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GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda is the World Chess Armageddon Champion

Author: Maria Fragaki

The Polish GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda is the first winner of the World Chess Armageddon Championship Series in Berlin! Duda’s victory is a testament to his exceptional skills, and he secures not only the prestigious title but also a substantial prize of €88,000.

Wesley So – Nodirbek Abdusattorov

In Game 1, we witnessed the French Defense in a highly tactical system. Wesley successfully seized control of the center, expanding his influence to the queenside. What truly adds excitement to the Armageddon format is the rapid evolution of the game, with players having to make critical decisions in under 30 seconds. Nodirbek overlooked a devastating tactical blow, resulting in the loss of a bishop and ultimately the game, while Wesley demonstrated remarkable composure to secure the victory!

Once again, Nodirbek opted for the Jobava London System, a choice he previously employed against GM Humpy Koneru in the Armageddon. The pivotal question loomed: could White, represented by Nodirbek, mastermind an efficient assault on the opponent’s king? Despite securing an exchange, Nodirbek found himself in a race against the clock, with less than 10 seconds remaining. Wesley, however, engineered a lethal passed pawn to secure his second victory in this thrilling encounter.

Nodirbek Abdusattorov, the talented young Uzbek Grandmaster, concluded his journey in the World Chess Armageddon by securing the third-place position. His impressive performance earned him a total prize of €28,000, and in his own words he looks forward to next year’s Armageddon!

Jan-Krzysztof Duda

The World Chess Armageddon Grand Finale culminated in an epic showdown of chess titans. In Game 1, Duda, playing as White, opened with the Ruy Lopez. Displaying boldness and strategy, Duda executed the move 20.h4! following GM Simon Williams’ suggestion, aiming to seize the initiative with a king’s attack.

Regrettably, Wesley So was unable to locate the optimal defence and had to resign just moments before being checkmated.

Game 2 featured Wesley So as White, opting for a positional and strategic approach. Following a queen exchange, Wesley found himself dealing with an isolated pawn that required vigilant defence. As time dwindled for both players, the position escalated in complexity, with each having less than 10 seconds on the clock. Unfortunately for Wesley, he blundered a pawn, leading to his immediate resignation and a 2-0 loss in the match.


1st place: Jan-Krzysztof Duda – €88,000 in total
2nd place: Wesley So – €58,000 in total
3rd place: Nodirbek Abdusattorov – €28,000 in total

Rewatch the finals

Duda, So, and Abdusattorov move to the Armageddon final

Author: Maria Fragaki

The semifinals of the World Chess Armageddon have concluded, with Jan-Krzysztof Duda emerging as the victor in the winners’ bracket, Wesley So securing his place from the losers’ bracket, and Richard Rapport going home. Tomorrow, Wesley So and Nodirbek Abdusattorov will battle for a chance to challenge Duda for the coveted €80,000 first prize!

Photo by Max Avdeev

Wesley So vs Richard Rapport

Game 1 of the thrilling matchup between Wesley So (White) and Richard Rapport (Black) commenced with the Caro-Kann Defense. There was a humorous moment when GM Simon Williams quipped that “Richard has already blundered!”. Nevertheless, Rapport demonstrated exceptional preparation, securing a pawn advantage and placing the pressure on Wesley, who was racing against the clock.

Recognizing the need for a dynamic response, the American GM opted for a bishop sacrifice, obtaining two pawns and initiating a king’s attack. As the position evolved into two pieces and a rook against a queen for Black, the tension mounted. In the end, time pressure led Rapport to blunder a bishop, forcing him to resign instantly.

Game 2 unfolded as a positional battle, with white having the advantage of two bishops in an open position. This setup instilled confidence in Rapport as he sought to mount a comeback. With both players navigating the game with less than 30 seconds on their clocks, Wesley initiated a tactical sequence that ultimately lured Richard into a critical blunder. This impressive manoeuvre secured Wesley the victory with a commanding 2-0 score.

Jan-Krzysztof Duda vs Nodirbek Abdusattorov

In game 1, Abdusattorov opted for the Accelerated Sicilian as his opening choice against Duda. Despite typically being a calmer player, Nodirbek found himself succumbing to the pressure of the ticking clock, resulting in blundering a central pawn that ultimately led to his defeat in the first game against Duda.

In game 2, Duda chose the Petrov’s Defense, one of the most solid replies against 1.e4, while Nodirbek opted for the crafty move 4.h3. Throughout the match, Duda displayed his experience and composure in critical positions, accurately calculating tactics even with limited time on his clock. This expertise allowed him to convincingly win game 2 and secure victory in the match against Nodirbek.

Day 7 FINALS pairings, 19:00 CEST

Wesley So – Nodirbek Abdusattorov
Jan-Krzysztof Duda – winner of the first match


Find all you need to know about the Armageddon Grand Finale, here.

Watch the games on a chessboard, here.

Rewatch the semifinals

Wesley So and Richard Rapport move to the Armageddon semifinals

Author: Maria Fragaki

Day 5 of the World Chess Armageddon witnessed intense battles, culminating in Wesley So and Richard Rapport advancing to the Armageddon semifinals. Unfortunately, this meant bidding farewell to Humpy Koneru and Gukesh, both of whom exited the competition. Tomorrow at 19:00 CEST, the winners will face off for three coveted spots in the Grand Finale, promising another thrilling showdown.

