Charity Cup Day 1: Le, Niemann Lead As Ding Beats Carlsen
Hans Niemann lost a lot of hair but unlike Samson, it's not hurting his skills. Image: Champions Chess Tour.

Charity Cup Day 1: Le, Niemann Lead As Ding Beats Carlsen

| 26 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Le Quang Liem and GM Hans Niemann, underdogs for overall victory, are sharing the lead after day one at the Charity Cup. In what is the second leg of the 2022 Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, World Champion Magnus Carlsen suffered an early loss to GM Ding Liren. The event will continue on Sunday, March 20, at 9 a.m. PT / 18:00 CET. 

How to watch?

Charity Cup Round 4

The games of the Charity Cup preliminaries can be found here as part of our live events platform.

Both Le and Niemann scored three excellent wins and one draw to start the 16-player preliminaries. After four days, only half of the field will move on to the knockout stage of the tournament that has a total prize fund of $150,000. On the first four days, a win yields $750 while a draw earns both players $250.

Le's win vs. GM Praggnanandhaa R. in round two was a thrilling affair as the young Indian GM lost an exchange but got a pawn in return and could create two passers vs. one for White. A tricky check on move 58 would have been good for a draw:

Niemann started with a draw but then won three games in a row. One was a win with the black pieces over Ding, where the American grandmaster showed to be on top of the latest theory in the English Opening but the game was topsy-turvy:

Niemann said: "With the experience from the first [event], I really didn't feel any nerves at all. When I'm relaxed, good things happen."

Ding bounced back strongly in the last round of the day when he defeated Carlsen, who had earlier scored two wins and a draw. The Chinese GM outwitted the world champion in the opening, won an exchange, then returned it for a different advantage, and converted convincingly:

Ding Liren
Ding Liren. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

The preliminaries have a 3-1-0 scoring system, where players who win get three points; players who draw, one; and losers, zero. This leads to the following standings after the first day.

Charity Cup | Day 1 Standings

# Fed Name Rating Perf Pts
1 Niemann, Hans Moke 2624 3034 10
2 Le, Quang Liem 2723 2989 10
3 Ding, Liren 2752 2906 9
4 Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi 2723 2856 8
5 Van Foreest, Jorden 2714 2853 8
6 Carlsen, Magnus 2854 2803 7
7 Duda, Jan-Krzysztof 2720 2801 6
8 Praggnanandhaa, R. 2664 2669 5
9 Rapport, Richard 2762 2680 5
10 Hansen, Eric 2669 2644 4
11 Anton Guijarro, David 2694 2493 3
12 Navara, David 2700 2517 2
13 Ju, Wenjun 2560 2478 2
14 Lei, Tingjie 2535 2491 2
15 Harikrishna, Pentala 2716 2577 2
16 Jones, Gawain 2672 2336 1

This second leg of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour is dedicated to fundraising for the victims of the war in Ukraine. A few days before the start of the event, Play Magnus Group decided to use it to raise money for UNICEF’s life-saving support for children and their families. On the first day, over $17,000 was raised.

Another decision by Play Magnus is to have no Russian players in the event, something the world champion himself, a shareholder in the company, tweeted about: "Personally I would have liked to see all the qualified participants invited to the tournament, as it would have given the Russians a chance to take a brave stance, and retained the sporting integrity of the tournament."

All Games Day 1

The 2022 Champions Chess Tour's Charity Cup Masters runs March 19-27 on chess24. The preliminary phase is a 16-player rapid (15+10) round-robin. The top eight players advance to a knockout that consists of one four-game rapid match during the quarterfinals and semifinals and two four-game rapid matches during the final.  Play advance to blitz (5+3) and armageddon (White has five minutes, Black has four with no increment) tiebreaks only if a knockout match ends in a tie. The total prize fund of the event is $150,000, with $750 for each win and $250 for each draw in the preliminaries.

Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

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