Airthings Masters Finals - Live!

by ChessBase
1/3/2021 – The year 2020 ends with a strong online tournament: the Airthings Masters. Teimour Radjabov won the first set of the finals, while Daniil Dubov and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave drew their first four-game encounter in the match for third place. The action kicks off at 15:00 CET, 9:00 ET. Follow the games live with commentary. Read the full report on day 1 of the finals. | Photos: Official site

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The Airthings Masters

The Airthings Masters is a 12-player rapid tournament (15+10) with preliminaries and a knock-out stage. The top 8 from the qualifying stage have advanced to a 6-day knockout, with two days each for the quarterfinals, semifinals and final.

In the knockout stage, each encounter will be decided over two days. On day, 1 there will be four rapid games, and if the match ends 2:2 it will simply be a draw (there doesn’t have to be a winner). On day 2, another 4-game match will be held. If both matches are drawn, or the players have traded wins, then shortly after the second match there will be a playoff: two blitz games followed, if needed, by Armageddon.

Airthings Masters

Live games (starts each day at 15:00 CET, 9:00 ET)


Commentary by GM Peter Leko and IM Tania Sachdev

Final standings - Preliminary stage


Airthings Masters 2021

The action each day begins at 14:00 GMT (15:00 CET, 9:00 ET).

The Champions Chess Tour

The Airthings Masters is the first Major of the Champions Chess Tour, which is the successor to the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour. It consists of 10 events taking place over 10 months, with the prize fund rising from $1 million to $1.5 million. Six Regular tournaments, three Majors and the Finals will be played from November 2020 until September 2021.

Wesley So won the first event of the series by defeating Magnus Carlsen in a thrilling final match played on the world champion’s 30th birthday. Since the eight players who qualified to the knockout stage of the previous tournament automatically get a ticket in the next event, both Carlsen and So will meet again in the first Major of the series.

Airthings will be the title partner of the Airthings Masters and the Official Air Quality Partner for the full first season of the Tour. Airthings will monitor and stream the air quality levels in the players’ homes to raise awareness about the importance of good indoor air and how it impacts our cognitive abilities, decision making, and health.  

The prize fund for the first Major on the Champions Chess Tour is $200,000, double that for Regular events like the Skilling Open, with the top prize rising to $60,000. One difference this time is that there will also be a match for 3rd place, to run in parallel with the final.

The winner is guaranteed a place in the Champions Chess Tour Finals next September, while the top 8 players in the overall tour standings after the Airthings Masters will automatically be invited back to the next 16-player Regular event on the tour in February 2021.

Airthings Masters 2021


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Minnesota Fats Minnesota Fats 1/9/2021 01:09
@Frits Fritschy / Leavenfish i had my answer written and posted, but i decided to remove it.
Let's enjoy the weekend and don't start an internet debate, i agree! (doesn't mean that i agree with your idea of thinking, but i prefer to keep peace )
Peter B Peter B 1/4/2021 01:53
Surely the fair compromise is to give Radjabov the wild card to the next Candidates, which will probably be in 2023. It is too late to add him to this one. In fact the FIDE president has already suggested this might happen.
Aighearach Aighearach 1/3/2021 10:17
One difference between Radjabov and Fischer is that when Fischer was refusing to play, he was highest rated in the world, and Radjabov is 100 points behind the leader with many ahead of him. He isn't even highest rated in his own country; that would be Mamedyarov.

