GM Sam Shankland began Titled Tuesday with a 9/9 score before winning the early event with a score of 10/11. In the late event, a six-way tie for first place on nine points was not completely broken, leaving GMs Alexey Sarana and Bogdan-Daniel Deac in equal first place. It was only the second tie in Titled Tuesday this year and, in an oddity, Deac has been involved in both of them.
With the ongoing Fischer Random World Championship occupying GMs Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura, the field of 417 players in the early tournament was nonetheless a strong one, including GMs Fabiano Caruana, Alireza Firouzja, Dmitry Andreikin, Daniil Dubov, Jose Martinez, and Oleksandr Bortnyk. The last three all placed in the top five, but Shankland outlasted everybody.
It was the second straight week with a player starting on 9/9. Like GM Tuan Minh Le last week, Shankland took a draw in the 10th round. Players generally look to lock up the tournament in that position, instead of taking greater risks to obtain a perfect score.
Ultimately, the battle for first was decided in the sixth round, when Shankland met Martinez. Considering all the crazy openings we’ve seen in Titled Tuesday in the previous two weeks, the Classical Nimzo-Indian was a bit of a relief.
Two rounds later, Shankland contested another significant endgame and this time outplayed Caruana. Perhaps a small measure of revenge for Caruana recently winning the U.S. championship—his second one, which broke a tie with the 2018 champion Shankland.
Outside of his loss to Shankland, Martinez also crushed it, only drawing one other game to finish in outright second place with 9.5/11. In the final round, Martinez toppled Andreikin (who has won more Titled Tuesdays in the last couple of years than anyone besides Nakamura) to clinch silver.
For Shankland, the tournament victory was particularly welcome. He also brought his Chess.com blitz rating above 3000 for the first time.
It felt so great to win Titled Tuesday today. I’ve never been able to bring my blitz to the same level as my classical chess, and after a ton of frustrating results, winning a top tournament was such a relief. pic.twitter.com/Uqs8rIKkcq
— Sam Shankland (@SamShankland) October 25, 2022
October 25 Titled Tuesday | Early | Final Standings (Top 20)
|16||53||GM||@Genghis_K||Federico Perez Ponsa||2836||8||49.5|
(Full final standings here.)
Shankland won $1,000 for his efforts with Martinez winning $750. Bortnyk took the $350 third-place prize and GM Grigoriy Oparin $200 for fourth. The $100 prizes went to Dubov in fifth place and WGM Meri Arabidze with the best score among the women who played, 7/11.
Shankland took a well-deserved break from the late tournament, leaving what turned out to be a scrum of a battle for first place in a field of 349. When the first and sixth players are on the same score, someone (or “some ones”) lucky is going to win a good amount of money, and someone unlucky will get none.
In the situation that had unfolded by the end of 10 rounds, it was taking draws that suddenly became the risky strategy. Firouzja and Kollars led the field with 8.5 points, just ahead of a whopping eight players on 8/10 and another six on 7.5 points. Although the leaders played a real game against each other, they could only make a draw in 68 moves, and ultimately ended up in fifth and sixth place.
The eventual co-winners Deac and Sarana defeated GM David Paravyan and Martinez, respectively. In a similar theme to the early tournament, it was an endgame with White that produced Deac’s victory.
Sarana, meanwhile, defeated his opponent, Martinez, who was going for another high podium finish. In another endgame, this time Black won.
Third place ultimately went to GM Daniel Naroditsky after his battle with another famous streamer, GM Eric Hansen. 75 moves, this one lasted.
October 25 Titled Tuesday | Late | Final Standings (Top 20)
|1||11||GM||@BogdanDeac||Bogdan Daniel Deac||3026||9||58.5|
|8||13||GM||@ChristopherYoo||Christopher Woojin Yoo||2985||8.5||50.25|
|9||4||GM||@Jospem||Jose Eduardo Martinez Alcantara||3078||8||55|
|10||16||GM||@jcibarra||José Carlos Ibarra Jerez||2940||8||46|
|34||107||IM||@AnotherGrumpy||Anna M Sargsyan||2624||7||35.75|
(Full final standings here.)
Deac and Sarana each earned $875 atop the standings. Naroditsky took home $350, GM David Howell $200, and Firouzja $100 while Kollars was out of luck. The $100 women’s prize went to IM Anna M Sargsyan on 7/11.
Titled Tuesday is a Chess.com event held weekly for titled players. There are two 11-round Swiss tournaments every Tuesday, starting at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time/17:00 Central European and 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time/23:00 Central European.