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Jan-Krzysztof Duda


John Bain

Poland’s Jan-Krysztof Duda has emerged as Magnus Carlsen’s newest nemesis. Duda has now beaten the World Chess Champion three times in the past several months.


Duda’s first win against Magnus Carlsen

In May 2020, Duda achieved his first victory over the reigning World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen in Rapid Chess, beating Carlsen in Round 7 of the Lindores Abbey Rapid Chess Challenge.


Duda breaks Carlsen’s 125-game unbeaten streak!

Next, in October 2020, Duda defeated Magnus Carlsen in Classical Chess at the Altibox Norway Chess tournament. Duda’s victory was his first win in Classical Chess against the World Champion Magnus!

Carlsen’s defeat was his first loss in Classical Chess after setting a world record 125-game unbeaten streak.


Duda wins the 2021 Chess World Cup!

In August 2021, Duda defeated Carlsen again in Classical Chess in the semifinal round, then defeated Sergey Karjakin in the final round of the 2021 FIDE Chess World Cup. See the Decisive Position below >


Duda to 2022 World Chess Candidates Tournament!

Jan Krzysztof Duda in blue sports coat at the board at the start of a game against Sergy karjakin at 2021 FIDE World Cup

Duda ready to start final match against Sergey Karjakin

After beating Carlsen in the semifinal match, Duda went on to defeat Sergey Karjakin in the final match at the 2021 Chess World Cup.

Winning the Chess World Cup automatically earned Duda a spot in the 2022 World Chess Candidates Tournament, where the top eight players in the world compete for the opportunity to meet the World Chess Champion in a 14-game match for the title.

If Duda happens to win the eight-player Candidates Tournament in 2022, he could face Carlsen for the World Championship, provided that Carlsen wins his upcoming title defense in a 14 game World Chess Championship match against Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi schedule for November and December 2021 in Dubai.

Duda – first Polish player to compete in a Candidates Tournament!

Jan-Krzysztof Duda with trophy at 2021 World Chess Cup

Duda hoisting the 2020 Chess World Cup Trophy

His Ticket to the 2022 Candidates Tournament!

Decades ago, chess legends Samuel Reshevsky (born 1911) and Miguel Najdorf (born 1910) were both Polish-born, but they competed in the Candidates representing the USA and Argentina, respectively.

Polish-born Samuel Reshevsky was 9 years old in 1920 when his family moved to the USA.

Najdorf, who was Jewish, was playing for Poland in the Chess Olympiad in Buenos Aires in 1939, when World War II broke out.  He decided to stay and and became an Argentinian citizen in 1944. Nazis murdered his wife, daughter, parents and four brothers in the Holocaust.

Jan-Krzysztof Duda thumb to chin looking at black pieces

Jan-Krzysztof Duda

Born April 26, 1998

FIDE Rating: 2738

Jan-Krzysztof Duda was born April 26, 1998, in Kraków, Poland. A chess prodigy, he achieved the title of Grandmaster in 2013 at the age of 15 years and 21 days.

Duda won the Polish Chess Championship in 2018. He is a student at University School of Physical Education in Kraków.

He enjoys listening to Beethoven, Mozart and Queen!

2021 FIDE Chess World Cup Finals

Jan Krzysztof Duda and Magnus Carlsen post game discussion

Duda and Carlsen analyze game after Duda’s win

After the Queens left the board, the players entered a pure same-colored Bishop and pawn endgame with equal material.

Frequently, endgames with same-colored Bishops and pawns result in a decision–and the player with the more active Bishop wins as is the case in this game.

Chess Maxim: In same-colored Bishop and pawn endgames, keep your pawns on the opposite color squares from your Bishop!

In an endgame of equal material, Duda playing the Black pieces had the more active Bishop. Carlsen defended tenaciously, until he made the losing mistake on move 62.

The Decisive Position!


Carlsen vs Duda decisive position


Carlsen’s Choice: Move 62. Bd4 or 62. Bc1?

Carlsen played move 62. Bc1.

According to computer analysis and Grandmaster commentary, in this technical ending, move 62. Bd4 draws, while Carlsen’s move 62. Bc1 allows Black to create a zugzwang eventually, and advance Black’s d-pawn to Queen for the win.

Move 63 for Black Bc3 wins

Carlsen played 62. Bc1, Duda played 62. …Bc3 and threatened to march his d-pawn to d1 for a Queen!

Reigning World Chess Champion

Magnus Carlsen face only

Magnus Carlsen

DOB: November 30, 1990

FIDE Rating: 2847

Magnus played 125 Classical Chess Games


A Single Loss!

Prior to his 125-game unbeaten record, Carlsen’s previous loss in Classical Chess was to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in the Biel Chess Tournament on July 31, 2018!

Trivia! A second record Carlsen set! Carlsen’s current streak was also the longest unbeaten streak played by a reigning World Chess Champion and included a stretch of 12 undefeated games against Fabiano Caruana at the 2018 World Chess Championship match.

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An instructional workbook designed for students learning the game of chess. Click here to learn more!
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Chess Tactics For Students
An instructional workbook containing 434 carefully selected problems presented in worksheet format.

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