Aimchess US Rapid: Artemiev shines, Naroditsky keeps it sharp

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
8/30/2021 – Day 2 of the Aimchess US Rapid prelims saw Vladislav Artemiev climbing to sole first place after drawing two games and winning the remaining three to go into the last day of the round robin a half point ahead of Levon Aronian and Magnus Carlsen. The likes of Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Leinier Dominguez are in real danger of being eliminated before the knockout. | Photo: Eric Rosen / FIDE World Cup

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Sharp, entertaining chess

The organizers of the Aimchess US Rapid have invited two players who, although strong grandmasters in their own right, are better known in the chess world for their work as streamers. Daniel Naroditsky (2623 Elo) and Eric Hansen (2606) have captivated a large audience both with their impressive chess skills and their abilities as entertainers.

Facing the tough field in the last ‘regular’ event of this year’s Meltwater Tour, Hansen has been struggling to make the most of his chances, as he had better positions but ended up losing against both Levon Aronian and Magnus Carlsen. 

Naroditsky, on the other hand, is only a half point behind eighth-placed Anish Giri and Jan-Krzysztof Duda and has real chances of advancing to the quarterfinals. Moreover, the Californian has been making it a point to enter sharp lines whenever he gets a chance. For example, he played a devastating attack against Wesley So with the white pieces in round 6.


24.h5 Qxb2 25.h6+ Kh8 (25...Kxh6 26.Rxf6 Rxf6 27.Qh4+) 26.Qg5


The heavy pieces are ruthless — 26...Qxb5 27.Rxf6 Rfe8 28.Rxg6 (yet another sacrifice).


28...Nd7 29.Rg7, and So resigned.

While Naroditsky impressed with his all-out attitude, Artemiev was the most effective competitor on Sunday, scoring 4/5 points to climb to sole first place. In round 8, he inflicted Aronian’s first loss of the event.


Placing his knight on a5 a couple of moves earlier was a clear mistake by Aronian. Now White can go for a typical direct attack — 20.Bxh7+ Kf8 21.Qh5 Rc7 22.Be4 Ba6 23.Bb1 g6


The bishop has returned to b1, but it is very much capable of striking from afar, again — 24.Bxg6 fxg6 25.Nxg6+ Kg7 26.Ne4 Qd5 27.Nf4


White has more than enough compensation for the piece to allow a queen trade. Moreover, he immediately recovers the material with 27...Qxh5 28.Nxh5+ Kf7 29.Nhxf6. The rest was easy for Artemiev, who also beat Awonder Liang and Jorden van Foreest on the second day of action.

Standings after round 10


All games



Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.


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