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Nihal Joins Grischuk As Tuesday Winners

Nihal Joins Grischuk As Tuesday Winners

NathanielGreen
| 3 | Chess Event Coverage

Titled Tuesday on May 23 went to two generations of blitz stars, the long-established GM Alexander Grischuk and the 20-years-younger GM Nihal Sarin. Grischuk essentially locked up the early tournament with a round to go, while Nihal barely outlasted a somewhat stronger late field, earning the win over GM Fabiano Caruana on tiebreaks—with GMs Magnus Carlsen (fourth place) and Hikaru Nakamura (seventh) among those a half-point back of them.


Early Tournament

In the early tournament field of 507, the eventual top two finishers, Grischuk and GM Oleksandr Bortnyk, met in round nine. Grischuk, who had won every game except for a draw in round five, continued his undefeated run.

Now leading the tournament outright, in round 10, Grischuk took an equal endgame against GM Aram Hakobyan with both players under 10 seconds—and turned it into a 108-move victory that effectively clinched the tournament. 

To lock things up, Grischuk agreed to a quick draw with GM Anton Demchenko in the 11th round. Meanwhile, Bortnyk recovered from his ninth-round defeat and climbed back into second place by beating Hakobyan in the final round.

May 23 Titled Tuesday | Early | Final Standings (Top 20)

Number Rk Fed Title Username Name Rating Score Tiebreak
1 5 GM @Grischuk Alexander Grischuk 3059 10 76
2 4 GM @Oleksandr_Bortnyk Oleksandr Bortnyk 3054 9.5 82
3 14 GM @Anton_Demchenko Anton Demchenko 2982 9.5 75
4 23 GM @BillieKimbah Maxim Matlakov 2959 9.5 71.5
5 19 GM @Sanan_Sjugirov Sanan Sjugirov 2945 9 70.5
6 52 GM @adotand Pranav Anand 2848 9 70
7 28 GM @Tormoz Daniel Fridman 2949 9 69
8 22 GM @Angry_Twin Andrey Drygalov 2928 9 63.5
9 35 IM @KhazarBabazada007 Khazar Babazada 2912 8.5 81.5
10 20 GM @VladimirKramnik Vladimir Kramnik 2930 8.5 71.5
11 2 GM @Duhless Daniil Dubov 3036 8.5 68.5
12 49 IM @RobertoJBM Roberto Junio Brito Molina 2841 8.5 59.5
13 1 GM @mishanick Alexey Sarana 3049 8 77
14 57 GM @Hovik_Hayrapetyan Hovik Hayrapetyan 2835 8 74
15 32 IM @MatthewG-p4p Matvey Galchenko 2881 8 73
16 30 GM @TenisMaster Yuniesky Quesada 2889 8 71
17 105 GM @GMG Andrey Gorovets 2726 8 69.5
18 11 GM @rasmussvane Rasmus Svane 2956 8 69.5
19 70 IM @I_am_Javi Ernesto Fernandez 2785 8 69
20 36 GM @Sychev_on_YouTube Klementy Sychev 2864 8 67
34 107 WGM @jinbojinbo Jiner Zhu 2716 7.5 65.5

(Full final standings here.)

Grischuk earned himself $1,000 with the win. Bortnyk took home $750 for second place and Demchenko $350 for third. GM Maxim Matlakov finished fourth for $200, while the top player with nine points was GM Sanan Sjugirov, winning $100 in fifth place. WGM Jiner Zhu took home the $100 women's prize with a 7.5/11 performance.

Late Tournament

The late field was by no means weak, but it did not quite have the panache of the late tournament, making Nihal's victory there all the more impressive. Earlier in the day, the ChessKid Cup and Grand Chess Tour preoccupied Caruana, Carlsen, and Nakamura. The late tournament faced no such obstacles while bringing in a total of 457 players.

After nine rounds, a tie atop the standings set up a major clash between Caruana and Carlsen. After 10 rounds, Caruana had taken the sole lead of the tournament.

Caruana, who had also defeated GM Vladimir Kramnik in round eight, was rewarded for his win over Carlsen with a final-round matchup against Nakamura: tough lineup! Nakamura opened with the King's Gambit, but the players ended up trading off all the pieces in just 42 moves for a draw.

Nihal, meanwhile, took on GM Axel Bachmann. The 18-year-old did his job and won the game. 

The tiebreak margin was thin, just half a point, but it was enough for Nihal's second Titled Tuesday win in the last five weeks.

Carlsen ended up rejoining the top five with a win over Bortnyk in the final round in a game of maneuvers. And while Nakamura was the only player not to lose a game during the tournament, his four draws kept him out of his familiar place at the very top.

May 23 Titled Tuesday | Late | Final Standings (Top 20)

Number Rk Fed Title Username Name Rating Score Tiebreak
1 4 GM @nihalsarin Nihal Sarin 3170 9.5 77.5
2 5 GM @FabianoCaruana Fabiano Caruana 3121 9.5 77
3 28 IM @KhazarBabazada007 Khazar Babazada 2949 9 74
4 1 GM @MagnusCarlsen Magnus Carlsen 3268 9 72.5
5 50 IM @Eduard_Limonov Yaroslav Remizov 2877 9 72
6 109 GM @EREBUNI91 Hrair Simonian 2764 9 66
7 2 GM @Hikaru Hikaru Nakamura 3178 9 65
8 44 GM @moro182 Luca Moroni Jr 2880 9 63.5
9 60 GM @chito89 Axel Bachmann 2859 8.5 76
10 9 GM @Oleksandr_Bortnyk Oleksandr Bortnyk 3067 8.5 75
11 27 GM @Vladimir_Zakhartsov Vladimir Zakhartsov 2942 8.5 71
12 10 GM @mishanick Alexey Sarana 3045 8.5 67
13 18 GM @rasmussvane Rasmus Svane 2956 8.5 66
14 1 GM @Jospem Jose Martinez 3029 8.5 64
15 26 GM @vugarrasulov Vugar Rasulov 2952 8 74
16 6 GM @Polish_fighter3000 Jan-Krzysztof Duda 3045 8 72
17 24 GM @VladimirKramnik Vladimir Kramnik 2933 8 70
18 40 GM @Sychev_on_YouTube Klementy Sychev 2869 8 69
19 30 GM @Zhigalko_Sergei Sergei Zhigalko 2897 8 67
20 7 GM @Msb2 Matthias Bluebaum 3048 8 66.5
26 156 WGM @Meri-Arabidze Meri Arabidze 2639 8 57.5

(Full final standings here.)

Nihal won $1,000, while Caruana settled for $750. IM Khazar Babazada finished in third place for $350, Carlsen earned $200, and IM Yaroslav Remizov earned $100 in fifth. WGM Meri Arabidze won the women's prize, her third in three weeks, with eight points out of 11.

Titled Tuesday

Titled Tuesday is a weekly 11-round Swiss tournament for titled players on Chess.com, with two tournaments starting at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time/17:00 Central European and 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time/23:00 Central European every Tuesday.

NathanielGreen
Nathaniel Green

Nathaniel Green is a staff writer for Chess.com who writes articles, player biographies, Titled Tuesday reports, video scripts, and more. He has been playing chess for about 30 years and resides near Washington, DC, USA.

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