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Wednesday, 02 Oct 2019 12:10
Fischer Random Championship: So, Caruana, Nepomniachtchi advanced to the semis


Update

Quarterfinals, Day 1 Results:

Wesley So  Hikaru Nakamura 3:9
Vladimir Fedoseev –
Vidit Gujrathi 8:4
Peter Svidler – Fabiano Caruana 5:7
Ian Nepomniachtchi –
Alireza Firouzja 7:6 (Nepomniachtchi won Armageddon game with Black)

Winners (in bold) qualify for Quarterfinals, Day 3 directly.

Losers' bracket (Day 2, Saturday):

Vidit Gujrathi - Alireza Firouzja 4.5 : 7.5
Wesley So - Peter Svidler 6.5:5.5
Vidit Gujrathi & Peter Svidler are eliminated

Quarterfinals, Day 3 Results:

Vladimir Fedoseev - Wesley So 5:7
Hikaru Nakamura - Fabiano Caruana 1.5:6.5
Ian Nepomniachtchi – Alireza Firouzja 6.5:3.5

So, Caruana and Nepomniachtchi qualified for the live semifinals in Oslo


The first official FIDE World Fischer Random Chess Championship is nearing its climax. The event, officialized by FIDE for the first time in history, is a joint effort of Dund (the organizer of the unofficial Fischer Random match between Classical chess champion Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura in 2009) and Chess.com. The semifinals and the finals of the event will be held at the end of October in Norway, at the Henie Onstad Art Center located just outside Oslo.

After the massive qualifying open tournaments that run from April to August, the Championship reached the elimination phase during which 84 qualifiers + 12 invited players squared off in six knockout brackets (16 players each), in 2 games mini-matches with a time control of 15+2. Six winners of those brackets will join Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana in the 3-day quarterfinal stage, scheduled for 4-6 of October with a guaranteed prize fund of $10,000.

Ian Nepomniachtchi became the first quarterfinalist after crushing his opponents in great fashion. Suffice it to say that the Russian GM scored 7 out of 8 and went through the tournament distance without playing a single tiebreak.

The same night, 16-year old Iranian chess prodigy Alireza Firouzja progressed to the quarterfinals, beating along the way Nicolai Getz, Ivan Salgado, Maxim Matlakov and Jan-Krzysztof Duda. The winner humbly admitted that in the semifinal and final matches luck was on his side, but it does not belittle the achievement of the young Iranian.

Another young Grandmaster, Vidit Gujrathi, came on top in a very strong bracket, which included Le Quang Liem, Jeffery Xiong, and the former World Championship challenger Sergey Karjakin.

Peter Svidler and Alexander Grischuk, who were considered the main favorites of the fourth bracket, lived up to their reputation reaching the final. A virtually unknown Siberian IM Oleg Badmatsyrenov made a big splash in this bracket, dispatching Alexey Dreev and Paco Vallejo and only succumbing to Grischuk in the Armageddon game. In the final Svidler got the better of his old friend and punched his ticket into the quarterfinals.

Vladimir Fedoseev and Grigory Oparin, number three and four of the fifth bracket respectively, locked horns in the final match to fight for the slot in the quarterfinals. Both 15-min games were drawn, but in the 10-min encounters, it was Fedoseev who booked his spot in the October matches.

The last ticket to the quarterfinals was at stake in the match between two worthy opponents: top-seeded Wesley So and Russian GM Evgeny Tomashevski. Once again the rating favorite celebrated the victory, proving that top players are extremely strong in all chess variants.

Thus, on October 4 we will see four quarterfinal matches played, with the winners going directly into Day 3. The next day the losers will be given a second chance to make it to Day 3, but two players will be eliminated in the process. Finally, on October 6, six players will compete for three slots in the semifinals.

Magnus Carlsen will enter the competition at the semifinal stage joining three best players of the quarterfinals. The semifinalists will meet over the board in Norway at the end of October; the winner will be crowned on November 2.

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