Goldmoney Asian Rapid: Artemiev, Carlsen Lead In Quarterfinals
Magnus Carlsen. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Goldmoney Asian Rapid: Artemiev, Carlsen Lead In Quarterfinals

| 9 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Magnus Carlsen and GM Vladislav Artemiev won their first quarterfinal matches in the Goldmoney Asian Rapid knockout. Carlsen defeated GM Wesley So with two wins vs. one loss, while Artemiev won three straight games vs. GM Anish Giri.

The other two matches ended in 2-2: GM Levon Aronian and GM Arjun Erigaisi each won one game, and GM Ding Liren vs. GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda saw four draws.

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
Carlsen-So 2.5-1.5

In this quarterfinal that feels like a final, the players didn't deliver a high-standard first game, but it was definitely a spectacle. In a Scheveningen with colors reversed, Carlsen played a nice positional pawn sacrifice that gave him a big advantage—until he suddenly blundered a full piece. 

So had a double advantage there, also being a few minutes ahead on the clock, but played his next few moves too fast and allowed his opponent to fight back. In a position where Carlsen already had more than sufficient compensation, So then blundered a full piece. 

That was the second moment in the game that Carlsen shook his head in disbelief, but this time it was followed by a smile on camera as his screen indicated that his opponent had resigned the game.

The second game was very quiet and seemed absolutely fine for Carlsen, who was slightly worse all the time but well within the draw margin. As if So had lulled him to sleep by his quiet play, Carlsen played an inaccuracy, then another one and suddenly resigned as the rook endgame was completely lost:

Wesley So Goldmoney asian rapid
A remarkably quiet win by Wesley So. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

In another reversed Sicilian, Carlsen won a better game this time. His decision to trade his queen for two rooks turned out to be correct in a practical sense: So couldn't avoid those two rooks becoming a joint force.

This time, Carlsen held his black game to win the first match—something that he rarely manages to do in this format for some reason.

"It's huge for me," he said. "It's the first time, except a third-place match, that I've managed to win the first match, so it's massive."

Artemiev-Giri 3-0

A clean 3-0 sweep was an impressive start for Artemiev in these quarterfinals. The 2019 European Champion didn't think it was such a surprise: "I'm not such a bad player in rapid and blitz, so it's not such a big surprise that I can make a score like this."

Giri, who revealed he had a Covid-19 vaccination the day before, said: "There's one side-effect that they haven't mentioned: that you play horrible chess!"

Here's game one:

Vladislav Artemiev Goldmoney Asian Rapid
Vladislav Artemiev, a good rapid player who is in great shape. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Aronian-Erigaisi 2-2

The 17-year-old Erigaisi keeps impressing. After a draw in their first game, it was the Indian teenager who drew first blood in the match with Aronian, who hadn't lost a single game in the 15 rounds of the preliminaries. It was a fine win by Erigaisi:

Arjun Erigaisi
Arjun Erigaisi. Image: Champions Chess Tour.

Aronian struck back in the next game. A pawn sacrifice in the endgame turned out to be a good choice; Erigaisi could still have drawn the BB vs. NN endgame, but it was hard to play for Black:

Erigaisi said afterward: "I'm pretty happy, but I hope to do better tomorrow."

Asked what it's like playing the teenager, Aronian said: "He's brave, so it's good to play somebody who's not just sitting back and trying to make a draw."

Ding-Duda 2-2

In the match between the two Ds, it was the Polish player who found a good way to start with a win. Duda was winning in the fourth of four draws, and Ding got lucky to escape there:

Jan-Krzysztof Duda Goldmoney
Jan-Krzysztof Duda missed a big chance. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

All Games Day 4

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

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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