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GM Joel’s Chess Week Recap - Episode 157

Opening: C67, B04, B33, E12, A11, E11:

Player(s): Kosteniuk, Ju, Yip, Gunina, Lagno, Krush, Vidit, Navara, duda, Firouzja

Ju Wenjun was certainly knocked back on her heels with her failure to pocket an easy win in round seven and her shock loss to Carissa Yip in round 8. But with Kosteniuk desperately hoping to win and tie for first, Ju regained her mojo with a classic demonstration of the power of the bishop pair. Carissa Yip started with a woeful 0-4, and looked a little overmatched and unsure of herself. But then she got a big break against Irina Krush, who spoiled one of her many tremendous positions. Carissa followed that point with another, posting a legit win over Valentina Gunina. The Prague Masters concluded a few days ago, with a big pile-up at the top. It looked like Vidit would run away with the tournament after reaching 5/7. That looked even truer during round eight, when he built up a massive advantage against Navara. But after missing the knockout blow, Vidit kept playing passively but stubbornly, passing up safer continuations, and finally blundering the game away. Vidit couldn't recover from that giant momentum swing, losing in the last round to Duda, opening up first place for half the field. A decisive game from round seven loomed even larger, as Firouzja's defeat of Duda had a huge impact on the crosstable. After nine rounds, five players topped the leaderboard: Vidit, Firouzja, Duda, Anton, and last but not least, Sam Shankland. Sam steadied after a bad opening round loss to go undefeated the rest of the way. I'm sure he was shocked to see his two wins, including a last win triumph over Nikolai Vitiugov, be enough to equal the top score. The top two on tiebreak, Vidit and Firouzja, played a match to determine the winner, with Firouzja taking both games. It was certainly a sad finish to what had been a great week for Vidit.

Download Joel's annotated games HERE!

Teacher's library (435) C67 B04 B33 E12 A11 E11 Kosteniuk Ju Yip Gunina Lagno Krush Vidit Navara duda Firouzja recap

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