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John Saunders reports: the FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss ended in a tie for first place between Wang Hao (China) and Fabiano Caruana (USA) on 8 points out of 11. Wang Hao, who defeated David Howell in the final round whilst other leading games were drawn, was placed first on tie-break and he qualifies for a place in the 2020 Candidates’ tournament in Ekaterinburg. Six players tied for third place on 7½: in tie-break order, Kirill Alekseenko (Russia), Levon Aronian (Armenia), David Antón Guijarro (Spain), Magnus Carlsen (Norway), Hikaru Nakamura (USA) and Nikita Vitiugov (Russia). The top women’s prize was shared by Harika Dronavalli (India) and Dinara Saduakassova (Kazakhstan) who both scored 5½ points, with the Indian player receiving the trophy on tie-break. A fuller report will follow.
John Saunders reports: the penultimate round of the FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss had everything. The eight boards with players still having an interest in qualifying for the Candidates’ tournament featured seven decisive results, with the only draw being a well-contested game between Hikaru Nakamura and Levon Aronian. A sole leader emerged in the form of world number two Fabiano Caruana, who defeated David Antón Guijarro to reach 7½ points, while the world champion Magnus Carlsen beat Maxim Matlakov via an overwhelming position which became a much more problematic one before he found a way to win and equal Ding Liren’s record of 100 top-level classical games without a loss. Carlsen thus progressed to 7 points along with Nakamura and Aronian, and they were joined by Wang Hao, Kirill Alekseenko, David Howell and Nikita Vitugov who won their games to reach the same score. Thus there are eight players left to contest first prize and/or the Candidates’ qualifying place in the eleventh and last round.