28 October 2023

2022 FWFRCC Hikaru's Climb

The previous post, 2022 FWFRCC Lichess Swiss Group 2 (October 2023), featured IM Eric Rosen, a popular chess streamer, broadcasting his participation in an intermediate stage of last year's 'FIDE World Fischer Random Chess Championship', aka FWFRCC. The post quoted IM Rosen saying,
This is a more serious stream than usual. It's a [Chess960] World Championship and this is stage two. [...] To move on beyond this tournament I need to finish top-18.

That post provided enough background to locate online resources that documented the entire FWFRCC event. This current post features GM Hikaru Nakamura, an even more popular streamer, who won the entire event. For more background, see last year's post 2022 FWFRCC Finals - Live (November 2022). The following video covers the end of the last stage of the event.

Dear YouTube, Meet Your New World Champion (44:17) • '[Published on] Oct 31, 2022'

The video's description said,

Hikaru played Ian Nepomniachtchi in the Fischer Random World Chess Championship in Iceland on October 30, 2022, and WON! Here's his recap of the last five games.

The video was the last in a series by Nakamura that captured, from start to finish, his climb to the C960/FRC title. The winner's Youtube channel (GMHikaru) currently boasts '2.15M subscribers'. I found nine videos relevant to the 2022 FWFRCC on the channel:-

The video embedded on this post is the last clip of the series. It currently has over 519K views and over 2200 comments. The first comment says,

The man just won the Fischer 960 World Championship. Does he rest or go out for celebratory drinks or dinner -- nope, he goes back to the hotel, gets back to work, and gives his fans/subscribers a recap and analysis. Hikaru, you’re a true gift to the game of chess. Congratulations and thank you!

You might have a problem with GM Nakamura's brash style -or- you might have a problem with the idea of C960/FRC, but that's your problem. Naka is a legitimate World Champion in a chess discipline of the 21st century.

21 October 2023

2022 FWFRCC Lichess Swiss Group 2

A few months ago, in Talking About Chess960 (July 2023), I discovered an interesting link:-
No.35; 2023-07-30: [Google] Swiss Rapid Fischer Random Championship (bielchessfestival.ch) • The runner-up was popular streamer 'IM Rosen Eric'; possible action: review his resources.

I reviewed IM Rosen's resources and quickly found the following Youtube video.

SERIOUS Chess 960 (3:04:05) • '[Published on] Nov 1, 2022; Originally streamed on Sept. 10, 2022.'

The clip has no description, so what are we watching here? At around 10:00 into the clip, we learn,

This is a more serious stream than usual. It's a [Chess960] World Championship and this is stage two. I believe this is a Swiss stage. I played the the Arena stage last week and because I finished top-500 in Arena -- which wasn't too difficult -- I'm in this tournament now. To move on beyond this tournament I need to finish top-18.

I covered that complicated World Championship tournament last year, where the final post was 2022 FWFRCC Wrapup (December 2022; 'FIDE World Fischer Random Chess Championship'). The stage of the tournament in the video was covered chronologically by an earlier post, 2022 FWFRCC Qualifiers (October 2022).

The many FWFRCC preliminary events were played in parallel, independently on the two main online chess sites, Chess.com and Lichess.org. IM Rosen participated on the Lichess side. My 'Qualifiers' post had a link to Midway Through The World Fischer Random Championship Qualifiers on Lichess (lichess.org; September 2022), which gave some context:-

With the open and invitational arena stage over, we now move to the first Swiss stages marking the midpoint of the qualifiers on Lichess. At the Swiss stages, eligible players can only take part in the groups they’ve been sorted into. Eligible players and the groups they’ve been sorted into can be >>> found here <<<. [...] The top 18 players of each group go through, where they will meet on 11th September (with the same start times), and be met by 10 wildcards. In total, up to 100 players will compete in the second Swiss stage to determine the final 16 who go through to the KO stages.

The 'found here' anchor leads to FIDE World Fischer Random Championship - Swiss Stages (lichess.org), where we learn that one 'EricRosen' qualified from the 'FIDE CCC & NACCL World Fischer Random Qualifier' into the CCC and NACCL: Swiss Group 2. That is the 11-round event presented in the video.

After that long introduction to set the scene, let's list the games played from the video. The first column shows the video start time, followed by the start position:-

0:00:08 SP422 RNBQNBKR
0:14:32 SP459 RNNKBQRB
0:31:05 SP670 RNKRNBBQ
0:46:13 SP385 BQRBNNKR
1:01:58 SP060 NBNRQKBR
1:18:43 SP901 RKBBQRNN
1:35:35 SP280 NBRKBNRQ
1:51:03 SP099 BQNRNKRB
2:07:21 SP803 BRKQNRNB
2:25:24 SP228 NBBRQKNR
2:39:43 SP466 BRNNKBRQ

The page for 'Swiss Group 2' lists 'No.10 IM EricRosen'. His participation ended in the next step of the event, CCC and NACCL: Swiss Phase 2, where he finished at no.74. Will I find the time to study Rosen's games in more depth?