Polish chess grandmaster Jan-Krzysztof Duda has made history by being the first Pole to win the FIDE World Cup which took place in Sochi.
To achieve his historic victory, 23-year-old Duda defeated Russian grandmaster Sergey Karjakin in a decisive win. The Pole controlled the game from the very start and ended the final in 30 turns playing as white. He was also undefeated throughout the whole FIDE World Cup in proper matches.
“I think I’m still not entirely sure what has just happened and only in a few hours will I have a true explosion of euphoria,” the world champion told Polish RMF FM radio shortly after his victory. He emphasized that while there had been several excellent chess players in Polish history, there had not been tournaments as large as the World Cup. “But yes, I am the first Polish player to have accomplished this and let us hope that I will not be the last one to do so,” he said.
Jan-Krzysztof Duda was congratulated on social media by top Polish politicians and also by legendary Russian grandmaster Garry Kasparov.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki offered his congratulations on social media:
“Huge congratulations for Jan-Krzysztof Duda who has won the chess World Cup! The Pole defeated Russian player Sergey Karjakin. This is the largest accomplishment in the history of Polish chess since the end of the Second World War.”
President Andrzej Duda also congratulated the Polish grandmaster on his success:
“Poles are triumphing not only in Tokyo. Jan-Krzysztof Duda has emerged victorious in the chess World Cup and is the first Pole to have won the tournament. Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! Congratulations and many thanks to you!”
Previously, the Polish grandmaster had achieved qualification to the candidate tournament as the first Pole in history by beating then-world champion Magnus Carlsen in the semi-finals. Advancement to the tournament meant that Jan-Krzysztof Duda found himself among the 8 best grandmasters in the world who would play against each other for the title of World Champion.
Title image of Jan-Krzysztof Duda, source: FB, Polish Chess Association (PZSz).