Maxime stuns Magnus

LET’S PLAY CHESS - Edgar De Castro (The Philippine Star) - December 12, 2020 - 9:00pm

The Danzhou Online GM Invitational held last week was another strong tournament in the year’s last quarter.

Eight super GMs were on hand in the Cat. 21, double-round robin competition.

Richard Rapport, the young Hungarian hope, snatched first place with an impressive 9.0 out of 14 on four wins, 10 draws, no-loss record.

At present, Rapport is Magyar’s top chess talent, and before long he is expected to get involved in the world championship cycle. In the FIDE rating list, he is ranked 13th and Rapport is only 24.

China’s world No. 3, Ding Liren, came in second, half-a-point behind, followed by Russian Alexander Grischuk and Dutchman Anish Giri, who shared 3rd-4th with 7.5 points apiece.

The rest of the field finished in the following order – fifth Wei Yi (China) sixth Yu Yangi (China) and seventh Wang Hao (China).

Former world champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria was not fortunate as he wound up eighth in the table.

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Meanwhile, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France upset world champion Magnus Carlsen to reach the $100,000 Online Speed Chess Championship finals.

The 30-year-old Frenchman exploited Carlsen’s opening play woes en route to a 13-11 dismantling of the Norwegian, who lost nine games with the Black pieces.

MVL will meet American Hikaru Nakamura in the finals. The defending champion advanced after fending off compatriot Wesley So, 13.5-12.5, in the other semifinal match up.

The title match begins today and  can be viewed live with commentaries at chess.com and various websites.

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