Airthings Masters, 2022 Meltwater Champions Chess tour: The first day was very exciting as Ding Liren showed his potential after missing out on FIDE Grand Prix with 10/12 points.
While the most surprising result came from the World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, who started the day with two losses and finished the day with just 4 points at 11th place.
Liren started with a win over Vincent but had to make a draw against Hans Nieman who once was in a situation of taking the game towards himself. Ding then didn’t look back scored full points in the next two rounds.
The second in the table is Ian Nepomniachtchi at 9 points. A World Championship rematch was on the cards and the Russian outplayed Magnus this time around.
Next up was Esipenko, who had recent success in the Tata Steel Chess 2022 tournament, with 8 points building upon his fantastic season. Yet again, he crushed Magnus Carlsen convincingly in the Italian game.
There are a lot of players in the mix this time around than the last year. A lot of GM’s who stream regularly like Eric Hansen, Neiman, and Giri. Also, the current World Rapid champion, Abdusattorov, is also participating and stands currently at 4 points with Carlsen.
Levon Aronian also had a decent outing with 7 points along with Eric, Niemann, and Keymer. The veteran and Tata Steel runnerup Mamedyarov had a day to forget finishing with 3 points to end the day.
The Indian youngster Praggnanandhaa had a nightmare start to this tour finishing with 1 point only. While the Women’s Rapid World champion ended the day with zero points.
As we enter the third year of the pandemic that changed the world around us, I can sense online chess grow by leaps and bounds. Carlsen’s Champions Chess Tour is the flagship and it sailed today with the first day of the Airthings Masters.
It’s pretty much the same formula as last year except that I seem to recall they used to have five games per day during the preliminary stage, and now they have four to spread it over four days of competition. At any rate, there are 16 participants that will determine eight qualifiers for the knockout stage.