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Aimchess US Rapid Day 1: Carlsen makes a narrow escape against Vidit

by Shahid Ahmed - 29/08/2021

The first day of Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Aimchess US Rapid witnessed plenty of exciting games. Thankfully, there were no theoretical short draws. Carlsen was involved in two checkmate finishes. Once again he managed to escape from the jaws of defeat against Vidit. The world champion is definitely going to push his limits since his world title defense is less than 90 days away. It was evident from the very first game of the day against So. Carlsen and Artemiev are at a half point behind the sole leader Aronian at 3.5/5 followed by Leinier, So, Firouzja and Mamedyarov at 3.0/5 each respectively. Giri started with five draws 2.5/5. Round 6 starts today at 8:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Amruta Mokal

Aronian takes an early sole lead

Levon Aronian scored three wins and two draws to take a sole lead 4.0/5 at the end of the first day. He made draws against Firouzja and Naroditsky. He was in grave danger against the celebrated author Naroditsky in the third round but managed to make a draw.

Once again Vidit got very close to defeating the world champion | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Round 1: Aronian - Liem: 1-0

Aronian plays enterprising chess to start his tournament with a victory over Liem.

Position after 31...Re6

White had the initiative for the better part of the game. 31...Re6 only helps White. Find out how.

Jorden - Vidit: 0-1

Jorden van Foreest made a simple one-move piece blunder which cost him the game.

Position after 20...Bh3

White needed to play 21.Bg2 and everything would have been fine. 21.Rd1 just drops the a8-bishop with no counterplay or compensation for White.

Carlsen - So: 1-0

The world championship defense is less than 90 days away. So it is safe to say that we will see less dilly-dallying and more definitive games from the world champion. He would want to gain as much momentum as he can.

Position after 18.Nd6

White shows that he means business, 18.Nd6 just asserts that. When Carlsen is determined, you can be rest assured it will take monumental effort to save the game against him.

Round 2: Duda - So: 0-1

Duda's woes continued as he lost his second consecutive game of the day. However, he was not completely lost, in fact it is just the opposite.

Position after 30...Re8

30...Re8 got Black into trouble. How? White missed his opportunity and continued the game 31.Rae1. He blundered a piece in the next few moves and lost the game.

Vidit - Carlsen: 0.5-0.5

Vidit had Carlsen on the ropes in the queen endgame, but he allowed him to escape with a draw.

Position after 49...Kh8

If anyone can win this position, it has to be White. He needs to be careful about Black's perpetual check threat. Of course, it is quite difficult to find the right plan and execute it when you are down to the final seconds on the clock.

Slippery as an Eel | Video: ChessBase India

Leinier - Mamedyarov: 0-1

Leinier fell into a checkmate trap in an equal rook and opposite color bishop endgame.

Position after 28.Kh5

Find out the winning continuation for Black and what White should have played instead.

Round 3: So - Vidit: 1-0

Vidit suffered his first loss of the day against So.

Round 4: Duda - Vidit: 0.5-0.5

Vidit had an exciting draw with Duda.

Firouzja - Carlsen: 1-0

Arguably the most interesting game of the day was between Firouzja and Carlsen.

Position after 31...Ne4

Find out why 31...Ne4 is a blunder. Firouzja checkmated Carlsen in four more moves.

Round 5: Carlsen - Naroditsky: 1-0

Carlsen checkmated Naroditsky in 26 moves.

Naroditsky appreciated the checkmate

Vidit - Liem: 0-1

Vidit suffers his second loss of the day, this time against World Blitz 2013 champion Liem.

Highlights

Here are a few interesting finishes from Round 1-5.

Levon Aronian (ARM) defeated Liem Le Quang (VIE), Round 1

Vidit Gujrathi drew with Magnus Carlsen (NOR), Round 2

Leinier Dominguez Perez (USA) lost to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE), Round 2

Alireza Firouzja (FRA) won against Magnus Carlsen (NOR), Round 4

Magnus Carlsen (NOR) defeated Daniel Naroditsky (USA), Round 5

Replay Round 1-5 games

Replay the live stream

Aimchess US Rapid Day 1 - Live commentary by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India

Standings after Round 5

Aronian has taken early lead 4.0/5 | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Schedule

All games will start from 8:30 p.m. IST between 28th August and 5th September 2021.

Links

Champions Chess Tour official site

Tournament regulations


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