Goldmoney Asian Rapid Finals: Aronian, Carlsen Lead
Levon Aronian is on the brink of winning his first Champions Chess Tour event. Image: Champions Chess Tour.

Goldmoney Asian Rapid Finals: Aronian, Carlsen Lead

| 6 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Levon Aronian took the lead in the Goldmoney Asian Rapid final and needs only two game points vs. GM Vladislav Artemiev on Sunday to win the tournament. Aronian drew three times and won one game on Saturday, just like GM Magnus Carlsen vs. GM Ding Liren in the match for third place.

How to watch?
The Goldmoney Asian Rapid knockout games can be found here as part of our live events platform. GM Hikaru Nakamura, IM Levy Rozman, and IM Anna Rudolf are providing daily commentary on Nakamura's Twitch channel starting at 4:00 a.m. Pacific / 13:00 Central Europe.

Goldmoney Asian Rapid results
Aronian-Artemiev 2.5-1.5

Aronian actually had a bit of a slow start and afterward wasn't too happy with his play in the first two games of the final. In the second, he escaped miraculously from what should have been a technically lost position. The way he found the draw deep in the endgame was like a study:

"I think the last two games I finally started playing normally because I started off very slowly and the second game was of course kind of a miracle, that I survived," said Aronian.

Artemiev kind of helped his opponent to do better and get his first win. The grandmaster from Omsk was a bit too creative in the opening and then got outplayed quickly. Or at least, that's what it looked like. Our GM annotator found a nice exchange sacrifice in the style of GM Tigran Petrosian that could have saved Artemiev.

"It's a pity that the game that I lost was very bad for me because I had a bad position out of the opening probably. I chose a risky variation," said Artemiev.

Game four was interesting as well, with Aronian only needing a win but still castling queenside. He argued that he didn't want to play passively and give his opponent chances.

Aronian deviated early from a game that the two players played in the 2019 Speed Chess Championship here on, a match that Artemiev won.

"Today was a difficult day," said Artemiev. "Unfortunately, I lost the first match but it's normal, it's a fight. Today Levon was better than me, it happens."

Vladislav Artemiev
Vladislav Artemiev. Image: Champions Chess Tour.

Aronian had been ahead on the clock most of the time, and he said it was a conscious decision throughout the tournament: "I am just following my instincts. Sometimes it leads to blunders, sometimes it works out. It's always a thin balance that I need to find."

I am just following my instincts. Sometimes it leads to blunders, sometimes it works out.
—Levon Aronian

Carlsen-Ding 2.5-1.5

The match for the third place could have been the final, but both players allowed their semifinals opponents to come back. On having to play in the third-place match, Carlsen said: "Everybody knows it's not where I want to be, but sometimes you've got to play the cards you've been dealt or at least you dealt yourself."

The world champion won the first game before drawing the other three.

Magnus Carlsen Goldmoney Asian Rapid
Playing from Oslo, Carlsen revealed that he is in quarantine right now but does go for quick swims in between games sometimes. Image: Champions Chess Tour.

All Games Day 8

The Goldmoney Asian Rapid runs June 26-July 4, 2021 on chess24. The preliminary phase was a 16-player rapid (15|10) round-robin. The top eight players advanced 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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Peter Doggers

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