22-year-old Alexander Donchenko will see a dream come true, making his debut in the Tata Steel Masters. The talented German chess player (71st on the world ranking) was at home when he was caught by surprise by a phone call from tournament director Jeroen van den Berg on Thursday.
The latter had just heard that Daniil Dubov had cancelled, due to someone close to him testing positive for COVID-19, and was frantically looking for a replacement. Donchenko immediately accepted and (after having undergone a COVID-19 test) was picked up at home to be driven to Wijk aan Zee. Quite recently the young German managed to win a classical chess tournament with a score of 8 out of 9.