Airthings Masters, Meltwater Champions Chess tour 2022: The World Chess Championship 2021’s runner-up, Ian Nepomniachtchi, leads by seven points. Having the worst start to this tournament, Magnus Carlsen recovers his way to hold the second spot.
The most shocking was Ding Liren who started the tournament very well but now sits at the ninth spot with just 18 points. Scoring 10 points on the first day, it was a mixed second day with two draws, a win, and a loss to Levon Aronian.
The third day had no wins and three draws for the Chinese GM. It was Anish Giri taking him down in the 10th round. Still has a chance if he can gather enough points on the final day and also other results should go his way too.
What a turnaround for Magnus Carlsen. Collecting just four points on an opening day and still managing to sit quietly at the second spot shows why he is dangerous. Three wins in a row for the Norweigen on the second day but at the fourth game, Praggnanandhaa created an upset with the Black pieces. A semi-Tarrasch Defense got into an equal middlegame where Pragg was tactically perfect.
While the third day also witnessed a loss this time to Eric Hansen along with two wins and a draw.
In other important developments, I would mention GM Anish Giri’s steady progress. After a so-so showing in Day One, Anish gradually picked up the speed, when his third win in a row (the last one over GM Ding Liren) catapulted him into a shared second place. Ding, on the other hand, begins to show the detrimental effects of playing chess in the middle of the night. Life is tough on China’s number 1.
Anish Giri is not far behind second place with only one point less than Magnus Carlsen, Artemiev Vladislav, and Keymer Vincent.
The World Rapid Chess Champion 2021, Andusattorov Nodirbek, was also impressed with some fabulous play through the 12 rounds. He too is not far behind but there are a lot of players between 15 to 20 points.
In the meantime, Artemiev continued his late surge by winning a nice game over Keymer. Vlad almost made it a perfect 4/4, but he couldn’t convert his extra pawn against GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in Round 12. A well-rested Carlsen caught up with him by defeating Duda with surprising ease. Didn’t Bobby Fischer say the Dragon was easy: pry open the h-file, sac, and mate?
Carlsen and Artemiev are joined in a tie for second by Keymer, who just never seems to go away and bounces back after losses. He did it again by defeating GM Hans Niemann to conclude Day Three.
Ian Nepomniachtchi is obviously through to the playoffs but the rest is a big mess. Almost all the GM over 18 points can qualify.