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Second Draw in the FIDE Grand Prix finals

Hikaru Nakamura and Wesley So drew their second game in the final match of the third stage of the FIDE Grand Prix organised by World Chess and the fate of the winner’s trophy will be determined tomorrow during the tiebreaks.

Photo: World Chess

Hikaru Nakamura picked White for the first rapid game against Wesley So during the drawing of lots procedure.

It was a short draw in the Berlin Variation of the Ruy Lopez today where both players deviated from the playable lines and quickly entered a famous drawish variation. After three-fold repetition, the shortest game in the tournament has finished after 14 moves.

During the post-game interview, Hikaru explained his decision: “My main question was if I want to play something like Re1 and try to play some game but the problem is that I’m also playing the online tournament the same time today [The tournament was planned to start at 6:30 pm, AK]. If you go to the game trying to play something and hoping that I guess you will win the game like in 3 hours it’s not a good attitude cause later on your choices will be affected”. Wesley So added with the smile that his plan was to use all his time on the clock if Hikaru decided to play a long game. He knew Hikaru would like to play online and could try “to torture” his opponent. ”I was ready to use every single second on my clock until the checkmate”, said Wesley So and made Hikaru laugh during the interview.

It’s clear we are witnessing a new era of chess! It’s hard to imagine some years ago that one of the top players would prefer playing the online rapid event instead of trying to use White colour in the classical game.

Both players admitted that such a quick draw could be disappointing for the spectators but expressed their hope to have an interesting tiebreak tomorrow.

According to World Chess, the organizer of the event, spectators who bought tickets to the final round of the Grand Prix, which turned out to be a disappointing 14-move game, will be invited for the tie-breaks for free.

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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