chessbase india logo

Weissenhaus Freestyle G.O.A.T. Challenge R1-4: Gukesh beats Carlsen, Aronian and Liren to make a dream start

by Shahid Ahmed - 10/02/2024

D Gukesh has done something which many can only dream about. He defeated the world no.1 Magnus Carlsen (NOR) and the reigning world champion, Ding Liren (CHN), hours apart on the first day of WEISSENHAUS Freestyle Chess G.O.A.T. Challenge. Not only that, he also won against the only two-time World Cup winner in history - Levon Aronian (USA). Gukesh's win over Carlsen was undoubtedly the most exciting game of the day. He finished the day by outplaying Liren after the latter accepted an exchange sacrifice. Germany no.1 Vincent Keymer has emerged sole leader 3.5/4. He is closely followed by Gukesh and Nodirbek Abdusattorov (UZB) at 3/4 each. Round 5 starts today from 1 p.m. local time, 5:30 p.m. IST. Photos: Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal

Jubilant Jacks, Kings crumble

It is well-known that D Gukesh started using engines only recently during the pandemic. Naturally, his understanding of the game is quite high and he is not reliant on opening preparation or just its theory only. His recent games at the 86th Tata Steel Chess and even before in the second half of 2023 showed, he is always ready to take chances. If you check his games with a computer, you might find quite often computer is saying that he is lost in some position. However, that does not matter as he is playing against a human, not an emotionless machine. So it becomes quite difficult for a human to decipher and unravel those inaccuracies. Gukesh took chances and defeated three of the best players of the world in consecutive games, despite starting the day with a loss against Alireza Firouzja (FRA). That certainly speaks volumes about Gukesh.

D Gukesh defeated Magnus Carlsen (NOR) in a fantastic battle

Round 1: Aronian - Abdusattorov: 0.5-0.5

The most exciting game of the first round was between Levon Aronian (USA) and Nodirbek Abdusattorov (UZB). The former World Rapid champion, sacrificed his bishop to begin a king hunt.

Position after 7...Bxg2!

7...Bxg2! is an interesting sacrifice. Although there is no definite checkmate but it starts a continuous attack on the king. 8.Kxg2 Qg6+ 9.Kh3 Qh6+ 10.Kg2 Qg5+ 11.Kf3 e4+ 12.Ke2 Qh5+ 13.f3 Bh4 14.Rfg1 Rf7 15.Qf1 0-0 yes that is only possible in Freestyle (Fischer Random) chess. White managed to defend his successfully and got a substantial advantage. However, Black managed to keep pressing and eventually the game ended in a draw after 100 moves.

Ding suffered a paltry loss in the first round after blundering his bishop in an unfavorable endgame against Fabiano Caruana

Magnus Carlsen - Vincent Keymer: 0.5-0.5

Round 2: Gukesh - Carlsen: 1-0

The most interesting and exhilarating game of the day was between D Gukesh and Magnus Carlsen (NOR).

Position after 26.Kd4

26.Kd4 should give you an inkling about what Gukesh was playing for and how. He played as the position demanded and fearlessly. A series of precise moves in the time trouble combined with Carlsen's inaccuracies helped Gukesh to win a spectacular game. Check out Endgame Expert - GM Karsten Mueller's analysis of the game.

D Gukesh stuns Magnus Carlsen - Commentary by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India

D Gukesh's poise is at a different level

Ding Liren suffered his second consecutive loss of the day, against Nodirbek Abdusattorov in the second round

Round 3: Aronian - Gukesh: 0-1

D Gukesh had never beaten Levon Aronian (USA) in an over-the-board tournament game. That statistic was about to change in this round.

Position after 8.Bxf6

Aronian decided to sacrifice his bishop 8.Bxf6 to break Black's kingside wide open. However, Gukesh was not interested in taking the bait. 8...d5 9.Bxd8 Rxd8 and Black won the game after White misplayed in the endgame.

D Gukesh defeated Levon Aronian for the first time in an otb tournament game
17-year-old Gukesh on his wins against two World Champions Carlsen and Ding in one day | Video: ChessBase India

Ding Liren suffered his third consecutive loss of the day, versus Vincent Keymer in Round 3

Magnus Carlsen and Alireza Firouzja had an exciting Knight endgame which ended in a draw

In Round 3, seven out of eight castle was done in the first two moves

Round 4: Keymer - Caruana: 1-0

Position after 34...f6??

In an already difficult position, Fabiano Caruana blundered 34...f6?? Find out the winning continuation for White which Vincent Keymer executed in the game.

Vincent Keymer vs Fabiano Caruana | Video: ChessBase India

Gukesh - Liren: 1-0

D Gukesh had played only two over-the-board games against Ding Liren. He lost both of them. Third time proved to be in Gukesh's favor. He offered an exchange sacrifice to gain positional advantage.

Position after 12.Nd5

The world champion decided to accept the sacrifice 12...Bxa1 13.Nxe7+ Kg7 14.Rxa1 White brilliantly outplayed his opponent and won the game in another 23 moves.

