Chessable Masters: Lazavik to face Carlsen in winners’ bracket final

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
2/4/2024 – Denis Lazavik and Magnus Carlsen advanced to the winners’ bracket final in Division I of the Chessable Masters. Lazavik defeated Jose Martinez, while Carlsen got the better of Vladimir Fedoseev. In the losers’ bracket, Ian Nepomniachtchi and Vladimir Fedoseev remain in contention, as they knocked out Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Wesley So respectively. | Photo: chess.com / Thomas Tischio

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Division I: Missed chances

In the duel of underdogs between Jose Martinez and Denis Lazavik, Martinez got off to the worst possible start, as a one-move blunder prevented him from converting a clear advantage into a win.

White has a rook and two minor pieces for Black’s queen, with a clearly superior position. However, after 47.dxe4 (instead of, for example, 47.Re3), the balance was restored due to 47...Qb5, with a double attack — Martinez saved his rook with 48.Re3, but after 48...Qxa5 Black has enough play with his queen to save the draw.

Following this disappointing start, Martinez lost the next two games, which means Lazavik advanced to the final match in the winners’ bracket.

Much like Martinez, the loser in the other semifinal of the winners’ bracket missed a chance to obtain what would have been a crucial victory in game 2. Magnus Carlsen had won the first encounter, and Vladimir Fedoseev missed a difficult-to-find manoeuvre to bounce right back.

Despite being two pawns down, it seems like Black’s active king and knight will manage to save the day. And indeed, after 66.Kxg3, as played by Fedoseev in the game, White eventually got the half point.

However, Fedoseev missed the one winning move in the diagrammed position: 66.Ne3+. The Slovenian representative failed to notice that after 66...Kxd4 he has 67.Nc2+ (diagram), and there is no stopping the a-pawn!

Both 67...Nxc2 and 67...Kc5 lose to 68.a6 in this setup.

After this miss and a draw in game 3, Fedoseev got to even the score in the fourth encounter. However, it was Carlsen who prevailed in the Armageddon, where he held a draw with black in a topsy-turvy confrontation.

Division I winners’ bracket

Chessable Masters 2024

Meanwhile, four elite grandmasters faced each other in the losers’ bracket. Alireza Firouzja knocked out Wesley So by drawing with white and winning with black (two-game matches are played in the losers’ bracket), while Ian Nepomniachtchi first bounced back and then won the Armageddon against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

In the sudden-death decider, MVL was better in the endgame, but a mistake on move 48 turned the tables in Nepo’s favour, as analysed below by GM Karsten Müller.

Division I losers’ bracket

Chessable Masters 2024

All games - Division I

Division II: Artemiev beats Nakamura

The semi-finalists in the winners’ bracket of Division II are Vincent Keymer, Benjamin Bok, Vladislav Artemiev and Levon Aronian. In the one match of the quarter-finals that went to Armageddon, Artemiev beat Hikaru Nakamura with black to knock him down to the losers’ bracket, where he is set to face Rauf Mamedov on Sunday.

Keymer beat Jeffery Xiong 3-1, and got to win the second game in only 21 moves. Xiong’s innocuous-looking 20.e3 was the losing mistake.

The refutation is 20...Qg4, attacking the bishop and making the most of White’s weakened light squares around the king. After 21.Bd3, Keymer played 21...e4 and Xiong resigned.

22.exd4 exd3+ 23.Kd2 Rxd4 is devastating for White.

Division II winners’ bracket

Chessable Masters 2024

Division II losers’ bracket

Chessable Masters 2024

All games - Division II

Division III: Paravyan, Safarli, Sarana and Grischuk in semis

Out of the four semi-finalists in the winners’ bracket of Division III, Alexander Grischuk had the easiest victory on Saturday. The 40-year-old got a 3-0 victory over Jaime Santos, who did not show up for the match as he was representing FC Bayern Munich in the German Bundesliga — Santos won his game with white against Matthias Bluebaum.

Santos, nonetheless, remains in contention in the losers’ bracket.

All games - Division III


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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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