GM Dmitry Andreikin won the late Titled Tuesday event on August 9 with a nearly perfect 10.5/11 score, after GM Alexey Sarana had staged an improbable comeback in the early tournament. GM Hikaru Nakamura rode a 9/9 start to a tie for first (second on tiebreaks) in the day’s first tournament.
A 10.5/11 score is a height rarely reached in Titled Tuesday. Nakamura had still the only 11/11 score ever on August 17, 2021, while GM Anton Korobov on June 22, 2021, and GM Rustam Khusnutdinov on September 14, 2021, are the only other players to fall a half-point shy.
Sarana, 22, began the tournament with a 4.5/6 score. With three players on 6/6 and 24 players on 5/6 or better, at that point it did not look like Sarana would ultimately come out on top.
Nakamura, 34, was the only one of the group of three to survive to 7/7, then 8/8, then 9/9. He did so by defeating a murderer’s row of GMs Salem Saleh, Oleksandr Bortnyk, and Daniil Dubov. The game against Dubov was nearly flawless.
In the tenth round, it was up to GM Gata Kamsky, 48, to stop the Hikaru steamroller. After Kamsky pulled it off, the two of them were tied for first place.
Waiting for Kamsky was who but Sarana, who had been quietly humming along with four straight victories to reach 8.5 points. Kamsky, who had just won as Black against the very best of the field, had to move second yet again. Unfortunately, Kamsky was unable to add another accolade to his mythos.
Meanwhile, Nakamura and Andreikin battled for 131 moves, the former hoping for outright first place and the latter a share of it. Nothing came of their marathon, however, which was decided on the 50-move rule.
Sarana, despite the slower start, had the higher tiebreak score over Nakamura, and claimed his second Titled Tuesday victory in the last three weeks.
August 9 Titled Tuesday | Early | Final Standings (Top 20)
|4||17||GM||@Salem-AR||Salem AR Saleh||2993||9||64.5|
|10||7||IM||@wonderfultime||Tuan Minh Le||2984||8.5||44.75|
|20||25||GM||@jcibarra||José Carlos Ibarra Jerez||2854||7.5||46.25|
(Full final standings here.)
Sarana won $1,000 while Nakamura took home $750. After the breaking of ties among the four players who scored nine, Andreikin earned $300, Saleh $150, and Kamsky $100, with Dubov the odd man out in sixth. IM Polina Shuvalova earned the $100 women’s prize.
Andreikin took his third-place finish in the early event and made it seem like nothing in the later proceedings. A draw in the third round was the only result that ended without a full point for him.
Once Andreikin came through rounds seven through nine unscathed, the train was nearly unstoppable. Those three games saw him defeat Saleh, Bortnyk and, finally, Nakamura.
Because of the earlier draw, there was no perfection drama to be had. But after winning in the 10th round to open up a full-point lead on the field, Andreikin did not settle for a draw in the final game. This even though his opponent, GM Aram Hakobyan, was 1.5 points behind on 8/10, albeit still alive for a top-five finish. Instead, Andreikin wrapped up his terrific day with checkmate.
Bortnyk’s loss to Andreikin in the eighth round was his only defeat of the tournament on the way to sole second place.
August 9 Titled Tuesday | Late | Final Standings (Top 20)
|17||80||FM||@Nf3c5||Iung Alicio de O. Pinheiro||2682||8||38.5|
|19||12||GM||@Salem-AR||Salem AR Saleh||2993||7.5||44.75|
(Full final standings here.)
Andreikin earned $1,000 for a total payday of $1,300. Bortnyk won $750, compensating for his seventh-place near-miss earlier. GM Kirill Alekseenko earned $300 in third place thanks to the tiebreak advantage over GM Sergei Lobanov, who earned $150 in fourth. The $100 prizes were earned by GM Andrey Esipenko in fifth place and GM Alexandra Kosteniuk for the top women’s score.