Russia’s emerging talent Daniil Dubov, 24, outplayed the five-time US champion Hikaru Nakamura this week in the final of the $150,000 Lindores Abbey . Both the semi-final, where Nakamura defeated world champion Magnus Carlsen, and the final attracted online audiences of more than 75,000.

Carlsen won all three games on the first day, but then Nakamura viewed his opponent on his webcam and, sensing that Carlsen seemed out of sorts, made excellent use of his opening prep and speed skills to win.

The twist in the final came at the end, in the sudden death Armageddon game. Nakamura selected Black, relying on his speedy technique. But Dubov has a repertoire of offbeat openings and brought out the rare Vienna Game 1 e4 d5 2 Nc3 . It worked as the American, out of his comfort zone, blundered early and lost a piece.

Online chess is good free entertainment. Try it, both watching and playing are simple — is the best site for newcomers.

The online action moves to St Louis this weekend, where Rex Sinquefield hosts the first major US event since the pandemic began. Both Carlsen and the world No2 Fabiano Caruana are competing for $265,000, a new prize fund record for online chess. Play starts 7pm BST on Saturday June 6, and can be watched free and live with commentaries at


Ding Liren v Daniil Dubov. How did Black (to move) checkmate China’s world No3?

Click here for solution

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2024. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window) CommentsJump to comments section

Follow the topics in this article