The Polish grandmaster Duda’s incredible run featured wins over Alexander Grischuk, Magnus Carlsen, and Sergey Karjakin in the FIDE World Cup. He is now a lock-in for the 2022 Candidates Tournament.
How Jan-Krzysztof Duda won the FIDE World Cup
The Polish prodigy blazed his way through a tough bracket of opponents to take down the World Cup title, beating two players from the top ten of the FIDE world rankings alongside other notable opponents.
The Pole’s victory over Carlsen in the semifinals via rapid tiebreaks was made all the more notable by the fact that the Norwegian posted a 2901 tournament performance rating for the classical portion of the event. He was also the player to end the world champion’s 125-game unbeaten streak in classical time format back in October 2020.
Duda’s run was a real highlight of an event otherwise marred by COVID-related issues, forcing Levon Aronian and multiple other players to withdraw from the proceedings along the way.
Who is Jan-Krzysztof Duda?
Born in 1998, the Polish chess prodigy fulfilled the grandmaster norm at the age of fifteen. His peak standing in the world rankings was number twelve in December 2019 when he spiked to an ELO of 2758. He will almost match that after his imperious run at the World Cup, with a +18.2 overall from the event taking him back to 2756.
Duda considers himself a universal player but observes have specifically highlighted his shark-like ability to excel in sharp and complicated positions, especially in time trouble situations. Duda’s victory over Carlsen in the FIDE World Cup made him the fifth Polish player to defeat a reigning world champion, joining the ranks of Rubinstein (against Lasker), Tartakower (against Alekhine), Krasenkow (against Karpov in 1998), and Wojtaszek (against Carlsen).
The 2022 Candidates Tournament field is taking shape
Now that the FIDE World Cup has concluded, we know half of the field of the upcoming Candidates Tournament. Duda and Karjakin will join either Carlsen or Ian Nepomniachtchi alongside Teimour Radjabov. The Azeri player withdrew from the 2020 Candidates Tournament on account of the pandemic, and he subsequently asked for his reinstatement after the event was postponed halfway through due to the worsening global health situation. Instead, he was awarded a direct entry into the next Candidates Tournament.
These four players will be joined by the top two finishers in the FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament and the FIDE Grand Prix (excluding those who have already qualified).