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Every Russian Schoolboy Knows - Deadly Dubov at the Lindores Abbey - Part 1

Opening: C26, B14, C41: Vienna game, Caro-Kann: Panov-Botvinnik Attack, Philidor Defense

Player(s): Dubov, So, Firouzja, Carlsen

One knock on numerous online events that sprung out lately was the the narrow field of players. It seemed that invitations were only going to the usual suspects, the same 15-20 players that comprised the lineup of elite tournaments before over-the-board chess was shut down. While it is hard to deny those players the status they had earned, it is presumptuous to believe that they would necessarily be the best, or the most exciting, entrants into a different type of chess played online today.
We have already witnessed Nakamura's return to the very top of the ranks, his pedestrian #18 position in Classical notwithstanding. That was to be expected, of course, as Hikaru's skills at faster time controls need no further advertizing. Then there was the young Alireza Firouzja, who sensationally defeated Magnus Carlsen in a blitz match to earn his place among the selected few.
All of this made it even more exciting to watch the performance of Daniil Dubov in the ongoing Lindores Abbey tournament. After starting with 1/5, Dubov completed the preliminary stage with 4.5/6, including a win over Magnus himself, to finish among the eight qualifiers for the knockout matches. Those being held under a tennis-like system of best-of-three matches, and that's when Daniil really went on a tear.
First he defeated Sergey Karjakin, 2-1, only losing the second set on the armageddon tie-break and sweeping the other  two 3-0. The overall score in that match was 8-2 Dubov. Then Daniil dispatched of Ding Liren in two sets, 5-2 game score. Combined, he's 17.5-3.5 in his last 21 rapid games. Too bad they're not counted for rating.
Dubov demonstrated a wide variety of skills, from unorthodox openings (note his handling of the Philidor Defense against Carlsen) to sharp sacrificial attacks in the middlegame (particularly his crushing win over Karjakin in the first game of the third set), to a very competent handling of long endgames (the decisive rook endgame victory over Ding in the first set). A complete package? We will know that after the Nakamura final.

Teacher's library (700) C26 B14 C41 Dubov So Firouzja Carlsen game analysis

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