Classic: Ivic, Lazavik, Nepomniachtchi, Sarana and Duda qualify for Division I

by André Schulz
5/10/2024 – On the second day of the Classic the knockout rounds of the play-in were played to decide who would make it to Division I. After dramatic knockout matches Velimir Ivic (pictured), Denis Lazavik, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Alexey Sarana and Jan-Krzysztof Duda qualified, but co-favourites Wesley So and Fabiano Caruana will have to be content with playing in Division II.

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.


In the first knockout round, Velimir Ivic defeated Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. The Frenchman won the first game with White, but lost the second after a mouse slip that cost him a rook. "MVL" then seemed to struggle to recover and lost the Armageddon without much of a fight.

In other matches in the first knockout round, Jan-Krysztof Duda won 2:0 against Daniil Dubov, while Leinier Dominguez and Sam Sevian played a close match, which went 1.5:0.5 in favour of Sevian. Dmitrij Kollars lost 0:2 to Wesley So and Matthias Blübaum lost his match against Andrey Esipenko 0.5:1.5.

Round two pitted the winners of the first round against five seeded players, and the matches were now played to a maximum of four games. Velimir Ivic surprisingly but deservedly won  2.5-1.5 against Fabiano Caruana, while Ian Nepomniachtchi, who was clearly lost in the fourth and final game of the match, needed a lot of luck to beat Sam Sevian by the same score.

Denis Lazavik and Andrey Esipanko drew all four games without ever trying to play for a win. Lazavik then won the Armageddon.

The match between Wesley So and Alexey Sarana was also decided in the Armageddon game, after Sarana had spoiled a couple of winning positions in the previous games. But in the Armageddon he recovered and managed to beat So to secure his spot in Division I.

Jan-Krzysztof Duda dominated Levon Aronian and won the match 2.5 - 0.5.

Thus, Velimir Ilic, Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Alexey Sarana, Ian Nepomniachtchi and Denis Lazavik made it to Division I, where they are joined by the three players who thanks to their results in previous tournaments were seeded for Division I: Magnus Carlsen, Alireza Firouzja and Vincent Keymer.

Here's the bracket for Division I:

Results Division II


And here's the bracket for Division II:

Results Division III

Games Division Placement Division I

Games Division Placement Division II

Games Division Placement Division III

The format

Tournament page...

André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
Discussion and Feedback Submit your feedback to the editors