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New In Chess Classic: Radjabov Early Leader
Teimour Radjabov. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

New In Chess Classic: Radjabov Early Leader

PeterDoggers
| 18 | Chess Event Coverage

The New in Chess Classic, the fifth leg of the Champions Chess Tour, began on Saturday. GM Teimour Radjabov leads with 4/5 ahead of GM Magnus Carlsen and GM Alireza Firouzja, who are on 3.5/5.

How to watch?
The games of the New in Chess Classic 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 10:00 a.m. Pacific / 19:00 Central Europe.


While the Candidates Tournament is still going strong, the new leg in the Champions Chess Tour got underway as well. GM Wesley So is currently leading the tour, thanks to victories at the Skilling Open and Opera Euro Rapid. Because the Airthings Masters was won by Radjabov and Giri took first at the recent Magnus Carlsen Invitational, the world champion himself is still looking for his first tournament victory.

The New in Chess Classic promotes the international magazine New in Chess, which was recently acquired by the Play Magnus Group. As usual, there are 16 players in the preliminaries playing a single round-robin, and only half the field will reach the knockout stage.

Besides the regular bunch of top grandmasters, we find GM Praggnanandhaa R. who qualified by winning the Polgar Challenge. The 15-year-old Indian player started with a very decent 3/5.

It's also nice to see English GM Gawain Jones getting a chance in this field (2/5 on the first day), and this event has a third Norwegian (besides Carlsen and GM Aryan Tari): GM Johan-Sebastian Christiansen, who suffered five losses on Saturday. Incidentally, the three Norwegian players played from the Meltwater HQ in Oslo.

New in Chess Classic | Round 5 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts SB
1 Radjabov 2758 2906 ½ ½ 1 1 1 4.0/5
2 Carlsen 2881 2874 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 3.5/5 8.25
3 Firouzja 2703 2895 0 1 ½ 1 1 3.5/5 6.5
4 Aronian 2778 2736 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 3.0/5 7.75
5 Nakamura 2829 2798 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 3.0/5 6.75
6 Praggnanandhaa 1781 2790 ½ 1 0 ½ 1 3.0/5 6.25
7 Vidit 2636 2778 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 3.0/5 6
8 Mamedyarov 2761 2566 1 0 ½ 1 0 2.5/5 7.5
9 Duda 2774 2548 0 0 1 1 ½ 2.5/5 4.75
10 Tari 2531 2661 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 2.5/5 4
11 So 2741 2457 0 1 1 0 0 2.0/5 5.5
12 Jones 2615 2448 0 0 ½ ½ 1 2.0/5 4.75
13 Le 2744 2672 0 ½ ½ 0 1 2.0/5 3.25
14 Dominguez 2786 2672 0 0 ½ ½ 1 2.0/5 3
15 Karjakin 2709 2447 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 1.5/5
16 Christiansen 2521 1891 0 0 0 0 0 0.0/5

Radjabov was happy with his start, but also put it in perspective: "I know that in this tournament it doesn't matter if you are first or eighth. It's just the same."

The Azerbaijani had a nice finish in his game with Tari, who played along and allowed the mate on the board:

Praggnanandhaa had started with a good win against GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda in the first round where he got the chance to play a lovely tactic. It led to equality but then the young Indian won the endgame by activating his king:

Praggnanandhaa new in chess classic meltwater
Praggnanandhaa. Image provided by the organizers.

Pragg lost to So but still ended his first day on a plus score as he profited from a huge blunder by GM Sergey Karjakin:

In round three, GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov played a model attacking game in the Blumenfeld Gambit:

With just 2/5, So needs to be a bit careful on the next two days to avoid early elimination. The American GM forgot to include a move in an old gambit line against Jones and quickly lost that game:

Gawain Jones chess
Gawain Jones caught So in an old gambit line. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

All Games Day 1

The New in Chess Classic runs April 24-May 2 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 with $30,000 for first place.

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