Carlsen knocks out Erigaisi to give the chess tour champions an early win | So Good News
By reaching the semifinals of the Aimchess Rapid tournament, GM Magnus Carlsen secured an overall victory on the 2022 Meltwater Champions Chess Tour. The world champion defeated GM Arjun Erigaisi by knockout and will next face GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda. The other semi-final match will be between GM Shahryar Mamedyarov and GM Richard Rapport, who defeated GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov and GM Gukesh D.
Carlsen has already secured the overall title of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour for the second year running and with the event empty. This means the Norwegian star will claim a $50,000 bonus prize on top of his total winnings of $192,500.
Considering the tough fight in last month’s Julius Baer Generation Cup, Carlsen only needed three games to eliminate Erigaisi this time around. The first was decisive. The Indian general held his two pawns for a long time, but allowed his opponent to escape. Carlsen then won the remaining two games easily.
Duda was the only player still able to catch Carlsen in the overall standings, but he needed a loss against his rival Erigaisi to do so (and win Aimchess Rapid). The Polish general did his job, convincingly defeated Vidit and will now face Carlsen next.
Afterwards, Duda admitted that it wasn’t all that easy and that he really struggled a bit in the second game:
“I’m a miserable chess player, so I was looking forward to Gukesh putting me out of my misery tonight!” said Rapport after eliminating the 16-year-old prodigy from India. The Hungarian general found himself in trouble after drawing the first game and losing White in the second game, but won the next two games and overcame it.
After tactically deceiving his opponent in the third game of King-Indian, Rapport decided the match by winning the famous (and theoretically drawn) shield and bishop-to-bishop final game. It seems like every great player has to lose this last game once in their career and Gukesh no doubt learned a valuable lesson.
Mamedyarov successfully defended the “old guard” by knocking out another rising star. The first game was the only deciding game in this mini-match and saw a teachable moment in the rookie’s final game:
All games are quarter finals
Aimchess Rapid, the seventh event of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, will be held on 14-20 October 2022 on chess24. The preliminaries consisted of a round robin of 16 players, with the top eight advancing to the playoffs. There they play four rapid games (15+10) per round and blitz + armageddon tiebreaker if necessary. The prize fund is $150,000.