Classic: Firouzja knocks out Duda and Keymer

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
5/14/2024 – Alireza Firouzja set up a showdown against Magnus Carlsen by winning the losers’ bracket of Division I in the Classic. On Monday, Firouzja knocked out Jan-Krzysztof Duda and Vincent Keymer to reach the Grand Final of the online tournament. The deciding match between Firouzja and Carlsen will take place on Wednesday. | Photo: Tata Steel Chess Tournament / Lennart Ootes

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Firouzja gets a rematch with Carlsen

The same two contenders have reached the two Grand Finals of the first couple of events in this year’s Champions Chess Tour: Magnus Carlsen and Alireza Firouzja. The Chessable Masters, which took place in February, saw the exact same scenario, with Carlsen prevailing in the winners’ bracket and Firouzja reaching the deciding match from the losers’ bracket. Perennial favourite Carlsen would beat Firouzja in the Grand Final Reset to win the event.

This time around, Firouzja got the better of Jan-Krzysztof Duda and Keymer to set up the rematch. In the first game against Duda, the Polish grandmaster blundered the game away from a slightly favourable position.

29...Rc1+ simply overlooks the fact that the bishop on e3 defends the c1-square. Firouzja grabbed the rook and Duda resigned. A draw in the following game meant Firouzja advanced to the losers’ bracket final against Keymer.

Firouzja also started his match against Keymer with a victory. Keymer was thus in a must-win situation in the second encounter — the German prodigy obtained an extra pawn, but Firouzja had more than enough activity to keep the balance.

Black’s rook is very active on d2, while White’s knight on a4 will struggle to get back into the game. Keymer over-pushed from this position and went on to suffer a second defeat in a row.

After getting a rest day, Firouzja will need to beat Carlsen twice on Wednesday to get the title in the second tournament of the 2024 Champions Chess Tour.

All games - Division I

Bracket - Division I

Division II: So to face MVL in the Grand Final

The Grand Final in Division II will take place on Tuesday. Wesley So prevailed in the losers’ bracket after having lost his first-round match against José Martínez. To reach the deciding match, So obtained victories over Jorden van Foreest, Dmitrij Kollars, Andrey Esipenko, Daniil Dubov, Levon Aronian and Grigoriy Oparin. The Filipino-born grandmaster will face Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who prevailed in the winners’ bracket.

On Monday, So obtained back-to-back victories over Oparin. Playing white in the first encounter, So found a nice tactical idea to force his opponent’s resignation.

77.Rh7+ Kxh7 78.Ng5+ wins on the spot. Oparin resigned.

All games - Division II

Bracket - Division II

Division III

Dmitry Andreikin and Nils Grandelius reached the Grand Final in Division III, with Grandelius getting there by winning the losers’ bracket. Andreikin defeated Grandelius in the winners’ bracket final of this division.

Replay all the games of the division on

Bracket - Division III


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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