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The Champions Chess Tour Chessable Masters 2023: Anish Giri draws his first game in the tournament to Sergey Drygolov

The Chessable Masters 2023 started with 75 simultaneous games. Amid the 150 competitors was four-time Dutch Chess Champion Anish Giri, a defensive player known for his quality in the Classical time controls.

The Play-in round includes nine rounds of games to decide which division those who qualify will play in the knockout stage. Two of those rounds were played at 3:00pm today.

Round 1

The highlight of the first round was 2800 ELO Rapid-rated Anish Giri who had actually added time to his clock by the midgame, while Sergey Drygalov had just five minutes left.

Giri’s knights dominated the central squares which trapped Drygalov’s bishops, and the Russian struggled with the time pressure as he had just 2:44 minutes remaining by move 17.

Drygalov (black) in an undeveloped position

By move 23, white held a +1.04 advantage over Drygalov, despite Giri deciding against castling.

Giri’s King was protected by minor pieces in a central position. Drygalov traded Queens in an attempt to push towards an endgame.

The Dutch grandmaster held a two minute advantage at move 39, and as his opposition only had 20 seconds on his clock, all white needed to do was stall the midgame out to win on time.

As the game approached the endgame, Giri had the time advantage while Drygalov earned a material advantage. Both agreed to a draw with just 28 seconds combined.

In another high profile first round game, 22-year-old American grandmaster Samuel Sevian beat Russian chess master Aleksander Shimanov while playing on black.

The American played the Caro-Kann Defence in response to white’s 1.d4 opening.

Sevian split from the main line with 4.Kxe4 f5, taking a strong position kingside and introducing ideas of creating a fianchetto and restricting white’s Queen.

It was Shimanov that lost the tie however with a blunder in the 59th move.

Shiminov (white) blundering a wining endgame by allowing Sevian to pin his Queen.

Queen to e6 allowed black to pin the Queen to the King with Rook to f6 which forced white to trade their Queen and Rook, where black had far better pawn positioning. White resigned after trading with just four seconds left on his clock.

Round 2

In the second round, Uzbekistan grandmaster Nodirbek Abdusattorov took the spotlight by winning his game in just 18 moves.

As his opposition Rodrigo Vasquez Schroeder played the Sicilian Defence, and had the material advantage, white allowed the material loss.

Abdusattorov’s played the brilliant Rook to e5 in the midgame, the Uzbek threatened a series of unstoppable checks beginning with Queen to a5.

Abdusattorov with an exceptional move completely sacrificing the rook to gain a winning position.

Vasquez Schroeder resigned immediately to the 18-year-old. Stockfish confirmed the severity of Abdusattorov’s advantage as the machine believed him to have a +25.3 if his opponent took the hanging Rook trap.


The tournament continues later this evening with more grandmaster matchups.

Of the high profile players, Giri drew his first two games, with one on each colour. Sevian is undefeated, with a win and draw to his name so far.

Chinese Chess grandmaster Yu Yangyi has yet to win a game despite having an 150 and 350 ELO advantage over his first and second opposition respectively.

The play-in still has seven more rounds to go and so a lot can change before the qualfiying to the knockout stages is decided.

Amongst those yet to drop points so far is 19-year-old Awonder Liang. The American earned his grandmaster status when he was just 14 years of age, and in the current tournament has won with white and black.

The Chessable Masters next phase continues on the 3rd April with the knockout round, where World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen joins the fray alongside five-time US Chess Champion Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So and Fabiano Carunana.

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