Naroditsky Clear Of Field In 3rd Titled Player Tuesday

Naroditsky Clear Of Field In 3rd Titled Player Tuesday

| 15 | Chess Event Coverage

The first two Titled Player Tuesdays saw two world-class GMs rattle off eight wins at the start to cruise to victory. This time, there was final-round drama. weekly columnist GM Daniel Naroditsky lost in round four but won his other eight games to take first all alone in December's Titled Player Tuesday event. Up until his final move, he was either chasing or tied with someone the entire afternoon.

Top-rated GM Dmitry Andreikin, well known to users from his two Death Matches in 2014, sputtered late and despite a brilliant attack in the final game, finished second with 7.5/9.

Both previous Titled Player Tuesday winners participated today but neither finished all nine rounds. GM Baadur Jobava, winner of the inaugural event, was on 5/6 when he disconnected in round seven mid-game. GM Georg Meier, winner last month, left on his own after round two.

Not GM Daniel Naroditsky's winner's trophy! Here he holds "An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of States," which chess patron Rex Sinquefield co-wrote.

Naroditsky won $500 for first and Andreikin took $250 for second (combined with his two Death Matches, he's now won $1300 on this year).

Three players will split the remaining $250 for tying for third through fifth with 7.0/9: GM Valeriy Aveskulov, GM Andrey Vovk and NM Atulya Vaidya, who is the lowest-titled player to "cash" in the short history of the event.

Tying for sixth but finishing just out of the money were NM Alex Ding and GM Sergey Volkov

The last round produced two highly entertaining games. Vovk and Naroditsky began on 7.0/8 and faced off, while Andreikin was in clear third at 6.5/8 and needed a draw between the leaders to have a chance at first. Here's how it shaped up before the final game:

Andreikin, who 30 minutes prior had been in solo first with 5.0/5 including flagging Vovk before move 30, decided it was all or nothing against fellow super-GM Leinier Dominguez.

He showed malicious intent on nearly every move -- an early g4, the typical knight sac on d5, then offering his rook for four consecutive moves before making Black capture it!

The follow-up, 33. f6, was particularly diabolical.

Andreikin was in the clubhouse at 7.5 points and waited out the top board.

Naroditsky and Vovk could have agreed to a short draw to secure a share of first, but they played it out. With no major risks taken early on, the American teenager found a convincing exchange sacrifice that in actuality netted him plenty of pawns. The only question was whether we would get to see a top GM's bishop-and-knight mating technique, but Naroditsky spoiled the fun by keeping enough pawns on the board.

The event keeps growing in size. Last month's field of 70 players increased to 89 today. In addition, the number of grandmasters rose from 17 to 22, including the super-GMs Andreikin (world number 19 in the live list), Jobava (number 25) and Dominguez (number 28).

The two previous winners were both dinged by two FMs in round one. Meier drew FM Dario Dutina of Croatia but American FM Nick Raptis took out Jobava in a wild game. Usually Jobava can be relied on for unorthodox openings but Raptis beat him to it with the Veresov Attack.

Andreikin nearly went down the next round to Vice President IM Danny Rensch. "That's too bad," Rensch said while commentating live on his own games on "I was so much better in the middlegame." Judge for yourself:

Late in the game, 37. Re7 is almost a study-like draw (with the idea of 38. Nxa7+ and 39. Nc6+) but Black should wiggle out with either 37...Kd8 or 37...Rf6.

Dominguez was prevented from keeping up with the leaders when he lost on time in round three despite having mate in one on the board.

Andreikin sprinted out to the tournament lead by crushing GM David Klein (no relation) in round three, playing lightning fast against Vovk in the round four win on time, and beating British IM Ameet Ghasi in round five. (Ghasi tried putting six of his pawns on the sixth rank by move 10 but that didn't work out.)

GM Dmitry Andreikin -- he's going to need some tax forms from this year!

Andreikin then ran into the Armenian wall. GM Gevorg Harutjunyan beat him in round six and then he drew GM Davit Petrosyan in round seven.

In the following round, Petrosyan was removed from the tournament by and had his account closed.

As unfortunate as that was, so were Jobava's connection problems that forced him to withdraw. For those that need their "Jobava attacking fix," he offered this speedy counterattack to his fans in round six:

No less than 15 players were within a point of the lead after round seven. If it seems that we have forgotten about Naroditsky, and that's because his rise to the lead was so quiet. In round eight, he cemented his place at the top by beating Aveskulov in an important game for the standings.

GM Daniel Naroditsky (far right) at the 2014 U.S. Championship. Next to him is GM Alejandro Ramirez, who also competed today.

Black's queenside was pretty sad after move 22, but that's the life of a French Defense player.

Also in the penultimate round, Vovk was the beneficiary of Petrosyan's account closure, setting up that final round battle from earlier in the news report.

Just for completeness, here's what Naroditsky was doing when he was part of the chase group. Yet another exchange sacrifice netted him a fearsome attack before Black blundered in a tough defensive position.

Naroditsky's 39. Qg4 may have had the point that 39...Rxc2 could be answered by the zwischenzug 40. Nf5 before taking on g6. Black may survive but it's a tall order in blitz.

Here's the final standings with everyone that finished with 6.0/9 or better. 

You can view all of Naroditsky's games from his profile page and Andreikin's games from his profile page.

Think chess against 2700s needs more of a challenge? Here's a clip of Rensch playing and commentating at the same time. He finished on a respectable 5.0/9, one point short of his goal.

Watch live video from Chess on Twitch

Finally, some useful information on the Titled Player Tuesday monthly events:

  • The next Titled Player Tuesday will be Tuesday, January 27, 2015
  • The next several tournaments will be 11 a.m. Los Angeles, 2 p.m. New York, 7 p.m. London, 8 p.m. Paris, 10 p.m. Moscow. Make sure you check your local starting time here.
  • There is no late entry to the tournaments at this time. To register, log in to live chess a few minutes before the start and you'll see the tournament in the "events" tab.
  • If you get disconnected in the middle of a game during the event, when logging back on to live chess, make sure to reenter the tournament if your game does not automatically appear.
  • If you'd like to play but don't have your USCF or FIDE title by your username yet, send a message to Patzer24 or Monitor.
  • You can now read our "Titled Player Tuesday Historical Archiveat this link.
FM Mike Klein

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Mike Klein began playing chess at the age of four in Charlotte, NC. In 1986, he lost to Josh Waitzkin at the National Championship featured in the movie "Searching for Bobby Fischer." A year later, Mike became the youngest member of the very first All-America Chess Team, and was on the team a total of eight times. In 1988, he won the K-3 National Championship, and eventually became North Carolina's youngest-ever master. In 1996, he won clear first for under-2250 players in the top section of the World Open. Mike has taught chess full-time for a dozen years in New York City and Charlotte, with his students and teams winning many national championships. He now works at as a Senior Journalist and at as the Chief Chess Officer. In 2012, 2015, and 2018, he was awarded Chess Journalist of the Year by the Chess Journalists of America. He has also previously won other awards from the CJA such as Best Tournament Report, and also several writing awards for mainstream newspapers. His chess writing and personal travels have now brought him to more than 85 countries.

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