MANILA, Philippines – Top-rated American Grandmaster Fabiano Caruana won Week 2 of the 2022 Rapid Chess Championship where Wesley So flashed some semblance of his brilliance on Sunday, February 20 (Monday, February 21, Manila time).
Caruana bested fellow American Hikaru Nakamura, champion of the recent Berlin Grand Prix, to continue his strong showing in the online tournament presented by Coinbase and staged by Chess.com.
Atoning for his failure to qualify for the main draw in Week 1, So – the back-to-back US national champion – started strong this time to make the quarterfinals of the event featuring some of the world’s top 100 players, top 10 women, top 10 juniors, and 10 wildcards each week.
The Bacoor, Cavite-born So, who also missed the semifinals of the Berlin Grand Prix, beat Russia’s Anton Demechenko and Azerbaijan’s Ganir Guseinov, drew with Belarus’ Vladislav Kovalev and trounced Armenia’s Haik Martirosyan, before coasting to draws with Caruana, Nakamura, Spain’s David Anton Guijarro, and Russia’s David Paravyan for 6.0 points in the nine-round Swiss system preliminaries.
Nakamura emerged the top qualifier with 7 points, followed by Caruana and Russia’s Peter Svidler with 6.5 points each.
So lost to Paravyan, winner of the 2020 Gibraltar Chess Festival who is rated higher than him in rapid play, in the knockout quarterfinals.
Caruana, who reached the semifinals of Week 1 ruled by Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi, clinched the top purse of $7,500.
Russia’s Daniil Dubov and Paravyan were the losing semifinalists of Week 2.
Completing the quarterfinals cast of the event were Russia’s Alexei Dreev and Guijarro.
Week 3 of the event applying the 10-minute, no-increment time format in the preliminaries will be held from February 26 to 27.
Uzbek protégé Nodirbek Abdusattorov is the reigning world rapid champion, besting Nepomniachtchi in the tiebreaker. – Rappler.com