Aimchess US Rapid Day 1: Carlsen makes a narrow escape against Vidit
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.
Round 1: Aronian - Liem: 1-0
Aronian plays enterprising chess to start his tournament with a victory over Liem.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Leinier - Mamedyarov: 0-1
Leinier fell into a checkmate trap in an equal rook and opposite color bishop endgame.
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.
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.
Here are a few interesting finishes from Round 1-5.
Replay Round 1-5 games
Replay the live stream
Standings after Round 5
All games will start from 8:30 p.m. IST between 28th August and 5th September 2021.
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