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FTX Crypto Cup Day 1: Giri in the sole lead 4.0/5

by Shahid Ahmed - 24/05/2021

Meltwater Champions Chess Tour FTX Crypto Cup Day 1 saw Anish Giri emerge as the sole leader with 4.0/5. He scored victories over Pichot, Ding Liren and Grischuk. Three players are at 3.5/5 and they are - Nakamura, Vachier-Lagrave and So. Vachier-Lagrave got his revenge against Grischuk from the Candidates 2020 and he also handed Carlsen his sole defeat of the event so far. It is safe to say that the Frenchman is off to a good start. The Bitcoin prizefund evaluation as of 3:30 p.m. CET yesterday was $77849.12. Catch Day 2 action tonight on ChessBase India youtube channel from 8:30 p.m. IST. with live commentary by IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal. Photo: Lennart Ootes/FIDE

Carlsen has a forgettable start

It is not everyday that world champion starts with a 50% score 2.5/5 on the first day of a Meltwater Champions Chess Tour. Carlsen is currently lingering at the bottom half of the points table at the shared eight position with Caruana and the Challenger to his world title Nepomniachtchi. Of course two more days left for the Preliminary stage and ten more games left to be played, so a lot can and probably will change.

Giri makes a fantastic start | Photo: Lennart Ootes/FIDE

Round 1: Aronian's agony

Aronian was completely winning for the better part of the game against Svidler.

Svidler - Aronian

Position after 29...c4

After getting such a fantastic position, a loss can prove to be a devastating blow.

Position after 42.Rg1

One of the simplest wins black had in the game was after 42.Rg1. Find out what is it. The game went on with 42...c2 which is not wrong but it leads to a longer road to victory. Unfortunately for Aronian, he could not find his way and lost to Svidler eventually.

Firouzja missed his tactical opportunity against Caruana.

Caruana - Firouzja

Position after 23.Rb1

White's bishop is trapped and there is no way to save it. What is the correct way for black to capture it? Firouzja misplayed and the game eventually ended up in a draw.

Carlsen had a shaky start. Despite having a better position for the majority of the game, he allowed Mamedyarov to get back in the game.

Carlsen - Mamedyarov

Position after 43...Kxf7

Mamedyarov's best chance in the game was after 43...Kxf7. He played 44.Bf3 and Carlsen managed to save the game and win it eventually. What did white miss here?

Nepomniachtchi made a strong statement by scoring a clinical victory over Dubov.

So scored a fine victory over Grischuk after the latter made some inaccuracies in the endgame.

Giri scored an emphatic victory over Argentina no.1 Alan Pichot.

Pichot - Giri

Position after 15.Qxd5

White should have played 15.cxd5 instead. 15.Qxd5 makes things difficult for white as black gets an excellent play. Try to think like Giri and find out the best continuation for black.

Brutal Anish Giri beats Ding, Grischuk, Pichot to lead FTX Crypto Cup 2021 with 4.0/5 | Video: Sagar Shah

Round 2: Carlsen-Nepomniachtchi did not disappoint

Giri got a winning opportunity against Aronian.

Aronian - Giri

Position after 36.Qf5

Find out the correct plan for black here. The game continued with 36...Re1+ and black lost all his advantage. Giri got one final opportunity in the endgame.

Position after 60.Kxa2

Black can still win this. The question is which way should black move his king? The game ended up in a draw in another thirteen moves.

Ding Liren scored a comfortable victory over Pichot.

Vachier-Lagrave got his Candidates 2020 revenge against Grischuk.

Grischuk - Vachier-Lagrave

Position after 63...Rg4

White can still save the game in the above position. How? The game continued with 64.Rh6 which allowed to be one step closer to victory with 64...Rxd4.

The ever creative Dubov sacrificed an exchange against So but things did not work out his way and eventually he lost the game.

One of the most anticipated game of the day was between Carlsen and Nepomniachtchi for obvious reasons.

Carlsen - Nepomniachtchi

Position after 18...f6

18...f6 is a mistake but white did not punish black for it and continued with 19.f4. What was the better continuation?

Position after 21...Qd5

Black needed to play 21...Rf7 and everything would have been fine but 21...Qd5 made things difficult for black unnecessarily. Eventually Nepomniachtchi managed to escape with a draw with his staunch defence combined with the world champion's slightly inaccurate play.

Carlsen-Nepomniachtchi was a proper slugfest | Photo: Champions Chess Tour live stream
The first game between the World Champion and Challenger | Video: Sagar Shah

Nakamura scored a comfortable win over Mamedyarov after the latter dropped a pawn in the minor piece endgame.

Caruana scored a fine victory over Svidler.

Round 3: Giri beats Ding Liren

Radjabov beat Svidler in just 28 moves after the latter blunder in the final moments of the game.

