Xiong, Mamedov, Grigorov Succeed In Oct. Titled Tuesday
In the third largest Titled Tuesday on record, 223 titled players turned out for a giant slugfest. Once the complications had cleared, GMs Rauf Mamedov, Jeffery Xiong, and Grigor Grigorov had each reached 8.5 points and claimed a share of first place. We'll take a quick look at a best game for each player and their tortuous paths to first place.
Mamedov played the most exciting chess of the triumphant trio, frequently delivering mate against his opponents with sacrificial attacking play. He had the best start, scoring 6/6 before dropping 0.5/2 in difficult rounds seven and eight. A final two wins got him to 8.5 and perhaps his best win was this round-nine one, a positional-turned-tactical exercise.
Mamedov has long been a renowned blitz player.
This was world junior champion Jeffery Xiong's second Titled Tuesday win. His first? His victory in the April Titled Tuesday, which qualified him for the Speed Chess Championship.
Even though Maxime Vachier-Lagrave pulled away from Xiong in the faster time controls of their Speed Chess match, Xiong impressed many with his challenging and resourceful play. Xiong also needed to be resourceful in this Titled Tuesday as he lost his first game!
Many would have dropped out at that point, but Xiong is used to the circumstance. He also lost his first game in the Titled Tuesday where he qualified! A string of eight wins allowed him to "coast" to victory with a draw in the final round.
Your reporter was amused to see that in four games Xiong's opponents simply dropped an undefended piece. Even Mamedov hung his knight against Xiong and two players hung queens. His best win might have been his defeat of GM Sergei Movsesian in which he outplayed his opponent, eventually picking up the exchange in a theoretically won endgame that he expertly and instructively converted.
A younger world junior champion than Kasparov, Jeffery Xiong.
Grigorov was the most solid of the champions, drawing three games in the latter part of the tournament after starting with four wins. Endgames were his bread, butter, and borscht (although he's Bulgarian so I'm not sure what the relevant staple food is?). In any case, they were the foundation of his victory as he swindled or converted many endgames, especially rook endgames. Can you see where his opponent went wrong here?
Four players shared the 4th-5th place money: GMs Sam Sevian, Jorden van Foreest, Yaroslav Zherebukh, and IM Alexander Moskalenko. Two of the more exciting players were the juniors, Sevian and van Foreest, potential super-grandmasters and already high-class swindlers.
Van Foreest has a great reputation for decisive and uncompromising play. He delivered that style in a big game against GM Alexander Moiseenko where he only went forward, even when it was unsound.
Sevian for his part was a bit lucky that his opponent simply missed an unlikely retreating move and walked into mate rather than allow a perpetual.
Final Standings | MasterClass Titled Tuesday Blitz, October 2017
|5||51||GM||joppie2||Jorden Van Foreest||8|
|11||99||GM||ArnaudovP||Petar G. Arnaudov||7.5|
|19||55||FM||ZapataCharlesS||Santiago Zapata Charles||7|
Find the full Titled Tuesday results and crosstable here.
Commentary on the complete event was provided by the world's oldest freshman, GM Robin Van Kampen, who recently entered university in Montreal!
Mamedov, Xiong, and Grigorov each receive $383.33 for their cuts of first place. Sevian, van Foreest, Zherebukh, and Moskalenko earned 62.50 for their four-way split of fourth and fifth places. GM Krikor Mekhitarian won the $100 streamer's prize for covering his play in the event.