Aimchess U.S. Rapid: Semifinals Tied
Carlsen and Aronian drew four games. Photo (archive): Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.

Aimchess U.S. Rapid: Semifinals Tied

| 12 | Chess Event Coverage

Both first matches of the online Aimchess U.S. Rapid tournament's semifinals started with a 2-2 tie. Whereas GM Magnus Carlsen and GM Levon Aronian drew four games, GM Vladislav Artemiev and GM Alireza Firouzja scored one win each.

How to watch?
The games of the Aimchess U.S. Rapid knockout phase 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 semifinals 2021

Artemiev-Firouzja 2-2

It was the clash between the youngest two players that provided most of the excitement on the first day of the semifinals. Artemiev started off with a beautiful endgame grind, but after two draws Firouzja managed to level the score eventually.

Using a double fianchetto setup that his great compatriot GM Vladimir Kramnik enjoyed playing as well, Artemiev won a pawn out of the opening in the first game but it was always going to be hard to convert with opposite-colored bishops. However, finding an excellent maneuver to get his bishop to b4 helped in making progress. Still, Firouzja felt he should never have lost this endgame:

In the next two games, it was Firouzja who was a pawn up in an endgame, but Artemiev defended very, very well. However, the third time was a charm:

Alex Yermolinsky Game of the Day

Alireza Firouzja Aimchess
Firouzja: "That was really a gift from him. I never expected to win the game after he got his position stabilized.". Image: Champions Chess Tour.

Aronian-Carlsen 2-2

The four draws between Aronian and Carlsen, who played their first-ever match back in 2004 at the FIDE World Championship in Tripoli, hardly saw any big mistakes. Only in the second game it was Aronian who had some chances, but nothing serious according to Carlsen: "It was probably the least dramatic day we've had, ever, in this tournament."

"It was a tight match," said Aronian, who was sporting a Lionel Messi Argentina team shirt during play. "I think I had chances in the second game, but after that, it was pretty solid."

Levon Aronian Lionel Messi shirt
Levon Aronian said he is "inspired" by Lionel Messi. Image: Champions Chess Tour.

All Games Day 6

The Aimchess U.S. Rapid runs August 28-September 5, 2021 on chess24. The preliminary phase was a 16-player rapid (15|10) round-robin. The top eight players have advanced 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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