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GM Joel’s Chess Week Recap - Episode 153

Opening: D00, A07, D55, E71, A13, B90, D38:

Player(s): Goryachkina, Ju, Carlsen, Kovalev, Firouzja, Caruana, Artemiev, Van Foreest, Mamedyarov, Gordon

When we left off last week, Aleksandra Goryachkina was a damsel in distress tied to the railroad tracks, but she managed to force overtime by winning the twelfth game. As we saw earlier in the match, playing a weird opening to shake things up proved to be an effective strategy when a draw would not do. Ju Wenjun was able to retain her title in the tiebreak, but it wasn't easy. Goryachkina had her biggest opportunity in the first game when she squandered a large advantage. They played the same opening in the third game, but Ju went for a different piece recapture which paid major dividends. Ju drew comfortably in game four. Remember though, Goryachkina is only 21 and can be a major factor in women's chess for a long time. What a difference a week makes! When we left off, Caruana and Firouzja were tied for first at 5.5/8; they ended up separated by three and a half points! Firouzja's tournament started to slide when his meeting with the world champion went very badly. Some players just steer for a draw with white against Magnus, and that would have preserved Alireza's tournament standing. Carlsen won very easily, and there's just nothing to show there. Carlsen went on to win his third game in a row, utterly destroying the tail-ender Kovalev. With Carlsen on a three-game win streak, it seemed like we might see another victorious charge for the champ. But it was not to be, as Caruana not only would not relinquish the lead, he stretched it out to the point where he clinched first with a full round to go. It started with a win over Firouzja, who hoped to rebound from his loss to Carlsen and challenge for first. Caruana then took down Kovalev and Duda to put himself out of reach. For good measure, he defeated Artemiev in the last round with a confident king charge up the board. So it was Caruana finishing with a whopping 10/13, two points ahead of Carlsen. Wesley So took third with 7.5, while Daniil Dubov and Jordan van Foreest clocked in at 7 points. It was a notable result for the 20-year-old van Foreest, and it might have been even better if Kovalev hadn't swindled a draw from him in round nine.

Download Joel's annotated games HERE!

Teacher's library (434) D00 A07 D55 E71 A13 B90 D38 Goryachkina Ju Carlsen Kovalev Firouzja Caruana Artemiev Van Foreest Mamedyarov Gordon recap

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