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GM Joel’s Chess Week Recap - Episode 141

Opening: E71, C88, D37:

Player(s): Risting, Eugene, Bjerre, Dubov, Svane, So, Carlsen, Nepomniachtchi, Caruana

This week we examine the European Team Championship and the World Fischer Random Championship, but first one more cool game from the World Junior Championship. The players, an FM from Norway and an FM from France, were nearer to the bottom than the top of the crosstable, but they played a pretty entertaining game. Russia took the gold medal in Batumi with 6 match wins, no losses, and three ties. Only in the last round were they able to pull away from the Ukraine, who equaled Russia's six victories, but had a loss and two ties. England tied with Ukraine and took bronze. Things actually started off pretty dicey for Russia when they could only manage a 2-2 tie with 21st seeded Denmark. Daniil Dubov posted a spectacular victory, though all or most of it was surely home preparation. It was truly the Dubov show when the Russian grandmaster outdid himself, defeating German grandmaster Rasmus Svane in one of the most amazing games of the year. There was certainly a fair bit of speculation, but a healthy dose of brilliance. The gold came in jeopardy in the penultimate round when Mickey Adams ground down Dmitry Andreikin in a long ending, halving the match and enabling Ukraine, who defeated Germany, to catch up. Ukraine actually looked favored at that point, having an apparently easier matchup with Croatia, while the Russians tussled with Poland. But the Croats split the match and Russia triumphed on the strength of Kirill Alekseenko's win over Kacper Piorun. Even without some big names like Karjakin, Grischuk, and Nepomniachtchi, the Russian team was still pretty strong, seeming to benefit from a little infusion of youth. Russia's women also took gold, edging out Georgia. The afore-mentioned Nepo was actually in Norway, participating in the semi-finals and finals of the first Fischer Random World Championship. The matches all proved surprisingly one-sided. In the semis, Carlsen cruised by Caruana while Wesley So handled Nepomniachtchi. If you were expecting the Carlsen-So final to be one-sided as well, you were right - but probably not in the direction you expected. So defeated Carlsen by a shocking score of 13.5-2.5, which actually represents four wins and two draws. The games were played at two different time controls, with the slower games weighted more.

Download Joel's annotated games HERE!

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