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GM Joel’s Chess Week Recap - Episode 134

Opening: D27, D20, B30, E06, C95, E21, D02:

Player(s): Lysyj, Xiong, Tabatabaei, Dominguez, Abasov, Nisipeanu, Nakamura, Nihal, Safarli, Xu, Inarkev, Korobov, Le

This week we have lots of action from the FIDE World Cup, a 124 player knockout tournament from Khanty Mansisysk. The first two rounds are in the books, and so far the American squad is doing pretty well. The local hero so far is Jeffery Xiong. In the first round, Jeffery dispatches Igor Lysyj with some well-timed tactics in the endgame. Jeffery won the second game for good measure but was taken into tiebreaks in round two by young Iranian star Tabatabaei. Jeffery scored in the first game, removing almost every opposition pawn before coaxing resignation. Then he confidently finished things off in the second game. Xiong will next take on Anish Giri, who won in the Armageddon stage against Evgeny Najer. Lenier Dominguez also won his first match 2-0 over Escobar from Colombia, and then was also extended into tiebreaks. Wesley So won both of his matches pretty handily, against Duran from Costa Rica and Demchenko. The other three have now been eliminated. Sam Shankland lost a long playoff to Eltaj Safarli. Sam Sevian made it past Aryan Tari but succumbed to Sergey Karjakin in the second round. Hikaru Nakamura coasted into tiebreaks in his first match and defeated 21-year-old Algerian GM Bilal Bellahcene, but found immediate disaster in the second match... not at the hands of a young star, but veteran grandmaster L.D. Nisipeanu.
Check out ICC's article on the World Cup!
Download Joel's annotated games HERE!

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