In the women section, IM Bibisara Assaubayeva clinched the title with an amazing winning streak collecting 14/17 points. The Women’s rapid champion finished in second place. While Polina Shuvalova took the third spot.
An unfortunate thing took place as three players were tested COVID-19 positive. One of them was Hikaru Nakamura, the fan favorite. after which, the tournament was delayed an hour because all players took the test before the round.
The leader after the first day, Levon Aronian, started the day with a win over Amin Bassem. The games against Arjun Erigaisi and Ian Nepomniachtchi were drawn and he also then defeated Anish Giri in the 16th rook.
However, Giri was the one to give Magnus Carlsen his fourth loss of the event. The World Chess Champion threatened an attack on move 41 but Giri ignores it completely to take the dub in the end.
Magnus Carlsen had a terrible day as after a defeat against Giri he lost two more games. It was Grischuk in the very next round and then against MVL in the final round of the tournament.
Starting with full confidence, Levon Aronian had a turnaround against the champion. He was winning in pretty much every move but a blunder on the 54th move cost him the game. After this game, Aronian lost his footing and lost two more games.
Another player had a turned fortune but in his favor. Daniil Dubov defeated Duda in round 18 following a blunder on the 29th move. Duda immediately resigned and didn’t make his next move.
The Russian took the tournament lead ahead of Aronian with 13/17 and then drew his game against MVL. But unfortunately, he faced a defeat to Alireza Firoujza. The Iranian was a beast after that win winning five games in a row.
There were six players tied with 14/20 going into the last round, and all six of them had chances to win the championship! They were Aronian, Dubov, Artemiev, Duda, Vachier-Lagrave, and Firouzja. Just behind, by the way, was Carlsen, with 13.5!
The final round was important and everybody was fighting hard. Daniil Dubov played a draw with Giri who had 13 points. Meanwhile, Duda beat Artemiev, Aronian was handed a defeat by Firoujza, MVL had the toughest matchup against Magnus Carlsen which he converted.
It was a situation similar to rapid results and Magnus and Caruana were tied for first but couldn’t play the playoff. Here, it was Firoujza who was the third one and couldn’t play the playoffs.
The Polish and French grandmasters were to play blitz games with the standard time control of 3+2. According to the tiebreak regulations, if the first two games ended in an even score, they would continue playing blitz games (ad infinitum) until one win.
The first game was a Ruy Lopez. Duda after fighting a tough middle game defused the attack into a drawn rook endgame. The second game was a Queen’s Gambit Accepted and it was a draw.
In the third and decisive game, which started as another Ruy Lopez, MVL achieved a “bone-in-the-throat” bishop on c6 that paralyzed the black position, preventing the activation of both black rooks. Even despite the trade of queens, Black was never able to wriggle out.