Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is the sole leader of the Sharjah Grand Prix on 2.5/3 after beating Richard Rapport in Round 2 and surviving by the skin of his teeth against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in Round 3. Rapport has provided almost half of the decisive results so far, but things have turned sour after his first round win. Just when he’d escaped to what seemed an easy draw against Hikaru Nakamura he self-destructed and gave his opponent the only win of Round 3.

Nine players have drawn all their games so far in Sharjah, with the lack of the usual restrictions on draw offers proving tempting to the players. Sometimes that’s more than understandable, with Riazantsev and Li Chao paired against each other and both admitting to being happy to end hostilities early after their epic battles the day before. Saleh Salem was also glad to get off the mark with a 23-move draw against Evgeny Tomashevsky.

In another case the early draw didn’t tell the full story. Alexander Grischuk was surprised by a move-order trick from Levon Aronian and spent almost an hour to conclude that, unfortunately, he had no win on the spot… and had just wasted almost an hour on a move he wasn’t going to play!

So with one third of the Sharjah Grand Prix complete the standings look as follows:

In Tuesday’s Round 4 all eyes will be on Hikaru Nakamura, who has the white pieces against leader Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Games start at 15:00 local time, or 12:00 CET.

See also:

  • Official website
  • All the games with computer analysis on chess24

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Jul 05, 2021

Goldmoney Asian Rapid Winner is Levon Aronian

Levon Aronian needed just two games and under an hour and a half of play to clinch victory over Vladislav Artemiev and take the $30,000 top prize in the Goldmoney Asian Rapid. Levon’s spectacular final win was a fitting end to an event where he’d also won the Preliminary stage, to take home the maximum number of tour points. The fight for 3rd place was also one-sided, but with a twist. Ding Liren hit back to win the second day’s rapid chess 3:0 before Magnus Carlsen took over in blitz to clinch the match.

Levon Aronian is set to switch to the United States Chess Federation after the FIDE World Cup, so it was appropriate that he won his first event on the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour on US Independence Day. Magnus Carlsen would later joke when asked if he was happy for his friend.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the Goldmoney Asian Rapid and will stick around for all the other chess action coming up!

See also:

  • Champions Chess Tour website
  • All the Goldmoney Asian Rapid games with computer analysis: Prelims, Knockout
  • Hou Yifan joins Magnus Carlsen for Goldmoney Asian Rapid
  • Carlsen starts Goldmoney Asian Rapid against Firouzja, Hou Yifan & So
  • Goldmoney Asian Rapid Day 1: Carlsen hits back after Firouzja stumble
  • Goldmoney Asian Rapid Day 2: Aronian and Ding lead
  • Goldmoney Asian Rapid Day 3: Aronian triumphs, faces 17-year-old Erigaisi
  • Goldmoney Asian Rapid Day 4: Carlsen & Artemiev lead
  • Goldmoney Asian Rapid Day 5: Carlsen & Aronian scrape into semis after playoffs
  • Goldmoney Asian Rapid Day 6: Carlsen & Ding strike
  • Goldmoney Asian Rapid Day 7: Aronian & Artemiev stun Carlsen & Ding
  • Goldmoney Asian Rapid Day 8: Aronian leads final
Dec 30, 2016

Vassily Ivanchuk is new World Champion in Rapid Chess

The World Rapid Championships in Doha, Qatar, had a dramatic finish. Before the last round five players shared the lead with 10.0/14. Three of these five players won in the last round: Magnus Carlsen, Alexander Grischuk and Vassily Ivanchuk. The tie-break had to decide – in this case, the Elo-average of the opponents. And here Ivanchuk was best and became World Rapid Champion 2016.

The Rapid World Championship is a 15 rounds Swiss event with a time-control 15 minutes+ 10 seconds additional time per move, starting from move 1. The event will be played on three days with five rounds each day. The total prize fund is 200,000 USD of which the winner will receive 40,000 USD.

With 8.0/10 Ivanchuk started day 3 as sole leader but at first had trouble to find his form. He started with a loss against Ian Nepomniachtchi and then played two draws in rounds 12 and 13.

But after winning a topsy-turvy game in round 14 against Vishy Anand he shared the lead with Alexander Grischuk, Shakriyar Mamedyarov, Nepomniachtchi and Magnus Carlsen. But Ivanchuk had the best tie-break and therefore “only” needed a win in the last round to become new World Rapid Champion.

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sources: chesebase, official website

Jun 24, 2019

FIDE Candidates Tournament Winners

It’s been a good few days for the Russian class of 1998! 20-year-old Aleksandra Goryachkina won the FIDE Women’s Candidates Tournament with two rounds to spare, while 21-year-old Vladislav Artemiev shrugged off his first classical loss in 60 games to bounce back with three wins and overall victory in Poikovsky. Our tournament round-up is completed by the Asian Continental Championship, which was won by Le Quang Liem, while 15-year-old Alireza Firouzja was among the players to qualify for the 2019 World Cup.

The last couple of weeks were dominated by Altibox Norway Chess, but as we’re going to see throughout 2019, there was a lot of top level chess elsewhere. Two of the winners were Russian players born in 1998 who could be said to have followed in Magnus Carlsen’s footsteps. Aleksandra Goryachkina emulated Magnus in Stavanger by only losing the final game of the Women’s Candidates Tournament, after wrapping up victory three days earlier. In the Karpov Tournament in Poikovsky, Vladislav Artemiev emulated Magnus by winning the event despite losing rating points.
Goryachkina makes no mistake

We said almost everything that needed to be said about Aleksandra Goryachkina’s phenomenal performance in the Women’s Candidates Tournament in our report after 9 rounds, when she’d beaten Valentina Gunina to reach a massive +6, 7.5/9 score. With a 2.5 point gap all she needed was to draw the remaining games, and indeed she drew her next three games to secure victory with two rounds to spare.

The other impressive run Vladislav Artemiev was nursing was an unbeaten streak in classical games that seemed to have stretched to 60 after draws in the first two rounds in Poikovsky. It was going to take something special to beat him, and that was provided by 38-year-old Indian Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran, who played arguably the game of his life to beat Artemiev in Round 3. It was the kind of game that was so beautiful that despite losing Artemiev couldn’t deny his opponent the pleasure of finishing with checkmate on the board.

For full details check out our 2019 Chess Calendar