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Caruana Goes Nearly Perfect In Titled Tuesday

Caruana Goes Nearly Perfect In Titled Tuesday

NathanielGreen
| 27 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Alexey Sarana and GM Fabiano Caruana won Titled Tuesday on April 11. Caruana stole the show, scoring 10.5 points out of 11 and winning the late event by a nearly unprecedented 1.5 points. Just a draw with Chess.com's own GM Rafael Leitao stood between Caruana and perfection. Sarana also had a great day, scoring 10 points and winning outright early. It was the first Titled Tuesday win of 2023 for both of them. 


Early Tournament

The 563 players from the early tournament were the most since January, and Sarana outlasted them all. He started a perfect 6/6, held two draws in the next two rounds, and then won his last three games.

Entering the final round, Sarana was tied with GM Anton Korobov. With everyone else at least half a point back, a decisive result would mean tournament victory. Sarana had the second move but stood well out of the opening and converted in just 32 moves.

Korobov was still able to hold onto third place despite the loss. He was leapfrogged by one player, however, as GM Oleksandr Bortnyk won his last three games to reach 9.5 points, ending with a win over GM Matthias Bluebaum.

April 11 Titled Tuesday | Early | Final Standings (Top 20)

Number Rk Fed Title Username Name Rating Score
1 17 GM @mishanick Alexey Sarana 3058 10
2 8 GM @Oleksandr_Bortnyk Oleksandr Bortnyk 3094 9.5
3 18 GM @GOGIEFF Anton Korobov 3038 9
4 5 GM @Polish_fighter3000 Jan-Krzysztof Duda 3094 9
5 39 GM @eljanov Pavel Eljanov 2935 9
6 66 GM @Vaathi_Coming Aravindh Chithambaram 2893 9
7 32 IM @MetiForce Mahdi Gholami Orimi 2936 9
8 10 GM @dropstoneDP David Paravyan 3044 9
9 6 GM @DenLaz Denis Lazavik 3076 8.5
10 11 GM @Msb2 Matthias Bluebaum 3058 8.5
11 1 GM @Hikaru Hikaru Nakamura 3221 8.5
12 45 GM @jcibarra José Carlos Ibarra Jerez 2919 8.5
13 41 GM @tptagain David Anton Guijarro 2937 8.5
14 56 GM @TigrVShlyape Gata Kamsky 2886 8.5
15 74 GM @TimofeevAr Artem Timofeev 2834 8.5
16 61 GM @Durarbayli Vasif Durarbayli 2869 8
17 72 FM @artin10862 Artin Ashraf 2835 8
18 15 GM @viditchess Vidit Gujrathi 3020 8
19 4 GM @LyonBeast Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 3058 8
20 29 IM @MITerryble Renato Terry 2929 8
50 146 WGM @jinbojinbo Jiner Zhu 2695 7

(Full final standings here.)

Sarana earned $1,000 while Bortnyk won $750. Six players were tied below them on nine points, but just three made the top five: Korobov for $350, GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda for $200, and GM Pavel Eljanov for $100. WGM Jiner Zhu won the $100 women's prize, scoring 7/11.

Late Tournament

Caruana wasn't perfect in the field of 448, but he did become the second player to score at least 10.5 points in a Titled Tuesday twice, having done so previously on November 15, 2022. The other player with multiple 10.5+ point performances is, of course, GM Hikaru Nakamura, who has three.

Today, Caruana's victims included Nakamura, in round six—maybe some minor measure of retribution for Nakamura's Grand Final victory over Caruana in the Chessable Masters the week prior. Caruana's opening of choice in the game with White was the London System.

GM Daniel Naroditsky, who actually has the highest blitz rating on Chess.com at the moment of writing, was next. Caruana now had Black and played against the London, but the result was the same: a win for the reigning U.S. champion.

At this point, Caruana's 6.5/7 score was behind GM David Paravyan on a perfect 7/7. But Caruana defeated Paravyan in the eighth round, followed by GM Aram Hakobyan in the ninth.

Now leading by half a point, Caruana's next obstacle was GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. But the Fabi train was unstoppable by this point.

Caruana now led the tournament by a full point, needing just a draw to clinch first place. He earned more than that against the ageless GM Vladimir Kramnik (himself a recent Titled Tuesday winner). The two players on nine points, Naroditsky and Hakobyan, made a draw, and so Caruana not only reached 10.5 points but the arguably even more difficult 1.5-point tournament victory. Especially difficult when facing Nakamura, Naroditsky, Vachier-Lagrave, and Kramnik—but Caruana handled them all.

April 11 Titled Tuesday | Late | Final Standings (Top 20)

Number Rk Fed Title Username Name Rating Score
1 14 GM @FabianoCaruana Fabiano Caruana 3098 10.5
2 11 GM @Njal28 Aram Hakobyan 3076 9
3 2 GM @DanielNaroditsky Daniel Naroditsky 3211 9
4 32 GM @sergiochess83 Sergey Grigoriants 2955 9
5 8 GM @LyonBeast Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 3075 9
6 38 IM @Rud_Makarian Rudik Makarian 2887 9
7 27 GM @GM_dmitrij Dmitrij Kollars 2956 9
8 67 GM @zaur-mammadov Zaur Mammadov 2832 8.5
9 21 GM @Jospem Jose Martinez 2947 8.5
10 45 GM @Durarbayli Vasif Durarbayli 2906 8.5
11 7 GM @Sargsyan_Shant Shant Sargsyan 3039 8.5
12 13 GM @dropstoneDP David Paravyan 3052 8
13 1 GM @Hikaru Hikaru Nakamura 3205 8
14 30 IM @MITerryble Renato Terry 2941 8
15 26 GM @BogdanDeac Bogdan Daniel Deac 2942 8
16 82 NM @Abund Yuan, Qingyu 2768 8
17 5 GM @DenLaz Denis Lazavik 3066 8
18 46 GM @Hrant_ChessMood Hrant Melkumyan 2897 8
19 20 GM @VladimirKramnik Vladimir Kramnik 2964 8
20 50 GM @alexrustemov Alexander Rustemov 2859 8
40 111 GM @ChessQueen Alexandra Kosteniuk 2723 7

(Full final standings here.)

Caruana took home the $1,000 first place prize, leaving a six-player tie on nine points below him. Hakobyan ended up in second place for $750, Naroditsky in third for $350, GM Sergey Grigoriants in fourth for $200, and Vachier-Lagrave in fifth for $100. GM Alexandra Kosteniuk won the $100 women's prize with seven points out of 11.

Titled Tuesday

Titled Tuesday is a weekly 11-round Swiss event held by Chess.com twice every Tuesday for titled players. The tournaments begin at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time/17:00 Central European and 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time/23:00 Central European. 

NathanielGreen
Nathaniel Green

Nathaniel Green is a staff writer for Chess.com 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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