New In Chess Classic: Aronian-Carlsen, Mamedyarov-Nakamura
Hikaru Nakamura won a spectacular game vs. Le Quang Liem. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

New In Chess Classic: Aronian-Carlsen, Mamedyarov-Nakamura

| 37 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Levon Aronian, GM Magnus Carlsen, GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, and GM Hikaru Nakamura qualified for the semifinals of the New in Chess Classic. Carlsen beat GM Teimour Radjabov in one game in their second match while GM Wesley So, GM Alireza Firouzja, and GM Le Quang Liem couldn't bounce back from their losses on day one.

How to watch?
The games of the New in Chess Classic knockout stage 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.

New in Chess classic results

Carlsen-Radjabov 2.5-1.5 (4.5-3.5)

Over eight games, Carlsen beat Radjabov just once but that was surely a convincing win. Deviating from his usual Queen's Gambit, Radjabov somehow never really got out of the opening (a Nimzo-Indian instead), lost the battle on the queenside completely, and then failed to achieve anything on the kingside.

Aronian-So 2-1 (5-2)

After his win yesterday, Aronian needed just two game points and got them over three games. The match started with two draws, and then he won the third game as So blundered in the endgame. He either must have forgotten about his bishop or thought he was forcing a perpetual:

Levon Aronian New in Chess Classic
Levon Aronian. Image courtesy Champions Chess Tour.

Mamedyarov-Firouzja 2.5-0.5 (5.5-1.5)

Mamedyarov reached the semifinals convincingly as he defeated Firouzja in both matches. On the second day, the Azerbaijani GM won both games as Black and drew as White. The first game went surprisingly quickly:

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov New in Chess Classic
Mamedyarov: "It's my first time in the semifinals and, of course, it is a good result." Image courtesy Champions Chess Tour.

Nakamura-Le 2-1 (4.5-2.5)

Two game points were also enough for Nakamura, who took a big step in the first game. After this win, he would seal the deal with two draws.

That first game was one of the most spectacular games we've seen yet in 2021, with Le attacking like a mad man and Naka defending like a lion. Although his king never made it out of the danger zone, the queen was busy creating all kinds of distractions.

Le missed more than one win in this game and also at least one draw, but in the end, it was Nakamura's incredible defensive skill that decided.

Nakamura said: "Overall I am pretty happy. I think it's the first time I've won a quarterfinal in like four months or something, so it's been a while."

Le Quang Liem New in Chess Classic
Le Quang Liem put up a great fight. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

All Games QF Day 2

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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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.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

In October, Peter's first book The Chess Revolution will be published!

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