GM Alexey Sarana and GM Fabiano Caruana won Titled Tuesday on April 11. Caruana stole the show, scoring 10.5 points out of 11 and winning the late event by a nearly unprecedented 1.5 points. Just a draw with Chess.com’s own GM Rafael Leitao stood between Caruana and perfection. Sarana also had a great day, scoring 10 points and winning outright early.
The 563 players from the early tournament were the most since January, and Sarana outlasted them all. He started a perfect 6/6, held two draws in the next two rounds, and then won his last three games.
Entering the final round, Sarana was tied with GM Anton Korobov. With everyone else at least half a point back, a decisive result would mean tournament victory. Sarana had the second move but stood well out of the opening and converted in just 32 moves.
Korobov was still able to hold onto third place despite the loss. He was leapfrogged by one player, however, as GM Oleksandr Bortnyk won his last three games to reach 9.5 points, ending with a win over GM Matthias Bluebaum.
April 11 Titled Tuesday | Early | Final Standings (Top 20)
|7||32||IM||@MetiForce||Mahdi Gholami Orimi||2936||9|
|12||45||GM||@jcibarra||José Carlos Ibarra Jerez||2919||8.5|
|13||41||GM||@tptagain||David Anton Guijarro||2937||8.5|
(Full final standings here.)
Sarana earned $1,000 while Bortnyk won $750. Six players were tied below them on nine points, but just three made the top five: Korobov for $350, GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda for $200, and GM Pavel Eljanov for $100. WGM Jiner Zhu won the $100 women’s prize, scoring 7/11.
Caruana wasn’t perfect in the field of 448, but he did become the second player to score at least 10.5 points in a Titled Tuesday twice, having done so previously on November 15, 2022. The other player with multiple 10.5+ point performances is, of course, GM Hikaru Nakamura, who has three.
Today, Caruana’s victims included Nakamura, in round six—maybe some minor measure of retribution for Nakamura’s Grand Final victory over Caruana in the Chessable Masters the week prior. Caruana’s opening of choice in the game with White was the London System.
GM Daniel Naroditsky, who actually has the highest blitz rating on Chess.com at the moment of writing, was next. Caruana now had Black and played against the London, but the result was the same: a win for the reigning U.S. champion.
At this point, Caruana’s 6.5/7 score was behind GM David Paravyan on a perfect 7/7. But Caruana defeated Paravyan in the eighth round, followed by GM Aram Hakobyan in the ninth.
Now leading by half a point, Caruana’s next obstacle was GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. But the Fabi train was unstoppable by this point.
Caruana now led the tournament by a full point, needing just a draw to clinch first place. He earned more than that against the ageless GM Vladimir Kramnik (himself a recent Titled Tuesday winner). The two players on nine points, Naroditsky and Hakobyan, made a draw, and so Caruana not only reached 10.5 points but the arguably even more difficult 1.5-point tournament victory. Especially difficult when facing Nakamura, Naroditsky, Vachier-Lagrave, and Kramnik—but Caruana handled them all.
April 11 Titled Tuesday | Late | Final Standings (Top 20)
|15||26||GM||@BogdanDeac||Bogdan Daniel Deac||2942||8|
(Full final standings here.)
Caruana took home the $1,000 first place prize, leaving a six-player tie on nine points below him. Hakobyan ended up in second place for $750, Naroditsky in third for $350, GM Sergey Grigoriants in fourth for $200, and Vachier-Lagrave in fifth for $100. GM Alexandra Kosteniuk won the $100 women’s prize with seven points out of 11.
Titled Tuesday is a weekly 11-round Swiss event held by Chess.com twice every Tuesday for titled players. The tournaments begin at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time/17:00 Central European and 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time/23:00 Central European.