3 Tie For 1st After Standings Adjusted In Titled Tuesday 10
The 10th edition of the monthly Titled Tuesday tournament featured a doubled prize fund and more than 100 players. After some controversial games, three winners emerged.
GM Hikaru Nakamura shared his second straight title, GM Georg Meier shared his fourth overall, and tournament newcomer GM David Larino Nieto also shared first. The trio pocketed $450 each as all finished on 8.0/9 after adjustments were made due to games played against accounts that were disqualified (more on that later).
Overall, 32 GMs and 108 players made this the largest and strongest field to date. The reason likely was the announcement made last month that the prize fund would swell from $1,000 to $2,000. Top overall prizes were bumped up and many special prizes were added, including a game of the tournament prize.
Round one began breezily for some common Chess.com names. Nakamura got through, as did young GM Sam Sevian. Next month's Death Match players -- GM Max Dlugy and IM Lucas Liascovitch ("megarompa," the official qualifier) -- both won as well. Meier also won, knocking off CM Stepan Osinovsky (if that name rings a bell, it's because he beat GM Magnus Carlsen in a simul here on Chess.com!).
The following round, Liascovich showed why the 100+ blitz games he played last month in Death Match qualification were useful. After the world's youngest grandmaster failed to castle, the Argentine took out Sevian with the powerful tactic 24. Rxc4.
Some pretty endgame technique was also on display. Meier showed that opposite-colored bishops are not always a draw.
His nifty trick on move 70 produced the rare occurrence of the single pawn defeating two pawns:
Also in round two, Nakamura only drew FM Viacheslav Tilicheev, but that player's account was later disqualified. Nakamura was restored the half-point at the conclusion of the event (as were all players who were negatively affected).
For more detailed information on Chess.com's stance toward players who use illegal assistance, the countermeasures in place, and penalties, please check out IM Danny Rensch's blog.
Israeli GM Tal Baron (who created his Chess.com account just today!) played a little like his namesake against Nakamura in round three. Black couldn't get his development sorted before the rooks opened up too many lines. The promotion ensured Nakamura's king had nowhere to hide from a coming "ladder" checkmate with two rooks.
Meanwhile, Liascovich, Meier and Larino Nieto all continued their strong starts to each win their third straight.
Also starting strong was GM Yaroslav Zherebukh, who actually peeled off five straight wins at the outset (the fifth was against Baron). You may remember he won way back in Death Match 14, which happened to be the first news report this writer contributed to Chess.com.
What you may not know is that Zherebukh quietly transferred recently from Ukraine to the USA, where he attends college. Why "quiet"? Well, it happened around the same time that some other player also announced his FIDE transfer. Zherebukh has also been in the news in the last few days, as he is the current coach of America's newest grandmaster, 14-year-old Jeffery Xiong.
GM Daniel Naroditsky, the only person not named Meier or Jobava to win a Titled Tuesday outright, hurt Liascovich's chances by winning a wild game in round five. The tricks to get the b-pawn to the eighth rank didn't quite pan out for White:
Round six was moving day. Zherebukh dropped his first game. Larino Nieto smashed Naroditsky, who never recovered from his early issues on the e-file:
Nakamura gamely won his third straight to move to 4.5/6 to move back into contention. Then in round seven, he made it four in a row. They say in blitz the queen is better than the two rooks since she can give so many checks and doesn't require the protection that the rooks do. Judge for yourself:
Larino Nieto used the Glek System in the Four Knights to win quickly against GM Frederico Perez Ponsa. Black's idea to copy turned out to be merely a "Ponsa scheme," which was even warned against in a recent ChessKid.com video.
Larino Nieto via http://mundoajedrez.com.pe.
The key problem for Black was the inability to blockade the isolated e-pawn. Queens don't do the job well as 20. Nd5 showed -- there's no way to stop the knight from reaching c7 or f4, unless you trade for it, but in that case the bishop gets to d5, which is just as good!
In round eight, Nakamura made it a handful of consecutive wins when he beat Sevian with the rare Italian Gambit. Jude Acers would be proud!
In the final round, Larino Nieto agreed to a one-move (!) draw to get to 7.5/9. Meier's king was somehow not checkmated, so he also won to get a share of first:
Nakamura declined several draw offers in the final round but ultimately ended up in a position quite similar to his round-three loss -- a barren king trying to stave off two rooks on the queenside. He flagged but later Chess.com also disqualified the games of his opponent, IM Matvei Shcherbin.
Combined with the half-point ceded to Tilicheev in round two, Nakamura had 1.5 points restored to his score, moving him from to 8.0/9 and a share of first. Meier also had previously lost to Shcherbin in round four, so his +1 adjustment similarly got him to 8.0/9. Larino Nieto drew Shcherbin in round eight, so his half-point addition made him the third player on 8.0/9.
Tilicheev and Shcherbin had their accounts closed on Chess.com.
10th Titled Tuesday | Final Standings (Top 30)
Other prize winners included a three-way tie for fourth. Baron was joined by GM Daniel Fridman and frequent Titled Tuesday money-winner GM Jose Carlos Ibarra Jerez. All three grandmasters earned $58.33.
The new top IM prize of $100 was split between Liascovich and his countryman Facundo Quiroga. The inaugural FM/WFM/CM/WCM/NM prize of $100 was split between FM Terry Renato, a Peruvian master, and NM Viaje of the USA.
The top female prize of $75 was split between Serbian WGM Alexandra Dimitrijevic and Ecuadorian WGM Carla Heredia, both with 4.0/9. The top under-18 prize of $75 was won by Sevian with 5.5/9 (Chess.com is still checking ages of players -- if we are in error please message me).
The next Titled Tuesday will be July 7 at 11 a.m. Pacific Time, also with the $2,000 prize fund!