Nepomniachtchi Wins Moscow FIDE Grand Prix

The FIDE Grand Prix in Moscow was won by Ian Nepomniachtchi, who defeated his compatriot Alexander Grischuk on Wednesday in the second of two rapid tiebreak games.

A few days ago he said he had a positive feeling about this tournament from the start. Nepomniachtchi’s good vibes lasted til the very end; he ended up winning the whole thing.

“I was trying to be solid,” was how the youngest of the two Russian players in the final summarized his victorious Grand Prix (Nepo is 28, Grischuk 35), which earned him 24,000 euros and the top spot on the GP leaderboard (more on that below).

Moscow was the first of four Grand Prix tournaments this year. Nepomniachtchi now has good chances to qualify for the 2020 Candidates Tournament but he isn’t there yet. It’s the two players who finish at the top of the Grand Prix final standings, which is based on Grand Prix points, who qualify.

(The other qualifiers are two players from the World Cup, in September in Khanty-Mansiysk, one player from the FIDE Grand Swiss, in October, one based on rating, one wild card and Fabiano Caruana as the loser of the last title match.)

Below is a table with all four events, with the green pawns indicating which players will play in the remaining three tournaments. For Moscow, the Grand Prix points have been filled in. Note that all players who won a mini-match without a tiebreak got an extra GP point for each of those mini-matches.