Chessable Masters quarterfinals: Giri, Grischuk play out five back-to-back draws

Catch all the live updates, highlights and more from our coverage of Chessable Masters, the third event of the million-dollar Magnus Carlsen Chess tour.

Chessboard

World Champion Magnus Carlsen and 11 more of the world's best chess players are competing in the Chessable Masters, the third event in the $1million Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour.   -  Representative Image/ Getty Images

Good evening! Hello and welcome to the highlights of Chessable Masters, the third event of the $1million Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour.


It was hard to imagine World champion Magnus Carlsen dominate World No. 2 Fabiano Caruana the way he did on Thursday.

The world’s best player simply destroyed his nearest challenger in the world rankings by handing out a 2.5-0.5 drubbing in the first set of rapid games in the quarterfinals of the $150,000 Chessable Masters.

In the other quarterfinal of the day, Ian Nepomniachtchi, too, scored a 2.5-0.5 over his young Russian compatriot Vladislav Artemiev.

Carlsen won the first game with white pieces after gaining a pawn-advantage. In the second, Carlsen worked a bit harder to score another authoritative victory with black pieces. In the third, Carlsen realised Caruana misplayed the opening phase and pushed his rival on the defensive. Carlsen did not press too hard for the win and forced a draw by perpetual checks for the half-point needed to close the first set of rapid games.

READ | Anand: Don’t know when chess will return to where it was

“It was a pretty good day but I just got to keep it up,” said Carlsen after winning the match. He also revealed that in the second game, a mouse slip did not prove costly, as he got lucky to get a counter-attack going.

Ian Nepomniachtchi gained from a connectivity issue faced by Artemiev in the first game and ‘won’ in a completely drawn position.

In trouble, Nepomniachtchi sacrificed a rook to get into a position where he could force a draw by perpetual checks. When the internet connection was lost for Artemiev, he had an extra rook and a knight. Unfortunately, Artemiev’s lost connection decided the game.

In the second game, Artemiev raised visions of levelling the score but Nepomniachtchi defended well to earn a draw.

In the third, Nepomniachtchi traded a bishop for a rook and easily converted his advantage to close the clash, and match Carlsen’s scoreline.

The quarterfinals involve best-of-three sets of best-of-four rapid games and if needed, blitz games. Today, the other two quarterfinals - Hikaru Nakamura vs Ding Liren and Alexander Grischuk vs Anish Giri - will take place.

The results

Quarterfinals, Day 1: Magnus Carslen (Nor) beat Fabiano Caruana (USA) 2.5-0.5; Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus) beat Vladislav Artemiev (Rus) 2.5-0.5

Quarterfinal line-up

Magnus Carlsen (Nor) v Fabiano Caruana (USA); Ding Liren (Chn) v Hikaru Nakamura (USA); Vladislav Artemiev (Rus) v Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus); Alexander Grischuk (Rus) v Anish Giri (Ned).


Follow all the live action from Friday's 'Final 8' matches:


THE QUARTERFINALISTS:

NameCountryAgeRapid ratingWorld rankingBlitz ratingWorld rankingClassical ratingWorld ranking
GROUP A        
Magnus CarlsenNorway29288112887228632
Alexander GrischukRussia3627747279914277714
Hikaru NakamuraUSA322829429001273618
Vladislav ArtemievRussia22276913278312271629
GROUP B        
Fabiano CaruanaUSA2727731127113528352
Ding LirenChina27283632788827913
Ian NepomniachtchiRussia292778927851027844
Anish GiriNetherlands25273124275222276410