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Goldmoney Asian Rapid: Aronian Puzzle Rushes To 1st, Erigaisi Advances
Levon Aronian. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Goldmoney Asian Rapid: Aronian Puzzle Rushes To 1st, Erigaisi Advances

PeterDoggers
| 28 | Chess Event Coverage

With lovely combinative play, GM Levon Aronian finished at the top of the leaderboard in the Goldmoney Asian Rapid tournament's preliminaries. He made it to the knockout phase with seven other players, including the 17-year-old Indian GM Arjun Erigaisi.

How to watch?
The Goldmoney Asian Rapid knockout games 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 Preliminaries | Final Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Pts
1 Aronian 2781 2859 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 10.5
2 Artemiev 2704 2838 ½ 0 ½ 0 1 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 10
3 Ding 2799 2806 ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 9.5
4 Carlsen 2847 2779 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 9
5 So 2770 2783 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 9
6 Duda 2729 2739 ½ 0 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 0 0 1 8
7 Giri 2780 2736 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 8
8 Erigaisi 2567 2749 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 8
9 Firouzja 2759 2738 0 0 0 1 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 8
10 Vidit 2726 2693 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 0 0 ½ 1 1 7
11 Svidler 2714 2671 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 0 1 1 6.5
12 Gukesh 2578 2679 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 0 1 ½ 1 6.5
13 Dubov 2714 2647 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 0 ½ 1 6
14 Salem 2682 2625 ½ 0 0 0 0 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 0 1 0 ½ 5.5
15 Adhiban 2660 2601 0 0 0 ½ 0 1 1 ½ 0 0 0 ½ ½ 1 0 5
16 Hou 2658 2515 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 1 3.5

Aronian started his day with two very nice wins. Then three draws were enough to finish in the sole first place. Here are those wins, with Puzzle-Rush-like finishes in both, which you can try to solve yourself:

And here's the other one:

Levon Aronian Puzzle Rush
Levon Aronian and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave playing Puzzle Rush shortly after the feature was launched, during one of the dinners at the London Chess Classic in December 2018. Photos: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Aronian's opponent in the quarterfinals is Erigaisi, who entered via an Indian qualifier event held in May and is now the surprise of the tournament. Nine months younger than GM Alireza Firouzja, Erigaisi edged out the Iranian GM on tiebreak.

"It has panned out quite well!" was Erigaisi's down-to-earth comment afterward. Five draws on the final day (against GM Magnus Carlsen and GM Anish Giri in the last two rounds!) were enough for him to make it to the final eight, after scoring plus one on the first two days. 

One of Erigaisi's wins was on the first day against GM Daniil Dubov, who didn't make it to the next stage:

It was tough luck for Firouzja, who scored more wins than Erigaisi and drew their mutual encounter. However, for the mutual encounter tiebreak, one should always look at the whole group of players finishing on the same number of points. Firouzja finished last in that subgroup because of his losses to Giri and GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda.

The Polish grandmaster himself had a rollercoaster of a final day. After beating Dubov, he lost two games and was out of contention. He then beat (as Black!) none other than GM Ding Liren before winning the following, wild final-round game vs. 15-year-old GM Gukesh D. At one point, Duda was a pawn and an exchange down but on Monday, EURO 2020 was not the only tournament that saw crazy comebacks:

Jan-Krzysztof Duda Goldmoney Asian Rapid
What a comeback by Jan-Krzysztof Duda! Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

GM Baskaran Adhiban, another participant via the Indian qualifier, didn't play an important role in this tournament, but he scored one win that must have given him satisfaction. He recently published an online course on 1.b3 that was mocked (jokingly) by Giri on social media. In that case, what's better than beating him with it (on the Dutchman's birthday, for that matter)? 

It should be noted that Giri won the opening battle (but not the war). "I managed to qualify and I helped a friend in need, so it's all good," he said afterward.

Meanwhile, GM Vladislav Artemiev had an excellent tournament. Already among the top eight after two days, the Russian GM scored plus two on the final day and will now face Giri. The quarterfinals will also see an absolute top clash between GM Magnus Carlsen and GM Wesley So, who both haven't really shined just yet in this event. So scored a solid plus three with draws in his final seven games, while the world champion came out on the same score with seven decisive games out of 15.

Carlsen wasn't too happy with the pairings, saying: "It's not ideal, but that's the way it is. In general, I'm extremely unhappy with the way I played today."

All Games Day 3

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.


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