Americans Abroad: Riga, Dortmund, Biel, Copenhagen, Paris

American players have been rather busy in international play these past few weeks, and a key event kicks off tomorrow with our current U.S. Champion and the last World Championship Challenger. Without further ado, let’s take a look at where and what our best have been up to! Riga FIDE Grand Prix It went all the way to the Armageddon game, but in the end, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was able to defeat Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and take the Grand Prix title in Riga by a score of 5-4. Mamedyarov defeated American Wesley So in the semi-finals, with the first game of their mini-match the deciding factor.
[pgn]

[Event "Riga FIDE Grand Prix 2019"]
[Site "Riga LAT"]
[Date "2019.07.18"]
[Round "3.1"]
[White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Black "So, Wesley"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E06"]
[WhiteElo "2765"]
[BlackElo "2763"]
[PlyCount "67"]
[EventDate "2019.07.12"]
[EventType "k.o."]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 Be7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Ne5 Nc6 8.
Nxc6 bxc6 9. Na3 Bxa3 10. bxa3 Ba6 11. Qd2 Rb8 12. Qa5 Rb6 13. a4 Qd6 14. a3
Rfb8 15. e4 c3 16. e5 Qd8 17. exf6 Bxf1 18. Bxf1 c2 19. Ra2 Qd5 20. Qxd5 cxd5
21. Rxc2 gxf6 22. Rxc7 R8b7 23. Rc5 Kg7 24. Kg2 Rb1 25. Bb5 Ra1 26. Rc3 Rb6 27.
Bf4 Rb7 28. Kf3 Rd1 29. Be3 Rb1 30. Kg4 Rh1 31. h4 Kg6 32. Bd3+ f5+ 33. Kf3 Rd1
34. g4 1-0

[/pgn]

Mamedyarov won 24,000 euros for his victory, while Vachier-Lagrave took home 14,000 euros. Mamedyarov is also tied for the lead (with Alexander Grischuk) in the overall Grand Prix standings after Riga. Dortmund
Leinier Dominguez (photo Georgios Souleidis)
Leinier Dominguez eased into first place at the 47th Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting, a half-point ahead of the field at 4.5/7. The tournament ran from July 13th-21st in Dortmund, Germany. Dominguez, who got out to an early lead with two wins in the first three rounds, including a masterpiece against Nepomniachtchi, closed out the event with four draws against the Category 19 field. But +2 turned out to be sufficient, as four players – Rapport, Radjabov, Wojtaszek, and Neopmniachtchi – ended at +1, while the rest of the field was at -2. This result makes Dominguez number 10 in the world on the current live ratings. His next event appears to be the Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz, which runs from August 10th-14th at the Saint Louis Chess Club. Biel Top seed Sam Shankland is at 2.5/4 (Classical) and 16 points (overall) on the rest day in the 2019 Biel Grandmaster Tournament, which runs from July 20-31st in Biel, Switzerland. He current stands tied for second in the Classical portion of the event, and is tied for the lead in the overall standings with Santosh Vidit.
Foto: Simon Bohnenblust / Biel Chess Festival
This year’s Biel tournament features three mini-tournaments at different time controls.7 games are played at Classical controls (40/100, 20/50, G/15, with a 30 second increment from move 1), 7 are played at Rapid controls (G/15+5), and 14 Blitz games are also played (G/3+2). Scoring is done on a modified soccer schema:
  • Classical: 3 points for a win; 1 point for a draw; 0 point for a loss
  • Rapid: 2 points for a win; 1 point for a draw; 0 point for a loss
  • Blitz: 1 point for a win; ½ point for a draw; 0 point for a loss
Shankland tied for second place in the Rapid section with 4.5/7, trailing winner Peter Leko by a half point. After four rounds in the Classical, he is a half point behind Vidit at 2.5/4. Tomorrow sees the Blitz component, after which the players return to Classical chess for the remainder of the event. Shankland has played aggressive chess in Biel, and he has been rewarded with two sharp wins over Nico Georgiadis and Iranian phenom Parham Maghsoodloo.
[pgn]

[Event "52nd Biel GM 2019"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2019.07.22"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Georgiadis, N."]
[Black "Shankland, S."]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B90"]
[WhiteElo "2514"]
[BlackElo "2713"]
[PlyCount "76"]
[EventDate "2019.07.20"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nf3 Be7 8. Bc4
Qc7 9. Bb3 O-O 10. O-O Be6 11. Qe2 Rc8 12. Rfd1 b5 13. Rac1 Nbd7 14. Bg5 h6 15.
Bxf6 Nxf6 16. Nd5 Nxd5 17. Bxd5 Bxd5 18. Rxd5 Qc4 19. Qxc4 Rxc4 20. Nd2 Ra4 21.
a3 Rc8 22. Kf1 Bg5 23. g3 Rc6 24. c3 Rxe4 25. f4 Bxf4 26. gxf4 Rxf4+ 27. Kg2 f5
28. Nb3 Rg4+ 29. Kh1 f4 30. Na5 Rb6 31. c4 f3 32. c5 dxc5 33. Rxe5 Rg2 34.
Rexc5 Re6 35. b4 Re4 36. Rg1 Ra2 37. Rh5 f2 38. Rf1 Ra1 0-1

[/pgn]
[pgn]

[Event "52nd Biel GM 2019"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "2019.07.25"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Shankland, S."]
[Black "Maghsoodloo, Parham"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B68"]
[WhiteElo "2713"]
[BlackElo "2656"]
[PlyCount "51"]
[EventDate "2019.07.20"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 a6 8.
O-O-O Bd7 9. f4 Be7 10. Nf3 b5 11. a3 b4 12. axb4 Nxb4 13. Kb1 h6 14. Bh4 Rb8
15. e5 dxe5 16. Nxe5 Rb7 17. Bc4 Bb5 18. Qxd8+ Bxd8 19. Nxb5 axb5 20. Bxb5+
Rxb5 21. Rxd8+ Kxd8 22. Nxf7+ Ke7 23. Nxh8 g5 24. Ng6+ Kf7 25. Ne5+ Kg7 26. c4
1-0

[/pgn]
A “Master Tournament” runs concurrently with the GM event, and six Americans – Gata Kamsky, Jeffery Xiong, Aditya Samant, Kirk Ghazarian, Steven Gaffagan, and Michael Arne – are among the competitors. Kamsky and Xiong are both tied for the lead after four rounds (of nine) with 3.5 points. Xtracon Open The 2019 Xtracon Chess Open (July 20th-28th, Copenhagen, Denmark) plays its penultimate round tomorrow. Three players – Aryan Tari, Gabriel Sargissian, and R Praggnanandhaa – are tied for first place with 7/8. Nine players are =4th-12th, including American Sam Sevian, at 6.5 points. Arizona’s Bob Wheat is also in Copenhagen for the event, and has 3 points heading into tomorrow’s Round 9 play. Coming up…. Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura will compete in the Paris stop of the 2019 Grand Chess Tour beginning Saturday. They will face a field including fellow Tour stalwarts Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Anish Giri, and Viswanathan Anand. Alexander Grischuk is one of the wild cards for this event, as are Jan-Krysztov-Duda and Daniil Dubov. The Rapid competition will be played from July 27th-9th, with three rounds per day, and the 18 Blitz games will be split between July 31st and August 1st. July 30th is a rest day. Live commentary from the Saint Louis Chess Club will be available in English (with Peter Svidler making his first appearance on a Saint Louis broadcast!) and French on their YouTube channel.

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