After making two draws, Firouzja scored his first win of the event against Mamedyarov.

Mamedyarov - Firouzja

Position after 17.Nxa5

17.Nxa5 is a blunder as it costs white material. Firouzja converted his advantage into a win with ease.

Nepomniachtchi lost his first game of the event against Nakamura.

Nepomniachtchi - Nakamura

Position after 20.Nd4

20.Nd4 was the first mistake by Nepomniachtchi which Nakamura overlooked as he played 20...Qf7. What was the better continuation for black?

Position after 24...Kf7

White needed to play 25.Rh8 here and everything would have been fine, instead he blundered with 25.Rxd8 as after Rxd8 26.Bxc7 Re8 makes a back-rank checkmate threat which prevents white from taking on c7. Rest was just a matter of time for Nakamura to convert it into a win.

Grischuk scored a 76-move long marathon victory over Pichot.

Ding Liren blundered against Giri in a position where he could have maintained the upper hand.

Giri - Ding Liren

Position after 30...Rxd3

30...Rxd3 was absolutely uncalled for. Find out why it is a mistake. Black should have played 30...axb3 and everything would have been fine.

Round 4: Carlsen loses to Vachier-Lagrave

Grischuk made a break in the center against Giri which actually worsened things for him.

Grischuk - Giri

Position after 22.d5

22.d5 is a mistake in white's part. Try to find out why. Giri converted his advantage into a win with ease.

Dubov scored his first and only victory of the day against Pichot.

Carlsen suffered his first and only loss of the day against Vachier-Lagrave.

Carlsen - Vachier-Lagrave

Position after 23...Re5

White needed to defend the d5-pawn tactically with 24.Rde1 but the world champion decided to give it away with 24.Qf2. Vachier-Lagrave slowly increased his advantage and liquidated into a completely winning queen endgame.

Nepomniachtchi despite being better for the major part of the endgame, was unable to convert his advantage to a victory against Firouzja.

Firouzja - Nepomniachtchi

Position after 72.Rxa5

What should be the correct plan for black here? The game went on with 72...f5 which allowed white to salvage a draw.

Round 5: Pichot held Carlsen to a draw

After suffering three consecutive losses and a draw, Mamedyarov scored his first win of the event against Caruana.

Alan Pichot made a solid draw without making any big mistake against the world champion.

Giri had a good opportunity in the final moments of the endgame against Dubov.

Giri - Dubov

Position after 39...hxg5

White could have pushed for a win here with 40.Kg4 which would have made it extremely difficult for black to defend. The game continued with 40.Bxg5 and eventually it ended up in a draw in another thirteen moves.

Grischuk suffered his fourth loss of the day, this time against Ding Liren.

The Bitcoin prize fund evaluation took a further dip yesterday

Replay all Round 1-5 games from Day 1

Replay the live stream

FTX Crypto Cup Day 1 | Champions Chess Tour Live Commentary | Video: ChessBase India

Standings after Round 5

Anish Giri is in the sole lead with 4.0/5 | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Schedule

Everyday game starts at 8:30 p.m. IST

Links

Official site

Tournament Regulations


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@ 07/05/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Adhiban starts as the top seed in Indian Champions Chess Tour Qualifier

@ 07/05/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
इंडियन चैस टूर क्वालिफायर - अधिबन होंगे टॉपसीड

@ 06/05/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Magnus Carlsen ends his championship drought by winning New in Chess Classic

@ 03/05/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
New in Chess Classic Finals Day 1: Carlsen wins the first set

@ 02/05/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
New in Chess Classic SF Day 2: Carlsen and Nakamura setup an epic clash in the Finals

@ 01/05/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
New in Chess Classic SF Day 1: No one is invincible

@ 30/04/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
New in Chess Classic QF Day 2: Carlsen, Aronian, Mamedyarov and Nakamura advance

@ 29/04/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
New in Chess Classic QF Day 1: Advantage Aronian, Mamedyarov and Nakamura

@ 28/04/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
New in Chess Classic Day 3: Praggnanandhaa impresses Carlsen

@ 27/04/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
New in Chess Classic Day 2: Carlsen takes sole lead 7.0/10

@ 26/04/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
New in Chess Classic Day 1: Praggnanandhaa makes a brilliant start 3.0/5

@ 25/04/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Vidit and Praggnanandhaa set for Meltwater Champions Chess Tour New in Chess Classic

@ 17/04/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
अनीश गिरि बने मेगनस इनविटेशनल विजेता

@ 22/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Anish Giri deservedly wins Magnus Invitational

@ 22/03/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
मेगनस इनविटेशनल - नेपो और अनीश ? कौन बनेगा सरताज ?

@ 21/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Giri or Nepomniachtchi - Who will win the Magnus Invitational?

