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Every Russian Schoolboy Knows - Players profile: Richard Rapport Part 1

Opening: E20, C00, A12:

Player(s): Rapport, Riazantsev, Tsydypov, Carlsen

In September 2016, then at the age of 20, Hungarian GM Richard Rapport rose up to the impressive 2752 mark in the rating list. His game was mainly noted for its original approach to the opening. Richard routinely opened his games with 1.b3, alongside with other unorthodox openings. In some ways, he was perceived as the Hungarian Jobava, another player possessing an unusual style, which wouldn't stand against the scrutiny of top-flight competition. The expected fall from grace didn't take long. By the end of the same year, Rapport's rating plunged 50 points, and that was then I met Richard for the first time at the Hainan Danzhou International Open in China. I was immediately taken by Richard's friendly manner and refined European upbringing. While Rapport's struggles continued in Danzhou, I was, nonetheless convinced that eventually he would right the ship. What I saw was a player with a wide range of skills, equally suited for attack and defense, complimented with an excellent endgame technique. Three years later, in 2019, we can see the emergence of a new Rapport, a complete player who is ready to take on the World's elite. His rating is almost back where it once was, now at 2747, earned through a series of solid tournament performances in Wijk aan Zee, where Richard came back from -2 to finish at a respectable 50%, another 50% score at the Dute Cup, followed by a tournament win in the Danzhou GM event. July saw Rapport scoring +1 in Dortmund, and then he took off for his favorite destination again to play in the Chinese Team Championship. This video series showcases Rapport's multiple talents. It starts off with a crushing attack against Tsydypov, an upset win over Magnus Carlsen, which was achieved in the middle game, and a nice rook endgame win against Riazantsev. Video 2 is centered around a great win over Wei Yi, once again highlighting great technical work in the endgame. Yet, in contrast, there's a swashbuckling attack in the blitz game against Le Quang Liem. The concluding video of this three-part series, illustrates the morphing of Richard's style into something almost Carlsenesque, particularly visible in his win over Nepo. Enjoy the games, and expect to see Richard Rapport reaching new heights any time soon.

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