Chessable Masters: Close matches, Artemiev beats Carlsen

by Johannes Fischer
4/4/2023 – A total of 56 players are participating in the Chessable Masters Tournament. The players are distributed in three divisions, each taking place with a double-elimination format. Four rapid games (15+3) are played in each confrontation, and if a match ends in a draw, an Armageddon decider follows. This format ensures excitement, surprises and plenty of mistakes. The biggest surprise on Day 1 was Magnus Carlsen’s loss to Vladislav Artemiev in Division I.

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Division I

In Division I, four matches were on the programme on Day 1. In three of the contests, the decision came down to Armageddon, as only Wesley So, who after losing the first game ended up winning 2½-1½ against Levon Aronian, did not have to go into extra time.

Magnus Carlsen is playing his last major tournament as the reigning world champion. The Norwegian did not have a good start in the tournament, as he lost the very first game he played against Vladislav Artemiev.


But then Carlsen struck back and won the second game. Immediately afterward, Artemiev outplayed Carlsen in the third game — in a rook ending.


And so Carlsen absolutely had to win in the fourth game to take the match to Armageddon. And he succeeded, as Artemiev fell victim to the ‘Carlsen effect’. In an endgame that seemed to be absolutely drawn, Artemiev kept thinking long and hard to make sure that Carlsen’s legendary endgame technique would not work wonders yet again. But that cost him too much time and, with only a few seconds left on the clock, he made a fatal mistake.


So it all came down to Armageddon, and here Carlsen retaliated with a tactical blunder that cost him the queen.


Here Carlsen faltered with 38...Nd3??, which after the rather simple tactical trick 39.Rg6+ loses the queen. As the game went on, Carlsen still tried to win on time, but to no avail.

So Artemiev won the contest 3-2, but Carlsen is not eliminated yet, since the eight players in Division I have two lives, and if Carlsen now wins all his contests in the ‘Losers Bracket’, he can still win the tournament.

The Chessable Masters is a rapid-chess tournament, and when rapid chess is played, Hikaru Nakamura is always among the favourites. But in his opening match against Vladimir Fedoseev, he had great difficulties and could only win after Fedoseev made a serious mistake in Armageddon — in a clearly winning endgame.


Fabiano Caruana also prevailed against Le Quang Liem in Armageddon. The first four games of the competition all ended in draws, with Caruana having good chances more than once.

In the next round of the ‘Winners Bracket’, Caruana will face Artemiev and Nakamura will take on So. In the ‘Losers Bracket’, Carlsen will play Le and Aronian will face Fedoseev.

All games - Division I


Division II

In Division II, 16 players compete in the knockout tournament. An interesting confrontation was seen in the match facing Germany’s number one Vincent Keymer against Georg Meier, who used to play for Germany but now represents Uruguay.

In the Division I contests, Black scored surprisingly well - of the 16 non-Armageddon games, Black won nine, while White did not score even once.

But in the contest between Keymer and Meier, the advantages were clearly with White. All five games ended in a win for White, with Keymer getting very lucky in the decisive Armageddon game, as Meier, who would have won the competition with a draw, suffered a bout of chess blindness in a better position and missed a mate-in-one.


All games - Division II


Division III

There are 32 players in Division III, including the likes of Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Gata Kamsky and Wei Yi. Surprisingly, Indian prodigy Gukesh was knocked out of the competition on Monday.

All games - Division III



Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".