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Metro
24-12-2020, 07:01 PM
Magnus Carlsen tops the field for the Airthings Masters, the 2nd stage of the Champions Chess Tour. The 12-player event will be played online from December 26th to January 3rd and, as the first Major of the tour, features a $200,000 prize fund with $60,000 for 1st place. The winner also qualifies directly to the Grand Final in September 2021.

The tournament starts with a 3-day preliminary stage where the players play each other once before the top 8 go forward to a knockout. The time control is 15 minutes for all moves, with a 10-second increment from move 1. No draw offers are allowed before move 40.

Official website: https://championschesstour.com/
https://chess24.com/en/watch/live-tournaments/champions-chess-tour-airthings-masters-2020-prelims

1 Carlsen, Magnus 2881
2 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2860
3 Nakamura, Hikaru 2829
4 Grischuk, Alexander 2784
5 Aronian, Levon 2778
6 Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2778
7 Dubov, Daniil 2770
8 Radjabov, Teimour 2758
9 So, Wesley 2741
10 Giri, Anish 2731
11 Harikrishna, Pentala 2705
12 Anton Guijarro, David 2667

Desmond
27-12-2020, 07:50 PM
Carlsen's form slump continues, opening his account with 4 draws.

Scott Colliver
28-12-2020, 12:54 AM
Carlsen's form slump continues, opening his account with 4 draws.

With a classic Magnus endgame squeeze he beats Dubov and does not look so out of form.

MichaelBaron
28-12-2020, 11:19 AM
Playing online events almost weekly...its getting tiring ..and no matter how many he wins - he is expected to win the next time again. Needless to say, majority of his opponents are keen to play for draw.

ER
28-12-2020, 12:22 PM
Guess who's back leading the tournament, albeit sharing 1st place with another five on 4.5/8 though! :D

4720

Desmond
28-12-2020, 06:14 PM
Playing online events almost weekly...its getting tiring ..and no matter how many he wins - he is expected to win the next time again. Needless to say, majority of his opponents are keen to play for draw.

Yes he certainly looks visibly tired. Probably the tournament structure encourages people to just play for draws. All you have to do is finish in top 8 from 12 starters, so an even score is quite likely to be enough.

ER
29-12-2020, 02:02 AM
Playing online events almost weekly...its getting tiring ..and no matter how many he wins - he is expected to win the next time again. Needless to say, majority of his opponents are keen to play for draw.

Poor Naka he should have followed the trend of the others and play for a draw vs Magnus. Well he played for a loss and Magnus obliged and smashed him! :D :P

Scott Colliver
29-12-2020, 03:00 AM
Carlsen, Nakamura and So end up tying for first after the prelims. The three big favourites rose to the top.

Metro
29-12-2020, 03:24 AM
1 Carlsen, Magnus 6/11 2881
2 So, Wesley 6/11 2741
3 Nakamura, Hikaru 6/11 2829
4 Nepomniachtchi, Ian 6/11 2778
5 Radjabov, Teimour 6/11 2758
6 Aronian, Levon 5/11 2778
7 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 5/11 2860
8 Dubov, Daniil 5/11 2770

Pairings 1v8,2v7,3v6,4v5

MichaelBaron
29-12-2020, 10:32 AM
5/11 enough to qualify...so making draws and 1 loss enough to get through :)

Desmond
29-12-2020, 10:59 AM
5/11 enough to qualify...so making draws and 1 loss enough to get through :)

Yes, in the case of two of the four people who scored 5/11.
Hopefully they do away with this format for future events, as it really doesn't encourage the style of play we were spoiled with last year with the MCCT.

Scott Colliver
29-12-2020, 07:19 PM
5/11 enough to qualify...so making draws and 1 loss enough to get through :)

The one person who actually did that, Harikishna, missed out. Maxime and Dubov both actually won games

Desmond
29-12-2020, 07:56 PM
The one person who actually did that, Harikishna, missed out. Maxime and Dubov both actually won games

Yes that's right and it was no coincedence that Dubov got through. First tiebreak was Direct Encounter, followed by Wins. It was on Wins that Dubov edged Hari out.

Ian Rout
30-12-2020, 01:54 PM
Yes, in the case of two of the four people who scored 5/11.
Hopefully they do away with this format for future events, as it really doesn't encourage the style of play we were spoiled with last year with the MCCT.The other side of that coin is that players are in with a chance right up until the end. Someone on a modest 3/9 can get to 5, or even with 2.5/9 it may be mathematically possible for 4.5 to qualify. So there are numerous possibilities.

