Yakubboev edges Abdusattorov on tiebreak criteria to win UzChess Cup

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
6/15/2024 – Nodirbek Yakubboev was declared winner of the UzChess Cup after scoring a draw from a position of strength against Yu Yangyi in Friday’s final round. Yakubboev collected as many points as his higher-rated compatriot Nodirbek Abdusattorov, but obtained a better tiebreak score. Yu and Alexey Sarana finished a half point behind. The strong round-robin in Tashkent saw Parham Maghsoodloo, Alexander Grischuk and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov ending the event in the bottom three places. | Photos: Official website

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The underdog and the top seed

Nodirbek Abdusattorov and Nodirbek Yakubboev entered the UzChess Cup, a strong 10-player round-robin, as the highest-rated and lowest-rated participants, respectively. After 9 rounds of play, the Nodirbeks finished tied for first place with 5½ points each, and it was Yakubboev, the rating underdog in Tashkent, who grabbed the tournament title.

Coincidentally, Abdusattorov and Yakubboev played on boards 1 and 2 for the Uzbek squad that took home gold medals from Chennai after winning the 2022 Chess Olympiad. Though Abdusattorov has reached the elite of the sport (he is currently ranked fifth in the world), Yakubboev has demonstrated that he is capable of over-performing in important events — remarkably, he won the 2023 Qatar Masters ahead of Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura.

Yakubboev was one of two players who ended the event undefeated. While the eventual champion grabbed 2 wins and 8 draws, Richard Rapport went through the whole 9 rounds without a single win nor a single loss, as he drew all his games to get a final 4½/9 score.

The tournament in Tashkent featured 8 players with a 2700+ rating, which makes Yakubboev’s victory all the more impressive. Out of the 10 participants, 7 ended the event with a 50-percent score or above, with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (rated 2734), Alexander Grischuk (2719) and Parham Maghsoodloo (2733) the only three players who did not collect at least 4½ points.

Sharing third place with 5 points each were Yu Yangyi and Alexey Sarana. Yu beat Sarana in their round-3 direct encounter.

Nodirbek Abdusattorov, Alexey Sarana

Nodirbek Abdusattorov and Alexey Sarana signed a 26-draw in round 9

Maghsoodloo 0 - 1 Yu

Round 7 - Analysis by André Schulz

Yu Yangyi

Yu Yangyi

Final standings

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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