GM Hikaru Nakamura won a Titled Tuesday event for the third straight week on April 26 and was joined in the day’s winners’ circle by GM Baadur Jobava after the late tournament. For the second time in three weeks, no one played quite consistently enough to earn prizes in both tournaments.
Nakamura worked his way through a 356-player field without a loss to claim the early tournament with a score of 10/11. He finished half a point ahead of GM Jose Martinez, who himself finished a half-point above three players on nine points: GM Oleksandr Bortnyk, GM Andrey Esipenko, and Chinese NM Yuan Qingyu.
Broadcast of the early tournament hosted by WFM Alessia Santeramo.
After starting 5/5, Nakamura drew his next two games and actually fell a half-point behind three players. One of them was GM Sam Shankland, making a rare but welcome Titled Tuesday appearance, who drew his first game before winning six in a row. While GM Kirill Alekseenko was defeating Esipenko to move to 7.5/8, Nakamura won a very even game against Shankland on the final move to achieve the same score.
Nakamura never looked back, winning his last three games as well and winning the tournament outright. The heavyweights never stopped coming as he dropped Alekseenko in round nine, Bortnyk in the 10th round, and GM Daniil Dubov in the final round.
All of Nakamura’s last four games seemed to have a similar theme: Nakamura played well above 90% accuracy and took advantage of a final, decisive error by his opponent. Dubov, for example, expected a pawn recapture when Nakamura instead pushed toward inevitable promotion.
Martinez finished in outright second place with 9.5/11 by defeating Shankland in round nine, Alekseenko in round 10, and GM Jeffery Xiong in the last round.
April 26 Titled Tuesday | Early | Final Standings (Top 20)
|2||26||GM||@Jospem||Jose Eduardo Martinez Alcantara||2915||9.5||67.25|
(Full final standings here.)
Nakamura won $1,000 for his efforts and Martinez earned $750. Bortnyk won $300, Esipenko $150, and Yuan $100 to round out the top five. Bulgarian IM Nurgyul Salimova was the high scorer among women and won $100.
The late tournament was joined by exactly 300 players as Nakamura attempted to win both Titled Tuesdays in one day for the second time, but he was 1.5 points short, behind Jobava and GM Sam Sevian. It was Jobava’s second Titled Tuesday victory of the year, following one on February 22.
Broadcast of the late tournament hosted by FM James Canty III.
Well before it was apparent that Jobava would win the tournament, Canty pronounced his round four win the “game of the tournament,” a swindle and checkmate of GM Alex Rustemov.
Jobava would defeat Sevian in round seven to stay perfect but drop his next game to GM Hrant Melkumyan. He then drew his round 10 game.
Competitively, then, the game of the tournament came in the final round when Jobava defeated Nakamura to claim the tournament after an early draw offer from Jobava was rejected.
Meanwhile, Sevian defeated Bortnyk with a beautiful checkmate in a minor-piece endgame. That kept him in pace with Jobava, but the Georgian player’s tiebreaks were better than the American’s.
April 26 Titled Tuesday | Late | Final Standings (Top 20)
|18||12||GM||BogdanDeac||Bogdan Daniel Deac||2978||7.5||45.5|
(Full final standings here.)
Jobava’s victory earned him $1,000 while Sevian settled for $750 in second place. GM Dmitrij Kollars won $300 in third place while Xiong took $150 for fourth. The $100 for fifth went to GM Rasmus Svane while the $100 to the top woman went to GM Alexandra Kosteniuk.
Titled Tuesday is a weekly event for titled players on Chess.com. Each Tuesday there are two 11-round Swiss tournaments, commencing at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time/17:00 Central European and 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time/23:00 Central European.