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Aimchess U.S. Rapid Days 1-2: Artemiev Leads As Carlsen Returns For Final Leg
Vladislav Artemiev. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Aimchess U.S. Rapid Days 1-2: Artemiev Leads As Carlsen Returns For Final Leg

PeterDoggers
| 14 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Vladislav Artemiev leads the preliminary stage of the Aimchess U.S. Rapid after two days. The 23-year-old Russian grandmaster scored 7.5/10, half a point more than GM Magnus Carlsen, who is back in the field for this final leg of the Champions Chess Tour, as well as GM Levon Aronian.

How to watch?
The games of the Aimchess U.S. Rapid preliminaries can be found here as part of our live events platform. Daily commentary is provided on the Chessbrahs Twitch channel starting at 8:00 a.m. Pacific / 17:00 Central Europe.

Aimchess U.S. Rapid Live Games

We've reached the final leg of the Champions Chess Tour before September's Finals. The good news for many fans is that the world champion has returned to the virtual chessboard after he had to skip the previous leg due to his FIDE World Cup participation.

The tournament is mostly about which players will make it to the Finals, besides the already-qualified Carlsen, GM Teimour Radjabov, GM Anish Giri (as Tour Major winners), Aronian, GM Wesley So, and GM Ian Nepomniachtchi (who already secured their spots on points). As the Finals will also include two wildcards, two more players have a chance to qualify based on their results in the final leg.

At the moment, GM Hikaru Nakamura (not playing in this final leg) and GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave are set for qualifying, but they're not certain yet—especially if Artemiev, who started strongly in the preliminaries, ends up winning the tournament.

The Russian player has won five and drew five so far. In one of his wins, he tricked Aronian with a typical tactic in isolated queen's pawn positions, and in fact, it had been played before. This is Aronian's only loss so far.

Carlsen also suffered just one loss in these first 10 rounds. The new French GM Alireza Firouzja continues to be a dangerous opponent for him, although Carlsen was doing well in the early middlegame in a Scandinavian Defense. But at one point, the game turned around completely and ended with checkmate: 

Dejan Bojkov Game of the Day

A spectacular game in the first round is Aronian's win over the Vietnamese GM Le Quang Liem, who did so well in the Chessable Masters where he eliminated the Armenian GM in the semifinals. Aronian got his revenge in a wild, topical, and fascinating line of the Moller Ruy Lopez:

With this event having a focus on North America, we see more participants from this continent than usual. GM Daniel Naroditsky, a regular commentator at Chess.com, showed to be a fine force himself as he managed to beat his great compatriot So:

Dejan Bojkov Game of the Day

Daniel Naroditsky
A powerful finish by Daniel Naroditsky. Photo: Benjamin Robson/Chess.com.

Five more rounds will be played on Monday. Then the top-eight finishers will qualify for the knockout phase.

Aimchess U.S. Rapid | Round 10 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts
1 Artemiev 2704 2923 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 7.5
2 Carlsen 2847 2866 ½ ½ 1 0 1 1 ½ ½ 1 1 7.0
3 Aronian 2782 2852 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 1 7.0
4 Mamedyarov 2782 2848 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 6.5
5 So 2772 2800 0 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 6.0
6 Firouzja 2759 2779 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 1 ½ 6.0
7 Duda 2738 2754 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 1 5.5
8 Giri 2776 2738 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 5.5
9 Naroditsky 2623 2739 0 ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 1 0 5.0
10 Vachier-Lagrave 2751 2739 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 5.0
11 Dominguez 2758 2707 ½ ½ 0 0 0 1 ½ 1 0 1 4.5
12 Vidit 2726 2692 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 1 ½ 4.5
13 Le 2709 2584 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 1 ½ 1 3.0
14 Van Foreest 2698 2573 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 1 0 ½ 1 3.0
15 Hansen 2606 2496 0 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 0 1 2.0
16 Liang 2587 2488 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 0 0 0 2.0

All Games Days 1-2

The Aimchess U.S. Rapid runs August 28-September 5, 2021 on chess24. The preliminary phase is a 16-player rapid (15|10) round-robin. The top eight players advance to a six-day knockout that consists of two days of four-game rapid matches, which advance to blitz (5|3) and armageddon (White has five minutes, Black four with no increment) tiebreaks only if a knockout match is tied after the second day. The prize fund is $100,000, including a $30,000 first prize.

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