Richárd Rapport Wins Second Leg of FIDE Grand Prix

Today Hungary’s Richárd Rapport defeated Dmitri Andreikin in the finals of the second leg of the FIDE Grand Prix in Belgrade, Serbia.

Victory was within Andreikin’s grasp until a late reversal of fortune that gave an unbeatable advantage to the Hungarian grandmaster.

Andreikin, with the black pieces, played tenaciously and didn’t give up easily. In the final position Rapport managed to avoid a perpetual check due to his bishop’s control of the f1 square, making it unavailable to Andreikin’s queen. After having reached the fortieth move (and getting an additional thirty minutes on the clock) Andreikin carefully considered his position, tried a few checks, and finally, almost humorously, acknowledged the impossibility of his situation, sacrificing his queen on f1 and resigning shortly thereafter.

As readers will know from an earlier article, the FIDE Grand Prix has three “legs” with sixteen players in each leg, for a total of twenty four players in the event. Each participant plays in two of the legs, and the two best scores after all the dust settles will get the final two spots in the Candidates Tournament, which will be played this summer.

Hikaru Nakamura won the first leg, played last month in Berlin. Rapport also played in the first leg, and did rather poorly, earning only seven points. With the thirteen points he won today, he takes the lead with twenty points. Hikaru has thirteen points, and a number of players are going in to the final leg with ten or seven points, meaning that it really is anyone’s game, although Rapport has a commanding lead.

Here are the current standings in the event:

  1. Richárd Rapport: 20 points
  2. Hikaru Nakamura: 13 points
  3. Levon Aronian: 10 points
  4. Dmitri Andreikin: 10 points
  5. Vidit Gujrathi: 7 points (Vidit cannot win, as this is his final score, having played in the first two legs)
  6. Anish Giri: 7 points
  7. Leinier Dominguez: 7 points
  8. Maxime Vachier-LaGrave: 7 points

All other players have four or fewer points, and are not in contention.

The final leg starts in nine days in Berlin, and promises to be very exciting.

Here is the final game of this leg, between Rapport and Andreikin.

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