Titled Tuesday: Grigoriants 1st On Tiebreak, So 2nd
Grigoriants's 24...g5 was an instructive positional move in his last-round game.

Titled Tuesday: Grigoriants 1st On Tiebreak, So 2nd

11 | Chess Event Coverage

A hard-fought September Titled Tuesday tournament saw a four-way tie between GMs Sergey Grigoriants, Wesley SoGM Daniil Yuffa and IM Arash Tahbaz. These players scored 8.5/10 to finish atop the standings.

This month's Titled Tuesday tournament didn't have an ideal start, because about half an hour before it began, the Chess.com servers suddenly had some issues. It was resolved fairly quickly, but because everything started working again shortly before the start, dozens of players failed to register in time.

It was decided that too many players were hurt by these unfortunate circumstances, and a restart was the best way to move forward. In the next 15 minutes, a total of 275 players entered for the fresh new edition, including the top grandmaster Wesley So (@GMWSO).

America's number-two player enjoyed a small chess curiosity in round five, when he was given the opportunity to checkmate his opponent by making a king move.

Wesley So

Wesley So, one of the participants in our monthly blitz tournament. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

In his first eight rounds, So scored five wins but was held to a draw three times. One of the players who held his own was Iranian IM Arash Tahbaz (@Arash_Tahbaz), who showed fantastic defensive skills in the endgame:

Another very strong participant was the Polish number-one player Jan-Krzysztof Duda (@Polish_fighter3000),  who probably wanted to warm up a little for his Speed Chess match with Sergey Karjakin tomorrow.

This week we'll have two Speed Chess matches, with games in Live Chess and commentary on Chess.com/TV and Twitch.tv/chess:

  • Jan-Krzysztof Duda vs Sergey Karjakin on
  • Anish Giri vs Shakhriyar Mamedyarov on

Duda played an interesting rook sacrifice in his third game. Black missed the best defense, and so the Polish GM was doing well until he blundered a full piece. Eventually he got two pawns, and held the draw more easily than expected.

Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Chess.com Speed Chess

We'll see Duda back online tomorrow for his match with Karjakin.

The aforementioned IM Tahbaz was doing so well that he was leading the tournament with one round to go. The only other player on eight points was the Russian GM Daniil Yuffa (@danyuffa), and so they were paired against each other for the game of the tournament.

It became a great fight that ended with bare kings, after both players had avoided a move repetition at some point in the game.

So caught the leaders as he won a long and tough positional battle against Vietnamese IM Minh Le (@wonderfultime), a Chess.com regular and in fact the winner of last month's Titled Tuesday:

However, it was a different player who took first place on tiebreak: GM Sergey Grigoriants (@sergiochess83). The Muscovite is the 82nd Russian player on the classical FIDE rating list, but in blitz he's clearly better than that.

He reached 8.5 points, with the best tiebreak, after winning this last-round game in great style. 24...g5 is super instructive.

On a final note, let's look at two endgames, coincidentally both from games by the Russian GM Alexander Moskalenko (@Alexander_Moskalenko). In the first round, he was involved in one of the longest games and tried to win a basic R+P vs R endgame. His opponent defended just perfectly, but apparently had no idea about that and suddenly resigned when the position was still a draw!

Alexander Moskalenko

Alexander Moskalenko. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

In the eighth round, Moskalenko was the one on the defending side. He had a knight against two bishops; a rare but interesting endgame. When it appeared on the board, the tablebase said "mate in 68", which means it's winning, but with best defense White cannot do it before the 50-move rule comes into effect.

Moskalenko knew what he was doing as he kept his knight on g7 as much as possible, a known defensive technique. However, at some point he was forced out of this setup, but it was too difficult to find the winning technique in blitz:

September Titled Tuesday | Final Standings | 7 Points Or More

# Rk Fed Title Username Name Score SB
1 43 GM @sergiochess83 Sergey Grigoriants 8.5 55.75
2 2 GM @GMWSO Wesley So 8.5 55.5
3 41 IM @Arash_Tahbaz Arash Tahbaz 8.5 47.75
4 61 GM @danyuffa Daniil Yuffa 8.5 45
5 60 IM @GadimbayliA Abdulla Gadimbayli 8 39.5
6 62 GM @Eagle_pada (Undisclosed) 8 35.5
7 13 IM @wonderfultime Minh Le 7.5 45.25
8 28 GM @dretch Conrad Holt 7.5 45
9 24 IM @renatoterrylujan Renato Alfredo Terry Lujan 7.5 40.75
10 47 GM @gmjlh Jon Ludvig Hammer 7.5 39.75
11 1 GM @DanielNaroditsky Daniel Naroditsky 7.5 36.25
12 3 GM @Polish_fighter3000 Jan-Krzysztof Duda 7.5 33.75
13 68 IM @Korchmar_Vasiliy Vasiliy Korchmar 7.5 32.75
14 22 GM @gkchesstiger Gata Kamsky 7 37.5
15 234 FM @tsakos2731 (Undisclosed) 7 37.25
16 49 IM @afgano29 Andres F Gallego 7 37
17 18 GM @VerdeNotte Gawain Jones 7 34.75
18 5 GM @Genghis_K Federico Perez Ponsa 7 34.25
19 7 IM @nihalsarin Nihal Sarin 7 33.75
20 182 FM @stewiiegriffin Jose Antonio Herrera Reyes 7 33.5
21 36 GM @jefferyx Jeffery Xiong 7 31.5
22 116 IM @Cryptochess Alexander Katz 7 31
23 193 CM @TastyFrenchFries Jeffrey Xu 7 30.75
24 54 IM @Dragon1377 (Undisclosed) 7 28

(Full final standings here.)

GM Aman Hambleton provided commentary for the entire event on Twitch. You can replay his commentary here. (It starts with Hambleton looking at our brand new Computer Chess Championship.)

Grigoriants, So, Tahbaz and Yuffa all earned $325, and IM Abdullah Gadimbayli earned $100 for fifth place. The $100 streamers' prize went to GM Jon Ludvig Hammer, who had close to 300 viewers and finished on 7.5/10.

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