FIDE Grand Swiss: Wang wins

by ChessBase
10/21/2019 – In the final round of the tournament, Wang Hao defeated the English GM David Howell and with 8½/11 he tied for first place with World No 2 Fabiano Caruana, who drew his last game of the tournament. Wang took first place as he had a better tiebreak than Caruana. | Photo: John Saunders

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Chinese GM Wang Hao wins

Wang Hao has also secured the first prize of $70.000 and, a space in the Candidates’ tournament which will be played from the 11th March 2020 in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Wang is the second Chinese to qualify for the Candidates’ after Ding Liren qualified as the runner-up of the 2019 World Cup.

Round 10 report: Caruana leads, six potential Candidates

Live games and commentary


Commentary by GM Daniel King and IM Anna Rudolf

Results of Round 11 (top 20 boards)


...77 boards

The home stretch

It is the home stretch of the Grand Swiss, and the contenders for the big prize — a spot in the Candidates — know this is their chance to shine at the main stage of the chess world. Round ten illustrated perfectly what happens when some of the strongest players in the world go all in, betting all their chips when the situation requires them to do so. Seven decisive results on the top eight boards left six players still with chances to get the coveted ticket.

At this point, it is critical to mention the tiebreak criteria used in the Grand Swiss. The first decider is known as AROC (average rating of opponents). With the pairings for round eleven already published, we know who will have prevalence over the rest in case of a tie — the average ratings are in parentheses:

  1. Wang Hao (2725)
  2. Alekseenko (2701)
  3. Aronian (2700)
  4. Nakamura (2670)
  5. Vitiugov (2659)
  6. Howell (2641)

Of course, facing 2876-rated Carlsen is the main booster for this criterion. Unfortunately for Aronian though, having to play the world champion in the last round was not enough to surpass Alekseenko's some decimal points. Nevertheless, even Howell could get the spot in the Candidates if all the other contenders draw or lose and he manages to win. It all comes down to Monday's four games.

Who will be the next Candidate? We are only hours away from finding out.

Opening night

Yesterday evening, the world's elite met on the small island in the Irish Sea for a reception and drawing of pairing number. World Champion Magnus Carlsen stood (or sometimes sat) as "first among equals" among his peers. 

Seated: Magnus Carlsen, Eric Hansen, Aryan Tari | Photo: John Saunders/Official site

The World Champion is pleased to play here, and he obviously has no Candidates pressure. The presence of the World Champion benefits the prestige of the tournament. The same applies to his previous challenger, Fabiano Caruana, who will play in the 2020 Candidates regardless of his result in the next two weeks.

It is unlikely that one of the participating youngsters will win the tournament (or come third behind Carlsen and Caruana). But who knows? At least they have the chance. Young players like Nihal Sarin, Parham Maghsoodloo, Gukesh, Vincent Keymer and many others are sure to attract many viewers.

There are also some veterans in the field who would like to have a shot once again, like Alexey Shirov or Peter Leko.

Last, but not least, some strong female chess players take part, among them, Harika Dronavalli, Antoaneta Stefanova, Lei Tinje, Elisabeth Paehtz and others.

So the mix is ​​good and an exciting 12 days lie ahead. 

Nihal Sarin, Parham Maghsoodloo | Photo: John Saunders/Official site


FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich | Photo: Maria Emelianova/ site

Leko, Bluebaum, Keymer | Photo: Maria Emelianova/ site


Officially, the tournament starts today, October 9th with an opening ceremony. On Thursday (October 10th) the first round will be played.

Wednesday, the 16th is the single rest day, and the last round takes place on Monday, the 21st.

All rounds start at 14:00 UTC (16:00 CEST), except the last round which starts at 12:30 UTC (14:30 CEST).


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