UzChess: Yakubboev sole leader after five rounds

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
6/10/2024 – The UzChess Cup has seen plenty of exciting games in the first five rounds of play. Nodirbek Yakubboev obtained upset wins over Vidit Gujrathi and Parham Maghsoodloo to grab the sole lead with 3½/5 points. Standing a half point back are top seed Nodirbek Abdusattorov, Yu Yangyi and Javokhir Sindarov. There are no rest days at the event taking place in Tashkent, which is set to end on Friday. | Photos: Official website

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Two tactical wins

Nodirbek Yakubboev made headlines last year by winning the strong Qatar Masters after outscoring the likes of Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura and Anish Giri. The Uzbek grandmaster is now the sole leader in a 10-player single round-robin featuring 8 participants rated 2700 or above — in fact, the 22-year-old is the lowest-rated player in the field.

In the first 5 rounds of the event taking place in Tashkent, Yakubboev drew the 3 games he played with the black pieces and won the 2 games he played with white. His victories over Vidit Gujrathi (in round 2) and over Parham Maghsoodloo (in round 4) both featured wild tactical battles in which Yakubboev’s king had to survive from a vulnerable position.

Tied for second place a half point behind Yakubboev are top seed Nodirbek Abdusattorov, Yu Yangyi and Javokhir Sindarov. Sindarov, the only player other than Yakubboev rated below 2700, upset Abdusattorov in round 4. Abdusattorov, on his part, defeated Maghsoodloo and Alexander Grischuk to go into the second half of the event with a +1 score.

Rounds 6-9 will take place from Tuesday to Friday, with the sole leader yet to face two of his closest chasers, Yu and Sindarov.

Nodirbek Abdusattorov

In shared second place — Nodirbek Abdusattorov

Yakubboev 1 - 0 Vidit

Expert analysis by IM Robert Ris

Standings after round 5

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.
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