Malcolm Pein on…Rapid Returns


Table of Contents

There were two great fightbacks in the semifinals of the Goldmoney Asian Rapid as Levon Aronian overcame Magnus Carlsen and Vladislav Artemiev also recovered from a set down to eliminate Ding Liren. Aronian was aided by uncharacteristic blunders from Carlsen in games three and four of the second set and in the first game of the blitz tie-break.

Artemiev had been thoroughly outplayed by Ding on day one, but was rejuvenated on day two, and converted an extra pawn in what appeared to be a drawn rook and pawn endgame to take the second set and force a tie-break.

Artemiev was also unlucky to lose game three:

Ding Liren – V. Artemiev

Goldmoney Asian Rapid (15+10)

Anti Gruenfeld

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Nc6 4.d5 Ne5 5.e4 d6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.f4 Ned7 8.Nh3 Nb6 9.Nf2 e6 10.Be2 exd5 11.cxd5 0–0 12.g4 c6 13.g5 Ne8 14.dxc6 bxc6 15.h4 Nc7 16.h5 Re8 17.a4 Ba6 (17…d5 or 17…Ne6 18.a5 Nd7 19.Qxd6 Ndc5 20.Qxd8 Rxd8 were good) 18.a5 Nbd5 19.hxg6 hxg6 20.Ra3 (Not 20.exd5 Bxc3+ 21.bxc3 Rxe2+) 20…Nb4 21.Kf1 Rb8


22.Kg2 (22.Bxa6! Ncxa6 23.f5 was strong)  22…Bc8! 23.Rh4 c5 24.Bc4 d5! 25.Nxd5 Ncxd5 26.exd5 Bb7 (26…Bf5! was also good) 27.f5 gxf5 28.Qh5 Bxd5+ 29.Rf3! (29.Bxd5 Qxd5+ 30.Rf3 Nc2!) 29…Nc2! (Not 29…Bxf3+? 30.Qxf3 intending 31.g6 or 31.Qxf5) 30.g6! Ne1+ 31.Kh3! Bxc4! (Again, taking the rook is a mistake 31…Nxf3 32.gxf7+ Kf8 33.fxe8Q+ Qxe8 34.Qxf5+ Qf7 35.Qxd5 Qxd5 36.Rf4+! wins) 32.Rg3 Black to play and win:

Highlight the space below to reveal the answer.

Answer 1: 32…Bf1+ 33.Kh2 fxg6 34.Qh7+ Kf8 35.Rxg6 Nf3+ 36.Kg3 Qxh4+ wins.

32…Qf6? White to play and win:

Highlight the space below to reveal the answer.

Answer 2: 33.gxf7+ (Black had missed 33…Bxf7 or Qxf7 34.Qh8#) 33…Kf8 34.fxe8Q+ Rxe8 35.Rxc4 Qe6 36.Rf4 1–0

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