WR Masters: Aronian beats Abdusattorov, leads

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
2/18/2023 – Levon Aronian is now the sole leader at the WR Chess Masters in Düsseldorf. The Armenian ace, representing the United States since 2021, defeated Nodirbek Abdusattorov from the white side of a Sicilian Dragon in a rather lopsided game. Meanwhile, in the one game of the day featuring two youngsters, Praggnanandhaa defeated Vincent Keymer, also with white. | Photo: Lennart Ootes

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“It was fairly easy”

A colourful personality, Levon Aronian thus described the win that allowed him to become the sole leader at the WR Chess Masters in Düsseldorf. Aronian defeated Nodirbek Abdusattorov with white and had the following exchange with commentator Anastasiya Karlovich in the post-game press conference:

A. Karlovich: We thought it was a game without any mistakes, one in which you actually crushed your opponent. Are you happy with the result?

L. Aronian: I’m very happy, but to say that there were not many mistakes — I mean, there were many mistakes on my opponent’s part.

A. Karlovich: But I meant from your side.

L. Aronian: Ah, from my side it was fairly easy. It didn’t require much effort.

Indeed, things quickly went astray for Abdusattorov, who strangely decided to play ...f7-f6 early on after having castled kingside out of a Sicilian Dragon. Aronian, who used to play this system as a teenager, felt the pawn push had been a strategic mistake, and went on to convert his advantage into a 31-move win. Aronian’s class was in full display throughout the game.

In the other game featuring two players who had entered the round as co-leaders, Gukesh held Wesley So to a draw from the black side of a Queen’s Gambit Accepted. Therefore, Aronian is now alone atop the standings with 2½ points to his name. In Sunday’s fourth round, Aronian will have the black pieces against Jan-Krzysztof Duda.

The second game that ended decisively in round 3 was Praggnanandhaa’s victory over Vincent Keymer. With this win, Pragg left the cellar of the standings after losing his first two games in Düsseldorf. This was the seventh decisive game of the newly established super-tournament, and the seventh to favour the player marshalling the white pieces.

Dommaraju Gukesh, Wesley So

In shared second place after drawing their direct encounter — Dommaraju Gukesh and Wesley So | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Aronian 1 - 0 Abdusattorov


Levon Aronian

A smiling Levon Aronian | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Praggnanandhaa 1 - 0 Keymer


Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu

Praggnanandhaa has yet to draw a game in the event | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Results - Round 3


Standings - Round 3


All games



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.