Chessable Masters: Aronian and Le climb to shared second place

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
8/2/2021 – Wesley So continues to top the standings of the preliminaries at the Chessable Masters after 10 rounds. Levon Aronian and Le Quang Liem had a great second day and climbed to shared second place, a half point behind So. The last 5 rounds of the preliminary stage will be played on Monday, with half the field set to advance to the quarterfinals. | Photo: Austin Fuller / Saint Louis Chess Club

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Rating matters

Exactly half the field at the Chessable Masters is rated above 2700, with 7 out of these 8 players currently in the top half of the standings table. The one exception is Pentala Harikrishna, who currently stands a half point behind Vladislav Artemiev, who would have been the last player to make it to the knockout if the round-robin had finished on Sunday.

Three players remain undefeated at the event after 10 rounds. Besides sole leader Wesley So, Le Quang Liem and the ever-solid Hikaru Nakamura have yet to lose a game in the online rapid tournament. Le stands a half point behind So in shared second place with Levon Aronian, Sunday’s top scorer.

After beating Humpy Koneru and losing against Le, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov beat Abhimanyu Mishra with the white pieces. Shakh ended the game in style.

 

Black was already lost, but Abhimanyu’s 27...Rf7 gave way to a quick mate starting with 28.Qd8+. The youngster, who is still struggling against his seasoned opponents, allowed 28...Nxd8 29.Rxd8+ Rf8 30.Rxf8# to appear on the board.

 

In the first round of the day, Mamedyarov had escaped with a draw against Nakamura, who failed to find the correct rook move in the following endgame.

 

Since the black king is so far from the action, 54.Rf4 was enough to win, while 54.Rb8 actually fails against the correct defensive technique, as GM Karsten Müller demonstrates in his annotations below.

 

Naka got his one win of the day in round 7, when he did convert from a superior endgame in which his rival’s bishop was imprisoned on the first rank.

 

As GM Müller notes, Adhiban needed to free his bishop at once with 53.f3, although even in that case “the road to a draw is very narrow”. The Indian’s 53.Ra1, on the other hand, was quickly punished by Nakamura.

 

All games

 

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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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