Chessable Masters: Caruana beats Nakamura, continues winning streak

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
4/6/2023 – Fabiano Caruana has yet to lose a match at the 2023 Champions Chess Tour. The US star finished undefeated to win Division II of the Airthings Masters, and has now reached the Grand Final of the Chessable Masters. On Wednesday, Caruana defeated Hikaru Nakamura by a convincing 2½-½ score in the final of the winners’ bracket. Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian won their matches in the losers’ bracket.

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Caruana finds mate-in-one

Ever since failing to enter Division I of the Airthings Masters, Fabiano Caruana has won eight matches in a row at the Champions Chess Tour. The former World Championship challenger won Division II of the series’ inaugural event, and has now reached the Grand Final of the Chessable Masters in Division I.

In the final of the winners’ bracket, he faced Hikaru Nakamura, and saw his famed opponent failing to foresee a mate-in-one in the third game of the day.


White has the upper hand with his passer on the d-file, but Black has plenty of defensive recourses. However, after 48...h5 49.gxh5 the black king finds itself without the escaping squares e6 and g6.


Nakamura missed this key factor and played 49...Be5, allowing 50.Rf8#. Checkmate.

Since Caruana had won the first game and the second encounter had been drawn, this put an end to the match.


Select an entry from the list to switch between games

Carlsen beats So, Aronian knocks out Artemiev

The losers’ bracket saw two top-notch matches ending with wins for the rating favourites. Magnus Carlsen got the better of Wesley So by a 1½-½ score after winning their first encounter with the black pieces. Meanwhile, Levon Aronian knocked out Vladislav Artemiev by drawing the Armageddon game with black.

Much like Carlsen, Aronian won the first game with black. However, he played badly with white in the next encounter. For the Armageddon, the US representative surely wanted to get the black pieces as he bid 7 minutes and 30 seconds to get draw odds.

A tense struggle saw Aronian getting the draw he needed in a game that ended with him having only 3 seconds on his clock — the kind of finish that called for a big celebration.

Aronian will face Carlsen in a match to decide who gets to face Nakamura in the losers bracket final.

Carlsen v So / Aronian v Artemiev


All games - Divsion I


Division II: Kramnik’s mobile gambit

The most anticipated match of the winners’ bracket in Division II was an eventful confrontation. Vladimir Kramnik, who is also playing the Armageddon series in Berlin, had technical difficulties and had to face Maxime Vachier-Lagrave from his mobile phone. MVL won game 1, to which followed a game in which Kramnik got winning chances but ended up hanging his queen due to a mouse-slip (or its equivalent on a mobile phone).

MVL, true to his nature, allowed Kramnik to checkmate him in 5 moves, and thus had a 2-1 advantage going into game 4. In a perfectly holdable position, though, MVL disconnected and lost on time, which meant an Armageddon would follow.

At that point, the Frenchman decided to leave the match, as he later explained that he had connection problems throughout. Kramnik talked to the organizers to inform them that he decided to ‘resign’ the match. MVL explained what happened on Twitter.

Thus, the ever-respectful Vachier-Lagrave moved on to the next phase in the winners’ bracket, while Kramnik was moved down to the losers’ bracket. MVL’s rival is rising star Nodirbek Abdusattorov, while Kramnik is set to face Yu Yangyi.

All games - Divsion II


Division III: Tabatabaei and Sarana in the Grand Final

The whole double-elimination knockout in Division III lasts four days, unlike the other two divisions, which last five days. Amin Tabatabaei and Alexey Sarana reached the Grand Final.

Replay all games from Division III at


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.