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🏆 Clutch Champions Showdown (2020)

  PARTICIPANTS (sorted by highest achieved rating; click on name to see player's games)
Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So, Hikaru Nakamura, Leinier Dominguez Perez

Chessgames.com Chess Event Description
Clutch Champions Showdown (2020)

The top four American chess superstars were set to battle online from Tuesday, May 26 - Friday, May 29, 2020, in a brand new knockout format called Clutch Chess, created by Grandmaster Maurice Ashley, commentator, author, and chess innovator. Venue: https://lichess.org/. With $100K in prize money up for grabs, the competitors would prove their mettle under mounting pressure as the tension built towards the end of each match. The format promised to keep fans glued to their screens by making it impossible for any match to lose steam - even if a player took a big lead. It began with two semifinal matches of twelve games played over two days, with the winners advancing to the final. Games 1-4 and 7-10 of the matches were scored using the traditional method of 1 point for a win and half a point for a draw (1 ½ 0). Games 5 and 6 were scored using 2 1 0, and games 11 and 12 were scored using 3 1½ 0. These four "clutch games" were also worth extra points and bonus prize money for a decisive result. The new scoring system meant that a match wasn’t over until the very end; with six points available in the last two games, anything could happen. Time control: 10 minutes plus 5 seconds a move. Organizer: Saint Louis Chess Club. Nakamura and So were playing in the Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge (2020) in parallel.

Semifinals, May 26-27 Final, May 28-29

So ½ ½ ½ 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 1½ 1½ 9½ Nakamura ½ ½ ½ 0 1 2 0 0 0 1 1½ 1½ 8½ So ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 2 0 0 ½ 1 3 0 9 Caruana ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 0 1 1 ½ 0 0 3 9 Caruana ½ 1 1 1 1 2 ½ 1 0 1 3 3 15 Dominguez ½ 0 0 0 1 0 ½ 0 1 0 0 0 3

Wesley So beat Caruana on tiebreak (number of clutch game wins) in the final. The players were not aware of the tiebreak rules, so the last game could have been skipped.

Official site: https://uschesschamps.com/2020-clut...
Chess.com: https://www.chess.com/news/view/wes...
ChessBase: https://en.chessbase.com/post/a-new...
Chess24: https://chess24.com/en/watch/live-t...
TWIC: https://theweekinchess.com/chessnew...

The event was considered successful enough for the Clutch International (2020) to follow next.

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 36  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Nakamura vs W So  ½-½482020Clutch Champions ShowdownD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
2. Nakamura vs W So  ½-½582020Clutch Champions ShowdownD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
3. W So vs Nakamura 1-0382020Clutch Champions ShowdownE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
4. Nakamura vs W So  ½-½922020Clutch Champions ShowdownD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
5. L Dominguez vs Caruana  0-1592020Clutch Champions ShowdownC78 Ruy Lopez
6. Caruana vs L Dominguez 1-0572020Clutch Champions ShowdownA08 King's Indian Attack
7. L Dominguez vs Caruana  ½-½1042020Clutch Champions ShowdownC67 Ruy Lopez
8. L Dominguez vs Caruana  ½-½762020Clutch Champions ShowdownC78 Ruy Lopez
9. Caruana vs L Dominguez 1-0542020Clutch Champions ShowdownE54 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System
10. W So vs Nakamura 0-1282020Clutch Champions ShowdownB41 Sicilian, Kan
11. W So vs Nakamura  ½-½652020Clutch Champions ShowdownE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
12. Caruana vs L Dominguez 1-0562020Clutch Champions ShowdownE54 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System
13. Caruana vs L Dominguez  0-1762020Clutch Champions ShowdownA08 King's Indian Attack
14. W So vs Nakamura 1-0402020Clutch Champions ShowdownC67 Ruy Lopez
15. Nakamura vs W So  1-0212020Clutch Champions ShowdownD85 Grunfeld
16. W So vs Nakamura  ½-½592020Clutch Champions ShowdownA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
17. L Dominguez vs Caruana  0-1632020Clutch Champions ShowdownC67 Ruy Lopez
18. Caruana vs L Dominguez  1-0612020Clutch Champions ShowdownE54 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System
19. W So vs Nakamura 1-0242020Clutch Champions ShowdownD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
20. Caruana vs L Dominguez  ½-½702020Clutch Champions ShowdownE54 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Gligoric System
21. Nakamura vs W So 0-1232020Clutch Champions ShowdownA28 English
22. L Dominguez vs Caruana  0-1612020Clutch Champions ShowdownC67 Ruy Lopez
23. Nakamura vs W So  ½-½492020Clutch Champions ShowdownE10 Queen's Pawn Game
24. L Dominguez vs Caruana 0-1472020Clutch Champions ShowdownC11 French
25. W So vs Caruana  ½-½362020Clutch Champions ShowdownD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 36  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
May-27-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  Annie K.: Chess innovations, 2020: why play only in one major event at a time?

First, it was Grischuk playing both in FIDE Online Steinitz Memorial (2020) and Chessbrah May Invitational (2020) at the same time. Now both Nakamura and So decided to try this multitasking thing as well, playing here and in the Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge (2020) in parallel.

