Goldmoney Asian Rapid SF Day 1: Advantage Carlsen and Ding Liren
Carlsen has once again started his day with a loss, this time against Aronian in the Semi-Finals of Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Goldmoney Asian Rapid. The world champion immediately struck back in the second game, drew the next and finished the day with a win. Carlsen won the first set 1.5-2.5. Artemiev and Ding Liren also started the day with a draw, however Ding Liren won the next two games, handing Artemiev his first defeat in the knockout stage. Ding Liren won the first set 0.5-2.5. Aronian and Artemiev now must-win their respective second sets to force tie-breaks and keep their chances for the Finals. Semi-Finals will continue today from 4:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Altibox Norway Chess
Aronian and Artemiev in a must-win situation
Carlsen has started five out of six days in this event with a loss, however that did not stop him. He drew the second game and won the next two against Aronian to win the first set of the Semi-Finals. Artemiev suffered his first loss in the knockout stage against Ding Liren. He lost two games consecutively and the set too.
Aronian - Carlsen: 1.5-2.5
Carlsen once again started the day with a loss.
Aronian - Carlsen, Game 1
White cannot take on a5 immediately because d5 will fall due to the pin on the e-file. However, there is no way for Black to save both a and b-pawns after 30.Reb1 which is exactly what Aronian played here. The already difficult position for Black turned into a lost cause and Aronian took a 1-0 lead.
It is well established by now that every time Carlsen loses, he makes a fierce comeback. This time also it was no different. Aronian made a slight inaccuracy in the endgame which the world champion capitalized on.
Carlsen - Aronian, Game 2
40...Rf2+ does not help Black's case as it forces White to take on g5. Instead 40...d4 directly could have kept Black's chances to hold a draw. The world champion levelled the score 1-1.
The third game was an uneventful draw. Score is still level 1.5-1.5
In the fourth game, Carlsen displayed his positional prowess
Carlsen - Aronian, Game 4
Position after 34.Nxd5
There is no good way for Black to recapture. The position is completely and Black's pieces on the kingside do not have any breathing space left. Rest is just a matter of technique and the world champion converted it without any difficulty. Carlsen won the first set 1.5-2.5
Artemiev - Ding Liren: 0.5-2.5
Artemiev tried a lot to squeeze a victory, but it was all a futile exercise as Ding Liren's defence was perfect. Thus, the game ended in a draw.
In the second game, Artemiev's creativity backfired him badly.
Ding Liren - Artemiev, Game 2
Black needed to recapture 22...cxd5 and everything would have been fine. Try to figure out why 22...Kd6 is a mistake.
Ding Liren played a beautiful game and outplayed his opponent positionally.
Artemiev - Ding Liren, Game 3
23...g5 shows Ding Liren's great positional understanding.
Once again Ding Liren shows his fantastic understandings as he plays 29...Nxe5, sacrificing an exchange because the attack is very much potent and he was absolutely right about it. He completely annihilated White's kingside, won the game and the first set 0.5-2.5
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Semi-Final Day 1 Results
All games will start from 4:30 p.m. IST between 26th June and 4th July 2021.
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