Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Prague Chess Festival (Masters) Tournament

Alireza Firouzja5/9(+2 -1 =6)[games]
Vidit Santosh Gujrathi5/9(+3 -2 =4)[games]
Jan-Krzysztof Duda5/9(+2 -1 =6)[games]
David Anton Guijarro5/9(+2 -1 =6)[games]
Samuel Shankland5/9(+2 -1 =6)[games]
Nikita Vitiugov4.5/9(+1 -1 =7)[games]
Pentala Harikrishna4.5/9(+1 -1 =7)[games]
Markus Ragger4/9(+0 -1 =8)[games]
David Navara4/9(+2 -3 =4)[games]
Nils Grandelius3/9(+0 -3 =6)[games]
* Chess Event Description
Prague Chess Festival (Masters) (2020)

The Masters section of the 2nd Prague International Chess Festival took place from 12-21 February 2020 in the 4-star Don Giovanni Hotel Prague, Prague, Czech Republic. Rest day: 17 February. The 10-player round robin was headed by Duda, Vitiugov, and Firouzja (replacing Wei Yi who was forced to cancel due to the coronavirus travel ban). Rating average: 2717 (Category XIX). The players received 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move, starting from move one. No draw offers were allowed before move 30. In case of a tie for first place, there was to be a playoff (2 games of 5 3 blitz + Armageddon if necessary) between the top two players, as determined by the tied players' 1) Mutual result(s), 2) S-B scores, 3) Number of games with Black, and 4) Drawing of lots. Tournament director: Petr Boleslav. Chief arbiter: Pavel Votruba.

Alireza Firouzja clinched his first supertournament victory by defeating Vidit in both blitz games of the Prague Chess Festival (Masters) (Tiebreaks) (2020).

Rlo 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 Firouzja 2726 * 0 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ 5 2 Vidit 2721 1 * 0 ˝ 1 ˝ ˝ 1 0 ˝ 5 3 Duda 2755 0 1 * ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 ˝ 5 4 Anton 2697 ˝ ˝ ˝ * ˝ 0 ˝ ˝ 1 1 5 5 Shankland 2683 ˝ 0 ˝ ˝ * 1 ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 5 6 Vitiugov 2731 ˝ ˝ ˝ 1 0 * ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ 4˝ 7 Harikrishna 2713 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ * ˝ 1 ˝ 4˝ 8 Ragger 2670 ˝ 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ ˝ * ˝ ˝ 4 9 Navara 2717 ˝ 1 0 0 ˝ ˝ 0 ˝ * 1 4 10 Grandelius 2659 ˝ ˝ ˝ 0 0 ˝ ˝ ˝ 0 * 3

Official site:

Previous: Prague Chess Festival (Masters) (2019). See also: Prague Chess Festival (Challengers) (2020)

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Vitiugov vs D Anton Guijarro 1-0442020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)B31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
2. A Firouzja vs M Ragger  ½-½442020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)C78 Ruy Lopez
3. N Grandelius vs Harikrishna  ½-½362020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)B47 Sicilian, Taimanov (Bastrikov) Variation
4. Navara vs Duda 0-1362020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
5. V S Gujrathi vs S Shankland 1-0322020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)E46 Nimzo-Indian
6. Harikrishna vs Duda  ½-½312020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)E00 Queen's Pawn Game
7. D Anton Guijarro vs V S Gujrathi  ½-½492020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)D38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
8. N Grandelius vs A Firouzja ½-½802020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)C67 Ruy Lopez
9. S Shankland vs Navara  ½-½382020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)E06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
10. M Ragger vs Vitiugov  ½-½362020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)C11 French
11. V S Gujrathi vs M Ragger 1-0462020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)D85 Grunfeld
12. Vitiugov vs N Grandelius  ½-½392020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)A48 King's Indian
13. Duda vs S Shankland ½-½422020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
14. Navara vs D Anton Guijarro 0-1412020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)D35 Queen's Gambit Declined
15. A Firouzja vs Harikrishna 1-0402020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)C78 Ruy Lopez
16. M Ragger vs Navara  ½-½602020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)C50 Giuoco Piano
17. Harikrishna vs S Shankland  ½-½482020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
18. A Firouzja vs Vitiugov ½-½452020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)C78 Ruy Lopez
19. D Anton Guijarro vs Duda  ½-½302020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)A15 English
20. N Grandelius vs V S Gujrathi  ½-½352020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)C65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
21. V S Gujrathi vs A Firouzja 1-0242020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)D13 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation
22. Duda vs M Ragger  ½-½302020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)C68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
23. Vitiugov vs Harikrishna  ½-½592020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)D02 Queen's Pawn Game
24. Navara vs N Grandelius 1-0552020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)A33 English, Symmetrical
25. S Shankland vs D Anton Guijarro  ½-½482020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)A45 Queen's Pawn Game
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-22-20  LameJokes:

Congrats Firouzja for winning the event at young age.