@ 21/03/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Magnus Invitational SF Day 2: World Champions Carlsen and So get eliminated

@ 20/03/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Magnus Invitational SF Day 1: World Champions in peril

@ 19/03/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
मेगनस इनविटेशनल SF1 - नेपो नें कार्लसन को दिया झटका

@ 19/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Magnus Invitational QF Day 2: Carlsen, So, Giri and Nepomniachtchi dominate

@ 18/03/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
मेगनस इनविटेशनल : कार्लसन ,नेपो ,सो और गिरि सेमी फाइनल मे

@ 18/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Magnus Invitational QF Day 1: Advantage Carlsen and So

@ 17/03/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
मेगनस इनविटेशनल QF - कार्लसन -सो की आसान जीत

@ 17/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Magnus Invitational Day 3: Carlsen tops the Prelims

@ 16/03/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
मेगनस इनविटेशनल D3 : कार्लसन की शीर्ष पर वापसी

@ 16/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Magnus Invitational Day 2: Giri maintains his sole lead

@ 15/03/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
मेगनस इनविटेशनल D2 : अनीश का जलवा बरकरार

@ 15/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
मेगनस इनविटेशनल D1 : अनीश नें दी कार्लसन को मात

@ 14/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Magnus Invitational Day 1: Giri beats Carlsen

@ 14/03/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
मेगनस इनविटेशनल - राउंड 1 सीधा प्रसारण : LIVE

@ 13/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
मेगनस इनविटेशनल - क्या अब जीतेंगे कार्लसन ?

@ 11/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Does Wesley So have Magnus Carlsen's number? Sagar and Amruta try to find out!

@ 15/02/2021 by Satanick Mukhuty (en)
Wesley So beats Carlsen in the Finals and wins Opera Euro Rapid

@ 15/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Opera Euro Rapid Finals: Carlsen and So poised for a thrilling finish

@ 14/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Opera Euro Rapid SF Day 2: Carlsen and So set up a rematch in the Finals

@ 13/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Opera Euro Rapid SF Day 1: Carlsen beats Vachier-Lagrave, Radjabov struggles against So

@ 12/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Opera Euro Rapid QF Day 2: Dubov pushes Carlsen to his limit

@ 11/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Opera Euro Rapid QF Day 1: Advantage Carlsen, Vachier-Lagrave and So

@ 10/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Opera Euro Rapid Day 3: Vidit misses against Carlsen

@ 09/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Opera Euro Rapid Day 2: Vidit beats Dubov

@ 08/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Opera Euro Rapid Day 1: Carlsen takes sole lead 4.0/5

@ 07/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Vidit Gujrathi returns to Meltwater Champions Chess Tour in Opera Euro Rapid

@ 05/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Radjabov reigns supreme in Champions Chess Tour Airthings Masters

@ 04/01/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Can Radjabov win Champions Chess Tour Airthings Masters?

@ 03/01/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Airthings Masters SF Day 2: Radjabov and Aronian rush to the Finals

@ 02/01/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Airthings Masters SF Day 1: Radjabov and Aronian win the first set

@ 01/01/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Airthings Masters QF Day 2: Dubov eliminates Carlsen

@ 31/12/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Airthings Masters QF Day 1: Advantage Aronian and Vachier-Lagrave

@ 30/12/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Airthings Masters Day 3: Harikrishna, Grischuk, Giri and Anton get eliminated

@ 29/12/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Airthings Masters Day 2: Carlsen joins the six-pack lead

@ 28/12/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Airthings Masters Day 1: Harikrishna holds Carlsen to a draw

@ 27/12/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Harikrishna will star in the Champions Chess Tour Airthings Masters

@ 25/12/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Wesley So wins Champions Chess Tour Skilling Open

@ 01/12/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Can Carlsen win Skilling Open on his 30th birthday?

@ 30/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Skilling Open SF Day 2: So sets up a clash with Carlsen in the Finals

@ 29/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Skilling Open SF Day 1: Advantage Carlsen and So

@ 28/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Skilling Open QF Day 2: Nepomniachtchi, So and Nakamura make epic comebacks

@ 27/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Skilling Open QF Day 1: Advantage Carlsen, Aronian, Radjabov and MVL

@ 26/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Champions Chess Tour Skilling Open R11-15: Carlsen tops the preliminary stage

@ 25/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Champions Chess Tour Skilling Open R6-10: Anish Giri maintains his sole lead

@ 24/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Champions Chess Tour Skilling Open R1-5: Anish Giri takes sole lead

@ 23/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Vidit Gujrathi will star in the Champions Chess Tour Skilling Open

@ 22/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
भारत से विदित गुजराती हुए चैम्पियन चैस टूर मे शामिल

@ 15/11/2020 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
मेगनस कार्लसन नें की चैम्पियन्स चैस टूर की घोषणा

@ 06/11/2020 by Niklesh Jain (hi)