Le, Aronian, Fedoseev, Artemiev Join Carlsen’s Last Tango

Fighting their way through 147 high-level competitors, GMs Le Liem, Levon Aronian, Vladimir Fedoseev, and Vladislav Artemiev finished at the top of the Play In and qualified for Division I of Chessable Masters 2023. They will join GMs Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So, and Fabiano Caruana in the knockout stage.

The knockout begins on Monday, April 3, starting at 8 a.m. PT/17:00 CEST


Le finished in clear first, going undefeated with 7.5 points. He kicked off the event with a perfect 4-0, including a clever tactical win vs. GM Alireza Firouzja

Aronian finished second, also undefeated. Trailing by half a point, the American grandmaster had his rival on the ropes in the penultimate round but overlooked a three-time repetition in a winning position.

Aronian won a critical victory vs. GM Arjun Erigaisi in round seven, showing his clear-headed technique as he converted his extra pawn into a win in the ending. 

Fedoseev was in mix for the top spots throughout, ultimately finishing third. He displayed his excellent form when he gave GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov his first loss of the event in round six. 

Abdusattorov was tied for the lead until this game, starting out 4-0 including a crushing miniature in round two vs. GM Rodrigo Vasquez and ultimately finished sixth.

Four more grandmasters, GMs Vladislav Artemiev, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Maksim Chigaev, and Denis Lazavik, finished out the top eight―all with 6.5. The final fight to compete alongside Carlsen in his last event as the reigning world champion commenced in the match play stage. 

Play-in Swiss Top 8 

Match Play

Fedoseev seemed to be the sole obstacle of Abdusattorov’s tournament today. After giving the 18-year-old grandmaster his only defeat in the Swiss, Fedoseev also went 2-0 against the Uzbek prodigy in their match. Their second game was an all-out fight with Fedoseev fending off Abdusattorov’s zealous lunges for the initative. 

Another surprising result was Artemiev’s defeat of favorite Vachier-Lagrave. After a draw in game one, Artemiev discovered one tactical shot after another to take over the equal endgame. 

Aronian pressed vs. Lazavik for 73 moves with an extra pawn in the queen and knight ending to win their first game and drew with black in the second to secure a comfortable match victory. 

The only top eight match to reach a playoff was Le vs. Chigaev. Le took the first game with stunning tactical shot, causing his opponent to resign immediately. Can you find it?

Chigaev retaliated with dazzling attacking play to win game two. 

In the armageddon tiebreak, it was Le’s turn to seige an explosive attack against his opposition’s kingside. This game is our Game of the Day with annotations by GM Dejan Bojkov coming soon.

Match Play Scores

Division I | Knockout Field

Chessable Masters is the second leg of the Champions Chess Tour 2023 (CCT), a massive chess circuit combining the best features of previous Champions Chess Tour editions with the Chess.com Global Championship. The tour comprises six events spanning the entire year and culminating in live in-person Finals.

With the very best players in the world and a $2,000,000 prize fund, the CCT is Chess.com’s most important event to date. The second leg of the tour, Chessable Masters, starts March 13 at 8 a.m. PT/17:00 CET.

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