Vidit and Sarana Win the Inaugural Global Play-Ins

GM Vidit Gujrathi and GM Alexey Sarana won the first and second Play-ins of the Global Championship

Vidit and Sarana advance to the main event along with GMs Rasmus Svane and Oleksandr Bortnyk, victors of the two-game matches between second and third places in each Play-in. 

The next events of the Play-in phase continue on Friday, starting at 5 a.m. PT/14:00 CEST and 10 a.m. PT/19:00. If you’re a titled player and would like to have a chance to play against players like GMs Vladimir Kramnik, Viswanathan Anand, and other legends make sure you get verified and play in the next event:

Play-In 1

Vidit finished first with the top tiebreaks of those with 7.5, including his must-win victory vs. GM Samvel Ter-Sahakyan in the last round. Vidit sacrificed a knight to gain pressure against Ter-Sahakyan’s king. 

Svane and GM Yaroslav Zherebukh finished second and third, allowing them to battle it out in a two-game match for the second qualification spot. In the first game, Svane gained a lasting advantage in pawn structure and gradually pressed it to victory. 

In the next game, Svane played in the complete opposite style, discovering a beautiful attacking shot of 40…Re1! when White’s defenses immediately collapsed.

One fascinating moment of the tournament was GM Benjamin Gledura’s 26. Qe4!! in round five. The move initially looks like a complete blunder but with a closer look is a brilliant deflection tactic. 

Play-In #1 Swiss | Final Standings (Top 10)

Number Rk Fed Title Username Name Rating Score SB
1 2 GM viditchess Vidit Gujrathi 2699 7.5 42.75
2 11 GM rasmussvane Rasmus Svane 2606 7.5 42
3 10 GM Cruel_Yaro Yaroslav Zherebukh 2583 7.5 39.25
4 9 GM GMBenjaminBok Benjamin Bok 2599 7.5 34
5 16 GM jcibarra José Carlos Ibarra Jerez 2548 7 31.5
6 8 GM Msb2 Matthias Bluebaum 2595 7 30.5
7 3 GM FormerProdigy David Navara 2656 7 27.5
8 13 GM Njal28 Aram Hakobyan 2593 6.5 35.25
9 6 GM Jospem Jose Eduardo Martinez Alcantara 2624 6.5 34.75
10 1 GM mishanick Alexey Sarana 2711 6.5 33.5

(Full final standings here.)

Play-In 2

Sarana also clinched first with 7.5 point and the best tiebreaks. He came through with a victory in the last round against GM David Paravyan, fighting back from a worse position with active piece play. 

Bortnyk and IM Denis Lazavik finished second and third. In the first game of their match, Lazavik ripped open his opponent’s king with a tactic. Despite his precarious position, Bortnyk managed to coordinate his pieces and seize the attacking chances for himself. 

The second game looked to be a clear victory for Bortnyk when Lazavik made a stunning comeback, triggering an Armageddon playoff! 

In the tiebreaker, Bortnyk crashed through on the kingside with a checkmating attack.

Play-In #2 Swiss | Final Standings (Top 10)

Number Rk Fed Title Username Name Rating Score SB
1 1 GM mishanick Alexey Sarana 2711 7.5 44.5
2 3 GM Oleksandr_Bortnyk Oleksandr Bortnyk 2676 7.5 43.25
3 16 IM DenLaz Denis Lazavik 2601 7.5 43
4 7 GM Njal28 Aram Hakobyan 2593 7 42
5 15 GM BogdanDeac Bogdan Daniel Deac 2515 7 38.25
6 11 GM jcibarra José Carlos Ibarra Jerez 2548 7 37.25
7 8 GM daro94 Dariusz Swiercz 2578 7 34.25
8 42 NM forevery0ung Jan Malek 2416 7 34
9 59

aigmodern Arnulfo Jr Gavilan 2345 7 30.75
10 20 FM Reader777 Read Samadov 2511 7 30.5

(Full final standings here.)

The Global Championship is a worldwide prize event cycle open to all verified players. The event has a $1,000,000 prize fund and brings together players from all around the world with chess legends like GMs Alexei Shirov, Vasyl Ivanchuk, Hou Yifan, and many more. The Play-in phase consists of 16 Swiss tournaments which will award the top-two players from each event with a share of the $60,000 prize fund and a spot in the CGC Knockouts.

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