Titled Tuesday: Salem Saleh's Almost Perfect Prep For Abu Dhabi Super Blitz Challenge
Salem Saleh won the second Titled Tuesday of April.

Titled Tuesday: Salem Saleh's Almost Perfect Prep For Abu Dhabi Super Blitz Challenge

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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10 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Salem Saleh's preparation for today's Abu Dhabi Super Blitz Challenge couldn't have been better. The UAE resident won April's second Titled Tuesday tournament alone with 8.5/9 after winning his first eight games.

With another Titled Tuesday yesterday, Chess.com moved the tournament to a weekly event—with an increased prize fund of $1,600. The tournament again broke its record for the number of participants: from 888 last week to a staggering 1,126 yesterday!

Saleh was in fantastic shape as he rolled up player after player with solid games that were decided by accurate calculation. Only in round eight, he got into big trouble against GM Vladimir Fedoseev (@BigFish1995) and was on the verge of defeat, but in a crazy time scramble Caissa was still on his side:

Salem Saleh Anish Giri
Salem Saleh (left) with Anish Giri at the 2019 Moscow Grand Prix. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Even in the final game, when he faced world number-four GM Ian Nepomniachtchi, Saleh was doing well when his opponent made a mouse slip on move 11. However, it's understandable that he took the draw:

Saleh won the $750 first prize for finishing clear first with 8.5/9. A group of seven grandmasters, including Nepomniachtchi and GM Gata Kamsky (@TigrVShlyape), scored half a point less and all won $92.86.  

GM Alexandra Kosteniuk (@ChessQueen) won the $100 prize for the best female player, and Nepomniachtchi won the Chess.com streamers' prize of $100 that was given as 20 gifted subs to his channel.

In what was yet another strong field full of world-class grandmasters, many of them stumbled somewhere along the way. GM Anish Giri, for example, was dealt with a tactical blow that didn't win straight away but set the tone for the remainder of his game in round seven.

GM Alexander Grischuk won an exciting game in round eight, where first White faced a battery over the light squares and then he got an identical attack himself:

Alexander Grischuk
Alexander Grischuk. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

And, last but not least, an amazing endgame between GM Hikaru Nakamura and GM Aryan Tari. A piece down, the Norwegian grandmaster found a fortress based on a stalemate idea which was the same as in the game Fichtl-Hort, Czechoslovakian Championship, Kosice 1961 as e.g. mentioned in the excellent book "Van Perlo's Endgame Tactics."

April 14, 2020 Titled Tuesday | Final Standings (Players on 7.5 or more)

# Fed Title Name Handle Rtg Pts SB
1 GM Salem Saleh @Arabicfalcon 2936 8.5 47.5
2 GM Zaven Andriasian @Zaven_ChessMood 2926 8 48.75
3 IM Dmitry Obolenskikh @okriak 2845 8 48
4 GM Ian Nepomniachtchi @lachesisQ 3111 8 44.5
5 GM Giga Kuparadze @GigaQuparadze 2935 8 44
6 IM Abdulla Gadimbayli @GadimbayliA 2912 8 42
7 GM Jose Eduardo Martinez Alcantara @Jospem 2924 8 41.5
8 GM Gata Kamsky @TigrVShlyape 2881 8 40
9 GM Jeffery Xiong @jefferyx 2904 7.5 42.25
10 GM Samvel Ter-Sahakyan @Sam_ChessMood 2917 7.5 41.75
11 GM Yasser Quesada Perez @YQPerez 2985 7.5 41.5
12 GM Alexander Grishuk @Grischuk 3090 7.5 40.75
13 GM S.L. Narayanan @Indianlad 2973 7.5 40.5
14 IM Sergey Drygalov @sergoy 2905 7.5 39.75
15 GM Maksim Chigaev @Fandorine 2921 7.5 39.25
15 GM Le Quang Liem @LiemLe 3007 7.5 39.25
17 GM Kirill Alekseenko @BilodeauA 2912 7.5 38.25
18 IM Tuan Minh Le @wonderfultime 2948 7.5 36.5
19 GM Oleksandr Bortnyk @Oleksandr_Bortnyk 3034 7.5 35.25
20 GM Vladimir Fedoseev @Bigfish1995 3090 7.5 34.25
20 GM Georg Meier @GeorgMeier 3050 7.5 34.25


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