Grandmasters are overrated


Revenge of the under-titled.

On Saturday IM Minh Le won his second straight Titled Arena. He added a bullet Titled arena victory to his Blitz Titled Arena victory from 2 week ago. This was his third Titled Arena victory overall among many other finishes in the top spots. There is a long tradition of IMs performing well in Titled Arenas. Names like Opperwezen and MeneerMandje come to mind, players who have never looked even slightly out of place among GMs. It’s only natural since what you need to do to get a GM title and what you need to do to get a 2800 Lichess bullet rating do not align precisely, even if many of the same people do both.

Minh battled GM Daniel Naroditsky, who finished in second, right to the bitter end, trading the lead numerous times. Naroditsky started the event fashionably late as he often does, and it's hard to argue that this has ever hurt his chances much. He began playing the 2 hour event 20 minutes after it started and 30 mins afterwards he was in the top 10. He was, at one point, in the lead and 20 points ahead of the entire field. This is the sort of luxury afforded to those that can score close to 100% even against other Grandmasters. It also bears mentioning how Naroditsky's start time compares to the eventual winner's, Minh started playing 2 minutes after Naroditsky.

Third place was the anonymous GM Feeglood, fourth was GM Dmitry Andreikin and fifth was another anonymous player; GM Arka50. The next Lichess Titled Arena will be on January 2nd.