Armageddon: Abdusattorov and Humpy prevail in tense matches

by ChessBase
9/16/2023 – On the second day of the Armageddon Championship Series: Grand Finale, Nodirbek Abdusattorov emerged victorious against Richard Rapport, winning the match thanks to his speed and composure in the Armageddon game. In the matchup between Humpy Koneru and Bibisara Assaubayeva, Assaubayeva secured a win in the first game but fell short in the second. The Armageddon game featured a captivating over-the-board checkmate, ultimately granting Humpy victory in this thrilling competition. | Photo: World Chess

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Press release by World Chess

Nodirbek Abdusattorov — Richard Rapport

The opening match of the day featured the young prodigy Nodirbek Abdusattorov facing off against the charismatic GM Richard Rapport. In a symmetrical pawn structure, the ticking clock compelled both players to make rapid decisions, with their heart rates soaring up to 130 beats per minute!

As the tension mounted, IM Jovanka Houska astutely remarked, "He loves to exploit those positional advantages," precisely at the moment when Rapport succumbed to time pressure, blundering into a devastating fork and ultimately resigning! The match delivered a thrilling start to the Day 2 proceedings.

The second game quickly shifted in Rapport’s favour, with a slight advantage in the centre and more time on his clock. "Patience pays off," IM Jovanka Houska noticed as Nodirbek found himself in a precarious situation with a trapped knight in the centre. This critical moment marked the beginning of his downfall. Rapport capitalized on the opportunity, staging a remarkable comeback and securing a place in the Armageddon showdown!

A calm and peaceful mentality prevailed for both players in the first Armageddon of the Grand Finale. However, the tranquillity was disrupted when Nodirbek suddenly miscalculated, resulting in a costly blunder, surrendering an entire piece!

Despite the initial setback, time eventually caught up with Rapport, forcing him to relinquish the gained material advantage. In a surprising turn of events, he found himself in a checkmate position, with a significant deficit—a queen and rook down.

Richard Rapport, Nodirbek Abdusattorov

Richard Rapport facing Nodirbek Abdusattorov

Humpy Koneru — Bibisara Assaubayeva

In the opening game of the Humpy vs. Assaubayeva showdown, the King’s Indian Defence set the stage, accompanied by a double fianchetto setup for White. As the game progressed into an intriguing phase with two pieces against a rook for White, the queens were eventually exchanged.

Bibisara showcased her strategic prowess by creating a lethal a-file pawn. Employing precise endgame technique, she emerged victorious in the first game, setting the tone for an exciting clash.

In the second game of the matchup, Bibisara displayed her characteristic style, drawing praise from GM Simon Williams. Instead of opting for a drawish mindset, she embarked on an aggressive path, launching an early attack.

Humpy, on the other hand, chose to seize two pawns, a decision that came at the expense of her piece coordination and valuable time. The game unfolded like a rollercoaster ride, with Bibisara’s clock ticking down to a mere 10 seconds. In a tense climax, she missed a four-move checkmate, leading to her defeat in the second game.

In the Armageddon showdown, Bibisara found herself in the driver’s seat with the White pieces, enjoying a valuable one-minute advantage on the clock. However, the high-stakes nature of the format meant that she was in a must-win situation, as a draw would favour Black.

In a curious turn of events, Bibisara grappled with overthinking and saw her precious seconds dwindling even faster than her opponent’s. Nevertheless, the evaluation bar remained dead even throughout the tense encounter. It resembled a bullet game, with both female players navigating a treacherous path of extreme time pressure and intricate tactics.

In the end, it was Humpy who seized the initiative, orchestrating a checkmate on the board and clinching victory in this nail-biting Armageddon showdown!

Humpy Koneru

Humpy Koneru

Video webcast

Day 3 pairings

Wesley So – Sam Shankland
Richard Rapport – Bibisara Assaubayeva

The broadcast starts at 19:00 CEST.


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