Prague Chess Festival R5: Vidit Beats Firouzja, Increases Lead
Vidit vs. Firouzja. Photo: Vladimir Jagr/Prague Chess Festival.

Prague Chess Festival R5: Vidit Beats Firouzja, Increases Lead

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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11 | Chess Event Coverage

Heading into the rest day of the Prague Chess Festival, GM Vidit Gujrathi leads the Masters tournament by a full point. On Sunday, the Indian grandmaster defeated GM Alireza Firouzja convincingly.

GM Hannes Stefansson continues to lead the Challengers section. The Icelandic GM is half a point ahead of GM Andrey Esipenko and GM Mateusz Bartel.

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 final round starts an hour earlier.


On Saturday, nothing changed in the Masters as all five games ended in draws. The game of the day was the one between Firouzja and GM Nikita Vitiugov, in a Ruy Lopez that exploded when Firouzja went for a very interesting piece sacrifice on move 28. 

He was briefly winning, but eventually, Vitiugov escaped in the complications:

Firouzja Vitiugov Prague 2020
Firouzja and Vitiugov analyzing, with Firouzja's father Hamidreza watching. Photo: Vladimir Jagr/Prague Chess Festival.

Firouzja once again grabbed all the attention during the fifth round on Sunday, but this time not in a good way. He underestimated White's hidden potential in an Exchange Slav as he grabbed a dangerous pawn on b2, giving Vidit the chance to score a quick victory and increase his lead to a full point.

Prague Chess Festival 2020
The playing hall. Photo: Vladimir Jagr/Prague Chess Festival.

GM David Navara had a bad start in this tournament, but he finally got his first win in round five in a sharp game with GM Nils Grandelius. He found a brilliant path to victory just after the time control:

Prague Masters | Round 4-5 Games

Prague Masters | Round 5 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi 2721 2927 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 4.0/5
2 Vitiugov, Nikita 2731 2763 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 3.0/5 6.75
3 Duda, Jan-Krzysztof 2755 2766 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 3.0/5 6.25
4 Anton Guijarro, David 2697 2721 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 2.5/5 6.5
5 Firouzja, Alireza 2726 2699 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 2.5/5 5.5
6 Grandelius, Nils 2659 2652 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 2.0/5 5.75
7 Ragger, Markus 2670 2660 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 2.0/5 5.25
8 Harikrishna, Pentala 2713 2641 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 2.0/5 5
9 Shankland, Sam 2683 2651 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 2.0/5 4.75
10 Navara, David 2717 2623 0 0 1 ½ ½ 2.0/5 4

Stefansson still leads the Challengers. There are now two players in second place as Esipenko got caught by Bartel, who started with three draws but has since won two games in a row. In round five, he outplayed Azerbaijani GM Nijat Abasov from start to finish:

Mateusz Bartel Prague
Perhaps the prize for his win in round four inspired Mateusz Bartel to play another good game. Photo: Vladimir Jagr/Prague Chess Festival.

Prague Challengers | Round 4-5 Games

Prague Challengers | Round 5 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Stefansson, Hannes 2529 2788 ½ ½ 1 1 1 4.0/5
2 Esipenko, Andrey 2654 2741 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 3.5/5 8
3 Bartel, Mateusz 2639 2724 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 3.5/5 8
4 Nguyen, Thai Dai Van 2560 2601 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 2.5/5 7
5 Van Foreest, Jorden 2667 2581 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 2.5/5 5.5
6 Piorun, Kacper 2611 2570 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 2.5/5 4
7 Abasov, Nijat 2670 2590 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 2.5/5 3.75
8 Cernousek, Lukas 2442 2530 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 2.0/5
9 Krejci, Jan 2559 2421 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 1.5/5
10 Kriebel, Tadeas 2524 2245 0 0 ½ 0 0 0.5/5

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. Monday, February 17 is a rest day.


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