Anish Giri returns to defend his title and fight for the same photo of a man on a horse as the 16-player Mr Dodgy Invitational 2.0 starts Wednesday May 12th. The blitz knockout tournament on chess24 has the kind of line-up chess fans would choose, with the likes of Baadur Jobava, Adhiban, Alexei Shirov and Daniil Dubov ensuring we can expect explosive action. Jan Gustafsson will commentate and there are trailers… lots of trailers!
It’s almost a year since Anish Giri flagged David Navara in a dead drawn position in the 1st game of the Mr Dodgy Invitational final before going on to win 7:2. The Dutch destroyer went on to become an online beast and carried that form into the second half of the Candidates Tournament, where he was the player who pushed Ian Nepomniachtchi hardest.
Now the Mr Dodgy Invitational is back with double the number of players. The Twitter joke that went too far has even acquired its own webpage, complete with merchandise.
It’s best of 12 games of 5 minutes blitz, with no increment, and an Armageddon decider if a match reaches 6:6. Time will be a factor, to put it mildly, with MrDodgy explaining:
This was chosen by GM Jan Gustafsson and any complaints of excessive flaggery should be directed aggressively at him.
But who’s playing, when, and why? Well, here’s the knockout bracket!
The matches start each day at 16:00 CEST, with the Round of 16 on Wednesday 12th to Thursday 13th May, before the Quarterfinals on Friday, Semi-Finals on Saturday and Final on Sunday.
How were the pairings chosen?
Let’s take a look at the match-ups in the decidedly random order in which they were announced…
Daniil Dubov vs. Simon Williams
Harry the h-pawn will be fearing for his life as two of the most aggressively-minded players in chess battle it out.
Laurent Fressinet vs. Peter Svidler
2-time French Champion Laurent Fressinet, who lost to Giri in last year’s first round, takes on 8-time Russian Champion Peter Svidler, who got to the semi-finals.
This match-up is a sad case of when bribes go wrong!
Vidit Gujrathi vs. Peter Heine Nielsen
The head coach of Magnus Carlsen (the Peter Laurent was hoping for) takes on the head coach of…
Vidit may be the favourite, but there’s no hiding how much this means to Peter!
Anish Giri vs. Pepe Cuenca
Who could resist the siren call off a $2,500 top prize and winning a photo of a man on a horse… that you already own!
Alexei Shirov vs. Nils Grandelius
It’s fire vs. ice as “the original Fire on Board” Alexei Shirov takes on Swedish no. 1 Nils Grandelius.
Nils is a favourite of MrDodgy, since, if you weren’t aware:
The organizer (Tournament Dictator) is MrDodgy. From his ice-fortress in Northern Sweden, he controls vast swathes of the chess industry.
David Navara vs. Adhiban
Two “horse-friendly” grandmasters were an obvious pick for the 2nd edition of the Mr Dodgy Invitational.
Adhiban, fresh from qualifying for the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, will only get to live the dream of playing 1.b3 against Anish Giri if they both reach the final. Motivation doesn’t get much greater than that, but for now Adhiban’s greatest achievement may be finally removing MrDodgy from the Play Magnus Group…
David Howell vs. Jorden van Foreest
“The most successful Dutch player of the 2020s”, Tata Steel Masters winner Jorden van Foreest, takes on English Grandmaster David Howell, whose fancy-dress moment from the New in Chess Classic is proving hard to live down…
Baadur Jobava vs. Alexander Grischuk
Chess maverick Baadur Jobava takes on Thug Life 3-time Blitz World Champion Alexander Grischuk. For once the tweet doesn’t lie!
Commentating on such an event isn’t a task that could be assigned to just anyone. Commeth the moment, commeth the man, Jan Gustafsson!
He couldn’t contain his excitement.