Rasulov The Chess960 Arena King In Season 9 Week 5

Rasulov The Chess960 Arena King In Season 9 Week 5

| 1 | Chess Event Coverage

It was the first of two Chess960 weeks in Season 9 of Arena Kings when GM Vugar Rasulov emerged victorious, defeating GM Oleksandr Bortnyk in the finals by a 3.5-2.5 score. Bortnyk had advanced by defeating GM Hikaru Nakamura in the semifinals, while the other semifinalist, GM Raunak Sadhwani, was unable to play due to issues with his internet connectivity. 

712 players, including 61 streamers, participated in Arena Kings this week.

How To Watch?
You can watch Arena Kings on You can also enjoy the show on our Twitch channel and catch all our live broadcasts on

Live broadcast of this Wednesday's tournament, hosted by NM James Canty III.

As usual, the tournament began with a two-hour arena where anyone can play, but only streamers qualify for the knockout, which features the top 16 finishing streamers. Both the halves of the event use a 3+0 time control. 


As usual, the official stream highlighted several streamers, this week Nakamura, GM Robert Hess, WGM Adriana Nikolova (@AdrianaNikolova), and James Chirilov (@ChessBrainiac).

Unsurprisingly, Hikaru stole the show, as much with his chess as with his stream. Ending on an 18-game winning streak, he scored triple digits in the arena, reaching 103 points to easily lead all players, let alone streamers.


The favorites all won in the round of 16. In the quarterfinals, Hikaru survived a loss in his first game and Bortnyk won a dramatic third game against IM Mahammad Muradli. They were joined in the semis by Sadhwani and Rasulov.

The semis was Bortnyk's turn to survive his first-game loss. Nakamura won their first contest while amusingly leaving his knight on a1 for the entire game.

Nakamura seemed on his way to a 2-0 win before dropping his rooks in time trouble, then lost the third game in an unlikely fashion as well.

Unfortunately for Sadhwani, his internet failed before the second semifinal, and Rasulov advanced to face Bortnyk.

They are both regulars in the Arena Kings knockouts and both certainly wanted this one. Rasulov struck in game one before a peaceful game two, followed by a Bortnyk win to even the series at 1.5-1.5 through three games.

Rasulov seemed to take control, winning the fourth game and looking good in the fifth, but Bortnyk fought on and actually checkmated with 11 seconds on his clock.

A 2.5-2.5 round in Arena Kings goes to sudden death with a 1+1 time control. Rasulov jumped ahead on the clock and while the new increment allowed Bortnyk to hold on for a while, Rasulov also held the better position and clinched it when Bortnyk hung a rook.

All Games | Week 5 Finals

Standings, Results, Prizes

Rasulov earned $500 for his efforts with Bortnyk securing $350. Sadhwani and Nakamura each earned $200; fifth through eighth won the standard $100 each, and ninth through 16th received $50 (pending confirmation of fair play). Below are the full standings of the knockout:

 Arena Kings Season 9 | Week 5 | Final Knockout Standings

Rank Username Country Rating
1 @vugarrasulov 2755
2 @Oleksandr_Bortnyk 2731
3-4 @Hikaru 3016
3-4 @champ2005 2894
5-8 @Azeryahu 2718
5-8 @Chesslover0108 2693
5-8 @platy3 2650
5-8 @LastGladiator1 2607
9-16 @Sattarov_Bobur 2587
9-16 @OhanyanEminChess 2437
9-16 @emiliochess 2076
9-16 @Strider23cpk 1813
9-16 @MikhailTal-ReBorn 1707
9-16 @diamondop 1707
9-16 @ChessBruh630 1540
9-16 @giritharram 1266

Full arena standings here.

All prizes are published in the results report here. 

Arena Kings is a tournament held by every Wednesday. It is a two-hour Arena followed by a knockout with the top 16 streamers. The event starts at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time/18:00 Central European.

Nathaniel Green

Nathaniel Green is a staff writer for 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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