Duda Wins Brilliant Game In Champions Chess Tour Final

GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda defeated GM Anish Giri with a brilliant third match game on Wednesday, in what was round three of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Finals. The Polish grandmaster is still on a perfect 9/9 score but that is also the case for GM Magnus Carlsen, who beat GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov just as quickly.

Duda’s brilliancy against Giri came after he had won the first game in their mini-match, and drew the second. The queen sacrifice in the image above this article was in itself amazing, but check out the game and you’ll see that Duda sacrificed a rook a few moves before, nine moves ahead of the eventual checkmate!

Sadly, Giri resigned a few moves before mate would have appeared on the board. It was one of those games that deserved to be played out till the end.

Duda: “I’m very happy of course; it’s not every day you get to checkmate your opponent. I mean, not really checkmate, in a way I am disappointed that there was no checkmate on the board but the combination was so beautiful, so a-typical, but also with checks, it’s something extraordinary to me. I always could appreciate the beauty in chess and it’s very nice to be on the good side of things!”

Giri: “It’s very pretty. Kudos to him for finding it.”

After just three rounds the tournament starts to look like a two-horse race as Carlsen also won his match, to reach nine points as well. The two leaders are five points ahead of the pack, with four rounds to go.

In a round where all matches lasted only three games, Carlsen beat Mamedyarov three times. The most interesting game was the first, where the two players continued their discussion of a gambit line in the g3-Grunfeld, which Mamedyarov has also played with the white pieces. Theoretically, Black should be OK but it’s also easier to play as White, and Carlsen now has a 5/5 score in this variation.

Magnus Carlsen Meltwater Finals
Three match wins for Carlsen, who already won the Champions Chess Tour before the Finals. Image: Champions Chess Tour.

Praggnanandhaa, who had collected just one point so far, also managed to win three games in a row, against GM Le Quang Liem. “It’s good to be back!” said the young Indian player, who was tactically very sharp on this third day—see game one:

In the match between the two players who were still on zero points, GM Wesley So defeated GM Arjun Erigaisi. The third game was nice, but also the result of Erigaisi mixing up the move-order.

So said about his opponent: “I think Arjun is a very strong player, but maybe he is focusing on classical chess. [His] play here in rapid seems to be a bit uncertain, like he’s doubting himself. But he’s very young, he’s very strong and he’s gonna improve pretty soon I’m sure.” 

Wesley So Meltwater Finals
Wesley So won his first match. Image: Champions Chess Tour.

Day 3 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Score
1-2 Jan-Krzysztof Duda 2798 9
1-2 Magnus Carlsen 2848 9
3-5 Anish Giri 2732 4
3-5 Le Quang Liem 2775 4
3-5 Praggnanandhaa R. 2750 4
6-7 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2756 3
6-7 Wesley So 2774 3
8 Arjun Erigaisi 2733 0

All games day 3

The Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Finals take place November 14-20, 2022 on chess24. The format is an eight-player round-robin; each round has four-game rapid matches, and the winner gets three points. The time control is 15 minutes for each game plus a 10-second increment. A tiebreak follows immediately in case of a 2-2 tie and in that case, the winner gets two points and the loser, one.

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