Tuan Minh Scores Knockout In Arena Kings Season 9

A week after finishing in third place, IM Le Tuan Minh picked up a win in Week 2 of Arena Kings Season 9 on Wednesday. He beat GM Vugar Rasulov in a close 3-2 (+2-1=2) final.

Semi-finalists GM Oleksandr Bortnyk and GM Jose Martinez finished third and fourth as a total of 1,213 players joined Arena Kings this week.

How to watch?

The tournament started with the usual two-hour arena, followed by a knockout tournament between the top 16 finishing streamers. Arena and KO are played with 3+0 time control.

Live stream of this Wednesday’s tournament, hosted by commentator NM James Canty III.


As General Manager Hikaru Nakamura was busy winning his match in the 2022 FIDE Grand Prix, with today’s show mostly focusing on Minh Le and GM Robert Hessewith WCM Rebecca Selkirk (@beccrajoy) and Chessbrah streamer Jeff F. (@LethbridgeChess) also among those receiving time on today’s show.

Frustrated with himself for missing a game, Jeff recovered by trapping a queen:

Arena Kings doesn’t always mean playing against someone with the same rating as you, like James Chirilov (@chessbrainiac) discovered with a surprise encounter against GM Gata Kamski:

Towards the end of the two hours, it was uncertain whether Minh Le would make it to the knockout as he raced to enter the top 16 streamers.

His efforts paid off as he reached the knockout stage with a score of +17 -4 =13. Other knockout notables included Bortnyk, Martinez, GM Renato Terry, GM Baadur Jobavaand FM David Czerw.

knock out

Rasulov led all titled players in the arena leg with 79 points on +24 -4=5, but struggled in the first knockout round before moving to 2-1.

In the quarter-finals, Minh Le beat Jobava 2-0 in what was probably the most important game, while Martinez had a tough start against IM. Cem Kaan Gokerkan before recovering to win 2-1.

Crunchtime in the semi-finals, each contested separately, featured Bortnyk and Rasulov as well as Minh Le and Martinez. Rasulov started with a 2.5-0.5 performance against Bortnyk.

After that, Minh Le used his favorite bloodline, the Sicilian Nimzowitsch, to start his match against Martinez on the right foot and win in just 19 shots, and lead him to a 2-0 victory.

In the final, the first three games were a win, a loss and a draw for each player. In the fourth game, Rasulov avoided Minh Le’s Nimzowitsch Sicilian with the Grand Prix Attack, but the Vietnamese player took the lead with a victory.

He then picked up the knockout with a spectacular draw in the final game.

Rankings, results, prizes

Minh Le won $500 and Rasulov won $350 as runner-up. Bortnyk and Martinez raised $200 each. Fifth through eighth all won $100 and ninth through 16th received $50 (pending fair play confirmation). Below you can see the full knockout standings:

Arena Kings Season 9 | Week 2 | Final knockout standings

# username Country Evaluation
1 wonderful time 2944
2 vugarrasulov 2793
3-4 Joseph 2983
3-4 bortnyk_chess 2941
5-8 exotic princess 2866
5-8 MI Terryble 2835
5-8 ckgchess 2776
5-8 shreyas1609 1555
9-16 AbasovN 2967
9-16 davidczerw 2510
9-16 jack2212 2086
9-16 Mikhail Tal-Reborn 2003
9-16 LordGigantics 1990
9-16 ChessBruh630 1735
9-16 the_blessed 1610
9-16 krrish118 1530

Full arena rankings here.

All prices are published in the results report here.

Arena Kings is a weekly tournament organized by Chess.com. This is an arena event followed by a knockout with the top 16 players that begins at 9:00 a.m. PT/6:00 p.m. CEE.

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