Magnus Carlsen burst out of the blocks to take a 1pt lead on the opening day of the Julius Baer Generation Cup, the star-studded seventh leg of the $1.6 million Meltwater Champions Chess Tour.

The World Champion racked up an unbeaten 10/12 pts with wins over Arjun Erigaisi, Adhiban Baskaran and Liem Quang Le, with only Dutch No.1 Anish Giri preventing him from taking the maximum number of points.

You can play through all games from the Julius Baer Generation Cup on Broadcast page.

“He’s really started on fire,” Grandmaster David Howell said in the commentary box. “Normally, we’re not used to seeing him this sharp in tournaments so soon. Normally, he steps up the gears as the days go on. Impressive stuff, scary for the rest of the field, maybe.”

He added: “It’s Magnus doing Magnus things.”

Carlsen played brilliant chess throughout the day, especially his games against Indian youngster Erigaisi and former World Blitz Champion Le were impressive.

Behind the favourite are four players on 9pts including the controversial American Hans Niemann who, with Carlsen, has been at the centre of a furore in the chess world over the last two weeks.

But Niemann showed he wasn’t going to let internet speculation get to him as he also had a strong day. Carlsen and Niemann are now set for a hotly-anticipated clash in Round 6 tomorrow.

It was Niemann who drew first blood in the tournament as the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour event got under way, by beating 53-year-old legend Boris Gelfand. Niemann went on to finish with an impressive three wins.

The legendary Israeli was in good spirits despite losing all his games.

“My main struggle was that I played horribly!” he said. “Hopefully I will play better next days,” he added, expressing gratitude for being invited.

Meanwhile, an intriguing first-round game between 17-year-old Praggnanandhaa and 53-year-old chess legend Vasyl Ivanchuk ended with two dramatic blunders and an amazing swindle for the youngster.

Ivanchuk was dominating his teenage opponent and looked set to strike the first blow for the older generation, but tragically first dropped a rook and then left a bishop hanging in time trouble.

The Ukrainian quickly shook off the loss in the next round, however, with a stylish win over the Croatian Ivan Saric to pick up his first 3pts. Clearly, the former world no. 2 was just warming up.

In Round 3, Ivanchuk’s famed genius shone through as the former world no. 2 left Giri stunned with the crushing 34. Bxf6+, which forced the Dutchman to resign instantly.

Then, Ivanchuk showed again he was still on top of his game with a Round 4 win over Poland’s World Cup winner Jan-Krzysztof Duda. His performance will bring a cheer from fans of the older generation of players taking part in this event.

he eight-day event runs from September 18 to 25 and features 16 world-class competitors spanning three generations of player.

Once the prelim is completed, the tournament will move to the knockouts before a two-day grand final.

Play begins at 18:00 CEST / 12:00 ET with live commentary available on chess24’s YouTube and Twitch channels.

See also:

Oct 19, 2021

18-year-old Carissa Yip has won her first US Women’s Chess Championship

Carissa Yip has been in incredible form since losing to Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova in Round 5, with five wins in a row leaving her uncatchable going into the final round. Her penultimate round clash with 2-time US Women’s Champion Nazi Paikidze looked like a potential stumbling block, with Carissa herself commenting afterwards:  ” I guess it still hasn’t really sunk in, but I’m so happy I can’t stop smiling! I was really surprised to win this game, because I was mostly thinking Nazi is really solid with White, I’ll just probably have to fight it out for a draw, and then tomorrow just try not to lose, so this was really a surprise.”

Until move 21 it looked as though Carissa might be in trouble, with her Modern opening leaving her a shaky position, but a very healthy lead on the clock. That factor may have been decisive when she played the double-edged 21…h5!?, relying on the resource 22.Bxg5 h4! 23.g4 Bxg4! That continuation would have been good for Black, but Carissa realised that if her opponent essentially did nothing the position would still be tough to play.

Instead 22.f4? left White dead in the water.

See also:

  • Official website
  • All the US Championship games with computer analysis: Open | Women   
Apr 01, 2019

Vladislav Artemiev is the 2019 European Champion

Vladislav Artemiev’s fantastic year continued as the 21-year-old Russian added the European title to victory in Gibraltar and double gold at the World Team Championship. In the final round he held a tricky position against Maxim Rodshtein, who would have taken gold with a win but had to settle for 4th place. Sweden’s Nils Grandelius matched Artemiev’s 8.5/11 but took silver on the tiebreak of having lower-rated opponents, while Poland’s Kacper Piorun won bronze. The top 26 players are all qualified for the World Cup later this year.

He scored his fifth win in five with the white pieces by beating 17-year-old compatriot Andrey Esipenko in the penultimate round. With White it looks as though, like a certain Magnus Carlsen, he’s happy merely to “get a game”, but when Ivan Sokolov suggested that to him Artemiev pointed out that he was actually well-prepared in his offbeat systems… something else that applied to the young Magnus (of course by now Magnus is well-prepared everywhere).

So that’s all for the 2019 European Individual Championship! For those interested in the World Cup, the 128-player knockout that will take place in Khanty-Mansiysk from 9th September to 2nd October this year, you can find a good regularly updated qualification list here.

See also:

  • Official website
  • All the games with computer analysis here on chess24
  • European Championship 1-5: Four leaders
  • European Championship 6-9: Artemiev overtakes Kramnik
Jul 16, 2021

FIDE World Cup round 2

Magnus Carlsen looked sharp as he got off to a winning start against birthday boy Sasa Martinovic on Thursday when the big guns joined the FIDE World Cup, but the chess was overshadowed by turmoil caused by COVID-19. Levon Aronian was forced to forfeit against Bobby Cheng, while Fabiano Caruana’s game against Indonesian GM Susanto Megaranto was suddenly stopped midway when test results came back showing Susanto was infected. Fabiano got a win by default, but faces more tests himself.

Round 2 marked the point at which the top 50 seeds in the Open and the top 25 seeds in the Women’s event joined the action, and, given the complexity of travel during the pandemic, it was impressive that there was just one game out of 96 that didn’t start on Thursday. It was a big one, however, with world no. 5 and 2-time World Cup winner Levon Aronian forced to forfeit a game against 24-year-old 2552-rated Australian GM Bobby Cheng. The official communication from FIDE was oddly worded.

See also:

  • Official website
  • All the games with computer analysis and commentary on chess24: Open | Women
  • Magnus Carlsen plays the 2021 World Cup
  • FIDE World Cup 2021 pairings are out
  • FIDE World Cup 1.1: The battle begins
  • FIDE World Cup 1.2: 80 players out, 28 tiebreaks
  • FIDE World Cup 1.3: 14-year-old Volodar Murzin scores upset win