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GM Joel’s Chess Week Recap - Episode 142

Opening: D46, E17, A30, D38, B52, A28, C54:

Player(s): Parligras, Shirov, Dubov, Radjabov, Yu Yangyi, Jakovenko, Korobov, Anand, So, Caruana, Karjakin, Aronian

This week features two major international events, the FIDE Grand Prix in Hamburg, Germany and the GCT Superbet Rapid and Blitz from Bucharest, Romania. But first, one more game from The European Team Championship in Batumi. Alexei Shirov has pinballed back and forth between Latvia and Spain over the years. He earned the silver medal on board three and won an interesting multi-phasic game from his Romanian opponent. We've seen a lot of variation in tournament formats recently, in time controls and playing structure. The FIDE Grand Prix in Hamburg is a 16 player Knockout event, kind of like a mini-World Cup. They are through two rounds now, with Vachier-Lagrave, Grischuk, Dubov, and Duda reaching the semi-finals. I have action from the first round, starting with a match between two players who have been featured recently, Teimour Radjabov, World Cup winner, and Daniil Dubov, the hero of the gold medal Russian team in the European Team Championship. It was the longest match lasting into the sixth playoff game, eight overall, and ended with a tragic blunder by Radjabov. A good number of the world-class players absent from Hamburg competed in the Superbet Rapid and Blitz tournament. Anton Korobov is not one of your usual suspects and may seem out of place in the field at only 2670. However, his rapid and blitz ratings are a hundred points higher, and he justified his presence in the rapid portion, taking first place with 6/9. In the blitz portion, the script was flipped, with Korobov finishing next to last with 6.5/18, finishing ahead of only Caruana, who took the bottom spot overall. Sergey Karjakin tied for first in the blitz segment with Le Quang Liem on 11/18. Karjakin had a solid result in the rapid, with 4.5 points. That put him ahead of Le Quang Liem as well as Anand and So, who were tied for third in the blitz. Levon Aronian, tied for fifth in the blitz but was still only a point back of Karjakin. With 5/9 from the rapid play, Aronian's tally matched Karjakin's and forced a playoff. Aronian took the title when he emerged victorious from a tactical skirmish in the second game.

Download Joel's annotated games HERE!

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