World Champion Magnus Carlsen starts his Goldmoney Asian Rapid campaign this Saturday, June 26th with clashes against 18-year-old Alireza Firouzja, women’s no. 1 Hou Yifan and Paris Rapid & Blitz winner Wesley So. Other Day 1 pairings for the 7th event on the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour include Indian maverick Adhiban taking on all three of his Indian colleagues — 15-year-old Gukesh, 17-year-old Erigaisi and finally Vidit. There’s a novelty in the commentary teams, with Danny King stepping in for Peter Leko as Tania Sachdev’s partner.
The Goldmoney Asian Rapid starts at 13:00 CEST on Saturday June 26th with the by now familiar cut-throat 3-day preliminary stage, where all the participants play each other once and the bottom 8 are eliminated before the knockout begins.
World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen is back in action after skipping the Grand Chess Tour events, and he faces some of his most interesting opponents in the very first of Saturday’s five rounds.
It’ll be curious to see if 18-year-old Alireza Firouzja can carry over his form from the blitz section in Paris (10 wins in 18 games) or the rapid (0 wins in 9 games), but if he shows the same fighting spirit as on any day in Paris it should be exciting to watch.
Women’s no. 1 Hou Yifan is the first woman to play on the full Meltwater Champions Chess Tour and will be facing a tough challenge, especially as the 27-year-old 4-time Women’s World Chess Champion is at least semi-retired. She has a lot of experience playing the world’s best, however, and even if her five games with Black, five losses to Carlsen doesn’t inspire confidence, she’s unlikely to be overawed by the experience.
- Champions Chess Tour website
- All the Goldmoney Asian Rapid games with computer analysis: Prelims, Knockout
- Hou Yifan joins Magnus Carlsen for Goldmoney Asian Rapid