Two young rookie stars took centre stage as the elite Chessable Masters e-sports chess event kicked off today.
The world's youngest grandmaster Abhimanyu Mishra scored his first win over a top 10 player on the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour aged just 13 as he racked up an impressive 6/12.
Mishra is ranked just 459 in the world and is by far the lowest placed player in the event. But that won't last long. The teenager's victory over world No.7 Shakhiryar Mamedyarov with a nasty mating attack at the end was an ominous indication of what he's capable of.
Mishra, playing from New Jersey, was overjoyed with his start. "It was a very crazy day, of course," he said.
But it was China's Wei Yi, the prodigiously talented 22-year-old, who stormed into the lead on day 1 on his debut with a scintillating 10/12, that included three wins and a draw. Yi defeated India's Pentala Harikrishna, England's Gawain Jones and David Anton of Spain to take a two-point lead into the second day. It puts him firmly in the driving seat to make it to the Knockout stage.
Mishra, meanwhile, had a tough introduction to the event losing first to Anton and then in Round 2 against world No.2 Ding Liren.
However, Mishra pushed the Chinese star hard and looked to be heading for an unlikely draw before a miscalculation in a pawn race at the end let it slip. Instead of playing 44. Ng2+, the youngster missed a bishop check that came after 44. bxa5 dxe3 45. axb6 g2 46. b7 Bc4+.
From that point on the teenager went into overdrive winning back-to-back games against the Canadian streamer Eric Hansen and then his landmark win against Mamedyarov.
Sixteen of the world's best chess stars have gathered to compete for a prize pot of up to $150,000 in the Chessable Masters.
World Champion Magnus Carlsen leads the Tour overall having won two of the first three events. The Norwegian sits equal second in the Chessable Masters having scored 8/12 but was more than happy with his day's work as he rounded it off with a win over Jorden van Foreest.
Carlsen said: "The score is good and to end on a high with two wins is nice. I think I didn't play so well, but as long as I win it's fine."
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About the Chessable Masters
The eight-day Chessable Masters started on May 19 and coverage will focus on the study of chess openings. A prize pot of up to $150,000 is up for grabs and two qualifying spots for the next Tour Major. For the first stage of the event, all 16 players will compete in a round-robin with the top 8 progressing to a knockout. The final will be staged on May 25 and 26. The Chessable Masters is leg 4 of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour. The overall Tour winner in November will be crowned the world’s best online chess player. Action will be broadcast live with commentary from chess24’s studio in Oslo via chess24.com’s YouTube and Twitch channels, also available at chess24.com/tour. Play begins at 18:00 CEST / 16:00 UTC.
About the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour
The Champions Chess Tour is the leading online chess Tour worldwide determining the world's best chess player over a full competitive season of online chess. The 2022 season begins in February 2022 and features monthly tournaments culminating in a Final in November 2022. The best chess players in the world are competing in rapid chess. All games take place online on chess24.com with players competing for a total prize pool of over USD 1.5 million. For more information visit championschesstour.com.
About Play Magnus Group
Play Magnus Group is a global leader in the chess industry focused on providing premier digital experiences for millions of chess players and students. The company offers e-learning and entertainment services via its market leading brands: chess24, Chessable, iChess, New In Chess, Everyman Chess, Silver Knights, Aimchess, the Play Magnus App Suite, and the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour. The Group's mission is to grow chess to make the world a smarter place by encouraging more people to play, watch, study, and earn a living from chess. Play Magnus Group is listed on Euronext Growth Oslo under the ticker PMG. www.pmg.me