FIDE Grand Prix 2022: Aronian and Nakamura build scores SF1 victories.

FIDE Grand Prix 2022: Levon Aronian.

FIDE Grand Prix 2022, Berlin: Playing with the white pieces both Hikaru Nakamura and Levon Aronian took down Richard Rapport and Leinier Dominguez respectively to lead the semifinals.

Aronian-Dominguez: The Armenian was well prepared against Leininer’s Queen’s Gambit Accepted variation and took him into a deep and sharp position which was chaotic for Dominguez to handle.

Levon Aronian after the game: “You can never guarantee that you will get a certain position on the board, but since Leinier employs this opening which I think is very interesting for Black, I thought that there is a probability that this might happen. I prepared a little bit; I cannot say my knowledge is [a lot] about this position. I knew that it’s playable, it’s interesting, and it’s a difficult position for humans to play.”

Leinier Dominguez.
Leinier Dominguez.

Dominguez after the game: “It is a very, very difficult position to play in practice. I was thinking of different possibilities, but I probably took too much time… Difficult game—I felt I had some interesting chances, [but] the way I played [was] just not good.”

Vishwanath Anand was a guest commentator for, said that playing this kind of position a lot of players of 100-150 years back would have fainted. This is new computer stuff and it helps you test your limit in these positions.

Nakamura-Rapport: The game started with d4. and Rapport replied with Indian game. However, it got transformed into Queen’s Gambit declined exchange variation.

It was a good game until they reach the middlegame where Hikaru Nakamura came with sequence moves after immense calculation which Rapport failed to reply accurately.

standings after the first day of the semifinals in FIDE Grand Prix 2022.
standings after the first day of the semifinals in FIDE Grand Prix 2022.

Although, Hikaru had a slight positional advantage Rapport still had chances to draw in the endgame. However, the Hungarian could not have hoped for much worse than this play from him as he failed to make it count.

Hikaru Nakamura after the match: “…playing classical [chess] seemed very boring! Maybe I have to move a bit slower. I vaguely recall when studying with Garry I saw some positions along these lines, but that’s about it. If I am playing like Garry that’s definitely a good thing!”

Richard Rapport after the game: “I felt it was kind of bad luck, but I know there is no luck in chess.”

FIDE Grand Prix 2022, Semifinals 1 recap.

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