Duda Wins: Oslo Esports Cup Day 7
Duda is the winner of the Oslo Esports Cup. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Duda Wins: Oslo Esports Cup Day 7

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After seven intense days of play, GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda prevailed on the leaderboard with 14 points and won the Oslo Esports Cup, the first major of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour 2022.

GM Le Quang Liem finished in second with 13 points and GM Magnus Carlsen finished in third with 12 points. Also with 12 points, GM Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa occupied fourth place, closely followed by GMs Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Jorden van Foreest, Anish Giri and Eric Hansen, with 11, 10, nine, and three points, respectively.

How to watch?
The games of the 2022 Meltwater Champion's Tour Oslo Esports Cup can be found here as part of our live events platform. The rounds start each day at 9 a.m. Pacific/18:00 CEST.
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Hansen-Duda: 0.5-2.5

For Duda today—with 11 earned points so far—everything was still possible. Hansen, the last-place player, had no hopes for the tournament victory but could still play for a strong finish.

Game one started in the Berlin Variation of the Ruy Lopez, and after Duda played an early ...d5 on move six, several mistakes by the white player allowed Duda to win the game with excellent middlegame technique.

In the second game of their match, Duda reached a comfortable advantage but found himself in some time trouble. The Polish grandmaster nonetheless held the position and eventually went on to dominate the bishop ending that arose.

Game three was therefore crucial for Duda, not only for the outcome of the match but also for clinching the entire event. He took it slow and secured himself the draw he needed in an endgame.

Poland's number one earned $35,000 in the event and Hansen $7,500.

Duda tweeted after his success "Mamy to!" which means "We got this."

Mamedyarov-Carlsen: 2.5-0.5

The world champion had chances to clinch tournament victory, having shared the lead with Praggnanandhaa on the previous day. He needed to win against Mamedyarov, but that didn't happen. 

Game one in this match ended in a draw with two naked kings on the board. The second game was an equal battle for a long time in which, eventually, a very tricky position for Carlsen arose. In a complicated knight endgame that should have been equal, Carlsen misstepped finally with 58.Nf4+ (Ng3 would have been better) and Mamedyarov was able to convert the endgame up two pawns.

Game three was a must-win situation for the Norwegian in terms of winning the major event. He went all-in with the black pieces. White, on the other hand, played for a solid setup with a kingside fianchetto. 

Mamedyarov built up the pressure slowly in the middlegame, declined a threefold repetition offer with 36.Kg2, and ultimately won the exchange by move 39. After 40...d5?, however, the world champion suddenly gave away all hope in his position and went on to lose the game after some very precise play by Mamedyarov, who wrapped up his match in only three games today.

Carlsen commented on his opponent's performance: "He played very well, putting pressure from move one." And on his own: "I just had zero to give today, nothing ... My performance today wasn't nearly good enough."

Mamedyarov—visibly happier than the Norwegian—said: "It's a big honor to play against the champion. In every match we play against him, we try to play our best." He added: "I played very well, without big mistakes nor bad positions."

With his win today, Mamedyarov ended fifth in the tournament and earned $27,500 while Carlsen, despite his loss, still made it to third place and earned $30,000.

Azerbaijan's number one beat the world's number one. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Praggnanandhaa-Giri: 0.5-2.5

The Dutch number one didn’t allow his opponent to get the positions he felt most comfortable in and thus defeated him in just three of the four scheduled games.

In game one, it looked strategically very good for Giri, playing with the black pieces, for a long time, and eventually, Praggnanandhaa's efforts to neutralize his opponent's pressure weren't enough. Giri successfully converted his positional advantage by entering a rook endgame two pawns up.

In game two, Praggnanandhaa had Black and tried to come back, but Giri built up his advantage and didn't give the young Indian a chance to create any serious threats. This game ended in a draw with two lone kings.

The third game of the match was therefore paramount for Praggnanandhaa if he wanted to win the match and the entire tournament. After the opening, soon a queen exchange took place that led the game to equality, and the battle continued uneventfully until Praggnanadhaa committed a serious mistake, 20.Nb5??, allowing Black to take control of the very important d-file. Two moves later, Giri gained the upper hand and wrapped up the match in a few moves.

With his victory in today's match, Giri could recover a bit from "taking punches" in this tournament and finished it with decent nine points, earning $22,000. Pragnanandhaa—with 12 points—finished fourth in the major, behind Carlsen because the world champion had the better tour score. The young Indian grandmaster earned $30,000 and "valuable experience."

Giri had a late comeback today. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Le-Van Foreest: 3.5-2.5

Le—same as Duda—had great chances to win the event with his 11 points, but Van Foreest provided notable opposition.

The Vietnamese player won the first game of their match with White in a rook endgame after 66 moves, being a pawn up. The Dutchman took revenge for this in the second game after finding a clever check that forced the black king into a mating net even in the endgame.

Game three resulted in a draw in a completely balanced rook endgame. Game four, therefore, was critical for Le to have a shot at winning the event. In this game, both players very confidently went on to play their first moves, but no one achieved a breakthrough in the middlegame. In the endgame, Van Foreest missed a winning tactic on move 56 and thus the game was again a draw.

Van Foreest put up a good fight against Le. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

The players had then to decide the outcome of their match in the only tiebreaks of the day. The first blitz game resulted in a draw. 

Le had the white pieces in the second game, and by move 15 it was clear that the Vietnamese player had a very pleasant position. A few passive moves led to a white initiative, and a great attack by Le, capped off with a pretty queen sacrifice on move 24, decided the game and the match. Thus, the audience didn't get to see an armageddon in the tournament.

The former blitz world champion showed a real masterclass game and ended second-placed in the tournament, earning $32,500. Van Foreest finished sixth and earned $25,000.

Le did indeed finish the tournament with a strong performance.

Le commented on his win that: "It was pretty close. If I didn't screw up today, I'd have some chances [for the win]." About his upcoming chess plans, he said: "I’m planning to play a few more tournaments this summer and, hopefully, I can keep this level up."

Oslo Esports Cup Day 7 Final Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Pts
1 Duda, Jan-Krzysztof 2769 14
2 Le, Quang Liem 2765 13
3 Carlsen, Magnus 2851 12
4 Praggnanandhaa, R. 2685 12
5 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2724 11
6 Van Foreest, Jorden 2744 10
7 Giri, Anish 2759 9
8 Hansen, Eric 2651 3

All Games Day 7

The Champions Chess Tour consists of six regular events with 16 players and three majors with eight players. Regular events adopt a 3-1-0 score, where players who win get three points, players who draw get 1, and losers get 0. Major events, on the other hand, adopt a 3-2-1-0 score system, similar to the 3-2-1 system described above but with one difference: players who win on tiebreaks get 2 points while tiebreak losers get 1.

The Oslo Esports Cup is the first major of the tour: a round-robin among eight players, with each round consisting of four-game matches (15|10) each day which advance to blitz (5|3) and armageddon (White has five minutes, Black four with no increment) tiebreaks in case of a tie.

The 2022 Champions Chess Tour's first Major, the Oslo Esports Cup, runs April 22-28 on chess24. The format consists of one four-game match every day for each player. Play advances to blitz (5+3) and armageddon (White has five minutes, Black has four with no increment) tiebreaks only if a match ends in a tie. The total prize fund for the event is $210,000, with each win in the regular games earning the player $7,500. Each win in the tiebreaks earns the winner $5,000, with $2,500 going to the loser.

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