Each Hikaru Nakamura and Nodirbek Abdusattorov have been gamers awarded wildcards from co-organisers; Nakamura’s from the Charlotte Chess Middle and North American Company Chess League and Abdusattorov’s wildcard was from Offerspill Sjakklubb.
Attempt our customized puzzle set created from the later video games of the event:
Because the seeding for the knockout levels have been immediately affected by their ends in the earlier Swiss stage, each tournaments had some fiery match-ups within the last 16. Anish Giri overpowered Richard Rapport in quick trend, a feat echoed by Nodirbek Abdusattorov in his video games towards Le Quang Liem. Giri was pressured to blitz tiebreaks by Eric Hansen, earlier than persevering with easily towards Georg Meier to make it to the ultimate. In the meantime, Abdusattorov dispatched Johan-Sebastian Christiansen earlier than having his first wobble towards Nijat Abasov. Compelled to the blitz tiebreak for the primary time, Abdusattorov bested a tilted Abasov to make it to the ultimate.
With a Giri versus Abdusattorov last, Lichess commentators FM Gauri Shankar and WGM Sabina Foisor polled customers to find out who the group thought can be the finalist. With greater than 70% voting for Giri, the group’s prediction was clear. However Abdusattorov pressured Giri onto the again foot from the primary fast recreation of 4, but this wasn’t Giri’s first rodeo and he stopped the bleeding and stabilised with two attracts. Going into the fourth fast recreation, Giri wanted a win on demand to remain in rivalry — and obtained it!
With each gamers on 2 factors out of 4, the knockout went to blitz tiebreaks. Abdusattorov, seemingly in unstoppable type within the blitz levels — having solely received each blitz tiebreak recreation within the knockout stage — repeated this towards Giri, defeating him 2–0 within the blitz portion.
At 18 years outdated, Abdusattorov is among the most promising children of the following technology. At 17 years outdated, he received the World Fast Chess Championship 2021, defeating Magnus Carlsen on the best way. This achievement made him the youngest World Champion in Fast, and in any of the three FIDE recognised time controls. Most lately, the world quantity 30 performed board 1 for Uzbekistan on the forty fourth Chess Olympiad in Chennai, the place he halted a seemingly unstoppable run by Gukesh D. This effort propelled Uzbekistan to group gold, however Abdusattorov additionally took a person silver for his outcomes on board 1 (+7 -1 =3) and a efficiency score of 2803. By a number of years, Abdusattorov would be the youngest participant within the subject at Reykjavik.
Abdusattorov in 2019 (picture: Wikipedia)
Georg Meier received in straight units towards Abasov to take third place. Meier’s achievement is particularly notable as he got here the furthest in your complete competitors with none wildcard, and in addition balancing a full time profession out of chess. The Offerspill Qualifier additionally hosted an untitled newbie participant, Vignesh B — who made it the furthest of any participant with out a title (though with a 2382 FIDE score he’s eligible to be titled), earlier than being eradicated by GM Guillermo Vazquez. Vignesh B shared with Lichess that:
“The Swiss Part 2 particularly was an ideal expertise for me, attending to play towards some high GMs like Moussard, Zhamsaran, and so on, and varied different sturdy gamers. I used to be elated that I had by some means managed to squeeze into the highest 15. The knockouts have been attention-grabbing, however the first recreation was extraordinarily poor from me (possibly a bit overwhelmed by the massive stage), and I could not convert a greater place within the second recreation. Although sad with my efficiency within the Knockouts, I used to be completely satisfied for the chance on the entire.
I would wish to thank Lichess for giving quite a few alternatives for gamers like me to face a few of the most famed gamers of the world, by way of tournaments like this. And I look ahead to participating in additional of those occasions. Additionally, this complete occasion has made me love the 960 format much more, I would actually like to play extra 960 occasions too.”
In the meantime, the Charlotte Chess Middle and North American Company Chess League was nearly completely dominated by US gamers, with 1st, third and 4th place all going to these underneath the US flag.
The FIDE-flagged Andrey Esipenko bested the beloved king of extremely quick time controls, Andrew Tang (aka, penguingm1). No slouch in fast and blitz chess himself (the jury is out on bullet and ultrabullet), Esipenko had loads of time within the fast levels, successful each video games. Doing so, Esipenko confronted charismatic compatriot Alexander Grischuk (who had defeated Jeffery Xiong). Overcoming Grischuk within the blitz tiebreaks, Esipenko then met Gata Kamsky (who had defeated the NYT chess columnist and well-known commentator, Daniel Naroditsky). Successful one fast recreation every, after which one blitz recreation every, the one Armageddon recreation of both knockout event was seen — with Esipenko getting the purpose and turning into the finalist to satisfy Hikaru Nakamura.
