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Goldmoney Asian Rapid QF Day 2: Arjun's dream debut comes to an end

by Shahid Ahmed - 01/07/2021

Arjun Erigaisi's phenomenal debut at the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Goldmoney Asian Rapid came to an end as he lost the tie-breaks. Arjun played absolutely fantastic chess for five days against the best of the best of the world and he managed to hold his own. Aronian will face Carlsen in the Semi-Finals who had to beat his nemesis So in the blitz tie-breaks to secure his place. Artemiev once again dominated Giri, as he is yet to lose a single game in the Knockout stage. Ding Liren made a strong comeback to beat Duda and setup a clash with Artemiev in the next stage. Semi-Finals will start today from 4:30 p.m. IST.

Carlsen and Aronian win on tie-breaks

Arjun Erigaisi remained undefeated in the rapid games on the second day of the Quarter-Finals against Aronian. He lost the first blitz game but drew the next one. However, that loss decided his fate in the tournament. It goes without saying that Arjun impressed his opponent and the entire chess universe with his brilliant perfornance. Carlsen was also stretched to the blitz tie-breaks by his opponent So and this time once again he came out as a winner.

The world will echo Arjun Erigaisi's name for a very long time

Aronian - Arjun: 3.5-2.5

The first game was an interesting one.

Arjun - Aronian, Game 1

Position after 17...Qd7

Perhaps 18.h5 would have been more destructive for Black's kingside. Arjun decided to create a battery on the g-file 18.Rg3 followed by 19.Rhg1.

Position after 24...Rf5

The game continued 25.Be3, however 25.Bf8 could have led to something more interesting. Nevertheless Arjun handled the sharp position and eventually a difficult endgame extremely well to make a draw.

Arjun made three solid draws in the remaining rapid games.

Aronian won the first blitz game as he played the queen and opposite color bishop endgame masterfully.

Position after 40...h3

Perhaps 40...f5 first to prevent g4 and then h3 would have been better. In a blitz game, it is quite difficult to spot these.

Arjun Erigaisi had a well-contested draw with Aronian in their second blitz tie-breaks which meant Arjun got eliminated and Aronian advanced to the Semi-Finals.

Arjun Erigaisi's short and sweet interview after his intense match with Aronian | Video: ChessBase India

Arjun impressed Aronian and the entire chess universe with his performance | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Arjun tweeted the following about his experience

The maestro Vishy Anand congratulated Arjun and Nihal for their performance

Reigning Women's World Rapid champion and World no.3 among women, Koneru Humpy also congratulated Arjun

Carlsen - So: 3-3

Carlsen once again started with a win against So in the second set of the Quarter-Finals.

So - Carlsen, Game 1

Position after 44...Rb3

White can take any of three pawns a5, b6 and e5. Which is the correct capture? Unfortunately for So, he chose the incorrect one and arrived at a lost endgame. Carlsen took 1-0 lead.

The second game was a Berlin draw. So was in a must-win situation. He won the third game to level the score 1.5-1.5.

So - Carlsen, Game 3

Position after 43...Rgxe3+

Exchanging one of the rooks reduced Black's chances of saving the game because White's pawn is advanced and after 44.Rxe3 Rxe3+ 45.Ka4, White gets to advance his king further.

So beat Carlsen again in the fourth game to win the set 2.5-1.5 and force tie-breaks.

Carlsen - So, Game 4

Position after 55.Kg3

For the second consecutive game, Carlsen went wrong in the rook endgame, and it cost him the full point.

Carlsen won the first blitz game. Thus, So was once again put in a must-win situation.

Carlsen drew the second blitz game, although he was completely winning in the endgame, as a draw was enough for him to advance to the Semi-Finals.

Carlsen was stretched to the tie-breaks by So | Photo: Grand Chess Tour

Ding Liren - Duda: 3-1

Ding Liren started the day with a loss against Duda.

Ding Liren - Duda, Game 1

Position after 29.h4

White has a deadly threat of g5, g6 looming large but that did faze Duda, he made a practical decision of sacrificing his knight 29...Nxb2. Both sides had few chances, but the sacrifice turned out to be helpful in creating a b-passed pawn which eventually decided the fate of the game. Duda took a 0-1 lead.

Ding Liren bounced back immediately in the second game and levelled the score 1-1.

Duda - Ding Liren, Game 2

Position after 29...e4

Duda got his bishop trapped at the middle of the board and he did not get enough compensation for it.

Ding Liren scored another victory in his third game against Duda to take 2-1 lead.

Position after 23.Nxf7

It took a while but White eventually scored a victory.

Ding Liren beat Duda once again in the fourth game to win the second set 1-3 and secure his place in the Semi-Finals.

Duda - Ding Liren, Game 4

Position after 23.Re1

Find out why 23.Re1 is a big mistake.

Ding Liren will face Artemiev in the Semi-Finals | Photo: ChessBase India live stream

Giri - Artemiev: 1-2

Artemiev continued his win streak against Giri as he won the first game of the second set in just mere 21-moves.

Position after 13.Qd1

13.Qd1 was not the best retreat as it set things in motion which completely turned into Black's favor. Artemiev won the game in another eight moves and took a 0-1 lead.

Giri ended his losing streak by making two consecutive draws, but it was not enough for him to advance. Artemiev won the second set 1-2 and advanced to the Semi-Finals where he will face Ding Liren.

Artemiev completely dominated Giri

Replay Quarter-Finals Day 2 games

Replay the live stream

Goldmoney Asian Rapid Day 5 live stream | Video: ChessBase India

Quarter-Finals Results

Aronian and Carlsen were stretched to the tie-breaks | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Schedule

All games will start from 4:30 p.m. IST between 26th June and 4th July 2021.

Links

Champions Chess Tour official site

Tournament regulations


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