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So Prevails In Last Knockout

GM Wesley So gained week 25 of the 2022 Rapid Chess Championship offered by Coinbase, defeating GM Ian Nepomniachtchi in a hard-fought closing that culminated in an armageddon playoff. 

GMs Hikaru Nakamura and Oleksandr Bortnyk made it to the semifinals. GMs Sam Sevian, Hans Niemann, Jose Martinez, and Benjamin Bok completed within the quarterfinals.

Participating within the occasion had been 39 rivals—open to all GMs in addition to the top-10 ladies, top-10 juniors, in addition to 10 wildcards. The Round of 16 of the finals begins on August 18, beginning at 9 a.m. PT / 18:00 CEST.

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Nepomniachtchi completed first undefeated with 6.5 factors. He gained a crucial recreation in opposition to Martinez in spherical 5 by discovering the gorgeous 21.Bxh6+! to open up Black’s kingside. 

So completed second, additionally with 6.5. He gained his first 4 video games in a row, together with a victory in opposition to GM Pavel Eljanov the place he turned a structural benefit into a cloth one.

Bok completed third. He earned his qualification spot by defeating GM Shamsiddin Vokhidov in 31 strikes within the closing spherical by accepting his opponent’s pawn sacrifices and defending actively. 

One of essentially the most spectacular upsets of the occasion was when Niemann with the black items outplayed GM Fabiano Caruana with pristine middlegame play in spherical seven. 

Saturday Swiss | Final Standings (Top 20)

Number Rk Fed Title Username Name Rating Score SB
1 8

GM lachesisQ Ian Nepomniachtchi 2748 6.5 32.5
2 2 GM GMWSO Wesley So 2782 6.5 28.25
3 20 GM GMBenjaminBok Benjamin Bok 2651 6.5 27.75
4 15 GM Jospem Jose Eduardo Martinez Alcantara 2667 6.5 24
5 18 GM Oleksandr_Bortnyk Oleksandr Bortnyk 2667 6.5 21
6 1 GM Hikaru Hikaru Nakamura 2799 6 33
7 4 GM Konavets Sam Sevian 2758 6 29.25
8 9 GM HansOnTwitch Hans Niemann 2718 6 26
9 11

GM Grischuk Alexander Grischuk 2677 6 24.25
10 10 GM champ2005 Raunak Sadhwani 2673 6 24
11 22 GM vladislavkovalev Vladislav Kovalev 2641 6 22.25
12 35

GM shimastream Aleksandr Shimanov 2587 6 20.75
13 37 GM Jumbo Rinat Jumabayev 2573 5.5 17.5
14 27 GM Shield12 Shamsiddin Vokhidov 2604 5 24.5
15 3 GM FabianoCaruana Fabiano Caruana 2734 5 22.75
16 12 GM VincentKeymer Vincent Keymer 2636 4.5 21.75
17 17 GM Salem-AR Salem AR Saleh 2620 4.5 16.25
18 21 GM AlexanderL Aleksandr Lenderman 2602 4.5 14.5
19 23

GM dropstoneDP David Paravyan 2601 4.5 14.25
20 40

GM SergeiAza Sergei Azarov 2539 4.5 12.75

(Full closing standings right here.)


The knockout kicked off with a extremely dynamic recreation in Nepomniachtchi vs. Niemann. Nepomniachtchi, launching an assault on the kingside and middle, sacrificed an change to open up Niemann’s king. Niemann defended with unimaginable accuracy for a lot of the recreation, discovering the unimaginable 30.Rd7!

In the ultimate seconds of the sport, nonetheless, with the draw inside his grasp, Niemann made a mistake, and Nepomniachtchi gained materials.

Martinez sacrificed a pawn within the opening to loosen Bortnyk’s kingside. But Bortnyk gained a bonus by consolidating his middle and gaining a second additional pawn. 

So gained an additional pawn and higher middle management early within the recreation in opposition to Sevian.

In Nakamura vs. Bok, the speedy and blitz video games traded all the way down to endings early and finally led to attracts, although Bok missed a possibility to press when forward a pawn within the first recreation. In the 1+1 tiebreaker, Nakamura’s bullet prowess confirmed as he gained the higher place and time edge. However, he blundered his handed a-pawn and needed to win yet again within the time scramble, which he efficiently completed.

In a bishop pair vs. knight pair ending, Nepomniachtchi fought for over 50 extra strikes to outmaneuver his opponent, gaining one additional pawn after which a second to win. 

Nakamura pressed So for a lot of the sport however ended up overpressing. So gained an additional pawn and transformed it to a victory within the rook ending.

In the ultimate, to the nice shock of the commentators, So missed a profitable tactical alternative within the speedy recreation. 

Then the gamers drew in each the blitz and bullet video games, resulting in an armageddon playoff. In a tense duel, Nepomniachtchi sacrificed the change to citadel queenside and activate his items to help his handed d-pawn. Despite his wonderful compensation, Nepomniachtchi blundered tactically, and So swiftly found the error. 

Throughout the knockout, So displayed unimaginable board consciousness, make few errors, and capitalized on most of the alternatives his opponents provided him. Unfortunately for Nepomniachtchi, this loss brought about him to complete simply exterior of the highest 12 and qualification to the upcoming finals. 

In the post-tournament interview, So shared about his Rapid Chess experiences all through this season: “The first few months of my RCC have positively been fairly terrible. I might qualify more often than not, however then I might lose within the quarterfinals. But in the previous few weeks, my fortunes have began turning round. I’m enjoying much more on-line nowadays. Also, I gained twice, and I completed within the semifinals as soon as. Things have definitely been wanting up.” 

Standings, Results, Prizes

The winner of the Swiss event is Nepomniachtchi, and the winner of the knockout event is So. Below are the total standings and prizes of the knockout:

Sunday Knockout | Final Standings

# Fed Player Place Prize
1 Wesley So Winner $7,500

Ian Nepomniachtchi Finalist $3,500
3-4 Hikaru Nakamura Semifinalist $2,500
3-4 Oleksandr Bortnyk Semifinalist $2,500
5-8 Sam Sevian Quarterfinalist $1,000
5-8 Hans Niemann Quarterfinalist $1,000
5-8 Jose Martinez Quarterfinalist $1,000
5-8 Benjamin Bok Quarterfinalist $1,000

The Rapid Chess Championship has been a weekly event held by It has been a nine-round Swiss occasion with a ten+0 time management held each Saturday, adopted by a knockout occasion on Sunday between the top-eight finishers and a ten+2 time management. If gamers draw, they play a 3+2 recreation; if drawn, they play a 1+1 recreation; and if that’s drawn, a single armageddon recreation is performed.

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