Nakamura Neutralizes Dominguez, Andreikin Upsets Caruana

Nakamura Neutralizes Dominguez, Andreikin Upsets Caruana


The 2022 Global Championship presented by Brave continued on Monday with round of 16 matchups between GMs Hikaru Nakamura and Leinier Dominguez Perez, as well as GMs Fabiano Caruana and Dmitry Andreikin.

Nakamura controlled his match from start to finish and won 2.5-1.5 after conquering Dominguez in the first game and following up with three solid draws to ensure his place in the quarterfinals.

Caruana was stunned by Andreikin and lost his match 0.5-2.5. Andreikin’s heroics have earned him a quarterfinal berth against another U.S. hopeful, GM Wesley So.

The round of 16 continues on Wednesday, October 5, starting at 9 a.m. PT / 18:00 CET, and will feature GMs Anish Giri, Pavel Ponkratov, Jan-Krzysztof Duda, and Alexey Sarana.

Getting off to a flying start against Dominguez, tournament favorite Nakamura opted for a curious variation of the Queen’s Gambit Accepted where he left a knight en prise in the opening for seven moves!

This game has been selected as our Game of the Day, analyzed below.

Off the back of a first-game win, Nakamura tightened the screws during the next three games and gave Dominguez little chance to bounce back. A sliver of hope appeared for the Cuban-born GM when Nakamura blundered out of the opening in the third game with 8.Nd2, but the mistake went unpunished, and Nakamura again stabilized and drew.

Needing to win on demand in the final game, Dominguez was unable to puncture Nakamura’s defenses and eventually found himself in trouble in the resulting rook endgame after going astray.

Content with a draw, Nakamura simplified the position, booked his quarterfinal spot in Toronto, and announced a celebratory stream soon afterward. Nakamura’s path to the championship will see him face the winner of the Duda-Sarana fixture followed by a potential semifinal against So or Andreikin.

Although 78 percent of predictions for this match favor Caruana over Andreikin, Monday’s second matchup between these two rapid chess titans was impossible to split on paper. Caruana looked set to assert dominance in the match early but was stifled by Andreikin after the American got greedy in a winning rook and pawn endgame.

In a cruel twist, Caruana’s luck went from bad to worse as he succumbed to a blind spot on move 60 in the second game. The blunder left Caruana in a hopeless position and put significant pressure on the match favorite to win one of the next two games.

Andreikin shut the gate in game three, choosing to block the entire board to force Caruana’s hand. The strategy was not only successful in neutralizing Caruana, but as the position opened up it became apparent that Andreikin was winning.

Andreikin’s victory assures him a match against So in the quarterfinals and a potential clash with Nakamura in the semifinals should he progress again.

While Nakamura and Andreikin have advanced to compete in Toronto for the $200,000 first prize, Dominguez and Caruana both receive $15,000 for their efforts throughout the event.

Round of 16 Scoreboard

Round of 16 Bracket

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