Grandmaster Battle: Mamedyarov vs. Sanal

by ChessBase
7/7/2020 – The Turkish Chess Federation is organizing online matches in which the best players from the country face international stars. Starting July 7, Turkey’s number four Vahap Sanal will face Shakhriyar Mamedyarov on the PlayChess platform. They will play sixteen 15-minute games (with 10-second increments) over the course of four days. | Photo: Turkish Chess Federation

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Mamedyarov vs. Sanal

Starting Tuesday, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Vahap Sanal will play a 16-game match on the PlayChess platform, specifically in the “Kemal Mustafa Ataturk” room. This is part of an initiative by the Turkish Chess Federation to confront their best players with strong international grandmasters. A little over a week ago, Mustafa Yilmaz defeated Germany’s number one Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu 8½:7½ in a closely-contested match.

The games will be broadcast live in our server, with live commentary, in Turkish, on the Federation’s YouTube channel. IM Can Arduman will be in charge of providing expert analysis for the Turkish-speaking audience.

Despite the rating difference — Mamedyarov has a 2761 rapid rating to Sanal’s 2536 — the match is not expected to be a one-sided affair. Sanal showed he is capable of performing way above his rating at the 2018 European Rapid Championship, where he finished in third place on tiebreaks, scoring 10½ out of 13 points with a 2712 rating performance. He scored 6½ points in the last seven rounds, beating the likes of Anton Demchenko and Viktor Laznicka. In round 4, he took down Markus Ragger in a sharp endgame, here analyzed by Iva Videnova:


The player ‘on the other corner’ needs no introduction. Mamedyarov has been a constant fixture in the elite of the chess world, having participated in three Candidates Tournament — he shared second place in the 2018 edition. ‘Shakh’ had a peak rating of 2820 and was the second highest-rated player in the world in 2018. Not only that, he was also the last player to defeat world champion Magnus Carlsen in a classical game — the game was played in Biel and is here annotated by Mikhail Golubev:


Do not miss the action, starting Tuesday!

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