8 players gained the Olympic Esports Series 2023 Preliminaries after accumulating 3 match wins on Thursday and Friday: GMs Shant Sargsyan, Samvel Ter-Sahakyan, Oleksandr Bortnyk, Alexey Sarana, Bassem Amin, Maksim Chigaev, Ngoc Truong Son Nguyen, and Aleksandr Rakhmanov.
The most significant comeback in any one spherical was that of Ter-Sahakyan, who won three consecutive video games on need to overtake Sarana in their round-a single match. Just two players, Armenian GMs Ter-Sahakyan and Sargsyan, gained a few consecutive rounds with zero match losses.
17-year-outdated IM Emin Ohanyan was just one match victory absent from profitable his third, but he succumbed to Chigaev in the closing spherical. Thus, all eight winners of the Preliminaries were grandmasters.
The OES Finals start on June 23 (situations to be declared).
See what transpired
Tens of thousands of players have been whittled down to 16 in the penultimate section of the Olympic Esports Series. 14 qualified players from the Trials joined two invited players (Amin and GM Jose Martinez) to duke it out in the Preliminaries.
This stage featured an “Elimination Swiss” event, the very same structure employed in the 2023 Pro Chess League. Each individual experience is a four-sport match, with the better seed actively playing White first and colors alternating between online games. Gamers who drop 3 matches are removed.
The very first two rounds happened on working day 1, although the previous a few wrapped up on the 2nd day.
Bortnyk was the initial to get a activity, and he did so in style. Natural moves abide by in the checkmating sequence starting up with 34.Ng5+, but the closing, peaceful king move (regardless of becoming a piece down) is as classy as it is basic.
The Ukrainian grandmaster would go on to acquire equally of his very first two matches and finish day one with a best rating. He’d then win just one far more on day two full three match wins.
Also in spherical a single, the most enjoyable and miraculous comeback was Ter-Sahakyan’s versus Sarana. Soon after losing the 1st two game titles of the match, he required to get two game titles on demand from customers just to drive an armageddon tiebreaker.
He managed to do so. With the black parts, he began off with a earn right after trading down to a king and pawn endgame—just one tempo was the variation concerning a acquire and a attract.
He won the following game with the white parts and then even managed to acquire the armageddon game with the white pieces to secure the match. 3 wins on demand—in this structure, there could not be a greater comeback.
Ultimately, both of those players ended up winning 3 matches convincingly. Ter-Sahakyan received 3 matches with zero losses, though Sarana wouldn’t drop a further match immediately after this 1.
Sarana’s route to glory was a success, but it failed to arrive without the need of hiccups. The most important blunders of the event occurred in his match from Chigaev on the next day. Right after Chigaev hung his rook in one transfer, Sarana followed up by blundering his very own queen on the following move—even in blitz, blunders of this magnitude are very scarce among the grandmasters.
In a match concerning two grandmasters, a single participant blunders the rook, and his opponent blunders the queen on the next move! ???? pic.twitter.com/fhpqw75MMW
— ChesscomLive (@ChesscomLive) May well 5, 2023
But he righted the ship. Sarana managed to acquire the up coming video game and secure the match irrespective of a imaginative (but not seem) queen sacrifice by Chigaev.
With this victory, Sarana gained his third match. Regardless of shedding this recreation, Chigaev would also go on to score his third match victory towards IM Yahli Sokolovsky.
Arguably the most fascinating endgame in the match happened in Sokolovsky vs. Sargsyan in round two. It is really not frequently that one particular can attract a grandmaster right after blundering their queen.
The Israeli IM managed to keep the fortress with his rook towards a queen, even however it objectively need to not have labored. GM Ian Nepomniachtchi confirmed us the winning method at the 2020-21 FIDE Candidates Event from GM Anish Giri. They had the identical endgame (analyzed in this article by GM Dejan Bojkov) but shifted a person file to the still left.
I also incorporated a 2nd way of winning by making use of triangulation and zugzwang.
In spite of the missed gain here, Sargsyan would go on to rating a excellent 3- match rating throughout the two times, a feat only his Armenian countryman Ter-Sahakyan was equipped to also execute.
The only match to go to the armageddon tiebreak was Rakhmanov vs. Santos. 4 decisive games (White won each and every) led to an even rating, and Rakhmanov racked up one particular far more point with White to acquire the match in armageddon.
His cleanest win, even so, came in activity two, in which a methodical buildup of forces crescendoed speedily in a fatal, tactical blow. GM Rafael Leitao analyzes our instructive Game of the Day underneath.
GM Aleksandr Shimanov had arguably the most heartbreaking celebration. He scored 2- on the first working day and essential just a solitary gain on the second to move on. It was not meant to be, and he dropped all a few game titles. Just about is never fairly more than enough in the recreation of chess.
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