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GM Joel’s Chess Week Recap - Episode 148

Opening: D97, A06, A33, A20:

Player(s): Navara, Wei Yi, Nepomniachtchi, Koneru, Goryachkina, Liang, Ivanchuk, Korobov, Narayanan

The 2020 Candidates field could not be finalized until the last piece was moved in the Jerusalem Grand Prix. Ian Nepomniachtchi won the final, and with it, second place in the Grand Prix, and a qualifying spot for the Candidates. Let's backtrack to where we left off last week. Nepo had just stunned Vachier-Lagrave in the first game of their semi-final match. MVL was unable to generate any chances and acquiesced to a draw in game two, sending the Russian through to the finals. The other semi was more closely contested. Navara and Wei Yi drew the first three games, the second (classical) game, a wild game that looks less mysterious after some research of the opening. Navara stumbled badly in an ostensibly simple opening, and Wei Yi carved him easily, setting the stage for the final. Nepo made short work of his opponent in the final as well. The Russian used a novelty to get a big-time advantage, which ultimately played a key role many moves later in the endgame. Last week I showed how Alexandra Kosteniuk was able to win the Women's Grand Prix in Monaco, but the other half of the equation was Humpy Koneru knocking off the leader, Aleksandra Goryachkina. The traditional Sunway Sitges tournament, in a lovely town just outside of Barcelona, boasted a number of strong grandmasters, including several Americans. The highest finished was Timour Gareev with 7.5 points, but young Awonder Liang came close to winning the tournament after knocking off iconic grandmaster Vassily Ivanchuk in the eighth round. Awonder, unfortunately, could not build on that game, as his overexuberant attacking attempts were rebuffed by the leader, Anton Korobov. Liang had to settle for 7/10, while Korobov went on to take clear first with a great score of 8.5/10. The 34-year-old Ukrainian veteran Korobov blitzed the competition out of the gate, winning his first six games.

Download Joel's annotated games HERE!

Teacher's library (453) D97 A06 A33 A20 Navara Wei Yi Nepomniachtchi Koneru Goryachkina Liang Ivanchuk Korobov Narayanan recap

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