Goldmoney Asian Rapid: 5-Way Tie As Giri Steals The Show
Anish Giri showed beautiful chess on day one of the Goldmoney Asian Rapid. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Goldmoney Asian Rapid: 5-Way Tie As Giri Steals The Show

| 27 | Chess Event Coverage

The Goldmoney Asian Rapid, the seventh leg of the Champions Chess Tour, began on Saturday. Despite a loss in the first round to GM Alireza Firouzja, World Champion Magnus Carlsen is tied for first place with GMs Ding Liren, Levon AronianVladislav Artemiev, and Daniil Dubov after five rounds. It was GM Anish Giri, however, who stole the show with two brilliant wins.

How to watch?
The games of the Goldmoney Asian Rapid preliminaries 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 at 4:00 a.m. Pacific / 13:00 Central Europe.

Goldmoney Asian Rapid results

Goldmoney Asian Rapid | Round 5 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts
1 Ding 2799 2801 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 3.5/5
2 Aronian 2781 2822 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 3.5/5
3 Carlsen 2847 2858 ½ 1 1 0 1 3.5/5
4 Artemiev 2704 2809 0 1 ½ 1 1 3.5/5
5 Dubov 2714 2759 0 1 ½ 1 1 3.5/5
6 So 2770 2812 ½ 0 1 1 ½ 3.0/5
7 Giri 2780 2792 1 ½ 0 1 ½ 3.0/5
8 Duda 2729 2759 0 ½ ½ 1 1 3.0/5
9 Erigaisi 2567 2695 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 2.5/5
10 Vidit 2726 2719 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 2.5/5
11 Salem 2682 2683 ½ 0 0 1 ½ 2.0/5
12 Svidler 2714 2704 ½ 0 ½ 1 0 2.0/5
13 Firouzja 2759 2636 1 0 ½ 0 0 1.5/5
14 Gukesh 2578 2516 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 1.0/5
15 Adhiban 2660 2495 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 1.0/5
16 Hou 2658 2545 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 1.0/5

The seventh Champions Chess Tour event started with a bang. The Iranian, France-based Firouzja took down Carlsen in what has traditionally been more the world champion's territory than his opponent's: the endgame. Carlsen indeed outplayed his opponent initially, but in a rather sharp final phase where both players marched several pawns up the board, Firouzja suddenly prevailed:

Alireza Firouzja
Alireza Firouzja. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Carlsen bounced back straight away with a win against GM Hou Yifan, who is making her debut in the Tour and played a day after winning her quarterfinal in the FIDE Speed Chess Championship. This time, Carlsen did better in an endgame:

Giri, who recently became the father of a second son, played a wonderful game with the white pieces against Firouzja. Knight sacrifices on d5 or f5 are pretty standard in the Sicilian, but it's something special if you get to put both knights there in one game!

Carlsen's win in round four should be shown here as well for opening theoretical reasons. It is known that the Najdorf has been treated with almost all legal sixth moves for White, in order of popularity: 6.Be3, 6.Bg5, 6.Be2, 6.Bc4, 6.h3, 6.f3, 6.g3, 6.f4, 6.a4, 6.Bd3, 6.Nb3, 6.Rg1, 6.Qf3, 6.a3, 6.h4, 6.Qd3, 6.Qe2, and 6.Nf3. Today, Carlsen played yet another one: 6.b3.

It's not impossible that football lover Carlsen had Denmark's UEFA 2020 match with Wales in mind because 6.b3 has been played a few times by Danish FM Niels Jorgen Fries-Nielsen (and once by GM David Navara). The question is how serious this move will be taken.

Giri's win vs. GM Wesley So in round four is a must-see, with the Dutchman again taking the spotlights. The game seemed to become one of those insipid draws in the 5.Re1 Berlin, but Giri tried a different idea by moving his knight to c5. That led to a surprisingly quick win thanks to a combination involving a queen sac and a lovely follow-up:

Anish Giri Goldmoney
Wonderful play by Anish Giri on Saturday. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

The rounds start earlier than in previous tournaments of the Tour because the field has many Asian players. It's good to see that Ding seems to be profiting from this timing. His win against GM Baskaran Adhiban is spectacular:

Ding Liren Goldmoney Asian Rapid
It will be interesting to see if Ding Liren will be doing better with more pleasant starting times for him. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

All Games Day 1

The Goldmoney Asian Rapid runs June 26-July 4, 2021 on chess24. The preliminary phase is a 16-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 a knockout match is tied after the second day. The prize fund is $100,000.

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.

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