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Champions Chess Tour Skilling Open R11-15: Carlsen tops the preliminary stage

by Shahid Ahmed - 25/11/2020

Carlsen topped the Preliminary stage of the Champions Chess Tour Skilling Open with 9.0/15. Nakamura finished at the second position also with 9.0/15. So, Nepomniachtchi and Aronian finished the Round-Robin stage with 8.5/10. Radjabov, Vachier-Lagrave and Giri advanced to the Knockout stage with 8.0/15 respectively. Quarter-Final games will begin tonight Wednesday 25th November from 10:30 p.m. IST with live commentary by IM Sagar Shah, Amruta Mokal and IM Soumya Swaminathan on ChessBase India youtube channel. Each encounter will have four Rapid games. Who do you think will win the matches today? Photo: chess24 live stream

Giri advances without winning a game on Day 3

Anish Giri barely managed to get into the top eight to advance to the knockout stage as he lost two games in succession and drew the other three games to finish the preliminary stage with 8.0/15. Both Carlsen and Nakamura finished the Round-Robin stage with 9.0/15 each respectively. Carlsen will face Giri in the Quarter-Finals while Nakamura will face Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. So, Nepomniachtchi, Aronian and Radjabov are the remaining four players to advance to the knockout stage.

Carlsen-Giri highly anticipated match turned out to be a draw | Photo: ChessBase India live stream

Round 11: Vidit beats Svidler

Svidler made a simple pawn blunder which Vidit capitalized with ease and the Russian resigned after 21st move.

Svidler - Vidit

Position after 19.b4 | Photo: ChessBase India live stream

Svidler simply blundered a pawn with 19.b4. 19.cxb5 would have been fine. Vidit took with 19...bxc4 20.a3 Qa4 21.Rd2 a5 and white resigned.

Nepomniachtchi faltered in a completely winning basic rook endgame and allowed a draw.

Nepomniachtchi - Liem

Position after 61...Ra7+ | Photo: chess24 live stream

The game continued with 62.Ke6 which allowed black to save the day. What was the winning continuation for white?

Carlsen was in a bit of a pickle when he allowed Nakamura to gain advantage using tactics.

Carlsen - Nakamura

Position after 18.Rad1 | Photo: chess24 live stream

Find out why 18.Rad1 is a mistake. Carlsen somehow managed to get away from trouble and salvage a draw.

Karjakin made an unforced error which allowed Radjabov to gain the upper hand.

Radjabov - Karjakin

Position after 24...Ne8

How should white continue after 24...Ne8 ?

Ding Liren made a couple of errors in time trouble which turned the seemingly equal position in Firouzja's favor.

Firouzja - Ding Liren

Position after 36.hxg4

White is threatening Nd6 and also the g7-pawn. Which one should black defend? Ding Liren defended this position incorrectly and eventually blundered into a mate in one to lose the game.

Aronian played beautifully and cramped up Duda's pieces to score a victory.

Aronian - Duda

Position after 20...Rab8

Find out white's best plan and how should he continue here.

Duda suffered a difficult lost against Aronian | Photo: chess24 live stream

Round 12: Firouzja beats Giri

Vachier-Lagrave scored a fine victory over Duda as he overstretched his pawn.

Vachier-Lagrave - Duda

Position after 29...h3

Find out why 29...h3 is a mistake and what black should have played instead.

Giri got quite a few good chances against Firouzja but he couldn't capitalize on them.

Giri - Firouzja

Position after 19...g6 | Photo: chess24 live stream

The game continued with 20.Ng3 and Giri did the breakthrough in the next move. What could he have done now?

Position after 25...Kd8

How should white continue the attack here? The game continued with 26.Bd3

Position after 32.c4

32.c4 ended all hopes for white and things turned into black's favor.

In a completely winning position, Karjakin made a terrible blunder against Anton.

Karjakin - Anton

Position after 46.Be3

Find out why 46.Be3 is a game losing blunder.

Once again Vidit managed to get decent position out of the Grunfeld, this time against Nepomniachtchi.

Vidit - Nepomniachtchi

Position after 18...Qe6 | Photo: ChessBase India live stream

The game continued with 19.Ra6 Qd7 and white had to retreat 20.Ra3. So obviously 19.Ra6 wasn't the best move, what was it then?

Round 13: Six decisive games

Svidler scored a fantastic win against Vachier-Lagrave but it was not without a mistake.

Svidler - Vachier-Lagrave

Position after 23.Bh3

Find out why 23.Bh3 is a mistake and how can black get back in the game. Vachier-Lagrave made a bigger mistake and played 23...Bf6 returning the upper-hand to white.

So missed a completely winning Queen-Rook endgame two split pawns against Nepomniachtchi and eventually settled for a draw.

Nepomniachtchi - So

Position after 35.Rc7

One would think that these are elementary wins for top players but no. Black misplayed here with 35...Qb3

Vidit misplayed at the beginning of the queen endgame which landed him in deep trouble against the world champion.

Carlsen - Vidit

Position after 23.Qxf1 | Photo: ChessBase India live stream

Find out what was the best way for black to save the checkmate threat.