You can't just "insert" him into the candidates. If you want him to play, stop asking for that and instead ask to cancel the candidates and start over. That's the only way for him to play in it, so if you really want him to play in it, ask for that.
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 1/3/2021 09:14
Whatever people might think about the person Radjabov, or his rights to play in the world championship cycle, a very strong player he is. And in this tournament, whatever you may think of its formula, he clearly showed to be the strongest, not just in result, but also in his games!
danilo botoy danilo botoy 1/3/2021 07:43
when carlsen, nakamura and so eliminated I felt so upset, forgetting that I still have one admired player which is radjabov. As I see the results seems radjabov showed no mercy of every opponent he had. I felt I am also a winner
Masquer Masquer 1/3/2021 06:31
Let's not forget that the other Candidates took a risk playing in Yekaterinburg, while Radjabov bailed out, so any solution that re-includes Radjabov has to be fair to those other Candidates.
sebtak sebtak 1/3/2021 06:02
@fgkdjlkag, if you go back to a time before all the candidates were known, Radjabov already said that he wasn't really interested in playing the candidates, but wasn't sure he wouldn't. We are talking about a time in 2019 where no one even in China was aware of the coming pandemic. At the time, Aronian had already very slim chances to qualify. One only needs to look at Radjabov's past and current statements on Armenia to understand how his stance was politically motivated and had nothing to do with covid. Covid just gave him an honourable way out.
Masquer Masquer 1/3/2021 05:45
You can think of many solutions, but none are forthcoming. Talk is cheap. Let's see some workable solutions.
Dan Durham Dan Durham 1/3/2021 05:20
Go Teimour! I remember years ago he had a bad spell and lost many games. People were ruthless in attacking him, calling him "overrated" and worse. He had to delete his page (can't remember but I think it was Twitter). Now he's back with a vengeance! You go, Teimour!
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 1/3/2021 04:55
@Masquer, chess-players are supposed to be able to think ahead. Are you masquerading? I can think of many possible solutions to the Radjabov-Candidates issue.
Minnesota Fats Minnesota Fats 1/2/2021 11:56
@Radjabov for me is a cool cat! Even refused to play the selection for the World championship...He has a lot of balls...seems like the next Fischer

Radjabov is taking chess by a storm nowadays...

Anybody even remembering when Carlsen withdrew from the World Championship cycle?
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 1/2/2021 11:45
Minnesota Fats, where to begin. Please read anything on your list; you might learn something from it or get bored to dead. At this moment there are millions of people making love, shamelessly without thinking for a moment about any lonely people. Some producer of hot air is spending a few coins on a a band of affable weirdos pushing digital wood. Big thing! By the way, why reacting to people talking about 5% and not about the one with the 100% comment?
Minnesota Fats Minnesota Fats 1/2/2021 11:23
@Leavenfish i just posted my own opinion and feelings. You are totally free to have other feelings. No worries.
But just saying a comment like: only 5% what you think or feel is true... Seems for many people a very empty statement, especially if one is not even giving his own feelings in return or his own opinion.
Just saying you are basicaly wrong, without even elaborating is bit of Trump's style, no?
Leavenfish Leavenfish 1/2/2021 11:13
@MauvaisFou. True, it is even hard to find 5% which is true...
Masquer Masquer 1/2/2021 09:37
All these people clamoring for Radjabov to "be let back in" never ever can edify us as to how that would be possible.

The Candidates tournament was frozen at the halfway stage, so how would you "insert" Radjabov into a competition that he withdrew from before it started? Since there is no possible answer to that question, they just ignore it.
MauvaisFou MauvaisFou 1/2/2021 09:21
Levenfish, if you could telle us which 5% you mean ????
joe mother joe mother 1/2/2021 08:03
minnesota fats, happy to see a class aware comrade, I support u in the sense that chess has always been aristocratic, it must change now
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 1/2/2021 07:27
Why do chess-players always have to invoke political excuses? Radjabov won the world cup and so should play in the candidates. He said that FIDE was not taking appropriate precautions in the candidates and made his statement publicly for the chess world to know. He was vindicated when the candidates was canceled (other bad outcomes could have been the candidates continuing and a player/organizer/sponsor contracting it and dying, or all of the players stuck indefinitely in Russia. Even if the organizer contracted private flights for the players, that is something that should have announced before the event. But one could obviously see from the opening ceremony that FIDE was clueless about covid-19 precautions). So of course he should be let back in. If he is not, it does not only taint the candidates but the next world championship as well.
Leavenfish Leavenfish 1/2/2021 07:08
Minnesota Fats only about 5% of what you say below is actually 'true'. I don't care for another likely pointless 'internet debate', but do some research and thinking and you will find your mistakes.
Blitz2010 Blitz2010 1/2/2021 06:49
@sebtak Thank you for your reply. I was not aware of these political dimensions of Radjabov's behavior.
sebtak sebtak 1/2/2021 12:24
@Blitz2010 Radjabov had no interest in playing the candidates from the moment it was clear that Aronian wouldn't get a spot if he withdrew. The pandemic was just a honourable door out for him to explain why he wouldn't play the candidates. We don't need xenophobes like him in the chess world (or simply in the world for that matter).
Blitz2010 Blitz2010 1/1/2021 04:56
Radjabov must be reintegrated into the Candidates Tournament! Otherwise the Candidates Tournament will be a boring farce!
sebtak sebtak 1/1/2021 01:36
@Frits Fritschy: indeed, though hopefully, contrary to the outcome of the recent armed conflict, tolerance will prevail over xenophobia.
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 12/31/2020 11:25
Critique of pure reason is a great work.
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 12/31/2020 09:16
The dreaded final is getting close.
basler88 basler88 12/31/2020 03:01
Minnesota Fats I’m 100% with you!
Minnesota Fats Minnesota Fats 12/30/2020 11:38
This online chess prize money poker chess is totally weird in times of Covid!
People lost their jobs and here we see high prize money still going strong... it just feels bit out of place , no? For me, it's just a weird feeling , blitzing out and taking home big pot of money, even not even mentioning one charity cause? These chess players are big sponserd by their governments, so prize money is just extra. In times of covid? Perhaps chess has always been a metaphore of capitalism and individualism? I just hold my opinon on this, other people are free to think differently on this matter off course.

