Chessable Masters: Carlsen, Nepomniachtchi Quick To Win 1st QF Matches
Magnus Carlsen took the lead vs. Fabiano Caruana. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Chessable Masters: Carlsen, Nepomniachtchi Quick To Win 1st QF Matches

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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18 | Chess Event Coverage

Both GM Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi needed only three games to win their first quarterfinal matches of the Chessable Masters. They beat GM Fabiano Caruana and GM Vladislav Artemiev respectively, who must win their matches on Saturday.

How to watch?
The games of the Chessable Masters can be found here as part of our live events platform. IM Levy Rozman, WGM Qiyu Zhou, and WFM Alexandra Botez are providing daily commentary on Hikaru Nakamura's Twitch channel, embedded on Chess.com/TV.


Online rapid chess is something completely different than classical chess. Just look at the recent encounters between Carlsen and Caruana and the draw ratio among the two.

They drew 12 standard games in their 2018 title match before Carlsen retained his title with three wins in the rapid. In their Clutch Chess final, they drew just three games while nine ended decisively. In their latest one-on-one battle, Carlsen started with two wins.

In the first game, Carlsen improved upon one of the Clutch games after Caruana repeated his Queen's Gambit Declined with 4...a6. Missing a tactical nuance, the American quickly found himself in a positional nightmare.

The way Carlsen transformed his advantage was reminiscent of one of Bobby Fischer's most famous games.

The second game saw a curious incident in the opening. If you already saw the game, you might have wondered about 12...Nxb5 (a novelty indeed) which looks a bit odd. As it turned out, Carlsen had made a mouseslip there.

"I just clicked on the bishop by mistake and took it, so that was just insane," Carlsen said. "You’re pretty lucky to make a mouseslip that doesn’t actually ruin much at all, so my first instinct was that I just made a mouseslip, now my position sucks."

Carlsen soon equalized, and more than that. At some point, Caruana found himself in a slightly unpleasant endgame of rooks and opposite-colored bishops, with Carlsen having a protected passed pawn. No doubt Caruana would have held the draw at a slower time control, but here he couldn't avoid several inaccuracies when Carlsen kept asking questions.

Also in the last, very interesting game (see below) Carlsen was winning, but for the match score, it didn't matter that he spoiled that one. Also for his mood, it won't have mattered too much as he had something else to celebrate: regaining the top position in Fantasy Premier League.

In the other match, Nepomniachtchi won his two white games and drew as Black. His first win was actually the result of Artemiev losing his internet connection just when he had survived a lost position and brought back the evaluation to 0.00.

In game two, Nepo nicely held the draw using the theme "crazy rook" with stalemate. Artemiev then sadly blundered an exchange so that this match saw an early finish as well.

On Friday, we'll see the other half of the bracket playing their first match in the quarterfinals: GM Ding Liren vs GM Hikaru Nakamura and GM Anish Giri vs GM Alexander Grischuk.

Games QF Day 1

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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