Chess 9LX: Kasparov in the lead!

by ChessBase
9/9/2023 – Former World Champion Garry Kasparov stormed in to grab the lead on the first day of the 2023 Champions Showdown: Chess9LX, as he scored two wins, against Wesley So and Ray Robson, along with a draw against Hikaru Nakamura to end the day in clear first place with 2½/3. Tied for second going into day 2 are Levon Aronian and Sam Sevian, both half a point behind with 2/3. | Photo: Lennart Ootes

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


By IM Kostya Kavutskiy

Check out the full replay of live coverage from the day here. The event features Chess 960 (aka Fischer Random), a chess variant where the starting position of the pieces is randomized along the first rank. The tournament format is a 10-player round-robin, with a time control of 20 minutes per side plus a 5-second increment added every move.

Round 1

Chess 9LX 2023

The day kicked off with three decisive games, as Kasparov stunned Wesley So in the first round with Black, after launching a vicious counter-attack against So’s king. Meanwhile Shankland defeated Caruana, while Sevian managed to trick Aronian deep into a knight vs. bishop endgame.

So - Kasparov: 22…Qd3! was a killer shot, threatening Bf5 next.

Garry Kasparov

“I decided that I have to trust my hand.” - Kasparov | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Round 2

Chess 9LX 2023

In the second round Caruana, Aronian, and So all bounced back with victories, while Kasparov drew with Nakamura after holding a difficult endgame.

Aronian - Robson: 10.Be4! was a crusher, as 10...Nxe4 runs into 11.Qxg7#

Hikaru Nakamura

Three draws for Nakamura, who ended day 1 with 1½/3. | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Round 3

Chess 9LX 2023

In the third and final round of the day Kasparov pounced on Robson, generating a powerful initiative in the endgame as Kasparov’s pieces flooded in.

Robson - Kasparov: 35…Rxf3! finished things off, in view of Nf2+ next.

Aronian also won his second game, after getting an extra pawn against Shankland and smoothly converting a rook and bishop endgame.

Levon Aronian

After dropping the first game Aronian scored two back-to-back wins | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Standings after round 3

All games


Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.