Aronian, Radjabov To Play Airthings Masters Final
Levon Aronian will face Teimour Radjabov in the final. Photo: Peter Doggers/

Aronian, Radjabov To Play Airthings Masters Final

| 29 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Levon Aronian and GM Teimour Radjabov will play the final of the Airthings Masters on January 2-3. Both avoided a loss after winning their first match: Radjabov secured his place with two wins against GM Daniil Dubov while Aronian drew twice and won one game vs. GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

How to watch?
The games of the Champions Chess Tour Airthings Masters can be found here as part of our live events platform. IM Levy Rozman and IM Anna Rudolf are providing daily commentary on GM Hikaru Nakamura's Twitch channel starting from 6:00 a.m. Pacific / 15:00 Central Europe.

Airthings chess bracket

Dubov vs. Radjabov 0-2

This second semifinal was a short affair. It was slightly surprising to see the man who knocked out the world champion himself stand so little chance against his next opponent.

"Let's be fair, it's the aggressive style of Dubov certainly that was the reason for these two wins," said Radjabov. "I'm this counterplay guy, I play for counterplay most of the time, so I'm kind of happy when people play this against me."

Especially in the first game, Dubov took a lot of risk:

Radjabov said he was playing for a draw in game two, to simply increase the pressure in the match: "It was my strategy to play as boring as possible but you can thank Dubov for creating a lot of interesting games and making me show my best there."

Teimour Radjabov Airthings
Teimour Radjabov, a "counterplay guy." Photo: Peter Doggers/

Aronian vs. Vachier-Lagrave 2-0

Aronian said he had prepared about three hours a day for this tournament. His weapon against Vachier-Lagrave's Grunfeld was the line 4.Bg5 Ne4 5.Bf4, a fairly solid system suitable for the match situation.

The first one was a draw and after the Armenian GM held his Black game (another Berlin endgame), he won the second Grunfeld to decide the match. MVL missed quite a few chances to draw:

Levon Aronian
Levon Aronian. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Aronian said he was very happy with his play and to have beaten "such a strong opponent." He once again mentioned that being relaxed was the key to his success.

The final starts on January 2 at 6:00 a.m. Pacific / 15:00 Central Europe. It's again a best of two matches.

All Games Day 7

The Champions Chess Tour Airthings Masters runs December 26-January 3. The preliminary phase is a 12-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 the knockout match is tied after the second day. The prize fund is $200,000 with $60,000 for first place.

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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.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

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