Photo by Max Avdeev / World Chess

Humpy Koneru vs Wesley So

Game 1 kicked off with the Queens Gambit and both players maintaining a pulse rate exceeding 140, setting the stage for an intense battle. Humpy’s ability to perform exceptionally well with less than 20 seconds on the clock, a situation she frequently found herself in during this game, was remarkable. However, as GM Simon Williams pointed out, the question remained, “How long can she do it?”

India’s top-ranked female player found it challenging to hold her position, ultimately blundering a pawn and defending what appeared to be a completely lost game. Wesley capitalized on this advantage and secured the first point of the match.

Facing a must-win situation, Humpy attempted to introduce complexities into the game, but Wesley adeptly maintained a balanced position, ultimately transitioning to an endgame featuring queens and opposite-colored bishops. Humpy’s decision to retain the queens on the board in pursuit of greater winning prospects, however, did not yield the desired outcome. Instead, this strategy backfired, leading to her defeat as a result of a devastating king’s attack by Wesley.

Richard Rapport vs Gukesh

The highly anticipated match of the day between Rapport and Gukesh certainly lived up to expectations in terms of technical prowess and chess excellence. The battle, characterized by opposite-colored bishops, typically favors the player who can initiate a successful king’s attack. In this case, it was Gukesh who seemed to hold the upper hand. India’s top-ranked player continued to press for a marginal advantage, but as the game progressed into a frantic time scramble, he gradually lost control of the position, resulting in his defeat.

In Game 2, Gukesh found himself in a do-or-die situation. Rapport opted for a more restrained approach, steering the game towards a knights versus bishops endgame—a highly intricate scenario with both players operating under the 30-second mark. Gukesh, with the knights in his arsenal, chose a tactical path, but unfortunately, it didn’t yield the desired results. He ultimately lost the game, resulting in his elimination from the competition.

Day 6 SEMIFINALS pairings, 19:00 CEST

Jan-Krzysztof Duda – Nodirbek Abdusattorov
Wesley So – Richard Rapport


Find all you need to know about the Armageddon Grand Finale, here.

Watch the games on a chessboard, here.

Rewatch Day 5 broadcast

Duda and Abdusattorov move to the Armageddon semifinals

Author: Maria Fragaki

Day 4 of the World Chess Armageddon is over with Jan-Krzysztof Duda and Nodirbek Abdusattorov emerge victorious against Gukesh and Humpy Koneru, securing their spots in the semifinals. The losers will have another opportunity to prove their mettle as they go head-to-head with Richard Rapport and Wesley So, respectively, in tomorrow’s matches at 19:00 CEST.

Photo by Max Avdeev / World Chess

Gukesh vs Jan-Krzysztof Duda

Game 1 in this high-stakes encounter kicked off with the Catalan opening, a familiar battlefield for both players, having previously faced off with reversed colors earlier in the year. The middle-game witnessed a harmonious equilibrium until the relentless march of time forced Gukesh into a precarious situation, culminating in the forfeiture of an exchange and a Game 1 loss against Duda.

The second game unfolded with Duda grappling with early-stage strategic decisions, devouring precious minutes on his clock in the opening moves. Manifestations of discomfort were evident in Duda’s expressions as he contemplated his moves. Gukesh seized the opportunity, capitalizing on the position to secure an exchange and clinch the victory, ultimately propelling the match into the electrifying Armageddon phase.

In the crucial Armageddon showdown, Gukesh, armed with the White pieces and an extra minute on his clock, facing a must-win scenario. Fuelled by this imperative, he embarked on a strategic journey to seize control of the center and initiate a decisive assault on his opponent’s king. Duda, displaying remarkable resourcefulness, managed to secure a pawn and deftly counteracted Gukesh’s king-side attack. In the end, Gukesh conceded, relegating him to the losers’ bracket to face Wesley So in the next phase of this high-stakes tournament.

Nodirbek Abdusattorov vs Humpy Koneru

In game 1 of their matchup, Nodirbek Abdusattorov opted for the unconventional Jobava London system, showcasing his affinity for modern and innovative openings. India’s top female player, Humpy Koneru, approached the game with caution but expended a significant amount of time in the early stages. Nodirbek strategically positioned his rooks along the c-file, securing both a positional advantage and a pawn. Humpy’s formidable defensive skills posed a considerable challenge for the young Uzbek Grandmaster, who diligently sought to capitalize on his advantage.

Despite operating with less than 20 seconds on her clock for the majority of the game, Humpy displayed exceptional resilience in a challenging rook endgame. The position, though losing, remained complex, and she came perilously close to salvaging a draw. However, Nodirbek Abdusattorov managed to secure the victory, capturing the crucial point in a thrilling encounter.

In Game 2, Humpy Koneru embarked on a quest to overturn the match’s outcome, opting for the Tarrasch Variation. Despite her determination, the battle against the clock proved to be her most formidable adversary as she inadvertently fell into an exchange attack. Consequently, her position deteriorated, leading to her defeat in Game 2 and, ultimately, the loss in her match against Nodirbek Abdusattorov. However, the journey continues, with Humpy set to face Wesley So in the losers’ bracket tomorrow.

Day 5 pairings, 19:00 CEST

Humpy Koneru – Wesley So
Richard Rapport – Gukesh


Find all you need to know about the Armageddon Grand Finale, here.

Watch the games on a chessboard, here.

Rewatch Day 4 broadcast

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