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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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