The top eight players of the Julius Baer Generation Cup continued their competition in the event in the quarterfinals which were played today on chess24.com. Magnus Carlsen, Le Quang Liem, Vincent Keymer and Arjun Erigaisi qualified for the semi-finals which will be played tomorrow as two four-game rapid matches.
Q1: Magnus Carlsen vs
Levon Aronian 3-1
The match between the reigning World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen and World No 8 Levon Aronian started perfectly for the American. Aronian took the advantage in the first game with Black pieces after Carlsen’s blunder 31.Bc1? Levon struggled to prove the advantage in the Queens endgame but Magnus helped with 52.Kf2?? and resigned in the next move. World Chess Champion then stroke back winning three consecutive games and finishing the match with 3-1 result in his favor. “It was obviously a poor start, but with three games to go I only needed plus one to get to the tiebreaks, so I wasn’t quite panicking yet“, said Magnus after the match. On the other hand, Levon Aronian was disappointed: “I have to say it is a little bit disappointing. After I won the first game, I thought that match is in my hands“.
Q2: Arjun Erigaisi vs
Christopher Yoo 3.5-2.5
A very exciting match between the Indian grandmaster Arjun Erigaisi and the youngest participant of the Julius Baer Generation Cup – Christopher Yoo finished in blitz tiebreaks as the rapid portion of the match finished with 2-2 result. All four games of the rapid match were decisive as players used their White pieces for a full point. Erigaisi started in the same fashion with the blitz match and took a victory with Whites, holding a draw in the second blitz game to take the last seat for the semi-finals. “Last two times I got eliminated in the quarterfinals, so I am already happy with the semifinals this time. It will be a very interesting match against Le Quang Liem“, said Arjun in the post-match interview.
Hans Niemann vs Le Quang Liem 1.5-2.5
Chinese grandmaster Le Quang Liem defeated the American teenager Hans Niemann preventing another Carlsen – Niemann match to happen anytime soon. Liem Le started the match with a victory, but Niemann stayed in the race winning the second game. With the third game ending in a draw, any decisive result of the fourth game would name the semi-finalist of the Julius Baer Generation Cup. It was Liem Le who used the White pieces and finished the game in his favor with a perfect endgame technique. “It was an interesting match, but I could have finished it a bit earlier as I had a completely winning position in the second game“.
Praggnanandhaa – Vincent Keymer 1-3
Vincent Keymer prevailed in the clash of the 17-year-old grandmasters as he defeated Indian prodigy Praggnanandhaa with a final 3-1 result. Keymer won the first game as Pragg didn’t realize the danger around his King and made a huge blunder with 39…R1a3 which cost him a point. The next two games finished in a draw, while Keymer again scored in the fourth round, this time having Black pieces. Vincent Keymer will meet World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen in the semi-finals and in the post-match interview said he looks very much forward to it: “Of course, it will be a very tough match, but I think having a chance to play Magnus in a match is already great and I will just try to enjoy as much as I can“.
Julius Baer Generation Cup Semi-finals pairings:
S1: Magnus Carlsen vs Vincent Keymer
S2: Le Quang Liem vs Arjun Erigaisi
The semi-finals will be played tomorrow, with the same system of play as in the quarterfinals. Four rapid matches should determine two finalists, and if the match finishes with 2-2 result, the tiebreak match will be decisive.