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Vincent Keymer wins Hou Yifan Challenge

by Shahid Ahmed - 22/09/2021

Vincent Keymer scored 13.5/17 and won the Hou Yifan Challenge with a round to spare. He beat Tingjie Lei in the final round to win his second consecutive Julius Baer Challengers Chess Tour event. Both Christopher Yoo and Praggnanadhaa finished with 11.5/17, since Yoo had beaten Pragg in the tenth round, he was placed second and Pragg had to settle for third place. Leon finished fifth 10.0/17, Aditya was placed sixth 9.5/17 and Vaishali at twelfth position 6.5/17. Both Praggnanandhaa and Leon will play in the Tour Finals next month, as they finished in the top eight in the tour standings. Overall in the tour, Team Kramnik lost to Team Polgar 302.5-324.5. Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Praggnanandhaa and Leon in the Finals

Vincent Keymer, Awonder Liang, Christopher Yoo, Volodar Murzin, R Praggnanandhaa, Nodirbek Abdusattorov and Leon Luke Mendonca have qualified to the Julius Baer Challengers Chess Tour Finals which will take place next month between 14th and 17th October 2021.

Keymer wins his second consecutive Challengers Chess Tour event | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

All 16-players in action | Photo: chess24

Round 14: Praggnanandhaa - Aditya: 1-0

GM Praggnanandhaa made a thematic Nxb5 sacrifice in the Sicilian Najdorf against IM Aditya Mittal.

Position after 21.b4

White's aggressive play provoked Black to make a mistake, 21...Bxd6. Instead, 21..Qa8 22.bxc5 Rxa3 allows Black to continue the fight a bit longer. The game continued 22.exd6 Nd7 23.Rc1 Rxd6 24.Rxd6 Qxd6 25.Rc8+ Nf8 26.c4

Position after 26.c4

Black's knight and rook are frozen, queen has limited movement. It can also be said that Black is almost in a zugzwang.

Vaishali - Keymer: 0-1

IM Vaishali had an interesting endgame against GM Vincent Keymer.

Position after 38...h5

39.Rb6 was played and Black pushed the passed pawn 39...h4 40.Rxe6 Kf7 41.Rc6 h3 and Black is winning as the pawn is unstoppable. Find out the way to stop the h-pawn after 38...h5.

Round 15: Leon - Balaji: 0.5-0.5

IM Balaji Daggupati blundered in an equal pawn ending against Leon.

Position after 42.Ke4

42...b5 and the game heads towards a draw. However, Black made the mistake of playing 42...Ke7 and White seized the opportunity, 43.Kd5 Kd7 44.a4 Kc7 and now White is completely winning after 45.e6. Unfortunately for Leon, he played 45.Kd4 and missed his chance.

Aditya - Garifullina: 1-0

Aditya scored a fine victory over WGM Leya Garifullina (RUS).

Position after 21...Rf8

Find out why 21...Rf8 causes trouble for Black.

Round 16: Balaji - Aditya: 0-1

Balaji went wrong early in the opening against Aditya.

Position after 11.fxe5

11.fxe5 dxc3 12.exf6 Be6 and the position spirals out of White's control. The game continued 11...Qxe5 and White prolonged the game.

Vaishali - Leon: 0-1

Leon beat Vaishali with a good display of positional play.

Round 17: Leon - Jiner: 1-0

Benko Gambit did not work out for WGM Jiner Zhu as Leon used his passed pawn in his favor. It turned out to be the deciding factor in Leon scoring a victory.

Aditya - Vaishali: 1-0

Vaishali fell for tactics in the final moments of the game probably due to time trouble.

Praggnanandhaa - Garifullina: 1-0

Praggnanandhaa finished the tournament on a high note as he beat Garifullina convincingly in the final round to finish at third place.


Some interesting finishes from Day 4

GM Tingjie Lei (CHN) defeated W IM Oliwia Kiolbasa, Round 14

GM Awonder Liang (USA) lost to IM Volodar Murzin, Round 14

Replay the Live stream

Julius Baer Challengers Chess Tour: Hou Yifan Challenge Day 4 - Live commentary by GMs Arturs Neiksans and Boris Gelfand | Video: chess24

Replay all games from Round 14-17

Final standings after Round 17

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
112GMKeymer VincentGER2607Polgar13,50,013101,75
211IMYoo Christopher WoojinUSA2466Kramnik11,51,0989,50
317GMPraggnanandhaa RIND2617Kramnik11,50,01176,25
47GMLiang AwonderUSA2590Polgar10,50,0869,25
514GMMendonca Leon LukeIND2536Kramnik10,00,0869,50
615IMAditya MittalIND2453Polgar9,50,5764,50
716IMTeclaf PawelPOL2543Kramnik9,50,5667,25
88IMMurzin VolodarRUS2513Polgar9,00,0665,75
913GMMishra AbhimanyuUSA2517Kramnik7,51,0552,50
106GMLei TingjieCHN2505Kramnik7,50,0546,00
114WGMZhu JinerCHN2455Polgar6,51,0544,50
123WGMVaishali RIND2414Kramnik6,50,0442,50
131WGMGarifullina LeyaRUS2409Polgar6,00,0548,50
1410IMMammadzada GunayAZE2459Polgar5,00,0433,00
155FMSokolovsky YahliISR2416Kramnik4,50,0438,25
162FMDaggupati BalajiUSA2442Polgar4,00,0321,75
179WIMKiolbasa OliwiaPOL2376Kramnik3,50,0320,25


Tour standings

Praggnanandhaa and Leon qualify to the Finals | Photo: Champions Chess Tour


Every day between 18th and 21st September, the game starts at 7:30 p.m. IST.

Hou Yifan Challenge will have 17 rounds | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Julius Baer Challengers Chess Tour schedule | Photo: Champions Chess Tour


Official site


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