GM Alexey Sarana won Titled Tuesday on January 11 with a score of 9.5/11, a week after finishing in second place. He won on tiebreaks over second-place GM Aram Hakobyan and third-place Kacper Piorun. The top 10 was rounded out by seven players on nine points, with fourth going to GM Dmitry Andreikin.
629 players joined this week’s Titled Tuesday, the second straight week with 600 participants or more. The tournament format, as usual, was an 11-round Swiss with a 3+1 time control.
Sarana was fire-hot for nine rounds, starting with 9/9 and looking to challenge GM Hikaru Nakamura’s perfect score last August. Despite a loss in round 10 and draw in round 11, playing the top of the field throughout the tournament gave Sarana the best tiebreaker score among the leaders.
He also played both of those who tied him, including a round-six win over Piorun.
Sarana then opened up a full-point lead on the field by beating Andreikin in round nine. Playing the aggressive King’s Indian Attack, Andreikin could not break through—and lost in the end.
When it came time for Sarana to play Hakobyan, however, the latter player emerged victoriously and tied Sarana for the tournament lead. Fortunately for Sarana, Hakobyan also drew in the final round.
Sarana won $750 for first place. Hakobyan earned $400 for second and Piorun $150 for third. Andreikin took home $100 for fourth, while WGM Anna Sargsyan won $100 as the highest-scoring female player, on 8/11.
Titled Tuesday is Chess.com’s tournament for titled players, a Swiss-system event played every week at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time/19:00 Central European.