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Nakamura Wins 4th Knockout: Rapid Chess Championship Week 14

Nakamura Wins 4th Knockout: Rapid Chess Championship Week 14

NM_Vanessa
| 10 | Chess.com News

GM Hikaru Nakamura won week 14 of the 2022 Rapid Chess Championship presented by Coinbase, defeating GM Dmitry Andreikin in a hard-fought knockout final.

GM Jeffery Xiong won the Swiss tournament and finished in the semifinals along with GM Arjun Erigaisi. GMs Alexey SaranaAmin Tabatabaei, Jose Martinez, and Olexandr Bortnyk made it to the quarterfinals. 

Participating in the event were 65 grandmasters—for the first time, any GM was allowed to play!—as well as participants from the top-10 women, top-10 juniors, and 10 wildcards. The event will continue next weekend, May 21-22, starting at 9 a.m. Pacific / 18:00 Central Europe.

How to watch?
You can watch the 2022 Rapid Chess Championship presented by Coinbase on Chess.com/TV. You can also enjoy the show on Twitch channel and catch all our live broadcasts on YouTube.com/ChesscomLive.
Live broadcast of this weekend's tournament, hosted by IMs Danny RenschAnna Rudolf, and FM James Canty.


Swiss

Jeffery Xiong won the Swiss tournament with a convincing and undefeated seven-point score. In round seven, he defeated Anish Giri in 21 moves with a clever Zwischenzug tactic.

The other seven qualifiers all tied with 6.5 points each. It was a particularly high-scoring Swiss where six points were not enough to qualify, and even one player with 6.5 points didn’t make it.

Andreikin finished second also with an undefeated score. He won a critical victory in round seven when he outplayed Nakamura to win a tricky yet theoretically drawn rook ending.

Erigaisi placed third with a five-game winning streak from rounds three to seven, capped off with a victory over Sarana. Erigaisi maneuvered his knights into powerful posts on Sarana's kingside to lead his attack. Watch the b8-knight's journey across the board, starting on move 14. 

Nakamura finished fourth, including an eighth-round victory against GM Maxim Matlakov. When his opponent moved his knight to an undefended square, Nakamura discovered a clever tactical sequence.

Martinez placed fifth, winning a must-win last round by inducing a blunder from his opponent in an even ending. 

Tabatabaei finished sixth, including a swindle victory over Giri in a theoretically drawn rook vs. bishop ending in round eight. 

Saturday Swiss | Final Standings (Top 20)

Number Rk Fed Title Username Name Rating Score SB
1 10 GM jefferyx Jeffery Xiong 2727 7 29.5
2 4 GM FairChess_on_YouTube Dmitry Andreikin 2742 6.5 36.75
3 11 GM GHEEVAM2003 Arjun Erigaisi 2708 6.5 34
4 1 GM Hikaru Hikaru Nakamura 2833 6.5 32.75
5 36 GM Oleksandr_Bortnyk Oleksandr Bortnyk 2586 6.5 30
6 5 GM mishanick Alexey Sarana 2715 6.5 29.75
6 12 GM Jospem Jose Eduardo Martinez Alcantara 2681 6.5 29.75
8 9 GM amintabatabaei Amin Tabatabaei 2698 6.5 29.5
9 15 GM dropstoneDP David Paravyan 2671 6.5 28.5
10 3 GM viditchess Vidit Gujrathi 2717 6 24
11 62 GM Sankalp_Gupta2003 Sankalp Gupta 2393 5.5 29.25
12 18 GM BillieKimbah Maxim Matlakov 2635 5.5 27.75
13 25 GM OparinGrigoriy Grigoriy Oparin 2590 5.5 24
14 17 GM champ2005 Raunak Sadhwani 2637 5.5 22.25
15 35 GM Salem-AR Salem AR Saleh 2586 5.5 21.75
16 45 GM Shield12 Shamsiddin Vokhidov 2535 5.5 19.25
17 31 GM Fandorine Maksim Chigaev 2628 5.5 15.75
18 2 GM AnishGiri Anish Giri 2747 5 24.5
19 6 GM Parhamov Parham Maghsoodloo 2694 5 21
20 63 GM Alexandr_Predke Alexandr Predke 2569 5 19.25

(Full final standings here.)

