Gashimov Memorial: Abdusattorov wins the rapid section

by Klaus Besenthal
12/21/2022 – On Tuesday, the ten participants of the Gashimov Memorial played the last three rounds of 15+10 rapid chess in Baku. Nodirbek Abdusattorov, who had grabbed the lead early on, scored a win and two draws to remain atop the standings. Paco Vallejo and Rauf Mamedov shared second place, two points behind the youngster (points count double in the rapid). Following the rest day, 18 rounds of blitz will take place on Thursday and Friday. | Photo: Official site

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From start to finish

Abdusattorov set the course for the eventual rapid-section victory in the first round of the day, when he got a win with white over Rauf Mamedov. The Uzbek star’s poise was, once again, extremely impressive.

It was a beautiful game in other respects as well, with a number of unusual positional imbalances dictating the nature of the struggle.


Unlike, for example, the Tata Steel India Rapid and Blitz event, the tournament in Baku combines the scores of the rapid and blitz sections to crown a single champion. So, for each player, there are still 18 points up for grabs. In the blitz, which will be played on Thursday and Friday — following a rest day — a normal pointing system will be in place.

Endgame analysis by Karsten Müller

Currently four points behind Abdusattorov, Chinese grandmaster Wang Hao still has good chances of catching up in the blitz. In round 2, Wang profited from his opponent’s mistake in a drawn rook ending with equal material. The Chinese was facing Abdulla Gadimbayli, the lowest-rated in the field — who, surprisingly, managed to beat Gukesh in round 6.

Karsten Müller shared instructive analysis of the aforementioned endgame.


Final standings - Rapid (win = 2 pts; draw = 1 pt)


All games



Klaus Besenthal is computer scientist, has followed and still follows the chess scene avidly since 1972 and since then has also regularly played in tournaments.