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8th Gashimov Memorial 2022 Rapid R1-3: Gukesh beats Rapport

by Shahid Ahmed - 19/12/2022

D Gukesh won his first round game against Richard Rapport (ROU) at 8th Vugar Gashimov Memorial 2022 Rapid. It was exciting batttle against the creative genius Rapport whose king was vulnerable when he made the final mistake.Then he lost his next two games against Rauf Mamedov (AZE) and Francisco Vallejo Pons (ESP). Rauf outplayed Gukesh positionally. In the game against the Spain no.1, Gukesh got a couple of opportunities to save the game in the rook endgame. However, he missed them all. Gukesh will face three Azeris today - Aydin Suleymanli. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Abdulla Gadimbayli. Round 4 starts from 3:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Gashimov Chess Memorial live stream

Abdusattorov starts with a hat-trick

The reigning World Rapid champion, Nodirbek Abdusattorov (UZB) seems to be getting back in his form, just days before his World title defence. After a forgettable performance at the Tata Steel Chess India 2022 Rapid, Abdusattorov started his Rapid event with three wins against Francisco Vallejo Pons (ESP), Aydin Suleymanli (AZE) and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE). The 44th Chess Olympiad Gold medalist would certainly like to gain as much momentum as he can before he heads towards the most exciting event of the year in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

GM D Gukesh scored a very nice victory over the artist - GM Richard Rapport | Photo: Gashimov Chess Memorial live stream

Rapport - Gukesh, Round 1

Position after 21...Ng5

Gukesh got a pleasant position out of the Caro-Kann opening after his aggressive h-pawn push to 8...h5 and then 10...h4. The above position displays the prowess of the black knights. 21...Ng5 22.b4 Bxc1 23.Rfxc1 Nf4 24.Kf1 f6 25.Na5 Qf7 and the White king landed in a precarious position with the threat of f-file opening up and h3-pawn dropping in the near future looming large. Although it seemed like Rapport almost managed to save the day when Gukesh's exchange sacrifice did not yield as much as he would have liked.

Position after 45.Ke1

White's incorrect displacement of his king to e1, 45.Ke1 completely turned things in Black's favor. Find out why. The king needed some breathing space like 45.Kc2 would have been fine.

Gukesh lost the second game against Rauf Mamedov (AZE, 2578) in a positional skirmish where Gukesh's bishop lacked squares to move around and eventually it became a liability. He had a space crunch for his pieces too.

Rauf Mamedov just outplayed Gukesh positionally | Photo: Gashimov Chess Memorial live stream

Gukesh - Vallejo, Round 3

Position after 37...Rd2

Which pawn to capture and which one to defend? These are difficult questions especially when you are quite low on time. Capturing either a5 or e5-pawn is fine for White as after Rxb2, White can capture the other pawn. 38.b3 Rxd3 and now capturing either pawn is no longer fine. The key difference is White is going to lose another pawn at h3. So defending it should be prioritized. 39.Rxa5 Rxh3 40.Rxe5 Rxb3 allows Black to stay ahead of the pawn and gain a decisive advantage. Although Gukesh somehow almost managed to save the game in the end.

Position after 63...Rb3

This is still not over as White can save the game. Try to figure out how. White being very low on time erred 64.Ra8 h4 and Black won the game in another six moves.

Gukesh had an exciting encounter against Spain no.1 Francisco Vallejo Pons | Photo: Gashimov Chess Memorial live stream

Gasim Gashimov, father of late Vugar Gashimov, made the inaugural first move on Hao and Mamedyarov's board | Photo: Official site
Replay 8th Vugar Gashimov Memorial 2022 Rapid Round 1-3 live stream | Video: Gashimov Chess Memorial

Replay Round 1-3 games


The Rapid tournament will be held in a Round-Robin system and the Blitz tournament will be played in a Double Round-Robin system with ten players. Only first day on 18th December, the first round starts at 2 p.m. local time (3:30 p.m. IST). The remaining four days - 19th, 20th, 22nd and 23rd December, the game starts at 3 p.m. local time (4:30 p.m. IST). 21st December is a rest day.

Time Control

The Rapid tournament will be played in 15 minutes + 10 seconds increment. The Blitz event will have 3 minutes + 2 seconds increment.


Rapid: Win 2 points, Draw 1 point and Loss 0.

Blitz: Win 1 point, Draw 0.5 point and Loss 0.

Tie-break rules

The final standings will be determined according to sum of points of both Rapid and Blitz events.

Round 1-3 results

Round 1 on 2022/12/18 at 14-00
112399GMGadimbayli Abdulla0 - 1GMMamedov Rauf257810
222721GMWang Hao½ - ½GMMamedyarov Shakhriyar27469
332657GMShankland Sam1 - 0GMSuleymanli Aydin24488
442676GMAbdusattorov Nodirbek1 - 0GMVallejo Pons Francisco26827
552802GMRapport Richard0 - 1GMGukesh D26326
Round 2 on 2022/12/18 at 15-15
1102578GMMamedov Rauf1 - 0GMGukesh D26326
272682GMVallejo Pons Francisco1 - 0GMRapport Richard28025
382448GMSuleymanli Aydin0 - 1GMAbdusattorov Nodirbek26764
492746GMMamedyarov Shakhriyar½ - ½GMShankland Sam26573
512399GMGadimbayli Abdulla0 - 1GMWang Hao27212
Round 3 on 2022/12/18 at 16-30
122721GMWang Hao½ - ½GMMamedov Rauf257810
232657GMShankland Sam½ - ½GMGadimbayli Abdulla23991
342676GMAbdusattorov Nodirbek1 - 0GMMamedyarov Shakhriyar27469
452802GMRapport Richard1 - 0GMSuleymanli Aydin24488
562632GMGukesh D0 - 1GMVallejo Pons Francisco26827


Round 4-6 pairings

Round 4 on 2022/12/19 at 15-00
1102578GMMamedov RaufGMVallejo Pons Francisco26827
282448GMSuleymanli AydinGMGukesh D26326
392746GMMamedyarov ShakhriyarGMRapport Richard28025
412399GMGadimbayli AbdullaGMAbdusattorov Nodirbek26764
522721GMWang HaoGMShankland Sam26573
Round 5 on 2022/12/19 at 16-15
132657GMShankland SamGMMamedov Rauf257810
242676GMAbdusattorov NodirbekGMWang Hao27212
352802GMRapport RichardGMGadimbayli Abdulla23991
462632GMGukesh DGMMamedyarov Shakhriyar27469
572682GMVallejo Pons FranciscoGMSuleymanli Aydin24488
Round 6 on 2022/12/19 at 17-30
1102578GMMamedov RaufGMSuleymanli Aydin24488
292746GMMamedyarov ShakhriyarGMVallejo Pons Francisco26827
312399GMGadimbayli AbdullaGMGukesh D26326
422721GMWang HaoGMRapport Richard28025
532657GMShankland SamGMAbdusattorov Nodirbek26764


Standings after Round 3

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
14GMAbdusattorov NodirbekUZB26763033,00
210GMMamedov RaufAZE25782,5022,50
37GMVallejo Pons FranciscoESP26822022,00
42GMWang HaoCHN27212012,25
53GMShankland SamUSA26572010,75
66GMGukesh DIND26321011,00
75GMRapport RichardROU28021010,00
89GMMamedyarov ShakhriyarAZE27461002,00
91GMGadimbayli AbdullaAZE23990,5001,00
108GMSuleymanli AydinAZE24480000,00



Official site

Tournament Regulations