Sweet Revenge, Stunning Upsets – Chess.com

Sweet Revenge, Stunning Upsets - Chess.com


Day four of the Chess.com Global Chess Championship featured electrifying matchups, remarkable upset victories, and inspiring tales of vengeance. GM Benjamin Bok knocked out GM Alexander Grischuk, one of the overall tournament favorites. GM Alexey Sarana also scored a key upset win against GM Vidit Gujrathi.

The legendary GM Vasyl Ivanchuk scored a decisive victory for the old guard against GM Ray Robson. GM Levon Aronian gained his revenge against GM Nikolas Theodorou. GM Wesley So went through a fierce fight to beat IM Denis Lazavik. GM Wang Hao defeated the iconic GM Peter Leko

Additionally, GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda scored the only 3-0 sweep of the day. GM Leinier Dominguez bested GM Maksim Chigaev in three rounds. 

The round of 64 continues on Monday, September 19, starting at 9 a.m. PT / 13:00 CEST.

How to watch?

A particularly thrilling new blood vs. old guard matchup occurred with Ivanchuk vs Robson. The 27-year-old American grandmaster won the first game as the players impressively duked it out in an intense mutual time scramble. You can hear sheer panic in the commentators’ voices as each players’ clock repeatedly falls to just tenths of a second. As GM Daniel Naroditsky described: “They are tempting the time gods!” 

They are tempting the time gods!
―Daniel Naroditsky

In the midst of this unimaginable level of time pressure, Robson managed to continue to make progress on the board, achieving a winning ending and then flagging his opponent. 

As if motivated by this loss, Ivanchuk struck back the very next game, winning with convincing attacking play. Despite his clock ticking down to seconds, you can see how coolly the former world number four capitializes on his winning position.

In game four, Robson found himself in a must-win position and fought valiantly but couldn’t quite get through the efforts of his seasoned competitor.

Commentator GM Robert Hess shared his thoughts about this fresh opportunity to watch Ivanchuk compete: “Ivanchuk was kind of everyone’s favorite player from my generation. He wasn’t world champion, but he was so fun to watch.”

Ivanchuk was kind of everyone’s favorite player from my generation.

―Robert Hess

After his loss at the Olympiad in August, Aronian seemed to come to this match vs. Theodorou looking for vengeance, opening game one with incredibly bold play in the center. 

He finished the game with the stunning Nxf7!, ripping opening his opponent’s kingside. 

Bok also came looking for vengance today in his match vs. Grischuk, remembering his loss at the 2019 World Cup. After four draws, their match went into an armageddon playoff. Grischuk gained an early advantage, but Bok fought back activating his pieces and surrounding his opponent’s king. 

Grischuk is one of the few players in history to have ever passed 2800 FIDE, and Bok’s victory was the biggest upset of the day. 

Another notable upset was Sarana’s defeat of Vidit in just three games. Sarana displayed tremendous fighting spirit in their final game, maintaining a time edge even as his opponent gained an advantage over the board and looking out for the opportunity to counterattack. 

Wang won the first two games against Leko, but then the 2000 world championship challenger started a comeback. He won game three and came close to reaching a playoff in the next game when Wang shut down his hopes. 

Duda achieved the only 3-0 sweep. His attacking victory in game two is our Game of the Day. 

Duda had no problem winning his match with a perfect score. I consider the young Polish GM one of the favorites to win the tournament.

Lazavik, the only IM in the field, put up an amazing fight against So, the fifth highest rated player in history. After losing game one, he came back in game two to even the match. So won the third game, putting the 16-year-old in a must-win position. Lazavik fought for 112 moves, searching for chances in every nook and cranny of the position before reaching the 50-move rule. 

Round of 64 Scoreboard

The 2022 Chess.com Global Championship (CGC) is the first Chess.com global championship cycle open to all Chess.com verified players. Players compete in official Chess.com verified events for their share of the $1,100,000 prize fund and the Chess.com Global Champion title.

Chess legends, such as GMs Viswanathan Anand, Vasyl Ivanchuk, Vladimir Kramnik, and Veselin Topalov, compete against today’s best (online) players, including GMs Hikaru Nakamura, Ding Liren, Levon Aronian, and Jan-Krzysztof Duda, and more. 

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