Nakamura needed to knock out a number of of his compatriots in his path to the ultimate. First got here IM Andy Woodward — at 12 years outdated, the youngest of all gamers inside the last 16. Woodward was type sufficient to share a short event report for us, which is given in full on the finish of this text. He describes the match-up as a “David and Goliath story”:
“Proper earlier than the knockout video games began, my opponent was modified to Hikaru (the highest one seed). I began being nervous at first. Then I knew I did not have a lot likelihood. I made a decision to neglect concerning the outcomes. Simply play for expertise. The primary recreation was up and down. I used to be higher however blundered away in time bother. I sort of bluffed within the second recreation as a result of I wanted a win to have an opportunity. I had a bonus at one level however wasn’t capable of maintain it.
General, it was an ideal, enjoyable expertise! I actually respect the organizer for giving me this chance to play towards many sturdy and skilled gamers!’
Nakamura had this remark to say of his expertise towards Woodward:
“I used to be impressed by the play of the younger Andy Woodward who on the age of 12 is exhibiting some indicators of a participant who has a really shiny future forward of him.”
Nakamura went on to defeat one other compatriot and prodigy, Awonder Liang, repeating this feat towards one other compatriot and prodigy — Sam Sevian. Trying unstoppable, Nakamura breezed to the finals, successful towards Esipenko 2.5 / 4 with a recreation to spare.
Nakamura was the one participant to play 4 knockout rounds, with out going to a single blitz tiebreak. In the meantime, in third place, Gata Kamsky defeated compatriot Sam Sevian.
At 34 years outdated, Hikaru Nakamura would be the oldest participant within the subject at Reykjavik. At present the world quantity 6, Nakamura’s accomplishments inside chess and corollary to it are well-known. First breaking into the highest 10 in 2010, he had a peak score of 2816 in 2015 and was the world quantity 2. Holding 5 US Championship titles, a participant in two Candidates Tournaments (most lately in Madrid 2022), and two bronze medals in Fast World Championships, Nakamura will definitely be one of many favourites. Off the board, he’s well-known as a social media influencer and chess persona, with practically 1.5m followers on Twitch, and over 1.3m followers on YouTube.
Nakamura in 2016 (picture: Wikipedia)
IM Andy Woodward’s occasion report
I obtained the invitation to play within the FIDE CCC & NACCL on-line qualifier second stage event proper earlier than I left for a norm event in Seattle. I used to be very excited however did not have time to consider it till I got here dwelling every week later. I did not have expertise enjoying the chess960 video games. So I began trying up positions and briefly went by way of Wesley So’s Chessable course on chess960 (Because of a pal). I solely had time to have a look at round 250 positions. However I discovered myself liking chess960 video games lots (possibly as a result of it does not require a lot opening preparations?)
I did not have any expectations once I performed within the qualification stage as a result of there have been so many high Grandmasters. I used to be very fortunate that my opponent made a mistake within the final spherical and shortly misplaced. I noticed that I had an opportunity though fairly just a few video games have been nonetheless happening. I stated a fast prayer and left the remaining to God. I could not consider that I used to be positioned fifteenth place and made it to the knockout stage in the long run!
I used to be simply so grateful to have the chance to play towards the highest gamers. I used to be additionally nervous. My mother jogged my memory of the David and Goliath story. I used to be able to observe extra and do my finest. However proper earlier than the knockout video games began, my opponent was modified to Hikaru (the highest one seed). I began being nervous at first. Then I knew I did not have a lot of an opportunity. I made a decision to neglect concerning the outcomes. Simply play for expertise. The primary recreation was up and down. I used to be higher however blundered away in time bother. I sort of bluffed within the second recreation as a result of I wanted a win to have an opportunity. I had a bonus at one level however wasn’t capable of maintain it.
General, it was an ideal, enjoyable expertise! I actually respect the organizer for giving me this chance to play towards many sturdy and skilled gamers! I seldom participated within the on-line tournaments or the chess960 tournaments up to now as a result of my mother and father not often paid consideration to them. This expertise was past my expectations, each in clean group and within the sturdy subject. I have to brush up my chess960 abilities and hopefully get higher subsequent 12 months! Thanks once more for organizing this and for introducing Chess960 to me!