Magic Score Is 8/9 For Titled Tuesday Winners

Magic Score Is 8/9 For Titled Tuesday Winners

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Local favorites triumphed over traditional heavyweights as GM Jose Ibarra Jerez claimed sole first place in the late August Titled Tuesday and IMs Minh Tran and Christophe Sochacki shared first place in the early event. For both events, the magic score needed for first place was 8.0/9.

Ibarra Jerez's victory gives him four Titled Tuesday victories, second only to GMs Georg Meier, Hikaru Nakamura, and Baadur Jobava. For Tranh, this was his third victory as he won both the early and late event in June. His three victories tie him with GM Dmitry Andreikin. This was Sochacki's first victory, but he has been finishing high consistently in recent months; victory was a matter of time.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

The early event was a field day for the IMs; the top four finishers held the "international" and not the "grand" title! Despite that, the attention in the early rounds was still on big names like Andreikin.

In round two it already appeared that things might not be going according to script as GM Andrey Deviatkin defeated Andreikin in a fascinating endgame where the computer points out stunning resources for both players.

He's got style; he's got grace, but Andreikin needed Bb5!

Another top Russian grandmaster had a better start as GM Sanan Sjugirov won the following round-three game. What was the essential move that his opponent needed to play here?

When will Sjugirov take the top prize?| Photo credit Andreas Kontokanis.

Also in round three, the aggressive GM Baskiran Adhiban sacrificed his queen to simplify into a won king and pawn endgame. Unfortunately, he didn't win it.

Tran got his first moment to shine when his knight dropped into White's position with a classic interference sacrifice.

After his unfortunate king and pawn endgame in the last round, Adhiban was the one to win a complex king-and-pawn endgame. He might have lost had his opponent taken advantage of the error 46...b5??

Although Tran moved to clear first in round five, it was Sochacki who received the audience's attention as he won a an epic 111-move, back-and-forth slugfest against GM Sergei Movsesian.

Adhiban again showed his attacking chops as he sacked a pawn for development and immediately punished White when he tried to castle.

The man who seemingly never defends, GM Baskiran Adhiban. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

One of the funniest single-round coincidences of Titled Tuesday happened in round seven as both GM Alexander Donchenko and Venkat Iyer lost their queens to the same surprising move ...Bd8!

Cut! Take two!

Meanwhile, the competition for the top boards was heating up and Tran and Sochacki had their fateful pairing in this round.

Let's get our chess on!

It was absolutely everything you could want from a showdown. In the epic back-and-forth struggle, each player had their chances, but it was Tran who was winning in the end when he missed an instructive intermezzo.

How did Sjugirov win the following game with nice tactics? This one's ready-made for Tactics Trainer.

GM Alain Pichot toppled Giri's second GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, recent winner of Lake Sevan, with nice, opportunistic play.

Who would have thought? Working regularly with a super-GM is good for your chess.

In a critical showdown (OK, yes, all the late-round games are critical.), Tran had Black against Meier. One would expect Meier to press, but Tran found all the right moves to get counterplay, and Meier even needed to be careful in the end.

Another talented Vietnamese IM, Minh Le, showed White in the following game why 36.Bxf5 was just not possible.

Moving into the final round, Sochacki piled onto Meier's dark squares and broke through with consistently sharp, strong, and accurate play.

Tran also won, earning him and Sochacki clear shared first, a full point ahead of the field.
One other excellent game was GM Daniel Naroditsky's fine win over Adhiban. He must have the traditional college student's financial pressures because he worked hard for his shared fourth place finish by pressing perfectly in an opposite-colored bishop endgame that seemed sure to be drawn.

Titled Tuesday, Early Event | Final Standings (6.5 Points And Up)

# Fed Title Username Name Pts
1 IM MinhGTrAn Minh Trần 8
2 IM LaStreetCmaMaison Christophe Sochacki 8
3 IM Alexander_Moskalenko Александр Москаленко 7.5
4 IM bersapaulo Paulo Bersamina 7
4 GM DanielNaroditsky Daniel Naroditsky 7
6 GM DeviatkinAndrey Andrey Deviatkin 7
7 GM GeorgMeier Georg Meier 6.5
8 IM Yaacovn Yaacov Norowitz 6.5
9 GM Evgeny_Levin Evgeny Levin 6.5
10 FM workhard91 Armin Farmani Anosheh 6.5
11 GM fireheart92 Adhiban Baskaran 6.5
12 WIM simonachess Simona Kiseleva 6.5
12 GM platy3 Alan Pichot 6.5
14 GM jcibarra José Carlos Ibarra Jerez 6.5

Full V3 tournament tables available here.

The late event was ultimately Ibarra Jerez's tournament, and his clear first place finish was well-earned. He certainly didn't have a monopoly on interesting play though! GM Duhless landed a nice queen sacrifice to claim an early victory.

GM Conrad Holt seemed a possible early contender for the top spot as he started strong and won this excellent game where he allowed his queen to be "trapped."

Holt, sporting classic chic.

Ibarra Jerez's only loss came in round seven against Naroditsky who missed (?) a tactic that pocketed an exchange. Ibarra Jerez may have regretted winning the exchange though. Naroditsky's bishops were soon on fire!

Naroditsky knows how to lose an exchange!

Naroditsky was in great position in round eight as he faced off against GM Magnus Carlsen's recent Blitz Battle opponent, GM Tigran Petrosyan. Petrosyan might not have been in Carlsen's class, but he is still a top blitz grandmaster, and he showed that with a great effort against Naroditsky.

Question: What incredible sorcery did Petrosyan use to win the pawn on b2 between moves 77 and 87?!?!

Answer: None! The queen on g7 on move 87 is the pawn sitting on b2 10 moves earlier! See for yourself.

The final match-up between Ibarra Jerez and Petrosyan was critical but also anti-climactic. Ibarra was soon in the driver's seat and Petrosyan wasn't able to put up the best resistance.

Titled Tuesday, Late Event | Final Standings (6.5 Points And Up)

# Fed Title Username Name Score
1 GM jcibarra José Carlos Ibarra Jerez 8
2 GM TigranLPetrosyan Tigran Petrosyan 7
3 GM GM_Barcenilla Rogelio, Jr Barcenilla 7
4 GM Zlatan56 Laurent Fressinet 7
5 GM dretch Conrad Holt 7
6 GM Evgeny_Levin Evgeny Levin 6.5
7 IM swayamsm Swayams Mishra 6.5
7 GM GrigorGrigorov Grigor Grigorov 6.5
7 GM DeviatkinAndrey Andrey Deviatkin 6.5
10 NM Bishops83 6.5
11 FM ZapataCharlesS Santiago Zapata Charles 6.5

Full V3 tournament tables available here.

In the early event, IMs Tran and Sochaki each won $375 for first place. IM Alexander Moskalenko claimed the sole third place prize of $125. GMs Naroditsky and Deviatkin and IM Bersamina each won $42 for shared fourth place. In the late event, GM Ibarra Jerez won $500 for sole first place. GMs Petrosyan, Rogelio Barcenilla, Laurent Fressinet, and Holt each earned $125 for shared second.

The next Titled Tuesday will take place on September 6 at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Pacific time. Live broadcasts will be available on and

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