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Nakamura Makes Up For Early Error With Late Win

Nakamura Makes Up For Early Error With Late Win

NathanielGreen
| 10 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Alexander Grischuk and GM Hikaru Nakamura were the winners of the last two Titled Tuesday tournaments of November. Grischuk won the early tournament by a full point on 10/11 after defeating Nakamura in the 10th round, while Nakamura scored 9.5/11 and edged out GM Jeffery Xiong on tiebreaks late. Xiong nearly stole the show anyway, playing a brilliant checkmate at the end of the tournament that you won't want to miss.


Early Tournament

At 612 total participants, the early tournament cracked 600 players for the first time since September 12. Despite losing in the fourth round to a near-perfect game by GM Mikhail Demidov, Grischuk won every other contest he played and ended up winning easily on the tournament scoreboard. The outcome remained in some doubt until the end, however.

After nine rounds, Grischuk had clawed his way back into a five-way tie for first place, assisted by Nakamura's win over the previously 8/8-scoring GM Arjun Erigaisi. It was Nakamura whom Grischuk would face in the 10th round; what followed was a wild game where Grischuk methodically built a large advantage but was later equal and then losing... until Nakamura blundered a mate-in-two.

With everyone else on eight points making draws, Grischuk now led the field by half a point with one round to go. A win would clinch the tournament without worrying about tiebreaks, and a win over Arjun is what Grischuk got.

Second place was another matter entirely, with nine players reaching nine points each—all but one of them with better tiebreaks than Grischuk, so his win was a big deal.

GM Jose Martinez made draws in both of his last two games yet finished with the best tiebreaks among the nine-point group to finish in second place. Fourth and fifth between GMs Bogdan Daniel Deac and Dmitry Andreikin were even decided by the second tiebreak. Nakamura won in the final round but only climbed to sixth.

As for third place, GM Alexander Donchenko ended a streak of three straight draws in rounds 8-10 with a win after trapping IM Renato Terry's queen.

November 28 Titled Tuesday | Early | Final Standings (Top 20)

Number Rk Fed Title Username Name Rating Score Tiebreak 1
1 9 GM @Grischuk Alexander Grischuk 3086 10 64
2 12 GM @Jospem Jose Martinez 3061 9 77.5
3 59 GM @Alexander_Donchenko Alexander Donchenko 2923 9 75.5
4 19 GM @BogdanDeac Bogdan Daniel Deac 3005 9 71
5 4 GM @FairChess_on_YouTube Dmitry Andreikin 3086 9 71
6 1 GM @Hikaru Hikaru Nakamura 3219 9 68
7 45 GM @Zhigalko_Sergei Sergei Zhigalko 2922 9 67
8 69 GM @Rakhmanov_Aleksandr Aleksandr Rakhmanov 2882 9 65.5
9 71 GM @K_A_S_T_O_R Rodrigo Vasquez 2892 9 65.5
10 2 GM @DuleMudule Igor Miladinovic 2857 9 48.5
11 2 GM @GHANDEEVAM2003 Arjun Erigaisi 3146 8.5 79
12 23 IM @Rud_Makarian Rudik Makarian 3008 8.5 73.5
13 11 GM @mishanick Aleksei Sarana 3060 8.5 72
14 121 IM @Fonsofan Alfonso Llorente Zaro 2790 8.5 71
15 51 FM @snowlord Ivan Yeletsky 2888 8.5 65.5
16 68 IM @mbojan Bojan Maksimović 2876 8.5 62
17 5 GM @wonderfultime Tuan Minh Le 3071 8 75.5
18 14 GM @Msb2 Matthias Bluebaum 3036 8 75
19 28 GM @AryanTari Aryan Tari 2972 8 74.5
20 25 GM @dropstoneDP David Paravyan 2966 8 71
47 260 WGM @SayonaraPonytail Qianyun Gong 2589 7.5 59.5

(Full final standings here.)

