Yakubboev Wins UzChess Cup On Tiebreaks Ahead Of Abdusattorov
GM Nodirbek Yakubboev, the winner in Tashkent. Photo: Uzbekistan Chess Federation.

Yakubboev Wins UzChess Cup On Tiebreaks Ahead Of Abdusattorov

| 19 | Chess Event Coverage

Bottom-seed GM Nodirbek Yakubboev edged out top-seed GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov on tiebreaks to claim the $25,000 first prize at the UzChess Cup Masters, part of a bigger chess festival in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The two Uzbek GMs scored 5.5/9, half a point more than GMs Yu Yangyi and Alexey Sarana. Famous grandmasters Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Alexander Grischuk finished in disappointing eighth and ninth places, just ahead of tailender GM Parham Maghsoodloo.

Final Standings

UzChess Cup 2024 Final Standings

The UzChess Cup was a strong international tournament held in Uzbekistan's capital, with eight 2700s and two 2600s in the field, among them top-10 GM Abdusattorov as well as FIDE Candidate GM Vidit Gujrathi. Four local players got the chance to face strong international grandmasters in a nine-round all-play-all.

The first prize surprisingly went to Yakubboev, the "other Nodirbek" and with 2634 the lowest-rated player in the field. However, as a three-time Uzbekistani Champion, board two of the gold-winning Olympiad team of 2022, and the 2023 Qatar Masters Champion, Yakubboev was definitely a force to reckon with.

Yakubboev is making a habit of edging out his more famous Nodirbek countryman—here winning their playoff in Qatar. Photo: Qatar Masters.

In this event, he remained undefeated with seven draws and wins against Vidit and Maghsoodloo.

Especially that first win, from the second round, was spectacular. Yakubboev played with a steel king that would have won him a King Of The Hill game by move 20. 

Yakubboev UZChess 2024 Masters
A remarkable game by Yakubboev (here against Maghsoodloo) and his king! Photo: Uzbekistan Chess Federation.

Top seed Abdusattorov reached the same amount of points but with one extra win and a loss. He earned $20,000 for second place.

Abdusattorov's only loss was against his compatriot GM Javokhir Sindarov. This game caught the eye of the author for the fact that it's rare these days to see a Bc4 Dragon with opposite-side castling played out on a high level. While the opening has seen countless slugfests, this one turned out rather positional:

Sindarov vs. Abdusattorov UZChess Cup 2024
Sindarov vs. Abdusattorov, a positional Dragon. Photo: Uzbekistan Chess Federation.

Sarana and Yu shared third place as the only other players to finish on a plus score. (Apart from the tournament winner, the only player to remain undefeated was GM Richard Rapport, with nine draws.) Their head-to-head game was won by the Chinese GM, in round three. He didn't mind going for an endgame straight from the opening, and especially the final phase was instructive:

Yu Yangyi UZChess Cup 2024
Strong endgame play by Yu Yangyi. Photo: Uzbekistan Chess Federation.

It was a tough tournament for the big names of an earlier generation: Mamedyarov lost 8.2 rating points and Grischuk 11.1. Both went home without scoring a single win. Maghsoodloo, meanwhile, continues to be an erratic player who alternates between good and bad performances, it seems. In Tashkent, things didn't go his way.

The Challengers group saw more Uzbek success with GM Shamsiddin Vokhidov taking first place ahead of GM Alexandr Predke, now representing Serbia. There was also a Futures group, won by the Ukrainian GM Vitaly Sivuk who now plays for Sweden. He was also the winner of this year's Rilton Cup.

The UzChess Cup 2024 took place June 6-14, 2024, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan featuring a Masters, Challengers and Futures 10-player round-robin. The time control was 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with a 30-second increment from move one. You can find all games for replay here.

Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

In October, Peter's first book The Chess Revolution will be published!

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