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FIDE Grand Prix Berlin Finals: Game 1 Recap

Wesley So and Hikaru Nakamura drew the first game of the third stage of the FIDE Grand Prix organized by World Chess after a long theoretical debate. Hikaru Nakamura will have White pieces in the second game of the mini-match.

Photo: World Chess

Both players arrived at the empty playing hall today for the final match. All other players have been already eliminated in the previous rounds and both players felt a bit lonely playing in the venue despite the presence of many spectators who visited the tournament on Saturday.

The classical variation of Nimzo-Indian Defense has happened in the game today where both players had lots of experience previously playing this variation with White and Black. The same long theoretical line had even happened in their previous games a few times before and all of the encounters ended in a draw.

Despite having lots of knowledge in this opening it was still important to remember some sharp lines, where every mistake can lead to a quick loss.

With a bit different move order, they reached the same position from the game Xiong-So played in 2021 but this time it was Wesley So who had White pieces! Surprisingly, Wesley So could not recall the exact position from that game while analyzing it during the post-game interview. Hikaru chose to play 23…Qh6, following the moves from the game Xiong-So and gave a chance to his opponent to improve the variation and get some chances after 27. Qe4. However, Hikaru was not worried about this line, feeling confident about his position. “Maybe he will press somehow after Qe4 but hard to believe,” said Hikaru. After 27.Qb7 followed by precise Rc2 the game ended up in a draw.

Leading partners supporting the FIDE Grand Prix Series 2022:

Kaspersky as the Official Cybersecurity Partner;
Algorand as the Official Blockchain Partner;
Prytek as the Technology Transfer Partner;
FIDE Online Arena as the official Partner.

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