Nepomniachtchi wins Ordix Open

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Today, Aeroflot winner and Dortmund participant Ian Nepomniachtchi emerged as the winner of the 15th Ordix Open in Mainz, one of the strongest rapid events in the chess calendar.

The young Russian (he turned 18 on July 14th) had started with the perfect score of 8 out of 8, but then he lost in the penultimate round. By beating Evgeny Bareev in the last round, he won the event anyway, before Pavel Eljanov and Zoltan Almasi.

After winning his first eight games, Nepomniachtchi was still only leading by half a point. Ukrainian GM Pavel Eljanov was still close behind him, with 7.5/8, and there was a group of seven players with half a point less, among them FiNet Chess960 Rapid World Championship winner Alexandra Kosteniuk and current European champion Kateryna Lahno.

But before we continue on reporting about the winner, we first have to draw your attention to the wonderful game Zoltan Almasi-Hikaru Nakamura, played in the ninth round. We say no more - watch and enjoy!

In that same ninth round, Nepomniachtchi was shaking for the first time, against Eljanov. The leader ended up in a slightly worse ending but managed to draw it. As usual, for the start of the round the organizers play music of Queen. Before the penultimate round it was Under Pressure, and it turned out to be quite an appropriate choice, because Nepomniachtchi lost his first game, to Rustam Kasimdzhanov.

This way Eljanov could grab sole lead, with 9.0 out of 10, followed by Evgeny Bareev and Kateryna Lahno. In the final round, Eljanov played Lahno with Black and accepted Lahno's draw offer on move 8, something we often see in classical open tournaments. The ultra-short draw virus has reached Mainz as well, because the other top board, Fressinet-Najer, ended in a draw after 10 moves...

Luckily, for the spectators and the sponsors, the tournament was not decided by these results. The two Russians, young Ian Nepomniachtchi and very experienced Evgeny Bareev, fought a long and very tough battle. This is how the tournament website describes the dramatic finish:

Nepo attacked his fellow countryman like a madman, but he seemed to be too optimistic and soon Bareev had a winning position. But the 17-year old kept pushing and he set up some cunning traps. The experienced Bareev could not handle the pressure and collapsed. In a totally winning position with a piece up, he lost on time?¢‚Ǩ¬¶ This finale was as dramatic as the last round in the FiNet Open, in which Arkadij Naiditsch lost his final game in a completely winning position. Just like Eljanov, Nepomniachtchi scored 9,5 points, but he had a better Buchholz score and won the Ordix Open plus an invitation to the rapid chess world championship next year! His fighting spirit was rewarded.


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