Position after 37.Kc8

Black has one last opportunity to save the game. How?

Radjabov got a winning opportunity against Liem in the endgame but he missed it.

Radjabov - Liem

Position after 39...d2

Find out the best continuation for white after 39...d2

Nakamura scored a comfortable victory against Anton.

Firouzja beat Karjakin after the latter blundered an important pawn in the endgame.

Firouzja - Karjakin

Position after 26...Bf8

Find out why 26...Bf8 is a mistake and what black could have played instead.

Giri underestimated Aronian's attacking potential on the kingside which eventually caused the Dutch his second consecutive defeat of the day.

Aronian - Giri

Position after 25...b4

At a first glance, 25...b4 might seem harmless but it actually gives two choices of attack - a safer one and an adventurous one. Can you find them both?

Duda scored his first win of the day and second win of the tournament when he beat Ding Liren in Round 13.

Duda - Ding Liren

Position after 45...Ng7

Black went uber passive with 45...Ng7 and abandoned all hope to salvage a draw.

Round 14: Nakamura beats Firouzja

Karjakin missed tactics and the balance shifted in favor of Aronian.

Karjakin - Aronian

Position after 26.Rd2

Find out why 26.Rd2 is a mistake. White resigned after five more moves.

Firouzja made an irrevocable tactical error and Nakamura is known not to miss those.

Nakamura - Firouzja

Position after 30...Rd8

Find out why 30...Rd8 is a blunder.

Sometimes not doing something becomes difficult. Overdoing things can also have a negative effect. Anton overdid the position which created a window of opportunity for his opponent Liem.

Liem - Anton

Position after 23...h5

23...h5 was uncalled for. Why?

Radjabov had a completely winning position against Vidit before he repeated moves and made a draw.

Vidit - Radjabov

Position after 26.f5

Find out the best continuation for black after 26.f5

Nepomniachtchi missed capitalizing on Svidler's simple tactical error at first and then won eventually 16 moves later.

Round 15: Three wins only by black

Despite being better for the better part of the game, Anton squandered all his chances and lost to Vidit.

Anton - Vidit

Position after 20...e5

One of the best chances white had throughout the game was after 20...e5. It was an easy decision. White must take on h5 with 21.gxh5. After 21...exf4 22.e5 Nd5 23.Bc4 white is winning and black has no compensation for it.

Firouzja suffered his second consecutive defeat of the day against Liem and his chances of advancing to the knockout stage diminished as Liem gave him no chance.

Duda lost to Karjakin and finished at the bottom of the preliminary stage.

Despite losing two games on day 3, Giri finished the preliminary stage with a draw with Ding Liren and advanced to the knockout stage.

Replay all Round 11-15 games from Day 3

Replay the live stream

Live commentary by IM Sagar Shah, Amruta Mokal, and IM Soumya Swaminathan | Video: ChessBase India

Standings after the Preliminary stage

Rk.NameRtgFED12345678910111213141516Pts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
1GMCarlsen Magnus2862NOR*½½0½1½½1½½11½019,09,00,55
2GMNakamura Hikaru2736USA½*½1½½½½10½½1½1½9,09,00,54
3GMSo Wesley2770USA½½*½1½½½01½½½½½18,58,51,53
4GMNepomniachtchi Ian2784RUS10½*½1½½½½½½01½18,58,51,04
5GMAronian Levon2781ARM½½0½*0½101½1½½118,58,50,55
6GMRadjabov Teimour2765AZE0½½01*1½1½0½0½118,08,03,05
7GMVachier-Lagrave Maxime2784FRA½½½½½0*½½1½½10½18,08,02,03
8GMGiri Anish2764NED½½½½0½½*01½1½½1½8,08,02,03
9GMFirouzja Alireza2749FID001½10½1*01½1½108,08,01,56
10GMLe Quang Liem2709VIE½10½0½001*½½111½8,08,01,55
11GMDing Liren2791CHN½½½½½1½½0½*½1½½07,57,50,02
12GMVidit Santosh Gujrathi2726IND0½½½0½½0½½½*110½6,56,51,02
13GMAnton Guijarro David2675ESP00½1½10½0000*1116,56,50,05
14GMSvidler Peter2723RUS½½½0½½1½½0½00*½½6,06,00,01
15GMKarjakin Sergey2752RUS10½½00½000½10½*15,55,50,03
16GMDuda Jan-Krzysztof2743POL0½00000½1½1½0½0*4,54,50,02


Knockout pairings

Knockout games start from today 25th November | Photo: chess24


Everyday game starts at 10:30 p.m. IST


Prelim result Tour Points Prize
1st 10  
2nd 8  
3rd 6  
4th 5  
5th 4  
6th 3  
7th 2  
8th 1  
9-16th 0 $2,500
Knockout result Tour Points Prize
Quarterfinal loser 0 $5,000
Semifinal loser 10 $7,500
Runner-up 20 $15,000
Winner 40 $30,000

Total Prize Fund: US$ 100,000


Official site

Tournament Regulations

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