Chessable Masters: Carlsen, Giri Start With Wins As World Champ Gifts Back Point
Carlsen deliberately lost a game in four moves. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Chessable Masters: Carlsen, Giri Start With Wins As World Champ Gifts Back Point

| 36 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Magnus Carlsen took the lead in his Chessable Masters' semifinal with GM Ding Liren, winning just before an armageddon was needed. In the second game, he gifted his opponent a win after Ding had lost an equal endgame due to disconnection. In the other match, GM Anish Giri won convincingly vs. GM Ian Nepomniachtchi.

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

It was the story of the day and generally praised as a great gesture from the world champion: giving up a full point, not wishing to enjoy a match lead based on a disconnect. 

So what happened exactly? First, the moment Ding lost on time, because he couldn't reconnect to his internet before he got flagged:

To lose by disconnection is always unfortunate, but especially when it's a few moves before a draw would have been agreed, as Carlsen noted himself. About 10 minutes later, the next game started. Look what happened there.

That was probably the most absurd game ever played by a world champion of chess. When it was called his worst game ever, on Twitter, someone countered that it was also his best, from a sportsmanship point of view.

In the official broadcast, Carlsen commented: "I have immense respect for Ding as a chess player and as a human being and I thought against him this was the only correct way. I might have kicked myself if I had lost one of these last two games, but I think it was the right thing to do."

He added that is actually not so clear what is the right thing to do in such a situation: "I think once he disconnected in a drawn position then every outcome is going to be some kind of wrong, but I am of course grateful to get some compliments on my character and not only my play, for once [laughs], but it's OK. It’s not what I gunned for, but itis still appreciated."

Giri, who was also in the broadcast, said that many players wouldn't even come up with the idea altogether: "I think to do such a thing is very cool and it shows a lot of confidence."

The players drew their next two rapid games and also the first 5+3 blitz. Perhaps it was partly play and partly karma that Carlsen won that second blitz game, which decided this first match between the two.

Ding Liren chess
Ding Liren should never have lost that last game. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Meanwhile, Giri continues to impress at this event. Having set aside GM Alexander Grischuk before, the Dutchman now beat the other Russian top GM Nepomniachtchi in the first match, over just four games.

He was briefly a pawn up in the first game, but struck in the second with a great sacrifice: 

The draw in game three is highly recommended to be played through in the game viewer below. It could easily have been the Game of the Day instead, but we chose the one that decided this match:

Anish Giri
Anish Giri is in excellent shape. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

The second matches of the semifinals are played on Wednesday, and in case of a 1-1 tie, a third match is scheduled for Thursday.

Games SF 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

Previous reports:

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