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World Cup 2021 winner Jan-Krzysztof Duda shows his win over Carlsen in Grandmaster Chess

by Sagar Shah - 24/08/2021

Grandmaster Chess is a live show where well-known personalities of India become students and a world class grandmaster becomes the trainer. The GM chooses one of the best games of his chess career and the students are quizzed on the 10 critical moments of the game. In the latest episode of the series, we had the World Cup 2021 winner Jan-Krzysztof Duda as the guest! Duda chose his game against Magnus Carlsen. Going over the game step by step, getting into Duda's head and understanding the moves of such a top player is truly a great learning experience. In this article we have the entire game along with the critical moments and annotations.

After Jan-Krzysztof Duda won the World Cup 2021, I invited him for a stream on ChessBase India. Duda had won the hearts of chess fans all across the globe with his fearless play beating Magnus Carlsen in the semi-finals and then Karjakin to clinch the title and also book a seat at the Candidates 2022. For Duda, it was not so easy to find a time slot. His victory had made ripples throughout Poland and his next few days were packed meeting the most important dignitaries in the country and with media interviews.

Jan Krzysztof Duda received a wonderful reception at the airport when he returned after the World Cup 2021!

Top channels fought for time with Duda

What's more, he even played a tournament - the Mokate Coffee Night Cup 2021 and won it!

He is soon scheduled to meet the Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki

Amidst all of these engagements Duda found the time to come for an episode of Grandmaster Chess and enthrall the viewers with his humility, openness and clarity of thought.

Episode 17 of Grandmaster Chess with Duda, Sagar Shah, Biswa Kalyan Rath, Anirban Dasgupta, Prakhar Gupta and Joel D'souza

What is Grandmaster Chess?

Grandmaster Chess is a live show on the ChessBase India YouTube channel, where a grandmaster in the world of chess shows his one immortal game of chess. IM Sagar Shah chooses 10 critical moments of the game and we have four famous stand-up comedians of India or well-known personalities who have to guess the moves on those 10 occasions. The rough level of the students is around 1200-1600 Elo. Based on the answers, the grandmaster can decide to award a full point, half a point or zero. The contestant who scores the most number of points wins the episode! The one who wins the entire series (the total number of episodes is not yet decided) will get a premium chess set from DGT. Until now 16 episodes had been completed and some of the top GMs who have made their appearance on the show are Anish Giri, Teimour Radjabov, World Champion Vladimir Kramnik, Boris Gelfand, Nigel Short, Vidit Gujrathi and many others. Jan-Krzysztof Duda was the guest for the 17th episode.

Grandmaster Duda and IM Sagar Shah (the host) are on the bottom row. Clockwise from top left: Biswa Kalyan Rath, Anirban Dasgupta, Joel D'souza and Prakhar Gupta

Although Jan-Krzysztof Duda has played several amazing games in his chess career, he decided to choose his 2nd Rapid game victory against Magnus Carlsen from the World Cup 2021, because of its competitive significance. Beating the World Champion in such a high pressure encounter with so much at stake is never easy. Duda decided to choose this game and took us through the entire battle in a step by step manner which can be understood even by an amateur. These 10 critical moments which the students had to guess during the session. You can try your hand at it before going over the analysis at the end of the article.

Duda took on the World Champion Magnus Carlsen at the World Cup 2021 Semi-Finals | Photo: Eric Rosen

Magnus Carlsen vs Jan Krzysztof Duda, Position 1

How should Black meet White's plan of d4?

Position 2

What would you do here as Black?

Position 3

Duda came up with a very interesting idea here. Can you find it?

Position 4

White is slowly trying to gain space on the kingside. Ng5 is in the air. How did Duda start his own play on the other wing? 

Position 5

It's time to manoeuvre - Black to play

Position 6

Improve your pieces further! Black to play

Position 7

Black to play 

Position 8

Black has to be careful here. He has to make sure that the position doesn't turn into a drawish one. Black to play.

Position 9

Magnus Carlsen blunders with Bc1. How did Duda win here? 

Position 10

Black to play and finish off the game!

The contest was won by Prakhar Gupta and Anirban Dasgupta by scoring 6.0/10.

Solutions and annotated game

The entire game is annotated below. You can go over it and check the answers for yourself. If you want a detailed breakdown, you can watch the video at the start of the article!

In between the questions when the players were thinking about their solutions, I would ask Jan some questions about his chess career. Here are some interesting topics which we discussed!


The first trophy that Jan won! How did his chess career begin? | Photo: Duda's Twitter

What has been the role of Duda's mother in his life? | Photo: Duda's Twitter

Jan's first trainer Andrzej Irlik and how he made the little boy fall in love with chess! | Photo: Duda's Twitter

Duda comes from a small town called Wieliczka in Poland (roughly 20,000 inhabitants). We speak about the chess culture of the place! | Photo: Duda's Twitter

Meeting the 13th World Champion Garry Kasparov! | Photo: Duda's Twitter

Sponsors and how difficult it was to get them when growing up | Photo: Duda's Twitter

Duda with the World Cup trophy flanked by FIDE Vice Presidents Lukasz Turlej and world class GM Nigel Short | Photo: Duda's Twitter

On 25th of August at 15.30 CET (1900 CET) Garry Kasparov will be the guest trainer in the 18th episode of Grandmaster Chess. Don't miss this amazing show!

Garry Kasparov as the trainer in Grandmaster Chess with students Samay Raina, Biswa Kalyan Rath, Vaibhav Sethia and Anirban Dasgupta

For all the lessons of Grandmaster Chess

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