Prague Chess Festival R2: Firouzja Defends Instructive Endgame
Alireza Firouzja. Photo: Vladimir Jagr/Prague Chess Festival.

Prague Chess Festival R2: Firouzja Defends Instructive Endgame

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4 | Chess Event Coverage

Alireza Firouzja defended an instructive opposite-colored bishop endgame to hold Nils Grandelius to a draw at the Prague Chess Festival. As David Anton missed a win, the second round of the Masters saw only draws.

You can follow the tournament here in our live portal. The tournament runs February 12-21 with a rest day on February 17. The rounds start at 15:00 CET which is 6 a.m. Pacific time. The last round starts an hour earlier.


The game that you'd expect to finish in a draw the quickest, ended up being the longest fight of the round.

Grandelius and Firouzja played the Berlin Ruy Lopez with the move 5.Re1, a line that is known to be very drawish at this high level. The Swedish grandmaster deserves credit for putting his young opponent under pressure with the white pieces anyway. After winning a pawn, his position was very promising.

Trading rooks was probably the wrong plan for White, after that Firouzja defended the remaining endgame perfectly and conceptually. It was all about the "wrong rook-pawn," as became clear in the final position. Instructive!

Grandelius Firouzja Prague 2020
Nils Grandelius faced stiff resistance from Alireza Firouzja. Photo: Vladimir Jagr/Prague Chess Festival.

In the remaining games, it was David Anton who came the closest to a win, and one could argue that he deserved the win. His exchange sacrifice was excellent, but he could have improved upon his play in the technical phase:

Anton Vidit Prague 2020
Anton vs. Vidit. Photo: Petr Vrabec/Prague Chess Festival.

Prague Masters | Round 2 Games


Prague Masters | Round 2 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Ptds SB
1 Duda, Jan-Krzysztof 2755 2905 ½ 1 1.5/2 1
2 Vitiugov, Nikita 2731 2874 ½ 1 1.5/2 1
3 Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi 2721 2880 ½ 1 1.5/2 0.75
4 Harikrishna, Pentala 2713 2707 ½ ½ 1.0/2 1.25
5 Ragger, Markus 2670 2728 ½ ½ 1.0/2 1.25
6 Firouzja, Alireza 2726 2665 ½ ½ 1.0/2 1
7 Grandelius, Nils 2659 2719 ½ ½ 1.0/2 1
8 Anton Guijarro, David 2697 2536 0 ½ 0.5/2 0.75
9 Navara, David 2717 2529 0 ½ 0.5/2 0.25
10 Shankland, Sam 2683 2529 0 ½ 0.5/2 0.25

In the Challengers, IM Tadeas Kriebel suffered his second loss. Kacper Piorun had sacrificed an exchange early, after which the game remained more or less balanced. After the time control, Kriebel went for a dubious trade (perhaps based on a miscalculation?) and went down quickly:

Prague Chess Festival Challengers
Three games from the Prague Challengers, with Kriebel-Piorun on the right. Photo: Petr Vrabec/Prague Chess Festival.

Prague Challengers | Round 2 Games

Prague Challengers | Round 2 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Ptds SB
1 Piorun, Kacper 2611 2786 ½ 1 1.5/2 0.5
2 Stefansson, Hannes 2529 2779 ½ 1 1.5/2 0.5
3 Van Foreest, Jorden 2667 2641 ½ ½ 1.0/2 1.25
4 Esipenko, Andrey 2654 2584 ½ ½ 1.0/2 1.25
5 Abasov, Nijat 2670 2614 ½ ½ 1.0/2 1
6 Bartel, Mateusz 2639 2548 ½ ½ 1.0/2 1
7 Nguyen, Thai Dai Van 2560 2614 ½ ½ 1.0/2 1
8 Krejci, Jan 2559 2501 ½ ½ 1.0/2 1
9 Cernousek, Lukas 2442 2599 ½ ½ 1.0/2 1
10 Kriebel, Tadeas 2524 1770 0 0 0.0/2


The Prague Chess Festival has a prize fund of 44,000 euros ($48,000) and runs February 12-21 in Hotel Don Giovanni in Prague.


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