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!
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.