Knockout

Xiong began the day in similarly strong form as Saturday. In his quarterfinal game vs. Tabatabaei, he started to gain an advantage by maneuvering his knight to the powerful c6-outpost and then advancing his center pawns down the board. Tabatabaei sacrificed a knight and fought hard in his defense, but Xiong was able to simplify into a winning ending with 39. Re6!

In the Nakamura vs. Bortnyk rapid quarterfinal, Bortnyk gained the advantage out of an unusual Alekhine's Defense position but overlooked a tactical blow to break into Nakamura's king's position. Can you find what he overlooked?

Bortnyk continued to press his attack against the opponent's king in the middlegame and extra pawn in the rook ending, but Nakamura held the draw. 

The blitz tiebreaker featured another unorthodox opening choice, the Bishop's Opening, leading to a double-edged position with the kings castled to opposite sides. Again, Bortnyk was pressing an advantage for most of the middlegame and endgame, but just as he was nearing victory, he misplayed a critical move. 

The bullet tiebreaker looked to be nearing another draw in a four pawns vs. three pawns rook ending when, in the time scramble, Nakamura snuck his way into a winning position.

The Andreikin vs. Martinez quarterfinal rapid game was a close one that led to a draw in an equal rook ending. In the blitz playoff, Martinez had the advantage but missed a couple of opportunities and then blundered to lose the ending. 

In the Erigaisi vs. Sarana quarterfinal, Erigaisi navigated his way to victory in a tricky king and pawn ending.

The Xiong vs. Nakamura semifinal rapid game was a double-edged duel with both sides attacking each other's kings. After making a mistake, Xiong fought back resourcefully and the game ended in a draw.

In the blitz playoff, Nakamura gradually increased his advantage, won a pawn, and traded into a winning two-bishop ending after Xiong blundered.

In the Andreikin vs. Erigaisi semifinal, Andreikin won a beautiful attacking game with the simple, yet unstoppable knight maneuver of Nd4-f3-g5.

The Andreikin vs. Nakamura rapid final led to a drawish ending out of the opening. Andreikin pressed his extra pawn, but Nakamura defended accurately to hold the game. 

In the blitz playoff, the players struggled for the upper hand in a two-bishops and two-rooks middlegame until Andreikin made a tactical error. 

This is Nakamura's fourth knockout victory, further solidifying his lead in the overall standings. In his interview, Nakamura shared how the RCC fits into his Candidates preparation: "One of the most important things in a tournament like the Candidates is when you get these slightly worse positions, being able to save them and not crack and lose. I did that quite well in the first game. So I think, overall, it's actually great prep for the Candidates." 

... I think, overall, it's actually great prep for the Candidates.

—GM Hikaru Nakamura

Standings, Results, Prizes

The winner of the Swiss tournament is Xiong, and the winner of the knockout tournament is Nakamura. Below are the full standings and prizes of the knockout:

Sunday Knockout | Final Standings

# Fed Player Place Prize
1 Hikaru Nakamura Winner $7,500
2 Dmitry Andreikin Finalist $3,500
3-4 Arjun Erigaisi Semifinalist $2,500
3-4 Jeffery Xiong Semifinalist $2,500
5-8 Jose Martinez Quarterfinalist $1,000
5-8 Alexey Sarana Quarterfinalist $1,000
5-8 Oleksandr Bortnyk Quarterfinalist $1,000
5-8 Amin Tabatabaei Quarterfinalist $1,000

The Rapid Chess Championship is a weekly tournament held by Chess.com. It is a nine-round Swiss event with a 10+0 time control held every Saturday, followed by a knockout event on Sunday between the top-eight finishers and a 10+2 time control. If players draw, they play another 3+2 game; if drawn, they play a 1+1 game; and if that is drawn, a single armageddon game is played.


The Rapid Chess Championship is brought to you by Coinbase. Whether you’re looking to make your first crypto purchase or you’re an experienced trader, Coinbase has you covered. Earn crypto by learning about crypto with Coinbase Earn, explore DeFi and web3 with Coinbase Wallet, get exclusive rewards when you spend with Coinbase Card, and much more. Learn more at coinbase.com/chess and get $10 in bitcoin when you sign up and verify your account.


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NM_Vanessa
NM Vanessa West

Vanessa West is a National Master, a chess teacher, and a writer for Chess.com. In 2017, they won the Chess Journalist of the Year award.

You can follow them on X: Vanessa__West

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