Grand Swiss - Firouzja and Caruana in the Candidates

by ChessBase
11/7/2021 – Draws on the top 13 boards in the final round of the FIDE Grand Swiss meant Alireza Firouzja and Fabiano Caruana qualified to the next edition of the Candidates Tournament. Firouzja was the clear winner with a remarkable 8/11 score, while Caruana tied on points with Grigoriy Oparin but got a better tiebreak score than his Russian colleague. In the women’s event, Lei Tingjie had secured tournament victory with a round to spare. Elisabeth Paehtz and Zhu Jiner finished second and third respectively. | Photo: Anna Shtourman

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Round 11

Both tournaments are part of the qualifications for the 2021-23 World Championship cycle, with the top two players in the open event qualifying for the 2022 Candidates Tournament and the following six securing spots in the Grand Prix. The winner of the Women’s Grand Swiss will qualify directly for the Women Candidates and four best players will qualify for the next year’s Women’s Grand Prix.

Read the full preview...


  • October 27 - November 1: Rounds 1-6
  • November 2: Rest day
  • November 3 - 7: Rounds 7-11

Rounds kick off at 14.00 local time (13.00 CEST, 7.00 ET, 16.30 IST)

Final standings - Open

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Firouzja Alireza 8,0 68,0
2 Caruana Fabiano 7,5 67,0
3 Oparin Grigoriy 7,5 63,5
4 Yu Yangyi 7,0 66,5
5 Keymer Vincent 7,0 65,5
6 Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 7,0 65,0
7 Predke Alexandr 7,0 64,5
8 Shirov Alexei 7,0 64,5
9 Howell David W L 7,0 62,5
10 Sargissian Gabriel 7,0 61,5
11 Anton Guijarro David 7,0 61,0
12 Korobov Anton 7,0 60,5
13 Sevian Samuel 7,0 60,5
14 Esipenko Andrey 7,0 60,0
15 Deac Bogdan-Daniel 7,0 60,0

...108 players

Final standings - Women’s

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Lei Tingjie 9,0 64,5
2 Paehtz Elisabeth 7,5 69,5
3 Zhu Jiner 7,5 67,5
4 Muzychuk Mariya 7,0 69,0
5 Harika Dronavalli 7,0 64,5
6 Javakhishvili Lela 7,0 64,5
7 Badelka Olga 7,0 61,0
8 Kosteniuk Alexandra 6,5 68,5
9 Pogonina Natalija 6,5 66,0
10 Assaubayeva Bibisara 6,5 62,5
11 Zawadzka Jolanta 6,5 61,0
12 Cori T. Deysi 6,5 58,0
13 Munguntuul Batkhuyag 6,5 57,0
14 Vantika Agrawal 6,5 56,5
15 Girya Olga 6,5 55,5

