Champions Showdown Chess 9LX: Carlsen and Dominguez in the lead

by Klaus Besenthal
9/12/2020 – Yesterday, the 20+10 online tournament "Champions Showdown Chess 9LX" of the Saint Louis Chess Club started with the first of a total of three matchdays. Ten world-class grandmasters play against each other in a round robin tournament of "Chess 960". The difference to regular chess is that the starting position varies each game. After three rounds, world champion Magnus Carlsen and Leinier Dominguez Perez share the lead in the standings with 2.5 points each. Former world champion Garry Kasparov is also doing well with 1.5/3.

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"2020 Champions Showdown: Chess 9LX"

"Chess960" is a quite popular variation of chess today: In the recent past a number of tournaments at top level have been held. In 2019 Wesley So became the first official world champion in this discipline. In contrast to a normal game of chess, the arrangement of the pieces on the back rank is randomly determined before the game begins, with a total of 960 different possibilities. Because this method was developed by the former world champion Bobby Fischer, it is also called "FischerRandom Chess"; as well as "Chess 9LX" as in this tournament by the Saint Louis Chess Club.

Standings after Day 1 

1. Round

In the 1st round starting position 490 was the opening position:

The highlight of the opening round was the victory of the 40 years older former world champion Kasparov against the young phenom Alireza Firouzja.

Table White Score Fed. Rating Black Score Fed. Rating Result
1 GM Firouzja, Alireza 0.0 FID 2728 GM Kasparov, Garry 0.0 CRO 2812 0-1
2 GM Svidler, Peter 0.0 RUS 2723 GM So, Wesley 0.0 USA 2770 0-1
3 GM Dominguez Perez, Leinier 0.0 USA 2758 GM Nakamura, Hikaru 0.0 USA 2736 1-0
4 GM Aronian, Levon 0.0 ARM 2773 GM Caruana, Fabiano 0.0 USA 2835 ½-½
5 GM Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 0.0 FRA 2778 GM Carlsen, Magnus 0.0 NOR 2863 0-1

2. Round

Start position 90 was drawn:

The match between world champion Carlsen and Garry Kasparov, one of Carlsen's most famous predecessors, ended in a draw - Carlsen missed a win in the rook ending.

Table White Score Fed. Rating Black Score Fed. Rating Result
1 GM Kasparov, Garry 1.0 CRO 2812 GM Carlsen, Magnus 1.0 NOR 2863 ½-½
2 GM Caruana, Fabiano 0.5 USA 2835 GM Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 0.0 FRA 2778 1-0
3 GM Nakamura, Hikaru 0.0 USA 2736 GM Aronian, Levon 0.5 ARM 2773 ½-½
4 GM So, Wesley 1.0 USA 2770 GM Dominguez Perez, Leinier 1.0 USA 2758 ½-½
5 GM Firouzja, Alireza 0.0 FID 2728 GM Svidler, Peter 0.0 RUS 2723 ½-½

3. Round

Starting position 909 was drawn: 

Garry Kasparov had to admit his first defeat against Peter Svidler, while Magnus Carlsen stayed at the top of the standings with a victory over Fabiano Caruana. There he is (still?) tied with Leinier Dominguez at 2.5/3. Vachier-Lagrave has not scored in the first three rounds and is in last place.

Table White Score Fed. Rating Black Score Fed. Rating Result
1 GM Svidler, Peter 0.5 RUS 2723 GM Kasparov, Garry 1.5 CRO 2812 1-0
2 GM Dominguez Perez, Leinier 1.5 USA 2758 GM Firouzja, Alireza 0.5 FID 2728 1-0
3 GM Aronian, Levon 1.0 ARM 2773 GM So, Wesley 1.5 USA 2770 ½-½
4 GM Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 0.0 FRA 2778 GM Nakamura, Hikaru 0.5 USA 2736 0-1
5 GM Carlsen, Magnus 1.5 NOR 2863 GM Caruana, Fabiano 1.5 USA 2835 1-0



Live-Commentary by the Saint Louis Chess Club

Tournament page

Translation from German: Arthur Paul

Klaus Besenthal is computer scientist, has followed and still follows the chess scene avidly since 1972 and since then has also regularly played in tournaments.


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