ChessKid Cup, Day 1: Kollars beats Firouzja, Van Foreest defeats Nakamura

by Johannes Fischer
5/23/2023 – Day 1 of the ChessKid Cup, a double elimination rapid (15+3) tournament, brought two big surprises: Alireza Firouzja lost his match against Dmitrij Kollars and Hikaru Nakamura lost against Jorden Van Foreest. Things went more smoothly for Fabiano Caruana and Nodirbek Abdusattorov: Caruana won 2.5-0.5 against Aleksandr Shimanov, as did Abdusattorov against Jules Moussard. | Graphics:

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The ChessKid Cup is the third tournament in the current Champions Chess Tour, which was originally launched by the Magnus Chess Group. Following the takeover of the company by, the series continues in a slightly different format. The best of the best still take part, but there are now a number of qualifying tournaments and three divisions to play in.

The ChessKid Cup is a double elimination knockout tournament. Those eliminated in the winner's bracket continue to play in the loser's bracket. Only a second defeat will eliminate a player for good. The winner of the loser's bracket plays the winner of the winner's bracket in the super final.

Eight players qualified to play in Division I. One of them was German Grandmaster Dmitrij Kollars, with a rating of 2607, currently ranked 171st in the world. On day one he was up against Alireza Firouzja, one of the world's best blitz and rapid players and currently ranked 4th in the world. However, Firouzja struggled to get the better of Kollars and after both missed good chances in the first four games, the match was decided in a game of Armageddon. Firouzja had less time on the clock, but Kollars had white and needed to win. Which he did in a seemingly quiet Berlin.

Fabiano Caruana and Nodirbek Abdusattorov both prevailed as favourites with 2.5:0.5 against Aleksandr Shimanov and Jules Moussard. But Hikaru Nakamura, perhaps the top favourite to win the tournament, lost his match against Jorden van Foreest. Game four, in which both players missed good chances, decided the match.


Division I

Division II

Division III


Division I

Division II

Division III

Live commentary of day 1: With David Howell, Tania Sachdev, Daniel Naroditsky and James Canty III


Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".