The Julius Baer Generation Cup focused on chess instead of cheating today as World Champion Magnus Carlsen wrestled himself back into the lead.
Ahead of the final day of the prelim stage, the Norwegian overhauled Indian youngster Arjun Erigaisi on the leaderboard with three wins and a draw to finish with 25/36. Carlsen managed it despite having controversially thrown his Round 6 game against Hans Niemann, seemingly in protest over alleged cheating. You can read the full story on that here.
Meanwhile, Erigaisi, playing from Warangal in the south Indian state of Telangana, has been on fire in this event but lost only his second game today. He trails Carlsen by just one point. Replay the action here
Fellow Indian Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa remains a danger in fourth, with Vietnam’s Liem Quang Le in third. German’s Vincent Keymer lifted himself up level on 19/36 with a Round 12 win. All five are nearly home and hosed for the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour event’s knockout stage which starts on Thursday along with Polish ace Jan-Krzysztof Duda.
However, a series of big names are at risk of failing to make the cut tomorrow when the field of 16 is halved. These include Levon Aronian, Anish Giri and Ukrainian legend Vasyl Ivanchuk. Hans Niemann, the controversial American who Carlsen refused to play a full game against in Round 6, briefly dropped out of the qualification spots before crushing Aronian in just 21 moves. He stands in seventh.
Read more: What if Magnus Carlsen and Hans Niemann meet in the Julius Baer Generation Cup Knockout phase?
There was a shock Round 9 win for the youngest player in the event, 15-year-old American Christopher Yoo, who beat Giri. Yoo had an impressive day and stands on the edge of the qualifying positions. Round 10 saw an almighty generational tussle – fitting with the theme of the event – between Carlsen, of 1990 vintage, and Ivanchuk, the elder statesman in the event.
Carlsen missed a chance to win instantly and then “Chucky” went into full defence-mode, setting up a fortress in an attempt to hang on for the draw against the endgame master. After 123 high-quality moves and 70 minutes of play, Ivanchuk managed it and maintained his positive head-to-head score against Carlsen in rapid chess.
Play begins in Rounds 13 to 15 at 18:00 CEST on Wednesday with live commentary available on chess24.com.