Hansen Dances to 4-0, Fedoseev Fights to Final

Hansen Dances to 4-0, Fedoseev Fights to Final


GMs Eric Hansen and Vladimir Fedoseev advanced to the Qualifier 1 final of the 2022 Fischer Random World Championship on Tuesday. Though they achieved the same result, the two players had vastly different journeys. Hansen literally danced to a 4-0 score while it was often Fedoseev’s ability to fight that earned him his spot. 

GMs Olexandr Bortnyk and Sam Sevian made it to the semifinals. GMs Vidit Gujrathi, Benjamin Bok, Jose Martinez, and Aleksandr Shimanov made it to the quarterfinals.

Qualifier 1 continues with the knockout final on August 24, starting at 9 a.m. PT / 18:00 CEST.

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Sevian won the first game vs. Martinez, which featured wild king attacks from both players. 

Martinez countered in the next by setting up a mating net of his own.

In the armageddon playoff, Sevian seemed to press too hard for the win, allowing Martinez to obtain a better position and a two-minute time advantage with the black pieces. Unexpectedly, in this comfortable position, Martinez blundered. 

Bortnyk pressed until Shimanov blundered in time pressure in their first game. In a must-win position with black in game two, Shimanov played actively but loosened his position in the process and was unable to gain any advantage. As the position opened up, Bortnyk targeted weak points all over the board and broke through tactically. 

In a significantly better position, Bok sacrificed a knight for attacking chances, but overlooked Fedoseev’s defense.

Fedoseev finished off the match with a picturesque queen sacrifice.

Vidit pressed on Hansen’s kingside but overlooked a critical idea to increase his attacking chances. Can you find it?

In the second game, Hansen gained a dominating position from the opening, planting his two knights on the powerful d5 and f5 squares while his bishops took over two long diagonals to aim at Vidit’s kingside. 

Hansen started the semifinals by gaining an extra pawn against Sevian and successfully converting in the rook ending. In the next game, Hansen seemed to be in such good spirits that he could be seen dancing as he played. 

He went on to finish 4-0 for the day, winning a pawn again in the opening and then improving his pieces to potent squares. 

The first game of Bortnyk vs. Fedoseev was a three-result game until the very end with Bortnyk trying to convert an extra bishop vs. a pawn while Fedoseev advanced his dangerous connected passers down the board. 

Bortnyk attempted to create winning chances in game two for over 70 moves, but Fedoseev kept a hold over the position with the white pieces. They eventually drew, sealing their match in Fedoseev’s favor. 

Qualifier 1 Knockout 

The Fischer Random World Championship, brought to you by the Government of Iceland and the City of Reykjavik, gathers top players worldwide to compete in a series of classical Fischer Random games for their share of the $400,000 prize fund and the title of FIDE Fischer Random World Champion. Fischer Random (also known as Chess960) is a chess variant where all standard chess rules are the same, except for the starting position of the pieces, which can be in one of 960 semi-random setups. Heavily endorsed by the 11th world champion GM Bobby Fischer, the variant sidesteps opening preparation to highlight players’ true understanding of chess.

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