It’s Carlsen-Dubov, MVL-So, Nakamura-Aronian and
Radjabov-Nepomniachtchi in the Airthings Masters quarterfinals after a
nail-biting finish to the preliminary stage saw heavyweights Alexander Grischuk
and Anish Giri knocked out by the finest of margins. Grischuk missed a win then
lost a drawish ending to Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, while Anish Giri lived to
regret going all-out to beat Hikaru Nakamura. In the end a draw would have been
enough for him to clinch a quarterfinal spot. (MORE LATER)
You can replay all the Airthings Masters Preliminary games
using the selector below – if you check out just one game make it So
1-0 Dubov from the final round, featuring some wonderful tactics at the
Relive the spectacular last round of the Prelims with
commentary from Kaja Snare, Jovanka Houska and David Howell…
…and from Tania Sachdev and Peter Leko.
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The final standings when the dust had settled saw Carlsen,
So and Nakamura tied for first place, with Magnus taking top spot on the
tiebreak of having won the mini-league between the three players by beating
Hikaru in Round 10.
The drama, however, was at the bottom, when it surprisingly
turned out that -1, or 5/11, was the cut-off score for qualifying. MVL, who seemed
to be out of contention, was suddenly able to take 7th place after beating
Grischuk with the black pieces, condemning the Russian to finish 10th after all
the other games between players on 5/11 had been drawn. Daniil Dubov, who began the
day in 1st place, only scraped through on the tiebreak of scoring more wins (2)
than Harikrishna (0).
The bottom four were eliminated, though after David Anton
beat Levon Aronian in the final round the gap between 1st and last place was a
mere 2 points.
“You can play like an idiot but then you still get this gift
of playing Magnus,” said Daniil Dubov after the 1st day of the event, and in
fact he’s now going to get to play two mini-matches against the World Champion,
since the winner of the Prelims is paired against the 8th place finisher.
again things have worked out perfectly since we’re on track for
Magnus to meet Wesley So, or Hikaru Nakamura (again they’re seeded to play a
semi-final, as in the Skilling Open), in the final.
Of course Daniil Dubov, Levon Aronian and MVL (not to mention Radjabov and Nepomniachtchi!) may
have something to say about that.
We’re back at 15:00 CET on Tuesday for the
quarterfinals, with Day 1 consisting of a mini-match of four 15+10 games. On Wednesday another
four games will be played, and only if the match score is then level at 1:1 will we
get two 5+3 blitz games followed, if necessary, by Armageddon, where White has
5 minutes to Black’s 4 but a draw will see the player with the black pieces
reach the semi-finals.
You can follow all
the action live here on chess24.
Come back later for player quotes and analysis from the
final day of the prelims!