Aimchess U.S. Rapid: Artemiev Wins Prelims; Giri, MVL Out

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GM Vladislav Artemiev won the preliminary stage of the Aimchess U.S. Rapid and will play GM Leinier Dominguez in the quarterfinals. GM Anish Giri and GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave were among the players who failed to qualify this time.

The other matchups in the quarterfinals are GM Wesley So vs. GM Alireza Firouzja, GM Levon Aronian vs. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, and GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda vs. GM Magnus Carlsen.

Giri, who was edged out on tiebreak, had already qualified for the Finals in September but Vachier-Lagrave is in trouble now. The fact that he didn’t make it to the knockout means that GM Hikaru Nakamura is now certain of participation next month while if Artemiev beats Dominguez in the quarterfinals, he qualifies instead of MVL.

How to watch?
The games of the Aimchess U.S. Rapid knockout phase can be found here as part of our live events platform. Daily commentary is provided on the Chessbrahs Twitch channel starting at 8:00 a.m. Pacific / 17:00 Central Europe.

Aimchess U.S. Rapid results

The Carlsen-Duda matchup is one to look forward to, after the Polish GM managed to eliminate the world champion from the FIDE World Cup last month in the semifinals (and moved on to win the tournament). 

In the preliminaries, they clashed in the final round. Duda played well but at some point blundered an exchange. Still defending tenaciously, he managed to reach a queen endgame two pawns down that happens to be a theoretical draw. Usually it’s a win anyway in practice for the stronger side, but lacking the time to calculate, Carlsen failed to find the winning plan and then stumbled into a three-fold repetition (the same position on move 101, 114, and 124).

Speaking of Duda, the Polish star had won a spectacular game two rounds earlier against Dutch GM Jorden van Foreest. The final position is quite pretty:

Dejan Bojkov Game of the Day

Another strong candidate for Game of the Day was GM Awonder Liang vs. GM Vidit Gujrathi, with 159 moves also easily the longest game of the tournament. Also here, we’re seeing a queen endgame with two extra pawns but although Black was actually winning at the start, he also failed to do so thanks to a lovely stalemate idea from Liang:

Awonder Liang
A very nice stalemate idea from Awonder Liang. Photo: Peter Doggers/Chess.com.

Artemiev’s first place came after a solid third day where he finished with four draws after beating So in round 11 with the black pieces as the American player blundered material in the endgame:


Aimchess U.S. Rapid Prelims | Final Standings




















# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts
1 Artemiev 2704 2874 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 10.5
2 Carlsen 2847 2839 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 10
3 Aronian 2782 2817 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 9.5
4 Firouzja 2759 2818 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 9.5
5 So 2772 2793 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 1 1 9
6 Mamedyarov 2782 2792 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 0 1 ½ 1 9
7 Duda 2738 2795 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 9
8 Dominguez 2758 2748 ½ ½ 0 0 0 0 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 0 1 1 8
9 Giri 2776 2746 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 8
10 Vachier-Lagrave 2751 2725 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 1 7.5
11 Vidit 2726 2726 ½ ½ 1 1 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 7.5
12 Naroditsky 2623 2662 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 1 ½ 0 6
13 Le 2709 2657 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 1 0 0 ½ 0 1 0 ½ 1 1 6
14 Van Foreest 2698 2581 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 ½ 1 1 4.5
15 Hansen 2606 2528 0 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 0 1 3.5
16 Liang 2587 2456 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 0 0 0 2.5

All Games Days 3

The Aimchess U.S. Rapid runs August 28-September 5, 2021 on chess24. The preliminary phase is a 16-player rapid (15|10) round-robin. The top eight players advance to a six-day knockout that consists of two days of four-game rapid matches, which advance to blitz (5|3) and armageddon (White has five minutes, Black four with no increment) tiebreaks only if a knockout match is tied after the second day. The prize fund is $100,000, including a $30,000 first prize.


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