Goldmoney Asian Rapid: Five leaders after five rounds

by Klaus Besenthal
6/27/2021 – The first five rounds of the Goldmoney Asian Rapid tournament were played on Saturday. Five players are currently sharing the lead on 3½/5 points: Vladislav Artemiev [pictured], Daniil Dubov, Levon Aronian, Ding Liren and Mangus Carlsen. The 16 participants are fighting to finish the preliminaries in the top half of the standings table, as 8 of them will move on to the knockout stage of the online event. | Photo: Vladimir Barsky

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Preliminaries - Day 1

For Magnus Carlsen the tournament began with a defeat: from a winning position, the world champion did not act energetically enough in a super-sharp endgame against Alireza Firouzja, fell behind and eventually lost. Unlike his opponent, Firouzja acted firmly once he had recognized he had a real chance to win.


After the second round Carlsen and Firouzja were already on a par again, at least in the standings: Carlsen won against Hou Yifan, while Firouzja lost to Giri.

For Peter Svidler the first defeat came in round 3: after the eight-time Russian Champion had drawn against Wesley So and Levon Aronian, he lost to Saleh Salem, the grandmaster from the United Arab Emirates, in an interesting double rook endgame. Our endgame expert Karsten Müller shows the relevant details.


In the fourth round Svidler also lost to Carlsen, but after that, when the first day of the tournament was about to finish, it became clear that the Russian grandmaster is still capable to beat the absolute top players.


In the final standings of this first day, however, Svidler found himself in the bottom half of the table. But things can still change on Sunday and Monday, when five more rounds per day are to be played in the online event.

Endgame analyses by Karsten Müller

Our in-house expert looked into two other interesting endings. Müller refers to the ‘fourth phase of the game’ in Vidit vs. Giri from round 1, and explores how a knight can be useful even when placed ‘on the rim’ in Hou vs. Dubov.


Select an entry from the list to switch between games

Standings after round 5


All games



Klaus Besenthal is computer scientist, has followed and still follows the chess scene avidly since 1972 and since then has also regularly played in tournaments.


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