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Ukrainian Surprise In Early Titled Tuesday, Eight-Way Tie In Late

Ukrainian Surprise In Early Titled Tuesday, Eight-Way Tie In Late

NathanielGreen
| 30 | Chess Event Coverage

Titled Tuesday on April 18 featured several storylines beyond GM Tuan Minh Le winning the early event and GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave winning the late event. GM Igor Kovalenko, who has been on the front lines in Ukraine's attempt to fight off Russia's invasion, finished in third place in the early tournament. Then, in the late tournament, Vachier-Lagrave outlasted an eight-way scrum on nine points, including GM Magnus Carlsen in second and GM Alireza Firouzja in third, to claim victory. 


Early Tournament

506 players contested the early tournament, and Le was perfect through nine rounds, reaching 9/9 with this performance:

The bid at perfection ended in round 10, however, with a loss to eventual second-place finisher GM Abhijeet Gupta.

However, after Gupta agreed to a draw with GM Artem Timofeev after one move in the last round, Le was still in prime position to win the event outright, and he beat IM Renato Terry to do just that.

But the highlight of the tournament was Kovalenko.

Yes, it's true, he beat Nakamura on the way. With Black, and despite bad pawns early.

Number Rk Fed Title Username Name Rating Score
1 7 GM @wonderfultime Tuan Minh Le 3093 10
2 34 GM @abhijeetgupta Abhijeet Gupta 2957 9.5
3 44 GM @igorkovalenko Igor Kovalenko 2943 9
4 1 GM @Hikaru Hikaru Nakamura 3200 9
5 68 GM @TimofeevAr Artem Timofeev 2899 9
6 27 GM @BogdanDeac Bogdan Daniel Deac 2967 9
7 2 GM @DanielNaroditsky Daniel Naroditsky 3111 9
8 39 IM @bardiya_Daneshvar Bardiya Daneshvar 2949 9
9 29 IM @MITerryble Renato Terry 2957 8.5
10 25 GM @shimastream Aleksandr Shimanov 2953 8.5
11 50 GM @TigrVShlyape Gata Kamsky 2898 8.5
12 5 GM @GMWSO Wesley So 3078 8
13 10 GM @DenLaz Denis Lazavik 3037 8
14 8 GM @FairChess_on_YouTube Dmitry Andreikin 3038 8
15 23 GM @viviania Vasyl Ivanchuk 2970 8
16 24 GM @abhidabhi Abhimanyu Puranik 2983 8
17 11 GM @mishanick Alexey Sarana 3017 8
18 49 FM @snowlord Ivan Yeletsky 2887 8
19 2 GM @BocharovD Dmitriy Bocharov 2750 8
20 31 GM @Indianlad S.L. Narayanan 2939 8
41 161 GM @Olga_Girya Olga Girya 2658 7.5

(Full final standings here.)

Le won $1,000 for his first Titled Tuesday victory of 2023 after two the year before. Gupta won $750 in second place. Kovalenko won $350 in third place. Nakamura finished fourth for $200, Timofeev fifth for $100, and GM Olga Girya was the highest-scoring woman in the tournament with 7.5/11, earning $100.

Late Tournament

Vachier-Lagrave jumped out to the late lead among 409 competitors—a group that included five former world number-twos or better in Nakamura, Carlsen, GM Fabiano Caruana, Firouzja, and GM Vladimir Kramnik—by scoring 8.5/9 to begin the event, then held on despite only scoring 0.5/2 at the end of the tournament.

Vachier-Lagrave's early dominance culminated with a four-game win streak against Firouzja, GM Bogdan-Daniel Deac, Caruana, and Nakamura.

However, that run could not survive an encounter with Carlsen.

Suddenly, four players—Vachier-Lagrave, Carlsen, Firouzja, and GM David Paravyan—had 8.5 points. Carlsen vs. Firouzja, of course, was the anticipated world championship matchup that did not happen in 2023, so for now we settle for their highly combative draw here:

Vachier-Lagrave also drew with Paravyan, leaving the seven players on eight points with a chance to catch up. Four of them did: GMs Christopher Yoo, Aram Hakobyan, Dmitry Andreikin, and Raunak Sadhwani. It was enough for Yoo and Hakobyan to join the top five, while in the 8.5 group only Paravyan was unfortunate enough to drop out of the paid positions.

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

Number Rk Fed Title Username Name Rating Score
1 5 GM @LyonBeast Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 3102 9
2 1 GM @MagnusCarlsen Magnus Carlsen 3221 9
3 7 GM @Firouzja2003 Alireza Firouzja 3085 9
4 37 GM @ChristopherYoo Christopher Woojin Yoo 2939 9
5 21 GM @Njal28 Aram Hakobyan 2996 9
6 32 GM @dropstoneDP David Paravyan 2935 9
7 10 GM @FairChess_on_YouTube Dmitry Andreikin 3039 9
8 17 GM @champ2005 Raunak Sadhwani 2978 9
9 11 GM @DenLaz Denis Lazavik 3037 8.5
10 16 GM @Annawel Jules Moussard 2986 8.5
11 2 GM @Hikaru Hikaru Nakamura 3202 8.5
12 12 GM @mishanick Alexey Sarana 3007 8.5
13 4 GM @FabianoCaruana Fabiano Caruana 3089 8
14 8 GM @Polish_fighter3000 Jan-Krzysztof Duda 3038 8
15 42 GM @Matibar Mateusz Bartel 2886 8
16 77 FM @greekplayer1 Dimitris Makridis 2792 8
17 38 GM @LastGladiator1 Aydin Suleymanli 2896 8
18 43 GM @alexrustemov Alexander Rustemov 2868 8
19 111 FM @Ali_rastbod Ali Rastbod 2676 8
20 3 GM @DanielNaroditsky Daniel Naroditsky 3083 8
63 89 GM @ChessQueen Alexandra Kosteniuk 2702 6.5

(Full final standings here.)

Vachier-Lagrave won the $1,000 first place prize. Carlsen won $750 in second place and Firouzja $350 in third place, Yoo scored $200 in fourth and Hakobyan $100 in fifth. GM Alexandra Kosteniuk won the $100 women's prize for the third time this year, scoring 6.5/11.

Titled Tuesday

Titled Tuesday is a weekly 11-round Swiss tournament for titled players that Chess.com holds twice every Tuesday. The start times are 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time/17:00 Central European and 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time/23:00 Central European. 

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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