In the round of 128, we avoided too many stunning surprises, with most of the top boards progressing serenely to round 2 which is underway. While we can still bank on the tournament favourites to go forward unscathed, we can nevertheless expect some high-class and thrilling matches.
The most interesting challenge to the top 10 boards we expect to come on board 9, where the theoretical tactician Vempele is facing off against Alexnader123 (#73), who surprised in round 1 with an 8-1 demolition and openings clearly inspired by World Champion JannLee. Alex, who according to his profile is quite new to the ZH world, has risen quickly into the top 50 leaderboard. Will Vempele, who will surely test his opening knowledge, be a hurdle too high for him?
The masters of regular chess have a tough challenge ahead of them as GM Arka50 (#51) faces off against JohnStuckey on board 14, while board 19 will feature the lichess regular FM MagicAndy (#46), who will clash with atamek. According to the seeding, the most balanced battle will be between the streamer IM larso (#32) and the crazyhouse veteran mathace (#33).
Some other intriguing match-ups to look out for are pknm (#24) – burpcow (#41), crosky (#27) – ciw (#38) and terra87 (#30) – NM ArtOfDeception (#35), the latter match just played. We will report on the results and offer some in-depth analysis at the completion of the round as we did for round 1.
To conclude, we would like to remind players to announce the times they arrange their matches in advance on the relevant CWC forum thread. These will be updated on the calendar. That way, spectators and fans will be able to follow the matches by clicking the tv icon of the relevant player on lichess, and live-chat with each other on Discord.
See you soon with the recap and analysis of round 2!
—MMichael (with okei)