September 28, 2021

Nakamura, Carlsen Earn Top Seeds In Skilling Open Knockout Phase

Carlsen and Nakamura are the top seeds heading into the knockout portion of the Skilling Open. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

The top eight of the Skilling Open are set, as day three of the Skilling Open saw the end of the preliminary round-robin stage of the tournament. After three days and 15 rounds of action, GMs Hikaru Nakamura and Magnus Carlsen have earned the top seeds in the knockout phase of the tournament—they both ended the preliminary stage with 9/15.

GM Levon Aronian had a monster score of 4/5 for the day and joins GMs Ian Nepomniachtchi and Wesley So tied for 3rd-5th places with a score of 8.5/15. GMs Teimour RadjabovMaxime Vachier-Lagrave, and Anish Giri round out the top eight on tiebreaks over GMs Le Quang Liem and Alireza Firouzja who also scored 8/15.

The top-eight knockout stage of the event starts on Wednesday, November 25.

How to watch?
The games of the chess24 Champions Chess Tour Skilling Open can be found here as part of our live events platform. IM Levy Rozman and IM Anna Rudolf are providing daily commentary on GM Hikaru Nakamura’s Twitch channel starting from 9:00 a.m. Pacific / 18:00 Central Europe.

Round 11

Round 11 began with a marquee matchup: Carlsen had white versus Nakamura. Carlsen’s Bishop’s Opening brought him a noticeable advantage after 8…dxe4—his pieces became very active while Naka’s queenside was undeveloped. Naka equalized after 16. Rfe1, but then Carlsen erred with 18. Rad1? and a tactical sequence occurred:

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