Giri beats Jobava to win MrDodgy Invitational

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
5/17/2021 – The second edition of the MrDodgy Invitational was played on May 12-16 in the chess24 PlayZone. The event was a 16-player knockout, with each match consisting of 12 blitz games (5 minutes for the game, without increments). Top seed Anish Giri, who had won the first edition of the event, defeated Baadur Jobava in the final to get the first prize of $2,500 plus a picture of Dodgy on a horse.

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The dance contest

For those that closely follow the world of chess on Twitter, MrDodgy surely is a well-known name. Constantly sharing jokes related to the world of over-the-board and online chess in a creative and incredibly consistent way has allowed the “man on a horse” to become an active member of the ‘real’ chess world, as a number of elite players not only interact with him online but have also accepted to participate in the “Prestigious MrDodgy Invitational”, whose second edition came to an end on Sunday.

The man behind the scenes is Michael Duke, a Scottish chess aficionado with a standard rating of 2067 who lives in Sweden with his family. He has thus explained why he uses the MrDodgy alias online:

I like to surprise people and take risks in the game. Draws are nothing for me.

In keeping with the light-hearted nature of the event, MrDodgy not only offered a $2,500 first prize but also the chance to get the notorious photo of a man on a horse — true to his style, Dodgy wrote on the official site:

Sixteen players will compete in a knockout tournament for a prize fund of one (1) picture of the Organizer on a horse.  There may also be some cash prizes, but that’s not important or interesting.

MrDodgy Invitational

For a second year in a row, it was Anish Giri — also a major force in the world of Twitter — who collected the top prize. Last year, the Dutch grandmaster had won the 8-player inaugural event after beating David Navara in the final. In the second edition, he got the better of Baadur Jobava in the final to finish first.

Giri reached the final after eliminating José ‘Pepe’ Cuenca, Nils Grandelius and none other than Daniil Dubov, who famously knocked out Magnus Carlsen at the quarterfinals of the Airthings Masters last year. Jobava, on the other hand, defeated second seed Alexander Grischuk, former finalist David Navara and Vidit Gujrathi.

In his trailer for the final, MrDodgy wrote:

They come from different countries, they have different styles and they’re ready to fight to the death but they have one thing in common...

The ‘dance contest’ was finally won by Giri. After trading wins with white in the first four games, a mouse-slip by Jobava gave Giri the lead, which he would never let go of until scoring a clear 7-3 victory.


Jobava’s 22...Re2 was a turning point in the match.

In the bracket below, you can see the amount of top players that agreed to participate in the tournament, including veterans Alexei Shirov, Peter Svidler and Peter Heine Nielsen.

MrDodgy Invitational

All games



Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.


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