Duda dominates in Sochi World Cup

Friday, August 6th 2021 – “Huge congratulations to Duda for winning the World Cup. Considering the line of opponents, he beat in the last four rounds, never losing a game — then obviously never being in a must-win or desperate situation — is a massive achievement. So, he is a richly deserved winner” was what World Champion Magnus Carlsen had to say about his opponent’s magnificent performance.

Attending the ceremony were the Deputy Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation, Alexey Morozov, the Minister of Sport of Krasnodar Krai, Alexey Chernov, the Executive Director of the Russian Chess Federation, Mark Glukhovsky as well as FIDE Vice-Nigel Short and Lukasz Turlej who gave the trophy to the winner and officially closed the tournament.

Unbeaten in 18 games against world-class opponents, including the current World Champion and a former World Cup winner, with a rating gain of 18 points – he is now number thirteen in the world - Poland’s 23-year-old Jan-Krzysztof Duda has made history by winning the 2021 World Cup.

“I was also touched by all the local chess fans who were wishing me good luck each day, thank you to all of them” were his final words just after receiving the winner’s trophy.

Jan-Krzysztof’s journey began by defeating Paraguay GM Guillermo Vazquez (2527) in the second round by a 1.5-0.5, followed by two more wins against USA GM Samuel Sevian (2647) and Iran GM Pouya Idani (2614), with the same score.

A very tough match followed in the 1/8 finals against top Russian GM Alexander Grischuk (2778), which Duda took down in the tiebreaks by 2.5-1.5. In ¼ finals he defeated India’s number two player GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi (2726) by a clear 1.5-0.5 score, leading him up to the clase with the World Champion in semi-finals.

Duda prevailed again in the tiebreak, defeating Norway GM Magnus Carlsen (2847) by 2.5-1.5, leaving him in a great position to fight for the win in the final against Russiam GM Sergey Karjakin (2757), whom he defeated by 1.5-0.5.

Born in Poland in 1998, 23-year-old Jan-Krzysztof Duda (2738) was always considered a chess prodigy. World Under-10 Champion in 2008, European Under-14 Champion in 2012 and Grand Master at the age of 15 are just some of his many achievements as a kid.

He topped these successes up by performing brilliantly in two top events in his own country, winning the European Rapid Chess Championship and achieving second place in the European Blitz Chess Championship, both at the end of 2014. The President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, awarded him the Silver Cross of Merit in 2016 for his sports achievements and contributions to popularizing chess.

In 2018 he was already the best Polish player and the number one ranked junior in the world and that year he also won the Polish National Championship. Thanks to these results, at the beginning of 2019 he became the first ever Polish chess player to exceed the 2800 rating barrier in Blitz.

On October 10th 2020, he made the news once again. He defeated Magnus Carlsen at the Altibox Norway Chess tournament, putting an end to the World Champions’ unbeaten 125-game streak in classical chess.

His main strength as a player has always been his intuition: as a young talent he studied Kasparov’s “My Great Predecessors” book series. However, he still thinks he can improve in calculation.

Outside chess he enjoys listening to classical music such as Beethoven and Mozart and he is also a Queen fan. He even won a reality show in Poland called “The Brain” in 2017.

He is currently a student at the University School of Physical Education in Krakow and keeps himself in good shape with excellent nutrition and daily swimming routines.

With this win, he has qualified for the 2022 Candidates tournament where he will get the opportunity to fight for the chance to play against the World Champion for the title.

Signing off from Sochi,

IM Michael Rahal
FIDE Press Officer

More information, the full tournament tree, live games and PGN files can be found on the World Cup websitealongside a great amount of other interesting information such as daily videos, a complete photo collection and other useful data.

Organisers: International Chess Federation (FIDE), Chess Federation of Russia, Russian Ministry of Sports, and Government of Krasnodar Krai.
Gazprom – general partner
Nornickel – general partner
PhosAgro – general partner
Chessable – event’s partner
Rosatom - event’s partner
Aeroflot – CFR’s partner
Educational centre “Sirius”