Twitter Frenemies Carlsen, Giri Meet In Chessable Masters Final
Anish Giri qualified for the final. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Twitter Frenemies Carlsen, Giri Meet In Chessable Masters Final

| 25 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Anish Giri beat GM Ian Nepomniachtchi in their third semifinal match to set up a clash with GM Magnus Carlsen in the Chessable Masters final that starts on Friday. "I gained a lot of confidence in these last two rounds," Giri said.

How to watch?
The games of the Chessable Masters can be found here as part of our live events platform. GM Aryan Tari, IM Levy Rozman, WGM Qiyu Zhou, and IM Aleksandr Ostrovskiy are providing daily commentary on Hikaru Nakamura's Twitch channel, embedded on

Carlsen has made it no secret that Giri, who was in the other half of the bracket, would be his favorite opponent in the final. The two top grandmasters went back to teasing each other some more on Twitter lately but also showed mutual respect. Their clash in the final is really something to look forward to.

Although rated 150 points lower than Carlsen in rapid chess, Giri certainly won't be without a chance if he manages to keep the good form that he showed in the first and third matches against Nepomniachtchi. It seems that the Dutchman has been playing with more confidence in critical positions.

Giri's win involved a comeback because Nepomniachtchi had won the first game. He confused his opponent early in the opening when he went for a bishop sac (planning to get a pawn and a rook for two minor pieces) that Giri mistakenly declined.

The Russian player first missed a stronger continuation and then a basic combination, but was winning anyway when Giri couldn't find the best defense, pressured by little time on the clock. Not a great game by either player.

Ian Nepomniachtchi man bun
Ian Nepomniachtchi took the lead in the match. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Giri bounced back immediately with the white pieces when he stopped banging his head against the wall called the Semi-Tarrasch and chose a London System instead of 1.d4 mainlines. (Giri would later note that he was capable of winning without his usual, deep preparation.)

Nepo got close to equalizing until he allowed a pawn push on move 34 that was hard to meet. Perhaps annoyed for even allowing it, Nepomniachtchi soon dropped a full piece.

Two draws followed in the remaining two rapid games, and Giri then drew a solid first 5+3 game.

In the second blitz game, Nepomniachtchi was OK out of the opening but then started a slightly reckless action on the kingside with his h-pawn. Giri had initially blundered the idea of 23...h4 (which was 24.g4? Nxe3!) but then countered nicely with the antipositional 24.gxh4! as he realized White would be the one with attacking chances. 

"It was not really the plan, but it worked out well," he said in the official broadcast.

The Dutchman then made it look easy to prevail in won positions, something that is considered one of the most difficult feats in chess.

Giri noted that he usually plays good games with Nepomniachtchi and said: "It takes two players to play exciting chess so that's why I'm grateful to Ian for allowing such interesting games."

About meeting Carlsen in the final, Giri said: "He is the favorite, always, and he has shown good chess in this tournament so far, at least from what I have seen. He beat Fabi and Ding like they are babies. But, you know, they don't have active Twitter accounts, and they haven't got the social media skills that I possess so we'll see what happens."

Anish Giri
Giri: "They haven't got the social media skills that I possess." Photo: Maria Emelianova/

"I gained a lot of confidence in these last two rounds, particularly today," Giri added. "I've proven that I can also beat someone in a game of chess. I don't need preparation. I don't need any extra equipment that is not necessary, so I'm looking forward to test myself against Magnus. It's gonna be challenging!"

Giri and Carlsen start their final on Friday at 7 a.m. Pacific time / 16:00 Central Europe. Two best-of-four matches will again be played, and in case of a tie, a third match on Sunday.

Games SF Day 3

The Chessable Masters runs June 20-July 5 on chess24 as part of the Magnus Carlsen Tour. The prize fund is $150,000 with the first prize of $45,000. The time control is 15 minutes for all moves with a 10-second increment after each move. No draw offers are allowed before move 40.

Chessable Masters bracket

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