Alexandra Botez are providing daily commentary on Nakamura's Twitch channel, embedded on

It was a fitting end a tournament that featured best-of-three matches in which many were decided by armageddon games. The last day also went all the way to armageddon, and that single game was worth $18,000—the difference between first and second prize.

The players started with a relatively quick draw before Dubov struck in game two. For the third time in this final, the black pieces scored the first full point.

With a solid setup against the Accelerated Dragon, Nakamura seemed to continue his strategy of avoiding his opponent's creativity by playing somewhat "boring" chess. That worked, initially, as he went into the endgame with a small edge.

A few inaccuracies later, Nakamura was worse and then in some kind of trouble as the position was opening up for Dubov's bishop pair. The latter also had a more dangerous passer. Winning that game—out of that middlegame—was quite an achievement.

Daniil Dubov Lindores Abbey 2020
Daniil Dubov. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Nakamura managed to make a comeback straight away in the next game, also with the black pieces. An English opening had let to a complicated endgame with just minor pieces, where Black's better structure compensated for White's bishop pair.

Dubov erred on move 32, allowing his opponent to set his pawn majority on the queenside in motion. Nakamura finished the remainder with a series of excellent moves. 

With a draw in game four, the stage was set for an armageddon with 5 minutes vs 4 minutes and draw odds for Black. Having finished with a higher seed in the round-robin phase, Nakamura got to choose the color, and he opted for the black pieces.

Sadly, the game was not the fight the fans were hoping for. Mixing up the move-order in the opening, Nakamura quickly lost big material, and although Dubov didn't find the quickest wins, the result was never really in doubt.

Nakamura, as a top-four finisher, qualified for the next event in the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour (the Online Chess Masters, June 20–July 5), noted that coming back in game three meant a lot to him. "You should always try to do your best, and try to come back," he said. "I am not thrilled that I did not win the event, but I am not super upset."

Hikaru Nakamura Lindores Abbey final
Nakamura: You should always try to do your best, and try to come back." Photo: Maria Emelianova/

"Today was not our typical match. Normally he plays better, and I'm better prepared, but today was the opposite," said Dubov in the official broadcast. "Throughout the match, I had the feeling that he's absolutely sure he'll win the armageddon with Black." 

Wednesday's games

The Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge ran May 19-June 3 on Chess24 in association with the Lindores Abbey Heritage Society. The prize fund was $150,000 with a first prize of $45,000. The time control was 15 minutes for all moves with a 10-second increment after each move. No draw offers were allowed before move 40. 

Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge bracket

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