FTX Road to Miami: Sevian wins prelims

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
7/14/2022 – Sam Sevian won the preliminary stage of the FTX Road to Miami online tournament. The US grandmaster collected 32 points in the 15 rounds which took place from Sunday to Wednesday. Arjun Erigaisi and Jan-Krzysztof finished in second and third place respectively, while top grandmasters Anish Giri and Levon Aronian made the cut after a slow start. On the other hand, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was eliminated after losing his last three games of the single round-robin. | Photo: Austin Fuller / Saint Louis Chess Club

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Mamedyarov knocked out

Four 2700+ rated, experienced grandmasters were left out of contention at the end of the FTX Road to Miami preliminaries — including Teimour Radjabov, who withdrew from the event on the second day of action. Three young stars, on the other hand, not only made it through but also impressed with their strong performances: Sam Sevian, Arjun Erigaisi and Jeffery Xiong finished first, second and fifth respectively.

Out of the players who did not make the cut, the most shocking case was that of Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. The Azerbaijani star lost all three of his games on Wednesday to finish in tenth place, only a point behind Wei Yi, who reached the quarterfinals despite losing his last-round game. Mamedyarov has mentioned more than once that he generally does not feel very comfortable playing online.

Radoslaw Wojtaszek did have a strong finish, winning his last two games in the prelims, but fell short nonetheless. The Polish grandmaster thanked the organizers on Twitter.

It is hard to talk about favourites in the quarterfinals, as lower-rated players have shown better performances than his higher-rated opponents so far in the event. An exciting knockout stage awaits us.

FTX Road to Miami 2022

In the penultimate round, Levon Aronian scored a crucial win, as he beat Leinier Dominguez with the black pieces. Following a tough strategic fight, Aronian went for a kingside attack — one that engines do not approve but which, more importantly, is difficult to handle for the defender in a rapid game.


Richard Rapport lost twice in the first five rounds, but since then collected six wins and four draws to finish in fourth place. The Hungarian star outplayed Wei Yi in round 15 in a materially balanced knight endgame.

GM Karsten Müller took a closer look.




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.