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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 1; 9 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. V S Gujrathi vs S Shankland 1-0322020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)E46 Nimzo-Indian
2. Vitiugov vs D Anton Guijarro 1-0442020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)B31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
3. A Firouzja vs Harikrishna 1-0402020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)C78 Ruy Lopez
4. V S Gujrathi vs M Ragger 1-0462020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)D85 Grunfeld
5. Navara vs N Grandelius 1-0552020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)A33 English, Symmetrical
6. V S Gujrathi vs A Firouzja 1-0242020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)D13 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation
7. S Shankland vs N Grandelius 1-0452020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)D86 Grunfeld, Exchange
8. S Shankland vs Vitiugov 1-0552020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)A10 English
9. J K Duda vs V S Gujrathi 1-0342020Prague Chess Festival (Masters)D38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-19-20  LameJokes:

<Gypsy> <Or, it could be that it is 7x harder to amuse chess-players than it is to puzzle them>

Yeah. I thought I’d assume ID ‘LameJokes’ and put a smiley at the end to make it funny. It’s much more difficult than that. One of these days, I gonna crack a good one though.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pedro Fernandez: Surprise is not Firouzja defeating Duda, what really surprised me was the deep understanding that Firouzja had of the position throughout an extraordinarily complex game. The early domain of the black bishop of dark squares of the diagonal b8-h2 also caught my attention, since it is no common in this type of aperture. Without a doubt, a brilliant game of the GM boy, a game where the maturity of a Petrosian is required.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Yes, a fine game, <Pedro>, but I have to wonder why Duda allowed the e-pawn to progress and paralyze his position, dividing it in two halves which were equally difficult to defend. The simple 7.d4 instead of Qc2 would have prevented it. As I see it Duda made an early wrong positional decision and Firouzja exploited it brilliantly. Funny you mention Petrosian - I rather saw the ghost of Spassky in his heydays! :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: < LameJokes: ... One of these days, I gonna crack a good one though. >

For whatever it is worth, I, for one, really appreciate you trying!

Feb-20-20  LameJokes: Thanks <Gypsy >.
Feb-20-20  LameJokes:

With young kids entering the circuit and making their marks, chess fans are excited. These young entrants won legion of fans. They are comparing them with past greats.

I am no different. Firouzja reminds me of Matt Damon. Just like him, he can knock whole army down all by himself (Jason Bourne).

And Duda reminds me of Nicolas Cage. He hunts trophies the way Cage pursues national treasure.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pedro Fernandez: Vidit's defeat has complicated Prague at maximum. Until six (6) players could be tie with five (5) points (probability occurring this is a roughly 1 in 4,000). They are:

1.-Navara 2.-Duda 3.-Vidit 4.-Shankland or Vitiugov 5.-Anton 6.-Firouzja

Pairings for the last Rnd.(9) are:

GM Navara (4) vs GM Harikrishna (3˝)

GM Duda, J. (4) vs GM Vidit, S. G. (5)

GM Shankland, S.(4) vs GM Vitiugov, N. (4˝)

GM Anton Guijar. (4˝) vs GM Firouzja, A. (4˝)

The fact that there are up to six (6) candidates to win, is already an extraordinary coincidence. Vidit lost the 8th Rnd., but if he wins the nineth one, he will be the winner.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: Yes, very good tournament, with chances for 70% of the participants to have a winning chance entering the final round.

At the least, it eliminates quick draws on final day mostly, unless a couple of them "are like whatever"! As the games go on, players need to look at how others are doing as well and take some risks in their games to win the top Cash prize.

Certainly, there should be more than a couple of them who wants to give their all to get to the top.

Then, not sure if a tie breaker would be played in case of more than one top place finish. Today could be an exhausting day.

Feb-21-20  spazzky: Duda-Firoujza was a thriller, this younger generation is putting the pedal to the floor and throwing out the steering wheel!
Premium Chessgames Member
  paavoh: Guijarro - Firouzja is a complex game (@44). If they draw, there is a five-way tie at the top with 5/9 :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Tiebreak Vidit-Firouzja 19.20
Feb-21-20  fisayo123: Firouzja wins the tiebreak and wins it all!!

Youngest supertournament winner ever most likely. Where you at <chanco>?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Pedro Fernandez: Congratulations to GM Alirezza Firouzja!

PS. And to <iking> too!

Feb-21-20  fisayo123: < Like I said previously, the kid is good. No denying his talent.
But let's wait and see how his career develops down the line in terms of tournament wins over the elite before we toss the baton and howler Halleluyah! Some players when they make their mark on the chess scene are like an earthquake that keel over the entire landscape. Example: Kasparov's win in 1979 at Banja Luka. Unrated and besting a field of 16 grandmasters.>

Ahem...... :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Well, <luck> played a huge role. 😂😂😂

Vidit blowing his won game to Navara, then losing today to Duda.

David Anton Guijarro doing the same in a game he was winning over Firouzja.

That opened the door for the kid.

Still, well deserved, and hopefully the first of many successes for Alireza.

Feb-21-20  fisayo123: <chanco> Luck always plays a huge role man 😄.

Let's not forget Firouzja was totally crushing Vitiugov in great style but bungled it in one move in time trouble.

Its not about what could've / should've happened in the event. It's all about how you finish at the end.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: Winning Prague is good for Firouzja, but he did get lucky in that tournament.

Duda ranked 16, Vituigov ranked 26, Vidit ranked 23, Navara ranked 28, Harikrishna ranked 29, Guijarro ranked 35?

Shankland, Grandelius, and Markus don't even appear in the 2700 Live 37 top players rating list.

When I meant seeing him winning a <super tournament,> I meant over players like Carlsen, Caruana, So, Giri, Aronian, Nepo, Vachier Lagrave, Grischuk, etc.

Still, a great result for a 16 year old.

Feb-21-20  fisayo123: The average rating of the tournament is above 2700+. That's just how it is. All the players in the field, except Grandelius, are or have been super-GMs.

<When I meant seeing him winning a <super tournament,> I meant over players like Carlsen, Caruana, So, Giri, Aronian, Nepo, Vachier Lagrave, Grischuk, etc>

Nowadays with so many events, you're not going to have tournaments with those players all the time (thankfully). Besides, no 16 year old is going to win with those players in a field. Kasparov won Banja Luka but it was nowhere near that potential field you listed. Carlsen came 2nd in Linares but couldn't win. Firouzja was leading TATA Steel but fumbled at the last hurdle.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: wait til Ali Firo flexes his muscles against the big boys..

time will come.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <Besides, no 16 year old is going to win with those players in a field>

Exactly. He's a promising young player, but not yet a serious contender, that's still years away.

<Kasparov won Banja Luka but it was nowhere near that potential field you listed>

Former World Champion Petrosian, Ulf Andersson, Andras Adorjan, and Jan Smejkal were elite players and the rest of that field as far as I'm concerned are probably comparable to players like Ragger, Shankland, and Grandelius.

Feb-21-20  fisayo123: < and the rest of that field as far as I'm concerned are probably comparable to players like Ragger, Shankland, and Grandelius.>

Where they though?

Most of the field are a bunch of decent GM's which will just be 2500's/low 2600's of today if I'm being generous.

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: That's true.

Technique has improved immensely and accessibility to computer software has helped many players to improve on their technique.

Even the patzer's of today would give the patzer's of yesteryear a run for their money.


Feb-21-20  torrefan: Alireza won this
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pedro Fernandez: Hi my great <Sokrates>. I apologize as I forgot reply you about Duda-Firouzja game. Your claiming is absolutely correct. Even after 4...e6,

click for larger view

the precise move was 5.d4. So white playing 5.b3?! allowed black to play that move which payed my attention: 5...Bd6!?. If White had played 5.d4, Black's move 5...Bd6!? would not have been so effective since White could play, for instance, 6.Ne5!? With good game.

click for larger view

Moreover, after 5...Bd6, white had a couple of more opportunities to play 'd4' including the yours one 7.d4

click for larger view

with a good game for white. Greetings my friend!

Feb-21-20  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!?

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