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Nihal, Lazavik Take Titled Tuesday Over Carlsen, Nakamura

Nihal, Lazavik Take Titled Tuesday Over Carlsen, Nakamura

NathanielGreen
| 16 | Chess Event Coverage

Teenage GMs Nihal Sarin and Denis Lazavik won the Titled Tuesday events of June 18. Both outlasted giants, with the second places going to GMs Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura, respectively. Nihal won outright early with an undefeated performance, while Lazavik won on tiebreaks despite losing his head-to-head matchup with Nakamura.


Early Tournament

Nihal and GM Shant Sargsyan had the last perfect scores in the early field of 767 players before playing to a draw in the eighth round. At that point, they were joined at the top of the leaderboard by GM Fabiano Caruana, but the next round was where Nihal began differentiating his position from the rest of the field.

In that round, the ninth, while GM Anish Giri—who had lost to Nihal in round seven—was defeating Sargsyan, Nihal was winning against Caruana.

Now armed with the outright lead, Nihal never looked back. He sustained his lead by beating GM Matthias Bluebaum in round 10, and no one was in range to catch up after Nihal's last-round draw with GM Dmitrij Kollars, either.

The tournament instead became a fight for second place where, after starting with a score of just 4.5/6, Carlsen took the spot by completing a five-game winning streak against Giri. Giri was barely holding on with White but Carlsen's constant pressure eventually led to forced checkmate.

Giri, who was clearly in the thick of it throughout the tournament, did enough to manage fifth place, but Kollars and Sargsyan finished ahead of him.

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

Number Rk Fed Title Username Name Rating Score Tiebreak 1
1 2 GM @nihalsarin Nihal Sarin 3201 10 82
2 1 GM @MagnusCarlsen Magnus Carlsen 3187 9.5 73
3 18 GM @GM_dmitrij Dmitrij Kollars 3056 9.5 67.5
4 40 GM @Sargsyan_Shant Shant Sargsyan 3004 9 81
5 13 GM @AnishOnYoutube Anish Giri 3082 9 74.5
6 16 GM @Msb2 Matthias Bluebaum 3070 9 74
7 9 GM @Polish_fighter3000 Jan-Krzysztof Duda 3082 9 70.5
8 44 GM @kleinebeer98 Thomas Beerdsen 2978 9 69
9 58 GM @DominguezOnYoutube Leinier Dominguez Perez 2931 9 67
10 28 GM @rasmussvane Rasmus Svane 2985 9 66
11 14 GM @Javokhir_Sindarov05 Javokhir Sindarov 3063 9 65
12 61 GM @Vaathi_Coming Aravindh Chithambaram 2921 8.5 75
13 43 IM @PLAYER_2006_M Mukhiddin Madaminov 2971 8.5 72.5
14 26 GM @TigrVShlyape Gata Kamsky 3003 8.5 71.5
15 11 IM @Rud_Makarian Rudik Makarian 3064 8.5 69
16 7 GM @DenLaz Denis Lazavik 3087 8.5 68
17 111 GM @TheBigBoss04 Jose Gabriel Cardoso 2844 8.5 63
18 73 GM @XDPS Pablo Salinas Herrera 2891 8.5 62.5
19 101 IM @blitzking1729 Srihari L R 2844 8.5 61.5
20 3 GM @HansOnTwitch Hans Niemann 3134 8 76
58 245 WGM @Mikozovna Meruert Kamalidenova 2652 7.5 59.5

(Full final standings here.)

Nihal won $1,000 for the victory. Carlsen earned $750 while Kollars settled for third place and $350. Sargsyan won $200 and Giri $100, leaving five other players on nine points just outside the money. WGM Meruert Kamalidenova scored 7.5 points and won the $100 women's prize.

Late Tournament

The late tournament saw 585 players join. As in the early tournament, two of them, including the eventual tournament winner, ended each other's perfect 7/7 start with a draw in round eight. This time, those players were Lazavik and GM Alexey Sarana, but there were a couple of ensuing differences from the early event: No one joined them at the top of the standings, and they both won in the ninth round.

As Sarana dealt the last major blow to Nihal's bid at a sweep, Lazavik won against GM Hans Niemann in a rook ending.

But now Lazavik had to face Nakamura. Lazavik won a mini-match against Nakamura earlier this year, but the game here was comparatively uncompetitive. Lazavik either sacrificed or lost a pawn early, and proceedings ended before move 30.

Because Nakamura had two extra draws entering the game, his win only led to a tie entering the final round. Lazavik responded to the loss admirably, recovering to beat FM Konstantin Popov in the last game—though it took another rook endgame, this one 93 moves, to do it. 

Nakamura's final-round win against a tougher opponent, GM Tuan Minh Le, wasn't quite enough as he fell one point shy in the tiebreak. Meanwhile, only three of the seven players on nine points could make the top five, which was rounded out by GM Oleksandr Bortnyk, Sarana, and Le, in that order.