Realistically, the games go so fast that you don't have time to work out whether it's exciting or to try to see some of the lines. In fact it's almost a waste to have interesting games when they end so suddenly. The qualifying rounds really just serve to build up some tension, after which the drama comes from the head-to head contests in the knockouts rather than the games themselves.

One way to create more drama might be to have some lower-tier wild cards or qualifiers, so that there are some wins against them while players who drop half-points have to take risks to get wins against other top players.

Scott Colliver
30-12-2020, 09:21 PM
Quarter finals Match 1
Carlsen - Dubov 2-2
So - Vachier-Lagrave 1-3
Nakamura - Aronian 1.5 - 2.5
Radjabov - Nepomniachtchi 2-2

Desmond
30-12-2020, 10:09 PM
The other side of that coin is that players are in with a chance right up until the end. Someone on a modest 3/9 can get to 5, or even with 2.5/9 it may be mathematically possible for 4.5 to qualify. So there are numerous possibilities.Yes it did seem that some players were playing in the last round as though they had to win to qualify, when as it turned out they didn't.


Realistically, the games go so fast that you don't have time to work out whether it's exciting or to try to see some of the lines. In general I think having 6 rapid games going at once makes it pretty hard to follow. In some of the other MCCT events they split the rounds over 2 days, so had say 3 matches each day, which works better IMO.

If I'm not mistaken, Radjabov is now the only undefeated player. :)

Metro
31-12-2020, 05:59 PM
Semi finals
GM Radjabov, Teimour 2758 - GM Dubov, Daniil 2770
GM Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime-2860 - GM Aronian, Levon 2778

Magnus was visibly upset losing to Dubov.He "slammed" the laptop shut.

Desmond
31-12-2020, 11:33 PM
Semi finals
GM Radjabov, Teimour 2758 - GM Dubov, Daniil 2770
GM Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime-2860 - GM Aronian, Levon 2778

Magnus was visibly upset losing to Dubov.He "slammed" the laptop shut.The out of form Carlsen got thrashed by Dubov, not even requiring the 4th game.

Scott Colliver
01-01-2021, 04:04 AM
Dubov - Radjabov, game 4 of the match, is a very exciting game, well worth the look.

MichaelBaron
01-01-2021, 12:09 PM
I wonder if the guys are getting bored playing each other all the time.

Desmond
01-01-2021, 02:20 PM
A couple of tweets following Carlsen's knockout by Dubov yesterday:

Magnus Carlsen
@MagnusCarlsen
Dec 31, 2020
People may play have good days or bad days against me, and I against them, but after another collapse the bottom line is that I'm in a deep funk right now, and it's really frustrating


Magnus Carlsen
@MagnusCarlsen
Dec 31, 2020
On a lighter note, Daniil just wrote me to cheer me up after beating me, and apologize for his celebration on air. Told him I did not see it, and it would upset me more when people stop celebrating after beating me. Congrats to a most worthy opponent and great dude!

Metro
02-01-2021, 04:39 PM
Final GM Radjabov, Teimour - GM Aronian, Levon.

https://chess24.com/en/watch/live-tournaments/champions-chess-tour-airthings-masters-2020-knockout/6/1/1
https://championschesstour.com/#results

Desmond
03-01-2021, 11:14 AM
Final GM Radjabov, Teimour - GM Aronian, Levon.

https://chess24.com/en/watch/live-tournaments/champions-chess-tour-airthings-masters-2020-knockout/6/1/1
https://championschesstour.com/#results

Radjabov draws blood in the first set. Aronian will need to win the second set to force a tiebreak tonight.
Some very interesting games in the playoff for third between Dubov and MVL also.

Scott Colliver
03-01-2021, 07:11 PM
Radjabov draws blood in the first set. Aronian will need to win the second set to force a tiebreak tonight.
Some very interesting games in the playoff for third between Dubov and MVL also.

Radjabov has looked super strong this tournament, going to be hard for Aronian despite how well he has been playing as well.

Desmond
03-01-2021, 08:45 PM
Radjabov has looked super strong this tournament, going to be hard for Aronian despite how well he has been playing as well.

Yes I agree. Radja had good winning chances in pretty much all 4 games. Also, if you overpress against him he will punish you, as Dubov found out.

Scott Colliver
04-01-2021, 01:50 AM
Radjabov wins the second game of the 2nd match to leave Aronian needing to win both remain games to force the tiebreak blitz

Scott Colliver
04-01-2021, 02:56 AM
Radjabov wins

Metro
05-01-2021, 01:18 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRGjlWajr08