Aimchess US quick final: Carlsen leads despite mouse swipe

GM Magnus Carlsen won the first of two games against GM Vladislav Artemiev in the Aimchess US Rapid online tournament final. The world champion scored 2.5-1.5 on Saturday and only needs two match points tomorrow to win his third tournament of this Tour.

The third place match between GM Levon Aronian and GM Alireza Firouzja was declared a victory for Aronian as Firouzja withdrew from the match due to poor health.

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Carlsen said he felt “average” after winning the opener against Artemiev after everything that had happened. His playing was good but not perfect, and then there was a mouse swipe (well, sort of) which also messed up his mood a bit.

The start was smooth for Carlsen, who dominated his opponent with the black pieces and was much better after 22 moves, where White’s pieces were very passive.

“The first game was normal, Magnus played it well,” said Artemiev, but it was more than it looks.

“I think I played well up to a point but then I made a huge mistake when I played 23 … Qg5, giving him time to push his pawn and gain some time there- low, ”Carlsen said. “I thought it was so good I could do anything.”

Magnus carlsen
Carlsen almost ruined a great game. Photo: Maria Emelianova /

Artemiev had serious counter-chances, according to the world champion, who added: “I decided to play there and put another pawn but I assumed that with the strength of my pieces I should never be worse, but it was still quite unnecessary. “

The second game, chosen as the game of the day due to the interesting opening phase and the two kings remaining in the center, was played “a bit poor”, Carlsen said: “I calculated completely wrong at the start and j frankly just hoped to survive. “

However, luck was on his side as Artemiev started to suffer from connection issues. “It was not easy, the position was very complicated,” said the Russian director general. “I was very disappointed at that time.”

Alex Yermolinsky Game of the day

Annotations from General Manager Alex Yermolinsky will be added soon.

After that, luck was on Artemiev’s side in the third game. After fully equalizing, Carlsen was on the verge of winning the match when something strange happened on move 25: move Qe5 was played unintentionally.

“My first idea was to play my queen from e4 to e6, so I almost played her and then I got a little unsure, I thought I had handed the queen over and kept thinking”, Carlsen explained. “I think I just sat there for, like, a minute before I realized I had actually put the queen on the wrong square. I suddenly noticed that was her move and I was shocked by that. “

Artemiev was suddenly back in the game, but scoring a victory with the black pieces on demand was too much to ask, especially as Carlsen chose an extremely solid setup in the Moscow variant of the Sicilian.

Artemiev, who is playing his second final after the Goldmoney Asian Rapid tournament, said he plans to play faster: “I also have time issues, time management issues.”

Carlsen, on the first day of the final: “It reaffirmed that Artemiev can be quite vulnerable in a dynamic and tactical game, so I think that’s the main area where I can hit.”

Vladislav Artemiev
Vladislav Artemiev seen via his webcam. Image: Champions chess tower.

The Aimchess US Rapid will run from August 28 to September 5, 2021 on chess24. The preliminary phase was a fast-paced (15 | 10) 16-player round robin tournament. The top eight players moved on to a six-day knockout which consists of two days of four-game quick matches, which switch to blitz (5 | 3) and armageddon (White has five minutes, Black has four no increments. ) only if a knockout match is tied after the second day. The prize fund is $ 100,000, including a first prize of $ 30,000.

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