Sevian Refuses Last-Round Draw Offer, Wins Fischer Random Swiss

Sevian Refuses Last-Round Draw Offer, Wins Fischer Random Swiss


GM Sam Sevian won the Qualifier 1 Swiss stage of the 2022 Fischer Random World Championship on Monday, refusing a draw in the last round to go for more. GMs Aleksandr Shimanov and Vladimir Fedoseev finished in second and third with seven points each.

GMs Eric Hansen, Vidit Gujrathi, Benjamin Bok, Olexandr Bortnyk, and Jose Martinez claimed the rest of the knockout qualification spots, finishing in fourth through eighth in a tie with 6.5 points. 

Participating in the event were 100 competitors—open to all FIDE titled players and national masters. The qualifier continues with the knockout phase quarterfinals and semifinals on August 23, starting at 9 a.m. PT / 18:00 CEST.

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Sevian finished with the top score of 7.5 points, kicking off the tournament with a convincing 6-0 winning streak. This streak included a third-round victory over GM Hikaru Nakamura with a stunning queen sacrifice. 

In the last round, to the surprise of all watching, Sevian refused an early draw offer by Martinez, which would’ve secured qualification, and successfully went for the full point to clinch first. 

Shimanov won second with seven points, including a win over GM Gata Kamsky in round five, gaining a harmonious middlegame position compared to Kamsky’s discombobulated attempt to emerge from the opening setup. 

Fedoseev finished third also with seven points. He lost his first game due to a tragic mouse slip, but recovered by winning the next six in a row. 

Nakamura narrowly missed out on qualification when he blundered a rook in time trouble in the last round.

Despite this, he played an incredible game earlier in the tournament against Kamsky, squeezing him off the board. As commentator GM Daniel Naroditsky stated: “How do you beat Gata like that? Just no chances!” 

Without the safety of opening theory, Fischer Random allows for a lot more miniature victories, even against strong grandmasters. In round two, GM Jeffery Xiong ripped apart GM Maxime Lagarde‘s kingside in just 17 moves.

Qualifer 1 Swiss | Final Standings (Top 20)

Number Rk Fed Title Username Name Rating Score SB
1 13 GM Konavets Sam Sevian 3038 7.5 38.5
2 3

GM shimastream Aleksandr Shimanov 3002 7 35.25
3 5 GM Bigfish1995 Vladimir Fedoseev 2943 7 34.25
4 12 GM ChessBrah Chessbrah TV 2941 6.5 32
5 9 GM viditchess Vidit Gujrathi 2822 6.5 31.5
6 19 GM GMBenjaminBok Benjamin Bok 2813 6.5 30.5
7 8 GM Oleksandr_Bortnyk Oleksandr Bortnyk 2820 6.5 29.25
8 10 GM Jospem Jose Eduardo Martinez Alcantara 2830 6.5 28.75
9 8

FM TrahtarBelarus Artiom Stribuk 2828 6.5 27.75
10 30 GM BilodeauA Kirill Alekseenko 2809 6.5 25
11 15 GM FormerProdigy David Navara 2744 6 25.5
12 20

GM alexrustemov Alexander Rustemov 2719 6 19.75
13 43 GM mishanick Alexey Sarana 2658 6 19.5
14 31 GM TigrVShlyape Gata Kamsky 2711 5.5 26.75
15 1 GM Hikaru Hikaru Nakamura 2967 5.5 21.5
16 16 IM vi_pranav Pranav V 2666 5.5 21
17 38 GM moro182 Luca Moroni Jr 2641 5.5 16.75
18 29 NM RedbaronCanada David Yu Peng 2411 5.5 13.75
19 72 IM Legendinunknown Harshavardhan GB 2548 5 23
20 2

IM DenLaz Denis Lazavik 2778 5 18.5

(Full final standings here.) 

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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