Polish star Jan-Krzysztof Duda won the $210,000 Oslo Esports Cup, the first Major of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour season. The 24-year-old took full advantage as both World Champion Magnus Carlsen and India’s boy wonder Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa – the two hot favourites – crashed dramatically at the final hurdle.
On a day of high-pressure chess, Duda stayed calm as everyone around him panicked. Round 7 started with four players in with a chance, but out of them only Duda managed to win a match in regulation time.
He takes home $35,000 – $2,500 per point scored – and the Oslo Esports Cup NFT trophy. Duda also has the honour of ending Carlsen’s run of Tour victories.
Carlsen and Praggnanandhaa both lost in just three games as they came up against opponents in inspired form. That left Vietnam’s speed specialist Liem Quang Le with a last chance to take the title in a high-stakes final game that decided everything.
Pragg, who led the field until Round 5, collapsed first losing his first two games to Dutch star Anish Giri. The youngster kept his hopes alive by hanging on for a draw in Game 3, but it was over when he lost the final game.
Carlsen, meanwhile, came up against an opponent in inspired form and played exceptional chess. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov is one of the world’s most dangerous players and unstoppable when in the mood. This was one of those days.
The Champions Chess Tour is the leading online chess Tour worldwide determining the world’s best chess player over a full competitive season of online chess. The 2022 season begins in February 2022 and features monthly tournaments culminating in a Final in November 2022. The best chess players in the world are competing in rapid chess. All games take place online on www.chess24.com with players competing for a total prize pool of over USD 1.5 million. For more information visit www.championschesstour.com.