The Champions Showdown has started with an incredible exhibition by Caruana and Rapport, who are both leading their matches 7-1 (a victory counts for 2 points) against Pentala Harikrishna and Samuel Shankland respectively. Wesley So has taken the lead against David Navara and Veselin Topalov is ahead of Leinier Dominguez. Nakamura and Duda are tied after an exciting match.
After a couple months without playing, the World Championship runner-up, Fabiano Caruana, has come back in incredible form. Using his infamous Petroff, he was able to beat Harikrishna with Black twice, and then once again he won with White in the last game. A great start against the Indian, who is under a lot of pressure now. Caruana's new rapid live rating would rank him 5th in the world!
It was unexpected to see Rapport completely crush Shankland. The Hungarian absolutely dominated the match, leaving the American with almost no points at all.
Veselin Topalov was better than Leinier Dominguez in their match and the score difference could have been larger if not for Leinier’s great defensive technique.
David Navara caught Wesley So in some good preparation against the Open Spanish, but So was able to take the lead after playing some very good games. Wesley is an expert in both rapid games and matches, so the Czech won’t have it easy!
The only match that is tied at the moment is the one between Nakamura and Duda. Both players are displaying very high quality, and Duda was able to recover after an initial loss. He equalized the score and was able to apply pressure in the last game against Nakamura, who after struggling for a bit managed to keep the match tied.
You can continue watching the exciting matches here on chess24.
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