Shankland wins Prague Masters after dramatic final round

by Klaus Besenthal
6/20/2021 – Sam Shankland reached the final round of the Prague Masters Tournament with a half-point lead over Radoslaw Wojtaszek and Jan-Krzysztof Duda. The American grandmaster was still busy with his game against Jorden van Foreest when Duda had already overtaken him in the standings thanks to a win over Wojtaszek. Shankland only needed a draw, but his opponent was desperate to win. The curse turned into a blessing when Van Foreest blundered: Shankland won and thus became the undisputed tournament winner. | Photo: Official site

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Prague Chess Festival - Masters

Radoslaw Wojtaszek’s blunder in the game against Jan-Krzysztof Duda was rather crude, at least for players of that level. It occurred shortly before the time control, right after Duda had radically changed the character of the game with a double-edged piece sacrifice. After his mishap, Wojtaszek was simply lost.


Shankland had already won the direct encounter against Duda in the second round and, since this was the first tiebreak criterion, a draw against Jorden van Foreest would have been enough for him to win the tournament. But the Dutchman was playing to win.

The mistake that finally derailed Van Foreest’s ambitious plans was at least as dramatic as Wojtaszek’s against Duda. And Shankland knew exactly how to win the game. He did not let the chance be taken away from him, so that in the end he had a half-point lead over Duda in the final standings table.


Results - Round 7


Final standings


All games - Masters



In the Open, Polish GM Marcin Krzyzanowski and Austrian IM Felix Blohberger shared first place on 7 points. If we have interpreted the somewhat cryptic regulations correctly, however, the Polish player is the tournament winner based on the fourth (!) tiebreak criterion — more games played with black: 5 compared to Blohberger’s 4.

These two players were the only ones — out of the eight co-leaders after the penultimate round — that won their last games of the event.

Rg. Name Pkt.  Wtg1 
1 Krzyzanowski Marcin 7,0 49,5
2 Blohberger Felix 7,0 49,5
3 Nasuta Grzegorz 6,5 51,0
4 Petr Martin 6,5 50,0
5 Greenfeld Alon 6,5 48,5
6 Plat Vojtech 6,5 48,5
7 Kraus Tomas 6,0 46,0
8 Sorm Daniel 6,0 45,5
9 Neuman Petr 6,0 45,0
10 Pavlidis Anastasios 6,0 44,5
11 Finek Vaclav 6,0 44,5
12 Simek Petr 6,0 42,5
13 Dahl Christoph 6,0 42,5
14 Colbow Collin 6,0 41,0
15 Navrotescu Andreea 6,0 39,5

...99 players

All games - Open



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.


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