Aimchess U.S. Rapid: Artemiev, Carlsen Reach Final
Magnus Carlsen plays another final. Image: Champions Chess Tour.

Aimchess U.S. Rapid: Artemiev, Carlsen Reach Final

| 24 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Magnus Carlsen will be facing GM Vladislav Artemiev in the final of the online Aimchess U.S. Rapid tournament. On the second day of the semifinals, Carlsen was too strong for GM Levon Aronian, and then Artemiev won the armageddon game of the playoff vs. GM Alireza Firouzja, who will now play Aronian for third place. 

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
Artemiev-Firouzja 2-2 | 2-1

Also on the second day of their semifinal, Artemiev and Firouzja produced a true spectacle. After a tense draw in the first game, both players won with the black pieces before another draw forced a playoff.

Firouzja, the first to strike in the regular games, showed his fantastic calculation skills:

Artemiev, whom Carlsen described as "somebody who has just a sublime positional feeling," also deviated quite a bit with his black openings. Using the Caro-Kann, he won the very next game but in his black game in the playoff, he drew with a 3...g6 Ruy Lopez.

This hard-fought match went all the way to armageddon, where Artemiev had to win and did with the Trompowsky:

Aronian-Carlsen 1-3

After their quiet start with four draws the other day, on Friday Carlsen took the initiative in the match right away. He won an Anti-Marshall as Black after some piece maneuvering didn't yield much for Aronian. Carlsen's counterstrike with ...f5 opened the h1-a8 diagonal, and maneuvering his queen to a8 put that to full effect:

Alex Yermolinsky Game of the Day

Two draws followed, which meant Aronian was now under big pressure as he had to win the last game. Although the Armenian GM could create quite a bit of chaos on the board, it was Carlsen who navigated better:

"The last game was so unbelievably shaky," said Carlsen. "The first game was really the only one that I played well, and I'm happy that it was enough. It was one of those rare games where you have a plan, and everything works."

Magnus Carlsen Aimchess
Magnus Carlsen. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

All Games Day 7

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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