Just ordered some books to read in these dark times:
Brave New World, Huxley Aldous
Capital: Volumes One and Two, Marx, Karl,Griffith, Tom,Spencer, Dr Mark G
Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) Orwell George
The Communist Manifesto, Marx, Karl,Engels, Friedrich,Moore, Samuel
Wealth of Nations , Smith, Adam,Spencer, Dr Mark G,Griffith, Tom
..Wanted to add Immanual Kant's Critique of pure reason, but i guess that's quite a level up. I 'll keep that for spring 2021
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 12/30/2020 12:11
Dubov's games are very entertaining. Tournament organizers can always select players based on how they play. But the problem is that chess and opening theory incentivizes players not to play aggressive and exciting chess, thus using this criterion one will have weaker players in the tourney, eg Jobava etc, who are going to play dubious openings. Which is why we need to see more chess960, when it is not very easy to try to make a boring draw.
I agree with lajosarpad that I have nothing against draws, but the problem is boring draws which has become too common today.
Portlyotter Portlyotter 12/29/2020 03:21
This is ruining chess. Maybe computers have killed adjournments but I would rather replay the old tournaments than look at these super GM repeat tournaments every other week. Not sure what the answer is but this is not it.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 12/29/2020 01:17
@MauvaisFou the danger of computer cheating killed the enjoyment of adjournments. That is unfixable. @Minnesota Fats I share your lack of enthusiasm to these tournaments. I never understood why chess enthusiasts seem to be more interested in seeing decisive results than seeing great players playing well. If decisive games are to be played, we can play blitz outselves as well. This is a case when less is more. Less games of high quality makes us focus on the best aspects of chess. All these blitz tournaments are killing the game.
MauvaisFou MauvaisFou 12/28/2020 07:47
to Minnesota

For me, the last real world champion was Kasparov, maybe Kramnik.
Even "classic" chess does not allow to play endgames correctly, due to lack of time
after the 40 moves.
Paradoxically, people seem to enjoy articles about old times, old tournaments, old games ...
Masquer Masquer 12/27/2020 11:53
Chess players are supposed to be able to think ahead very well, but it is not so with these tournament organizers.

Couldn't anybody foresee that having 3/4 (75%) of the participants advancing would allow anyone with a non-losing record to move on to the knockouts, so this would encourage and reward the most cautious approach to these round-robin games, and therefore result in a multitude of draws?!

How come they always find out the hard way? :(
Minnesota Fats Minnesota Fats 12/26/2020 08:10
This whole concept of fast game, fast kind of reflecting our society.

Is chess becoming Poker, like Carlsen is supporting nowadays? is it the new stock market? Earn fast money in a couple of days?

I guess the pride of being a world champion of chess and earning the respect and the title is gone nowadays..; it's focus now is on fast money.
Probably chess has always been that way (pride and money) and it's just me, who is the fool and thinker in this story.