Duda wins the Superbet Rapid & Blitz Poland 2022

The Superbet Rapid & Blitz Poland, the second event of the 2022 Grand Chess Tour, came to an end today with the crowning of GM Jan Krzysztof Duda, who won his final game in a blistering finish where any of the four contenders could have taken over. place. His winning score of 24 points was enough to edge the field by half a point and claim the $40,000 prize for first.

The tiebreaker was narrowly avoided when GM Levon Aronian tied with GM Fabiano Caruana in the final round. GM Viswanathan Anand also recovered well to join Aronian in second place, while Caruana finished fourth (with a gain of 102 points in his FIDE blitz rating!).

Although he was outclassed by more than 100 points even from the second lowest seed, it must be mentioned that MI David Gavrilescu’s performance in the blitz part is to be commended, his 6.5/18 equaling that of super-GMs Richard Rapport and Radoslaw Wojtaszek.

The last day for Superbet Rapid and Blitz Poland was set up for a grandstand finish, with Anand and Duda clinging to the top spots while blitz wreckers Caruana and Aronian led a fearsome chasing group that promised to fight for the title.

Duda, who finished the penultimate day 1.5 points off Anand’s 19, started with a bang and toppled the Indian general manager in the very first round! Signs of fatigue for the legendary Anand were present in this game and an ominous sign for one of the four contenders.

Duda picked up the win in one of his most important matches today. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.

After a sublime performance in the rapid tournament, Anand dropped to an overall blitz score of 9.5/18. The slow start made a comeback nearly impossible, considering his opponents seemed to be winning game after game. Anand’s toughest defeat of the day came at the hands of Korobov, who found a shrewd exchange sacrifice that allowed him to turn a central block of pawns into a decisive advantage.

Anand did in fact recover, scoring vital victories over Rapport and Wojtaszek in the closing laps, but alas the momentum from the leaders did not allow for a fairy tale ending for the Indian superstar.

Anand exceeded all expectations in the event, especially with his fast performances. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Yesterday’s hero Caruana asserted himself early with a second victory over Rapport, this time with the black pieces, and seemed to continue his superhuman form from the first day of the blitz. The USA general manager had probably forgotten what it was like to draw or lose after his recent run of results.

Caruana faced more resistance than Sunday but did well. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

In the next round, Caruana was brought down to Earth by Wojtaszek and was punished after extending castling while playing White against the Nimzo-Indian Defence. Although chess is very much an individual game, Wojtaszek’s compatriot Duda would have been grateful if Caruana’s momentum was stopped, with the result becoming very important in hindsight.

The loss did not deter Caruana, however, and a hat-trick of wins over Duda, Korobov and Gavrilescu forced the other contenders to win on demand if they tried hard to hold on to their lead. Caruana raised his live FIDE rating to 2846, four points behind GM Hikaru Nakamura, who sits in first place. At the end of his match against Gavrilescu, he had collected 102 ranking points, which must be a record among GMs in this time control.

Caruana and Aronian had nearly 200 points between them halfway through day two. Picture: 2700Chess.com.

Aronian also maintained his scorching run, scoring 3/4 to start the day. One of his main victories was against Rapport, who had become a punching bag for the top four players in the blitz portion of the tournament, juxtaposing his dominance in the rapid portions.

The Battle of the Shirts between Rapport and Aronian. The clash was as colorful as the attire. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.

Although Aronian managed to pick up some great wins over Anand and Shevchenko early in the day, it was his miniature round 25 against GM Wesley So that stood out. In Bishop’s Opening: Berlin Defence, Aronian won an early pawn and looked to consolidate, but shocked to give So the chance to cover his tracks by offering a trade. Aronian had one last trick up his sleeve and played two brilliant shots in a row that left So in a completely lost position. Aronian briefly hit a live rating that topped Nakamura’s in blitz, temporarily giving him the top spot.

Going into the penultimate round, Aronian was atop the standings with 22.5 points, half a point ahead of his closest opponent, Duda. After winning an early play against GM Anton Korobov, Aronian appeared to be heading into the final round with a lead but blundered spectacularly, opening the door for Korobov to secure a triple rep and hand Duda tied for first with a round. to do. Unfortunately, Aronian had to face the tournament’s most in-form player, Caruana, while Duda had to be paired with GM Kirill Shevchenko, who scored fewer points than young MI Gavrilescu in the blitz.

Aronian fell victim to the curse of Korobov. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Korobov was certainly the curse of the leaders on the final day, and after ruining Anand’s party earlier, he managed to defeat Duda when it looked like the Polish GM was about to get away with the event. . An incredible moment came when the Ukrainian, with seconds on his clock, played a queen sacrifice that had commentators Pruess and Krush wondering if the DGT panels were broken!

Last Day Kingslayer Korobov influenced the top charts. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.

They weren’t actually broken, and the move 54.Qf4?? was on the set. With six seconds left on the spot, Duda missed a winning chance and lost the game.

The lead changed hands several times throughout the day, but it was Aronian and Duda who tied the lead going into the final round with 23 points. The other two contenders from the start of the day, Caruana and Anand, were closer, sailing in the wake of the leader on 22.5.

As for the final rounds, this one couldn’t have been more enticing, with four possible winners and the mathematical possibility of a three-way tie for first! Aronian got off to a flying start, securing a much better position against Caruana on the white side of Sicilian Najdorf. Meanwhile, Anand had managed to execute a tactical masterclass against his second in command, Wojtaszek. The result put immense pressure on the leaders to win their matches or risk a tiebreaker.

Finally, Duda appeared to get run over by Shevchenko, and at one point both players made a serious tactical oversight that would have kicked Duda out of the match. Commentator Pruess modestly calculated the complex line in real time, sending a message that he is ready for his next I’m not a GM speed chess championship match against IM Polina Shuvalova on May 25.

Try your luck at what could have been in the game!

After watching and seeing that Aronian’s advantage had worn off and a draw against Caruana had been sealed, Duda decided to keep the match against Shevchenko alive with only seconds on the clock. Chaos reigned for the next minute, and after explosive play from both sides, it was the Polish GM who emerged victorious, claiming first place with a half point and $40,000 for his efforts.

Scoring 12 points in the rapid and 12 points in the blitz, Duda’s balanced performance just might earn him a new nickname, ‘Mr. Coherent’. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

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