GM Hikaru Nakamura won his third straight Titled Tuesday on October 4 with the rare score of 10.5/11, then nearly swept the event for the second straight week with a second-place finish in the late event. Instead, it was won by GM Matthias Bluebaum on tiebreaks.
GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda also had a successful day, finishing third place both times.
Nakamura won all but his seventh game in the early tournament, a draw with GM Dmitry Andreikin after both players started the event on a 6/6 score. In his last six rounds, Nakamura didn’t play anybody who finished outside the top nine, but scored 5.5/6 anyway.
Of the six, outside of the draw the toughest fight came from GM Jose Martinez. The computer gave barely anyone an edge throughout the game until the passive 59…Rd8, when it was suddenly over—as Nakamura of course proved.
Even the always-tough Duda, who was in strong form all day as evidenced by his two podium finishes, was simply ground down by Nakamura in round six.
For his part, second-place Andreikin tracked Nakamura by not losing a game either. However, he followed their round-seven draw with another, before getting back into winning ways in round nine against GM Velimir Ivic in a comeback after losing a pawn in the opening.
It was good enough to keep Andreikin within half a point of Nakamura’s score. But Nakamura just kept on winning, while Andreikin only made a draw in the last round, securing second place but giving the leader a full-point victory.
October 4 Titled Tuesday | Early | Final Standings (Top 20)
|4||12||IM||@wonderfultime||Tuan Minh Le||2988||9||59.75|
|16||54||GM||@FGHSMN||Bharath Subramaniyam H||2844||8||49.5|
(Full final standings here.)
Nakamura won another $1,000 first-place prize. Andreikin earned $750 for second place while Duda won $350 in third place. GM-elect Tuan Minh Le finished fourth for a $200 payday while fellow GM-elect Denis Lazavik picked up $100 in fifth place; both will earn their GM titles at the upcoming FIDE Council. GM Valentina Gunina rounded out the prize earners with $100 as the highest-scoring woman in the tournament.
Nakamura came a tiebreak away from sweeping yet another Titled Tuesday, but missed out by the slimmest of margins, despite winning his individual matchup with the tournament victor Bluebaum.
Bluebaum showed tenacity and recovered by defeating GM David Howell in round 10 to stay in striking distance. Bluebaum won on time but was also better in the final position.
Duda wasn’t messing around either, avoiding an early repetition with GM Hrant Melkumyan and going on to win.
Thus, entering the final round, Nakamura and Duda led the field with nine points, with Bluebaum in sole third on 8.5 points. The two leaders drew in just 10 moves, a standard course of action made even more reasonable by the fact that Bluebaum had the misfortune of facing two-time Candidates winner GM Ian Nepomniachtchi in the round.
Nonetheless, Bluebaum pulled off the dramatic upset and not only joined the leaders but won the whole event.
October 4 Titled Tuesday | Late | Final Standings (Top 20)
|11||5||GM||@Jospem||Jose Eduardo Martinez Alcantara||3052||8||51|
|15||22||GM||@jcibarra||José Carlos Ibarra Jerez||2917||8||43|
(Full final standings here.)
Bluebaum thus won the $1,000 first-place prize. Nakamura “settled” for $750 and a daily total of $1,750. Duda added another $350 for a total of $700 on the day. GM Alexey Sarana won $200 in fourth place and GM Vugar Rasulov $100 in fifth, while WFM Varvara Poliakova won the $100 women’s prize.
Titled Tuesday is a weekly Chess.com event for titled players. Two 11-round Swiss tournaments are played 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.