A final between GM Magnus Carlsen and GM Hans Niemann is not possible anymore at the Julius Baer Generation Cup after Niemann lost to GM Le Quang Liem in Thursday’s quarterfinals. Carlsen eliminated GM Levon Aronian and now plays GM Vincent Keymer, who knocked out GM Praggnanandhaa R. The fourth semifinalist is GM Arjun Erigaisi, who beat GM Christopher Yoo in a blitz playoff.
In what Carlsen called a “weird” match, it was Aronian who started with a win, surprising his opponent with a Queen’s Gambit Accepted. The American-Armenian GM seemed in control but the match turned around completely in game two.
“This second game was of course ridiculous, I mean, to get a losing with White in 10 moves, I just completely forgot what I was intending to do and blundered very early on,” said Aronian. Carlsen: “Obviously I got a massive gift in the second game.”
Carlsen was the one in control now, as he won the third game convincingly and reached a fortress in game four. Aronian kept pushing as a draw wasn’t enough for him, and then also lost that game.
Making one more brief remark about the cheating drama, Carlsen said: “Some people have been saying maybe more supportive things privately than they have publicly, which I very much understand and certainly appreciate.”
Some people have been saying maybe more supportive things privately than they have publicly, which I very much understand and certainly appreciate.
Niemann lost a close match to Le, where both players started with a win before drawing game three. The Vietnamese GM then won a good game with the white pieces to reach the semis as Niemann couldn’t find the best way to play against White’s passer:
While Praggnanandhaa has been in the spotlights this year alongside other Indian rising stars, Keymer has been steadily improving as well. The 17-year-old German grandmaster finished school in March of this year and is now a chess professional with a 2700+ classical rating.
Beating Pragg with two wins and two draws is impressive! In game four, Pragg had good chances to level the score (as evaluated by Carlsen), but it went wrong when his king started looking unsafe:
In the preliminaries, Keymer had a winning position against Carlsen. About playing the world champion in a match now, he said: “Of course it will be an extremely tough match but I think that just having the chance of playing Magnus in a match is already great. I will just try and enjoy as much as I can and learn as much as I can, and then we will see.”
15-year-old Yoo can say goodbye to the tournament with his head up high. His good play in the preliminaries and putting up such a great fight against one of the world’s biggest talents are things to be proud of.
After both players won both of their white games, a blitz playoff was necessary. Erigaisi set the fifth straight ‘1-0’ on the scoreboard and then held the last game to a draw. In the decisive blitz game, Yoo “tricked himself” as he missed a double attack:
All Games Day 5
The 2022 Champions Chess Tour’s seventh event, the Julius Baer Generation Cup, takes place September 18-25, 2022 on chess24. The preliminary phase was a 16-player rapid (15|10) round-robin. The top eight players advanced to the knockout phase which consists of two days of four-game rapid matches, which advance to blitz (5|3) and armageddon (White has five minutes, Black four with no increment) tiebreaks only if a knockout match is tied after the second day. The prize fund is $150,000.