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World's Top Teenager Makes Triumphant Return

World's Top Teenager Makes Triumphant Return

NathanielGreen
| 26 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Alireza Firouzja played in both Titled Tuesday tournaments on October 18, scoring 18/22 overall before winning the late event. They were his first games on Chess.com since April 22, 2021. The early event was won by GM-elect Tuan Minh Le with the rare score of 10.5/11. 

GM Hikaru Nakamura finished second in both events while repeating the experiment run by GM Magnus Carlsen the week prior, opening with the two-square g-pawn push in both tournaments.


Early Tournament

Other than the return of Firouzja, the big story early was Minh Le starting with a perfect 9/9. He was the only player to punish Nakamura's dubious opening, winning with the black pieces in their eighth-round game.

Instead of chasing the perfect 11/11, Minh Le drew in four moves in round 10. Nakamura won, setting up a two-player race in the last round: Minh Le on 9.5 points, Nakamura on nine, and no one else more than eight. Minh Le faced GM Dmitry Andreikin; Nakamura faced GM David Paravyan.

Nakamura won his game, putting some pressure on Minh Le to win as well, although tiebreaks were likely going to favor the Vietnamese player.

Minh Le offered Andreikin a draw immediately, which the Russian player declined, needing a win to have a chance to place. The contestants played to an equal position but both fell under 10 seconds on the clock before Andreikin succumbed to time (as we all do, really).

The 10.5 score has only happened four times previously (not counting the perfect 11), but also twice in three weeks and three times in the last three months. Technically, Minh Le was the first non-GM to do it, but he should officially receive his title any day now.

October 18 Titled Tuesday | Early | Final Standings (Top 20)

Number Rk Fed Title Username Name Rating Score SB
1 11 IM @wonderfultime Tuan Minh Le 3023 10.5 73.5
2 1 GM @Hikaru Hikaru Nakamura 3238 10 60
3 18 GM @VincentKeymer Vincent Keymer 2965 9 65.25
4 5 GM @Jospem Jose Martinez 3054 9 59.5
5 10 GM @OparinGrigoriy Grigoriy Oparin 2981 9 55
6 29 GM @Shield12 Shamsiddin Vokhidov 2898 9 53.5
7 7 GM @Oleksandr_Bortnyk Oleksandr Bortnyk 3026 8.5 49.5
7 2 GM @Firouzja2003 Alireza Firouzja 3065 8.5 49.5
9 9 IM @vi_pranav Pranav V 3017 8 51.5
10 12 GM @rasmussvane Rasmus Svane 2952 8 50.5
11 26 GM @TigrVShlyape Gata Kamsky 2905 8 50
12 4 GM @dropstoneDP David Paravyan 3047 8 49.75
13 33 GM @shimastream Aleksandr Shimanov 2875 8 49
14 24 GM @BillieKimbah Maxim Matlakov 2901 8 48.25
15 39 GM @Byniolus Zbigniew Pakleza 2849 8 48
16 48 FM @Ol_Bilych Olexiy Bilych 2824 8 47
17 15 IM @MITerryble Renato Terry 2952 8 46.5
18 3 GM @FairChess_on_YouTube Dmitry Andreikin 3048 8 46.25
19 102 NM @DNextEpisode Gnel Melikyan 2672 8 45.5
20 27 GM @Azeryahu Gyula Pap 2874 8 43
42 86 GM @ChessQueen Alexandra Kosteniuk 2706 7 38.25

(Full final standings here.)

Minh Le won the $1,000 prize for first place with Nakamura taking the $750 second-place prize. The $350 for third place went to GM Vincent Keymer with the $200 for fourth place heading to GM Jose Martinez. The $100 prizes went to GM Grigoriy Oparin in fifth place and GM Alexandra Kosteniuk, whose 7/11 score was the highest among the women in the field.

Late Tournament

Firouzja finished in a tie for seventh with 8.5 points out of 11 in the early tournament, but he was just getting warmed up. In the late event, he and Nakamura were the last players with a perfect score after six rounds.

That set up what could have been an epic matchup in round seven. Instead, Nakamura played his 1.g4 move and offered a draw on move 11, which Firouzja accepted. After both won again in round eight, Firouzja achieved some separation in the next set of games, checkmating GM Oleksandr Bortnyk in the ninth round while Nakamura only made a draw with IM Mykola Bortnyk.

The two would only combine for one more win in the event, drawing their other three. The win belonged to Nakamura in the final round, returning the top of the standings back into a tie.

Firouzja held the tiebreak advantage by less than two points, but hold it he did. And with that, the world #4 could consider his return to Chess.com, after an 18-month hiatus, to be a success.

October 18 Titled Tuesday | Late | Final Standings (Top 20)

Number Rk Fed Title Username Name Rating Score SB
1 3 GM @Firouzja2003 Alireza Firouzja 3177 9.5 65.75
2 1 GM @Hikaru Hikaru Nakamura 3241 9.5 64
3 16 GM @Sam_ChessMood Samvel Ter-Sahakyan 2953 9 60.5
4 11 GM @exoticprincess Baadur Jobava 2991 9 59
5 20 GM @Msb2 Matthias Bluebaum 2943 9 52
6 7 IM @Mykola-Bortnyk Mykola Bortnyk 3042 8.5 56.75
7 5 GM @dropstoneDP David Paravyan 3043 8.5 53.25
8 13 GM @champ2005 Raunak Sadhwani 2992 8.5 50
9 34 GM @Zhigalko_Sergei Sergei Zhigalko 2872 8.5 47.75
10 29 IM @mbojan Bojan Maksimović 2905 8.5 47.25
11 68 IM @DeTimmerman Mark Timmermans 2793 8 51.25
12 30 IM @PLAYER_2006_M Mukhiddin Madaminov 2882 8 50
13 4 GM @FairChess_on_YouTube Dmitry Andreikin 3049 8 49.75
14 69 NM @Abund Yuan Qingyu 2777 8 48
14 24 GM @dretch Conrad Holt 2896 8 48
16 2 GM @DanielNaroditsky Daniel Naroditsky 3101 8 46.75
17 28 FM @temus_galaktionov Artem Galaktionov 2910 8 46.5
18 100 FM @Nf3c5 Iung Alicio de O. Pinheiro 2661 8 46
19 60 GM @alexrustemov Alexander Rustemov 2762 8 45.5
20 42 IM @pheonixking2000 David Gorodetzky 2850 8 43
42 19 IM @zajka-molotok Yuliia Osmak 2646 7 35

(Full final standings here.)

Firouzja earned $1,000 for his victory. Nakamura accepted another $750 as consolation, totaling $1,500 on the day despite his opening choices. GM Samvel Ter-Sahakyan won $350 for third place, GM Baadur Jobava $200 for fourth, and GM Matthias Bluebaum $100 for fifth. The $100 women's prize went to Ukrainian IM Yuliia Osmak.

Titled Tuesday

Titled Tuesday is a weekly event Chess.com hosts every week for titled players. There are two 11-round Swiss tournaments each Tuesday, starting at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time/17:00 Central European and 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time/23:00 Central European.

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