GM Joel’s Chess Week Recap - Episode 78
Opening: A30, D02, C65, C78, A11:
Player(s): So, Vachier-Lagrave, Caruana, Grischuk, Kramnik, Yu, Svidler, Harikrishna, Navara
If it seemed that Leuven was a bit close to Norway, Paris came right on the heels of Leuven. Another rapid and blitz tournament with the usual suspects. And once again, Wesley So came out strong in the rapid portion and seemed poised to come out the overall winner again. But Hikaru Nakamura, who had tied for second in the rapid play, won the blitz portion and took first overall. Sergey Karjakin faded towards the end of the blitz and came second, with So in third place overall.
The Cez Trophy pits local hero David Navara against a visiting star grandmaster in a 12-game rapid match. This year, Ding Liren had to cancel after his bike accident in Norway, but Pentala Harikrishna filled in and was able to win the match 7-5 by taking the last three games.
China likes to organize matches for their home players as well. Yu Yangyi took on Peter Svidler in Shenzhen. Yu won the first game but Svidler stormed back with five wins in a row to win the rapid portion, 6-2. Yu won the blitz portion handily himself, but since the rapid games counted double, as seems to be the standard nowadays, Svidler won the overall match by a comfortable margin.