It was good event with many interesting games. The combative mood of participants made this worth a watch.

Gujrathi blew up a winning position against Navara with 33.b3. He could keep his rooks on seventh rank in menacing position. I don’t think, the calculation was difficult for a GM to handle. Hard luck Vidit.

Feb-22-20  Pedro Fernandez: <Note to <fisayo123>>

<<Pedro Fernandez> White's idea not playing 5. d4 is very deliberate. He doesn't want to play a Semi-Slav. These ideas like 5. b3 are very common in modern chess. The real issue was 8. Be2?! which Duda had already played before in a blitz game and he probably didn't look at it again after that.

Also 5...Bd6 is just a standard move after 5. d4. I don't know about the immediate 6. Ne5!?>

Hey <fisayo>,

As <Sokrates> said, after 6...0-0

click for larger view

7.Qc2 was inapropriate, it was necessary 7.d4 and, of course, your comment about 8.Be2?!, after 7...e5!,

click for larger view

threatening 8...e4, is also totally correct!
Paradogically SF does mention 8.Be2 (if your computer is fast and wait a few minutes) as a playable move (?). The idea is to clear 'd2' square for the f3-knight, which is possible by playing 8.d4 or 8.d3 as well. There is also a third playable alternative which is 8.cxd5!?

click for larger view

8...cxd5 (8...e4?? 1-0) 9.Nb5 Nc6 10.Nxd6 Qxd6, etc.,

click for larger view

and the game is fine for both sides. Sometimes silicone is indigestible! Greetings my great friend!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: <morfishine: Talk about a viciously contested tournament; 5 points was the max scored and 5 players reached that total>

Yes, 5 players were equal winners but as you have noticed, there was one who was more equal than the others. :-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: I know tie-break methods date back to the 19th century, but isn't it only in the last couple of decades that there's been a push to determine separate placings? It used to be common to see <=1st> etc. I'm sure Shankland would rather that than be sole <5th>.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <Talk about a viciously contested tournament; 5 points was the max scored and 5 players reached that total>

By that logic, if every game in the tournament was drawn, so everyone finished equal first, it would have been an absolute bloodbath.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Kurakotsaba: We just witnessed an EPIC COLLAPSE by Mr. Gujarathi. Oh boy, talking about STEEL OF NERVES...and where else you can draw strength from and dig yourself out of that funk? TATA STEEL of India, Mr Gujathi...Tata Steel forged.
Feb-23-20  jith1207: <tie-break methods date back to the 19th century, but isn't it only in the last couple of decades that there's been a push to determine separate placings? It used to be common to see <=1st>>

Did they just share top prize money earlier in case of shared first?

Do the players not want to share now, which might dilute the top cash?

Bear with me, I'm trying to see if there's an angle of reasoning along the prize money.

Feb-23-20  jith1207: I just realize Vidit finished second last year as well in Prague, losing by 0.5 point.

But he defeated Navara in last round to get there.

This year, he lost to Navara to collapse, when a draw would have been suffice to win it all.

Feb-23-20  jith1207: Last year as well, 4 players finished with 5 points at second place.

But there was a sole first place finish, and 5.5 points was just enough to win it all then too.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <jith1207>
Yes, they just shared top prize money earlier in case of shared first.

I think the issue is that chess has become more of a big-money thing, and organizers are trying to figure out how to make it more exciting for spectators and thus justify the sponsorship. That is also the reason for the greater prominence of speed chess, in my opinion.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: <beatgiant> <...That is also the reason for the greater prominence of speed chess, in my opinion.> Also in mine. The organisers and sponsors desperately try to convey formats that lead to exciting, entertaining games. Why should they waste time and money on over-cautious GM's who want to maintain their ratings, get a starting fee and harvest decent price money to play one draw after the other?

