International Chess Federation
Wednesday, 08 May 2024 22:39
Superbet Poland Rapid & Blitz: Day 1 Recap

Superbet Poland Rapid & Blitz, sponsored by the Superbet Foundation, kicked off in Warsaw on May 8, with ten players battling for $175,000 in prizes. The event features four full-tour players and six wildcard players including five-time World Champion & World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen (Norway), Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Poland), Wei Yi (China), Arjun Erigaisi (India), Vincent Keymer (Germany) and Kirill Shevchenko (Romania). 

After the first day of action, we have a surprise leader, the lowest-rated player in the event, Kirill Shevchenko, who won all his three games and took an early lead with a perfect score. 

Magnus Carlsen and the current world #5 Nodirbek Abdusattorov are tied for second place, each scoring 4/6.

The Candidates 2024 winner, Gukesh D, had a bad start, losing two games and making a single draw. 

Round 1

The event started with exciting action, with Abdusattorov and Shevchenko defeating Giri and Gukesh D, respectively. The games Carlsen – Erigaisi, Keymer - Wei Yi and Praggnanandhaa – Duda were drawn. 

Nodirbek Abdusattorov sacrificed a piece for two kingside pawns against Anish Giri to launch a crushing attack. The game saw a truly spectacular finish.

Nodirbek Abdusattorov - Anish Giri

46. f7!!  Rxc2 47. g6!! allowing the opponent to capture the queen with check 47... Rxd2+ 48. Bg2 Rxg2+ 49. Rxg2 and Anish resigned as in view of 49…Bf6 50. g7+ Bxg7 51. Bxg7# 1-0

Gukesh D had a substantial advantage throughout his game with Shevchenko, but with just seconds on his clock he went for an erroneous combination.

Gukesh D - Kirill Shevchenko

After 34. Qe2! White would have been clearly better. The Challenger opted for the spectacular 34. Qd3?? but it turned to be a mirage as after 34…Rxd3 35. Re8+ Kg7 36. h6+ Nxh6, there is no checkmate. 0-1

Round 2

Shevchenko won his second straight game making good use of Praggnanandhaa’s opening mistake. 

Kirill Shevchenko - Praggnanandhaa R

Black has just played 9... Bg4?? Kirill quickly spotted 10. Nxe5! dxe5 11. Bb4! (not 11. Bxb7?)  11... c5 12. Bxc5 Qc7 13. Bxf8 Kxf8 14. dxe5 Ne8 and emerged with a took and tree pawns for two minor pieces

Shevchenko’s conversion was not the best, but eventually, White’s advanced passers decided the game in his favor. 

Magnus Carlsen scored his first victory in the tournament against Wei Yi.

Wei Yi - Magnus Carlsen

Black is slighly better but Wei could have put a stubborn resistance with 26. h4 with the idea of 26…g4 27. Nxe5+ fxe5 28. Qxe5. Instead, he played 26. Qa7? and after 26... Ke6! 27. Rxd7 Rxd7 28. Qxa5 g4 29. Ng1 Qf4+ 30. Kh1 Qxf2 31. Qb6 32. Rb1 Qxb6 33. Rxb6 Rd1 Magnus got a won endgame | 0-1, 42 moves

Jan-Krzysztof Duda had sufficient compensation for a sacrificed exchange against Vincent Keymer, but one mistake on move 39 cost him the game. 

The only draw in this round was recorded in the encounter Anish Giri – Arjun Erigaisi

Round 3

Shevchenko scored his third consecutive victory after Keymer ignored Black’s threat in a slightly inferior position. 

Vincent Keymer - Kirill Shevchenko

Vincent played 41.Rhc1? allowing 41…f4! Most likely the young German hoped for 42. Rc8 but it failed to 42…Rdd8 43. Rxd8 Bxd8! Shevchenko won a piece for two pawns and slowly but surely converted his extra material. 

Praggnanandhaa correctly sacrificed an exchange against Abdusattorov and got powerful compensation.

Praggnanandhaa R - Nodirbek Abdusattorov

21. Rxf6! gxf6, but instead of 22. Qf5 followed by 23. Ne4, the young Indian played 22. Ne4 immediately, allowing Nodirbek to avoid the worst after 22... Re6 23. Nh4 f5 24. Nxf5 Rd8 25. Re3 Rd4 26. Qe2 Rxe4

Still White had a superior position and eventually won a pawn. Nodirbek had drawing chances in the subsequent queen endgame but cracked on move 67 allowing White’s king to penetrate his camp and capitulated 10 moves later. 

The games Erigaisi - Wei Yi, Carlsen – Duda and Gukesh – Giri were drawn. 

Check out Day 1 Recap Video by IM Kostya Kavutskiy

Day 2 of the Superbet Poland Rapid & Blitz continues Thursday, May 9, with live commentary from GM Yasser Seirawan, IM Jovanka Houska, and IM Nazi Paikidze starting at 6:00 AM CDT.

Photos: courtesy of Grand Chess Tour

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