Gukesh vs World Champion Ding Liren - Commentary by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India

D Gukesh scored his first-ever win against Ding Liren

Magnus Carlsen crushed Levon Aronian in just 19 moves

Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian discusses ideas before the round as Gukesh observes

The beautiful playing arena at Weissenhaus Luxury Resort in Germany

The area where the positions are drawn and spectators can watch the games live

World's most successful coach, Vishy Anand and Magnus Carlsen's former trainer - GM Peter Heine Nielsen visited the tournament with his family GM Viktorija Čmilytė and their son

For more Press Conference and Round 1-4 photos, please click at the respective links.

The amazing venue tour of the Weissenhaus Freestyle Chess G.O.A.T. Challenge 2024 | Video: ChessBase India
"Maybe I should shut up!" - Magnus Carlsen, before his game against Gukesh | Video: ChessBase India
Fiery Gukesh | Through the eyes of Sagar and Amruta | Day 1 Vlog of Weissenhaus FreeStyle Chess 2024 | Video: ChessBase India

Format

Time: Rapid and Standard

• Round robin: rapid 25 min for the game + 10 sec per move according to A5 of the FIDE laws of chess

• Tiebreak: first direct encounter, second: number of wins, third: Sonneborn-Berger

• Quarter-, semi- and finals: Two games standard 90 minutes/40 moves + 30 minutes rest of the game additional 30 seconds per move

 

In Case of Tiebreak

1:1 in quarter-, semi-final or final. Tiebreak in the evening:

• two rapid games 15 min for the game + 10 sec per move

• two blitz games 5 min for the game + 2 sec per move

• then one more blitz game until a winner is found

Press Conference | Video: Freestyle Chess

Replay live stream

Replay Freestyle Chess G.O.A.T. Challenge Rapid Day 1 live commentary by GM Peter Leko, IM Tania Sachdev and GM Niclas Huschenbeth | Video: Freestyle Chess

Schedule

9th and 10th February: playoffs for starting order - Rapid

11th and 12th February: Quarterfinals - Classical

13th and 14th February: Semifinals - Classical

15th and 16th February: Finals - Classical

Replay Playoff Round 1-4 games

Round 1-4 results

Round 1
Bo.No.Rtg NameResultName RtgNo.
112743
GMGukesh, D0 - 1GMFirouzja, Alireza
27608
222830
GMCarlsen, Magnus½ - ½GMKeymer, Vincent
27387
332725
GMAronian, Levon½ - ½GMAbdusattorov, Nodirbek
27446
442762
GMDing, Liren0 - 1GMCaruana, Fabiano
28045
Round 2
Bo.No.Rtg NameResultName RtgNo.
162744
GMAbdusattorov, Nodirbek1 - 0GMDing, Liren
27624
282760
GMFirouzja, Alireza½ - ½GMCaruana, Fabiano
28045
372738
GMKeymer, Vincent1 - 0GMAronian, Levon
27253
412743
GMGukesh, D1 - 0GMCarlsen, Magnus
28302
Round 3
Bo.No.Rtg NameResultName RtgNo.
132725
GMAronian, Levon0 - 1GMGukesh, D
27431
242762
GMDing, Liren0 - 1GMKeymer, Vincent
27387
322830
GMCarlsen, Magnus½ - ½GMFirouzja, Alireza
27608
452804
GMCaruana, Fabiano½ - ½GMAbdusattorov, Nodirbek
27446
Round 4
Bo.No.Rtg NameResultName RtgNo.
172738
GMKeymer, Vincent1 - 0GMCaruana, Fabiano
28045
282760
GMFirouzja, Alireza0 - 1GMAbdusattorov, Nodirbek
27446
312743
GMGukesh, D1 - 0GMDing, Liren
27624
422830
GMCarlsen, Magnus1 - 0GMAronian, Levon
27253

Details

Standings after Round 4

Rk.SNo NameFEDRtgIPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
17
GMKeymer, VincentGER27383,5033,50
21
GMGukesh, DIND27433032,50
36
GMAbdusattorov, NodirbekUZB27443023,25
48
GMFirouzja, AlirezaFRA27602015,00
52
GMCarlsen, MagnusNOR28302013,25
65
GMCaruana, FabianoUSA28042012,50
73
GMAronian, LevonUSA27250,5001,50
84
GMDing, LirenCHN27620000,00

Details

Round 5-7 pairings

Round 5
Bo.No.Rtg NameResultName RtgNo.
142762
GMDing, LirenGMCarlsen, Magnus
28302
252804
GMCaruana, FabianoGMGukesh, D
27431
362744
GMAbdusattorov, NodirbekGMKeymer, Vincent
27387
432725
GMAronian, LevonGMFirouzja, Alireza
27608
Round 6
Bo.No.Rtg NameResultName RtgNo.
112743
GMGukesh, DGMAbdusattorov, Nodirbek
27446
232725
GMAronian, LevonGMDing, Liren
27624
322830
GMCarlsen, MagnusGMCaruana, Fabiano
28045
482760
GMFirouzja, AlirezaGMKeymer, Vincent
27387
Round 7
Bo.No.Rtg NameResultName RtgNo.
152804
GMCaruana, FabianoGMAronian, Levon
27253
262744
GMAbdusattorov, NodirbekGMCarlsen, Magnus
28302
342762
GMDing, LirenGMFirouzja, Alireza
27608
472738
GMKeymer, VincentGMGukesh, D
27431

Details

Links

Official site

Weissenhaus