It should wonder no one that sponsors will be still more reluctant to invest their good money in projects of little value to spectators and the public. As said many times before: pro chess at high levels is in a field of tough competition with other needing games and sports.

What was good enough in the 20th century may not suffice in 2020. If classical chess leads to tournaments with 80 % draw rates, it is classical chess that has to renew itself. Fortunately, we still have classical tournaments of high entertaining value, but each tournament with "drawmasters" decreases the attractivity of the game towards sponsors and organisers. The logic is terrifyingly simple.

Feb-23-20  jith1207: Thanks, <beatgiant> and <Sokrates>.

One main difference I see in getting sponsorship for other sports and Chess is that, when strong teams or players compete against each other in other sports, the game is expected to be played competitive and entertaining for spectators, which gives sponsors the desire to fund. It's true even in local high school games, if the rivalry is historically great or some players are famous statewide or nationwide.

But, in Chess, when the strongest players meet, even a competitive game is only appealing to educated audience. If it's a dull game without anyone taking risks which it seems to be for the majority of time, the product is not understandably attractive to sponsors.

I don't think Chess could really have a great revolution in fanbase. It's going to be the same, there will be enough supporters who would watch elite and Open tournaments and the best we could do is to make online streaming more accessible to audience via YouTube or other services, where they could try to get advertisement revenue throughout the stream.

Feb-25-20  MordimerChess: Just in case if someone is interested of Prague Festival Masters commentary:

Only 6 videos because I was disrupted by Cairns Cup :D I have no idea how I managed to record 22 videos of Tata Steel tournament, lol

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: <jith1207> And in return thanks to you for your thoughtful musings. The development of chess in the 21st century is very very difficult to predict.

But it is a fact that much has changed already - the quicker formats have indisputably gained grounds, but it's also true that the classical format still is recognized as THE benchmark.

Things evolve rapidly at this day and age. As Hannes Wader once sang: "Denn nichts bleibt wie es war" (Cause nothing remains what it was).

Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <Things evolve rapidly at this day and age. As Hannes Wader once sang: "Denn nichts bleibt wie es war" (Cause nothing remains what it was).>

So we shall go to the Museum of Art,with an empty canvas and a titel that says :"Ceci,cést une Pibe"...…;)

Feb-26-20  jith1207: If I were the museum director, I'd give an empty money case back in return, saying < "Denn nichts bleibt wie es war" (Cause nothing remains what it was).>
Feb-27-20  iking: "Alireza, who had recently moved to France with his parents and now playing under the "neutral" FIDE flag." .. nice to know that.
Feb-28-20  oxoginkaput: Just how recently he moved out of Iran? On the onset of this covid19 virus outbreak in that country? Or did he left for some other reasons?

Obviously, yes obviously - some people are gloating and cheering on when an individual or some personalities turned their backs on their MOTHERLAND and play for somewhere else.

Without going on any further, it is quite easy to understand that poster's glee on Alireza's leaving his motherland Iran - there is a precedent as his MESSIAH jumping off ship to American federation - from his native Philippine federation.

Cheer on Iking, cheer on....tsk, tsk, tsk,

Feb-28-20  torrefan: Well at least Alireza didn't replace his parents with new ones
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <oxoginkaput>
He stopped playing for Iran in December 2019 because the Iranian government pressures its athletes, including chess players, to boycott Israeli competitors on an individual basis.

For example, Firouzja had to forfeit a game against an Israeli player in Grenke Open 2019.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: <torrefan: Well at least Alireza didn't replace his parents with new ones> Parents are not always what they should be. Most of them are, fortunately, but there are a few horrifying exceptions, and in those cases, the children are better off without them. I have seen it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <Sokrates>
Something similar could be said about motherlands, but this probably isn't the right page for it.
Mar-03-20  oxoginkaput: The proper and appropriate FORUM discussing motherlands, mothers and fathers, surrogate mother is the Wesley So Page thread.

Those WSFFCI fanatics slash fan-antics will welcome you gladly with your pro-So posts comments.

Anything you post critical of the Wesso KID and you are persona non grata, banned and banished, out and looking in...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: <beatgiant: <Sokrates> Something similar could be said about motherlands, but this probably isn't the right page for it.> Yes and yes! :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: <oxoginkaput> Wow, that was an unexpected twist of my words about parenthood in general, but by all means, don't hold back.
Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 5)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific tournament only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!

Copyright 2001-2021, Chessgames Services LLC