Goldmoney Asian Rapid Chess: Arjun takes lead but Aronian catches up

A day after reaching the quarterfinals by exceeding all expectations, young Arjun showed tremendous self-belief in matching the experienced and an in-form Aronian.

Arjun showed tremendous self-belief in matching the experienced and an in-form Aronian.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Arjun Erigaisi continued to impress the chess world by beating Levon Aronian once before the Armenian hit back to make it 2-2 in the first set of the quarterfinals in the Goldmoney Asian Rapid online rapid chess tournament on Tuesday.

In the most-followed match of the day, Magnus Carlsen scored twice over Wesley So before taking the first set 2.5-1.5.

Carlsen’s victory came after Russia’s Vladislav Artmiev destroyed Anish Giri 3-0 with surprising ease. Poland’s Jan-Krzysztof Duda appeared to be breaking the sequence of three draws, but under time-pressure,chose to repeat the moves for a fourth draw against Chinese No. 1 Ding Liren.

A day after reaching the quarterfinals by exceeding all expectations, young Arjun showed tremendous self-belief in matching the experienced and an in-form Aronian.

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Having escaped with a draw in the first game, 17-year-old Arjun came up with a brilliant finish in the second. He was ready to capture Aronian’s queen when the game ended. A little earlier, Arjun missed a fine tactical sequence where he could have sealed the game by catching Aronian’s queen with a knight ‘fork’. Eventually, this missed opportunity did not hurt Arjun.

Aronian hit back in the third game to draw level and the fourth game proved an equal draw.

Carlsen-So match saw the World No 1 force his rival to err under tremendous time-pressure in the first and third games. In between, So proved stronger and made his presence felt. In the fourth game, Carlsen gave nothing away and the resultant draw earned him the first set.

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Artemiev punished Giri for a dubious knight-move on the 38th move and went on to win with a fine double-rook combination. In the second game, again the rook-pair played a decisive role for Artemiev.

Thereafter, Artemiev did not relax. He played aggressively and dominated an already-deflated Anish to complete an unprecedented drubbing.

The results:

Quarterfinals: Set One: Arjun Erigaisi drew with Levon Aronian (Arm) 2-2; Magnus Carlsen (Nor) bt Wesley So (USA) 2.5-1.5; Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Pol) drew with Ding Liren (Chn) 2-2; Vladislav Artemiev (Rus) bt Anish Giri (Ned) 3-0.

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