Arjun Erigiasi inflicted the year’s first defeat on Magnus Carlsen in the $2-million Champions Chess Tour but could not stop the World champion from advancing to the final of the Airthings Masters online rapid chess tournament on Tuesday.
In the semifinals of Division 1, Arjun lost the first game, drew the second but hit back in the third to draw level. After the fourth game ended in a draw, Carlsen came out unscathed with black pieces in the drawn Armageddon game against Arjun to advance to the final against arch-rival Hikaru Nakamura.
Nakamura and Wesley So drew all five games, including Armageddon, in the other semifinal.
Arjun now finds himself in the losers’ bracket where he runs into D. Gukesh, who defeated Rauf Mamedov 2-1. After Mamedov levelled the match score 1-1 by winning the second game, Gukesh won the Armageddon game to advance.
In Division 3, R. Praggnanandhaa will face USA’s Samuel Sevian in the final. Praggnanandhaa defeated compatriot V. Pranav 2-0 and then nailed USA’s Lenderman Aleksandr in the Armageddon to reach the final.
Harika holds Kosteniuk
Meanwhile, in the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix in Munich, D. Harika (2.5 points) snapped the four-win streak of leader Alexandra Kosteniuk (4.5) by holding her to a draw in the fifth round. In the 12-player field, K. Humpy (3) shares the second spot with Georgia’s Nana Dzagnidze.
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