Of course, both are Rapid events rather than 5-hours-or-over Classical sessions, so they may get away with it. :)

May-27-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: <... created by Grandmaster Maurice Ashley, commentator, author, and chess innovator.>

They forgot to add: circus event maker. The point is: non-chess-related factors (size of points giving) should triumph the normal, simple account of game results, just to keep up "tension" in the event.

If I have understood this correctly you could win this with what would be counted as a lesser result by normal points giving.

May-27-20  SirChrislov: Hey I want to create extra drama too with online tournaments during quarantine...

it's called SirChrislov's <Tijuana'than Anand!> Online Rapid!

third place receives fine cocktail glassware and a vintage Patrón tequila bottle with a Bollywood movie signed by Priyanka Chopra!

2nd place - A wild night with hotties and vodka with Scotty Pippen & Kim Jong-un!! (true story BTW)

1st- A sleepover at the house of the Tiger from Madras with bedtime stories told by Aruna Anand, and endless hours of Vishy's childhood recordings on VHS!!

May-27-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Nakamura playing 2 tournaments simultaniously ?!

Sounds a bit artificial to me.

May-27-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: <<Tijuana'than Anand!>> Nice
May-27-20  SChesshevsky: Was a tournament in China awhile back called Basque chess. Where players played their opponent two games at the same time. One as white, one as black.

That might be interesting online. Not sure if it would increase or decrease the chances of decisive results?

May-27-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <Was a tournament in China awhile back called Basque chess. Where players played their opponent two games at the same time. >

Can't a player get two draws or a win and a loss if he wants in this format?

Just repeat the opponent's moves in the opposite game.

May-27-20  SChesshevsky: <...Just repeat the opponent's moves...> Certainly seems possible. Guess the only thing stopping it is professional pride and the ridicule of fellow chess players. Which would be substantial.
May-27-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Or maybe obligatory move order between the two.
May-27-20  SChesshevsky: < Or maybe obligatory move order between the two.>

Yeah, now wondering if there is something official that stops copying? Hopefully we might see a test run in this time of creative online chess formats.

May-27-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: Sure. Each player makes opening move. Then they make the first move as black in the same order, not letting player 2 see player 1's first move as black.

Then the second player could change the games if he wanted.

May-28-20  siamesedream: < Caruana and So move on to the finals>

https://en.chessbase.com/post/clutc...

May-29-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: thursday match ended with 2.5-2.5 score.

deciding match today friday.

go Fab!

May-30-20  SirChrislov: CONGRATULATIONS Wesley So for winning the 1st United States Clutch Chess Champions Showdown

Wesley So plays Magnus Carlsen in round 1 of the next Clutch Chess tournament starting June 6.

file:///storage/emulated/0/Download/WEsley-So-gr- and-chess-tour.webp Nice picture - does he play from a church? how neat. so peaceful.

May-31-20  siamesedream: Congrats to GM Wesley So:

https://en.chessbase.com/post/clutc...

Jun-04-20  ajile: <moronovich: Nakamura playing 2 tournaments simultaniously ?! Sounds a bit artificial to me.>

Make hay while the sun shines baby!

Jun-04-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: <Make hay while the sun shines baby!>

Nice one <ajile> !

But perhaps his hay days are behind him !?...

Jun-04-20  ajile: <moronovich: <Make hay while the sun shines baby!> Nice one <ajile> !

But perhaps his hay days are behind him !?...>

He's still pretty young though for chess IMO. Being bored easily he sometimes takes chances which makes his results uneven. Overall I like watching his games more than other players who play the same boring openings over and over and over.

Jun-04-20  ajile: <siamesedream: Congrats to GM Wesley So: https://en.chessbase.com/post/clutc...

I'm kinda liking him more and more lately due to his precise style and good heart. He did a banter blitz show on youtube and he welcomed warmly EVERY player he played regardless of rating. Carlsen doesn't do this.

Jun-05-20  siamesedream: <Carlsen, Caruana, Vachier-Lagrave, Grischuk, Aronian, So, Dominguez, and Xiong are the eight grandmasters to take part in <the new #ClutchChess tournament> starting on Saturday.>

https://mailchi.mp/saintlouischessc...

Jun-05-20  pixel pusher: Always enjoy Mr. Ashley's commentary.
Jun-06-20  siamesedream: He talks like engine ;)
Jun-06-20  SirChrislov: <Annie K.: Chess innovations, 2020: why play only in one major event at a time? First, it was Grischuk playing both in FIDE Online Steinitz Memorial (2020) and Chessbrah May Invitational (2020) at the same time. Now both Nakamura and So decided to try this multitasking thing as well, playing here and in the Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge (2020) in parallel.>

well you know what they say, whatever brings home the bacon, so...

Shove some coal and fire it up Martha, we're eatin' good tonight!

Jun-06-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: Carlsen - Xiong is on...crazy first game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NA0...
Jun-07-20
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: No stones unturned:

For both semifinals, the games of rounds 3, 4, 5, 9, 10 and 11 (= 12 games) are missing. I've sent them in.

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