...50 players

Live games and commentary





Commentary by GMs Anna Muzychuk and Stuart Conquest


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Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 11/8/2021 12:43
Wasn't able to answer you before, but of course you're completely right - a case of chess blindness.
And you also seem to be right that the endgame is drawn, however it seems it's not so simple, see GM Speelman's article!
Peter B Peter B 11/7/2021 06:47
In round 11 Fijourzja only needs a draw. Caruana will want to press hard for a win with white against Predke. If both Firouzja and Caruana draw, Caruana qualifies in about 62% of scenarios, with Yu (24%) and MVL (9%) the other main chances. Oparin's tiebreak is poor so he will need to play for a win against Firouzja.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 11/6/2021 07:10
I wonder why Yu Yangyi has chosen not to use the resource of the Zwischenschah via 51... Bd3+. It would have closed the d file and would have allowed the queen to take on b3 with similar fashion, but Black would not had the resources he later used for counterplay. I'm not using an engine for chess, so I do not know for sure, but to me it seems that the Chinese player missed the win here. Great save though by Shirov, who might be the new minister of defense.
Minnesota Fats Minnesota Fats 11/5/2021 09:23
Firouja got smoked by Caruana...
oxygenes oxygenes 11/5/2021 04:20
Frits Fritschy.
May be i do not understand something, but how you want win your line by 58.Kc6 ? 58.- Ke4 59.Kd6 f4 60.gxf4 Kxf4 61.Kc5 Kg5 is draw. :)
And can you show exact lines for your win by 51./52. h5? Because just claim it can be not enough. I think, that all lines can ends by stalemate on h1 or perpetual check by black.
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 11/5/2021 02:23
Up till now I just commented on oxygenes' analysis; it remains to be seen (when I or others have more time) wether 47 Kb4 really is winning.
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 11/5/2021 02:21
Yes, I analysed the position with 47 Kb4. 51 or 52 h5 win as well, although it's just a change of move order.
However... white doesn't play 58 Kb5 but 58 Kc6!! and now:
- 58... Ke4 59 Kd6! Kf3 60 Ke5 Kxg3 61 Kxf5 and the h-pawn wins;
- 58... Kd4 59 Kb5 Kc3 60 Kxa5 Kxb3 61 Kb5 is the same without the queenside pawns;
- 58... Ke6 59 Kb5 and now black really is too late;
- 58... f4 59 gxf4+ Kxf4 60 Kb5 Kg5 61 Kxa5 Kxh5 and again black is a tempo short.
Fascinating little endgame!
math_lover math_lover 11/5/2021 05:35
Firuzija is sure to be in top 2
oxygenes oxygenes 11/5/2021 01:53
Frits Fritschy, well my mistake. Notice is for 48.-th move and i analysed for 47.Kb4 (where pawn is on h3). Still variant 47.Kb4 is could be draw. Even your 55.Kd4 Kd6 56.b3 Ke6 is draw. 57.Kc5 Ke5 58.Kb5 Ke4 59.Kxa5 Kf3 60.b4 Kxg3 and black has stalemate on h1, if white takes pf2. And for notice move 48.Kb4 even tempo plus (pawn on h4) is could be draw too. 48.Kb4 Kb6 49.Kc4 Kc6 50.g3 Kd6 51.Kd4 g6 52.Kc4 Kc6 53.h5 g5 54.Kd4 Kd6 55.b4 Kc6 56.Ke4 Kb5 57.Kf5 Kxb4 58.Kg6 a5 59.Kxh6 a4 60.Kg6 a3 61.h6 a2 62.h7 a1Q 63.h8Q Qd4 is not easy win, just probably draw, if black play very precise. And probability for mistake is high, so not easy draw for black.
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 11/4/2021 09:41
The position after 53... Kc2 is a tablebase draw (google nalimov for a free version). However, in your variation there are several ways for white to win. The move h5 can be played earlier, but the main mistake is 55 b3, which brings this pawn closer to the black king. By 55 Kd4! you will find that (after 55... Kb5) white will capture both black's kingside pawns with his king and exchange queens, after which there is still a g-pawn. After 55... Kd6 then 56 b3 does win, as after 56... Kc6 the white king is one step closer to the f-pawn.
oxygenes oxygenes 11/4/2021 05:53
Game Vachier-Lagrave-Shirov: funny notice to move 47.Kb4 and rest is easy. Really? 47. - Kb6 48.Kc4 Kc6 49.h4 Kd6 50.Kd4 g6 51.g3 a5 52.Kc4 Kc6 53.h5 gxh5 54.gxh5 f5 55.b3 Kb6 56.Kd5 Kb5 57.Ke5 Kb4 58.Kxf5 Kxb4 59.g4 a4 60.g5 a3 61.g6 a2 62.g7 a1Q 53.g8Q+ Kc2. i do not know, what says table base, but it is not easy win for white, if even exist.
Aighearach Aighearach 10/31/2021 10:26
Baadur Jobava's game did not disappoint!
siciliov siciliov 10/31/2021 08:52
looks like someone has to respect the Persian Grandmasters now...don't you thinK chessbase???
geraldsky geraldsky 10/28/2021 04:58
So many sacrifices in Riga..they play like Mikhail Tal!!