Grischuk earned the $1,000 first-place prize. Martinez won $750 in second place, Donchenko $350 in third, Deac $200 in fourth, and Andreikin $100 in fifth. WGM Qianyun Gong took the $100 women's prize on 7.5/11.

Late Tournament

As in the early tournament, perfection lasted for eight rounds, this time with GM Oleksandr Bortnyk reaching the 8/8 score. Helping him get there was a sixth-round win over the eventual tournament victor.

Nakamura responded by ripping off four straight wins against an extremely tough group of players: Xiong, GM Jorden van Foreest, GM Teimour Radjabov, and Andreikin. All finished in the top 10, but of course, the win over Xiong ended up being most important to the final standings. And it was a bizarre one: Xiong lost on time with a mate-in-five available to him.

Nakamura's other wins on the streak were more typical, although Van Foreest and Radjabov both helped with one-move blunders. Andreikin put up the strongest resistance, but not enough.

It might not have mattered, but Bortnyk's eighth straight win to start the tournament over GM Aram Hakobyan would be his last. He drew the next two games, then faced Xiong.

Xiong had won all three of his games after the seventh-round time trouble tragedy, and he made it four against Bortnyk with a very satisfying checkmate combination, one involving two sacrifices on the back rank and some x-ray vision.

Meanwhile, Nakamura was fighting GM Matthias Bluebaum to a draw, which was enough to earn Nakamura first place and Bluebaum fifth. Xiong's combination ended up earning him second place by leapfrogging Bortnyk, who settled for third, while Hakobyan finished fourth.

November 28 Titled Tuesday | Late | Final Standings (Top 20)

Number Rk Fed Title Username Name Rating Score Tiebreak 1
1 1 GM @Hikaru Hikaru Nakamura 3226 9.5 69
2 19 GM @jefferyx Jeffery Xiong 3016 9.5 65.5
3 8 GM @Oleksandr_Bortnyk Oleksandr Bortnyk 3072 9 77
4 18 GM @Njal28 Aram Hakobyan 3016 9 69
5 10 GM @Msb2 Matthias Bluebaum 3052 9 68
6 49 FM @German_Bazeev German Bazeev 2852 9 61.5
7 7 GM @vi_pranav Pranav V 3051 8.5 71.5
8 15 GM @TRadjabov Teimour Radjabov 3019 8.5 69.5
9 16 GM @joppie2 Jorden van Foreest 3006 8.5 68.5
10 4 GM @FairChess_on_YouTube Dmitry Andreikin 3091 8.5 68
11 21 GM @AryanTari Aryan Tari 2992 8.5 68
12 23 GM @dropstoneDP David Paravyan 2996 8.5 62.5
13 45 GM @JSPrepz Johan-Sebastian Christiansen 2892 8 72
14 37 GM @eljanov Pavel Eljanov 2886 8 69.5
15 20 GM @TigrVShlyape Gata Kamsky 2968 8 64.5
16 14 GM @BogdanDeac Bogdan Daniel Deac 2984 8 64
17 29 GM @Elsa167 Leon Livaic 2895 8 63.5
18 43 GM @alexrustemov Alexander Rustemov 2853 8 61.5
19 28 GM @Zhigalko_Sergei Sergei Zhigalko 2906 8 61
20 34 GM @K_A_S_T_O_R Rodrigo Vasquez 2906 8 58.5
38 101 GM @Goryachkina Aleksandra Goryachkina 2659 7 59.5

(Full final standings here.)

Nakamura won $1,000, Xiong $750, Bortnyk $350, Hakobyan $200, and Bluebaum $100. Four women scored seven points, but it was GM Aleksandra Goryachkina, in 38th place, who emerged with the $100 women's prize on tiebreaks over IMs Karina Ambartsumova, Yuliia Osmak, and Meri Arabidze.

Titled Tuesday


Titled Tuesday is Chess.com's weekly tournament for titled players, with two tournaments held each Tuesday. The first tournament begins at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time/17:00 Central European/20:30 Indian Standard Time, and the second at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time/23:00 Central European/2:30 Indian Standard Time (next day).

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