On July 25, GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave became the third player to win both ends of a Titled Tuesday, after GM Hikaru Nakamura (who has done it five times) and GM Wesley So. Nakamura himself prevented Vachier-Lagrave from joining him and GM Magnus Carlsen in the perfect 11/11 club by winning their final-round matchup in the late event.
In the early field of 570 players, Vachier-Lagrave didn’t lose a single game, but he still needed tiebreaks to win. Aimchess Rapid star GM Eduardo Iturrizaga, and Indonesian GM Susanto Megaranto, matched Vachier-Lagrave on 9.5 points.
For a while, it seemed like GM Daniil Dubov might outlast them all. But Dubov’s 7/7 start to the tournament ran into Vachier-Lagrave in round eight. Dubov wasn’t overwhelmingly worse in the final position, but he was out of time while Vachier-Lagrave still had 45 seconds left to play.
That win gave Vachier-Lagrave the sole tournament lead, which he retained in the next round by defeating GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda. Duda had Black and played the Najdorf Sicilian, Vachier-Lagrave’s favorite opening against 1.e4, but any psychology that may have been involved in that choice did not pay off.
A draw was next for Vachier-Lagrave, which allowed Iturrizaga to catch up into a share of first place by defeating GM Jose Martinez.
Vachier-Lagrave and Iturrizaga finally faced each other in the last round and drew quickly in 18 moves. This in turn allowed a third player to tie for the lead in Megaranto, who beat Wesley So to get there.
Ultimately, the top three finished in the order in which they had entered the tournament lead: Vachier-Lagrave first, Iturrizaga second, and Megaranto (who will be playing his third straight World Cup in a few days) third.
July 25 Titled Tuesday | Early | Final Standings (Top 20)
|13||23||GM||@tptagain||David Anton Guijarro||2969||8.5||71.5|
(Full final standings here.)
Vachier-Lagrave won $1,000 for his efforts, with more to come. Iturrizaga won $750 and Megaranto $350. GM Vladimir Kramnik came in fourth place for $200 and IM Renato Terry in fifth place for $100. GM Alexandra Kosteniuk won the $100 women’s prize with a score of 7.5/11.
A slightly smaller field of 472 greeted Vachier-Lagrave in the late tournament, but he won it all the same, this time in even more dominant fashion. Vachier-Lagrave was a perfect 10/10 with one round to go, already clinching the outright victory.
Oh, and Carlsen in round eight. It was also Carlsen who Vachier-Lagrave defeated in the semifinals of the SCC back in 2020.
The repeat performance against Duda clinched just the fifth sweep in Titled Tuesday history for Vachier-Lagrave, who was also now one win away from joining Nakamura and Carlsen in perfection.
Perfection was not to be, however. Nakamura needed only 32 moves to defeat Vachier-Lagrave and take over second place.
July 25 Titled Tuesday | Late | Final Standings (Top 20)
|5||47||GM||@crescentmoon2411||Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son||2903||9||66|
|6||26||GM||@tptagain||David Anton Guijarro||2995||9||66|
(Full final standings here.)
Vachier-Lagrave won another $1,000 for a total of $2,000 on the day. Nakamura took home the $750 prize, while GM Daniel Dardha finished third for $350. Martinez won $200 in fourth place, GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son $100 in fifth, and WGM Jennifer Yu $100 as the highest-scoring woman.
Chess.com hosts Titled Tuesday as two 11-round Swiss tournaments for titled players every Tuesday. There is an early tournament at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time/17:00 Central European/20:30 Indian Standard Time, with the late tournament following at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time/23:00 Central European/2:30 Indian Standard Time (next day).