Aimchess U.S. Rapid 2021
Aimchess US Rapid 2021 is the 9th event on the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour 2020-2021 series. Played from 28th August to 5th September 2021, the game started a robin round of 16 players in the first three days.
The game had a time control of 15 minutes plus 10 seconds added per move from the first move. 8 players qualified for knockout stages that began on 31st August and ended on 5th September. All actions took place on chess24 Playzone. It consists of two days of quarter-finals, two days for semis, and two days for the finals, where the winner will walk away with $1.5 million.
The players who qualified for the knockout stage included Carlsen, Artemiev, Mamedyarov, Aronian, Duda, Firouzja, Wesley So, and Dominguez. After the quarter-finals knockout, Magnus Carlsen, Vladislav Artemiev, Levon Aronian, and Alireza Firouzja qualified for the semis.
The Aimchess US Rapid 2021: Semi-finals
This year’s semi-finals witnessed a surprise where both first matches kick-off with a draw as the best chess players faced each other. The first match show GM Magnus Carlsen drawing against GM Levon Aronian in the first four games. A replica of the same happened where GM Vladislav Artemiev and GM Alireza Firouzja secured one score each.
Aronian vs. Carlsen
These two Grandmasters first met in Tripoli in the 2004 FIDE World Championship. The 2020 encounter was another opportunity for them to reface each other. During the first day, the two had a smooth running. Though Aronian had great chances to score against Carlsen, he never utilized them, leading to a 2-2 tie.
However, the second day of the semis was different. Carlsen emerged as the king of hits by securing a 3-1 win against Aronian. This shows him proceed to the final stage while Aronian had no choice but to give in to the pressure and wait to compete for the third position.
Firouzja vs. Artemiev
The game between Grandmasters Artemiev and Firouzja was amazing. The match brought the two youngest grandmasters to face each other. Their first face-off show them secure a draw as their predecessors.
Artemiev started with a perfect move, almost edging out his opponent. But Firouzja made perfect moves after two draws and leveled the game. This match ended with 2-2 scores calling off the first day.
However, things changed on the second day. The game started with another draw on the first game. The fans enjoyed a spectacle game as both players won with the black piece. But they had another draw that forced a playoff.
After the playoff, Artemiev stood out as a powerful opponent against Firouzja. The game ended with a 2-1. With these results, Artemiev proceeded to the finals. He had to face Carlsen to find the next Aimchess US Rapid champion. Firouzja had to face his Aronian for the third place.
Aimchess US Rapid 2021: Third position playoff
The third-place position was to be the face-off between Alireza Firouzja and Levon Aronian. However, Firouzja could not make it. He fell ill before the face-off. This aspect handed over the third position to Levon. Aronian is among the outstanding Grandmaster being in the 5th position in the world.
Aimchess US Rapid 2021: The finals
The online tournament show two influential players face each other virtually. But after challenging each other, Carlsen stood out as the king of hits in chess and pocketed a $30,000 check. The winner described their encounter with Artemiev as one of the smooth rides he ever had in recent times.
Carlsen beat Artemiev 2-0 on his third leg on this championship tour series. It was simple for him to begin with a win on the first game. This GM utilized the a-pawn and h-pawn to trick out his opponent on the glide. Using h6, Carlsen directed limitless attacks to Artemiev that he could not withstand.
In the second game, Carlsen almost lost to his opponent. He made a glitch by playing with the wrong rook to d8. Artemiev had moved an a5 pawn that confused Carlsen, forcing him to move a rook to d8. Nonetheless, he was ready to give up the pawn.
But his opponent landed into trouble once more, allowing him to rule the game. Artemiev used black pieces, putting him into more risk. Carlsen show an opportunity to apply his tactics and principles to corner the opponent.
He emerged as a winner of the Aimchess US Rapid 2021 edition. The current world champion confirmed that he remains the best chess player in this decade. As the upcoming Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, he will probably prove that he is the unbeatable world champion.
The Aimchess US Rapid 2021 tour confirms that no chess player is ready to overthrow Carlsen from the World Champion position. Though it is not the endgame, it set the stage for an impossible challenger to this reigning champion.