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

Number Rk Fed Title Username Name Rating Score Tiebreak 1
1 11 GM @DenLaz Denis Lazavik 3126 9.5 76.5
2 1 GM @Hikaru Hikaru Nakamura 3300 9.5 75.5
3 19 GM @Oleksandr_Bortnyk Oleksandr Bortnyk 3061 9 75
4 5 GM @mishanick Alexey Sarana 3153 9 73.5
5 23 GM @wonderfultime Tuan Minh Le 3059 9 70.5
6 29 GM @TigrVShlyape Gata Kamsky 3025 9 67.5
7 35 GM @dropstoneDP David Paravyan 2991 9 67.5
8 36 GM @Zhigalko_Sergei Sergei Zhigalko 2988 9 63.5
9 25 GM @OparinGrigoriy Grigoriy Oparin 3042 9 63
10 3 GM @MagnusCarlsen Magnus Carlsen 3180 8.5 70.5
11 48 FM @Bauman_Guy Konstantin Popov 2946 8.5 68.5
12 15 GM @Msb2 Matthias Bluebaum 3080 8.5 68
13 4 GM @DanielNaroditsky Daniel Naroditsky 3109 8.5 65.5
14 68 GM @K_A_S_T_O_R Rodrigo Vasquez 2869 8.5 64.5
15 10 GM @FairChess_on_YouTube Dmitry Andreikin 3091 8.5 61.5
16 69 GM @KaydenTroffChess Kayden Troff 2833 8.5 58
17 21 GM @SpeedofLight0 Andrew Hong 3054 8.5 53
18 13 GM @Polish_fighter3000 Jan-Krzysztof Duda 3080 8 73.5
19 7 GM @Grischuk Alexander Grischuk 3113 8 73
20 9 GM @Duhless Daniil Dubov 3096 8 71.5
60 147 IM @Meri-Arabidze Meri Arabidze 2688 7 62

(Full final standings here.)

Lazavik thus earned the $1,000 first-place prize while Nakamura settled for $750 for second. Bortnyk won $350, Sarana $200, and Le $100 in the top five, while IM Meri Arabidze won the $100 women's prize with seven points out of the 11.

Titled Cup Standings

A modified version of next week's standings—it only includes each player's top 10 performances, instead of the top 20 as in the overall—will determine six spots in the upcoming Speed Chess Championship (SCC). With one week left to go, the top 15 there looks like this:

# Username Score Player
1 @Hikaru 102.0 GM Hikaru Nakamura
2 @Polish_fighter3000 95.5 GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda
3 @mishanick 95.0 GM Alexey Sarana
4 @wonderfultime 94.5 GM Tuan Minh Le
5 @Jospem 93.5 GM Jose Martinez
6 @Grischuk 92.5 GM Alexander Grischuk
7 @MagnusCarlsen 92.5 GM Magnus Carlsen
8 @Firouzja2003 92.0 GM Alireza Firouzja
9 @jefferyx 92.0 GM Jeffery Xiong
10 @FairChess_on_YouTube 91.5 GM Dmitry Andreikin
11 @DenLaz 91.5 GM Denis Lazavik
12 @HansOnTwitch 91.0 GM Hans Niemann
13 @SpeedofLight0 91.0 GM Andrew Hong
14 @Oleksandr_Bortnyk 91.0 GM Olexandr Bortnyk
15 @ChristopherYoo 90.5 GM Christopher Yoo

Three of these players (Nakamura, Carlsen, and Firouzja) already have invitational spots, but we can certainly expect some heavy participation and action in next week's Titled Tuesday as everyone else fights for their spot in the SCC!

In the yearlong standings, there's no change in the open or women's top five, or the top spot among juniors, seniors, and girls. One note is that the women's standings are getting very close, with only eight points separating leader GM Alexandra Kosteniuk and fifth place.

Open

# Username Score Player
1 @Hikaru 197.5 GM Hikaru Nakamura
2 @Polish_fighter3000 185.0 GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda
3 @mishanick 184.0 GM Alexey Sarana
4 @Jospem 180.5 GM Jose Martinez
5 @FairChess_on_YouTube 179.0 GM Dmitry Andreikin

Women

# Username Score Player
1 @ChessQueen 139.5 GM Alexandra Kosteniuk
2 @Goryachkina 137.5 GM Aleksandra Goryachkina
3 @Meri-Arabidze 135.5 IM Meri Arabidze
4 @karinachess1 133.5 IM Karina Ambartsumova
5 @Flawless_Fighter 131.5 IM Polina Shuvalova

Other Category Leaders

Juniors: GM Denis Lazavik (177.5 points)

Seniors: GM Gata Kamsky (166.5 points)

Girls: WCM Veronika Shubenkova (112.5 points)

The Titled Cup fantasy game Chess Prophet continues as well. Current standings can be found here. (Login required.)

Titled Tuesday


Titled Tuesday is Chess.com's weekly tournament for titled players, with two tournaments held each Tuesday. The first tournament begins at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time/17:00 Central European/20:30 Indian Standard Time, and the second at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time/23:00 Central European/2:30 Indian Standard Time (next day).

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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